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Golf Information

Hole by Hole description of Gokarna Golf Course, Kathmandu, Nepal

Hole 1 - 395 Yard - Par 4 - Stroke Index 13 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.1
This comfortable opening hole is set against the distant backdrop of snow capped twin mountain Dorje Lakpa, 6696 meters high. The fairway down below looks most inviting from this elevated tee. A well placed tee shot is necessary for a proper lie, and will result in a medium or short Iron to a large inviting double green. A pulled shot left leaves an awkward sloping lie behind large trees. A slight push right may favourably bounce off the steep bank and back on the fairway, however expect to lose many yards of forward roll should you take this route. Slice a bit too much and expect to start your round with a ball lost in the Gokarna Forest.
Hole 2 - 405 Yard - Par 4 - Stroke Index 7 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.3
A gentle dog-leg right is best played with a fade. Safety is on the left, yet the more left you go, the more difficult the hole becomes. Getting the approach angle to the green right is paramount. This becomes apparent once you step onto the heavily contoured green. Flanked by sand bunkers short and left, you are best off missing the green long and right. Unless of course the pin is placed far left. Wherever you miss the green, you will find several opportunities to test your short game to this interesting tricky green.
Hole 3 - 545 Yard - Par 5 - Stroke Index 5 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.5
The third hole is outwardly a benign Par 5 measuring 545 yards from the almost hidden back tee. A creek runs just right of the fairway for the full length of the hole. There is plenty of space on the left to play towards, but then no chance to get in position for a decent approach to the green. A good long drive leaves you with an exhilarating second, a blind shot over a tree capped hill onto the one acre double green. If you remembered to check the pin position when on the first green, you may even be aiming for an eagle. One can be sure all reasonably long hitters will enjoy attempting this one in two. For the conservative it is a fair three shot Par 5 requiring good placement on the 2nd, and control and distance judgment on the third.
Hole 4 - 360 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 9 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.3
At just 360 Yards from the championship tee, this seemingly baby Par 4 is no longer as easy as when first built. A new green some 30 yards behind and one third the size of the original one has turned what was once the easiest hole on the course into a severe test of correct placement and short game accuracy. The drive is as friendly as can be, with anything from a 5 iron to a driver being acceptable. It is the small green, steeply raised from the fairway and sloping menacingly towards the nearby lake behind that makes it so hard to get a par.
Hole 5 - 187 Yards - Par 3 - Stroke Index 17 - Leading Pros Play this to 2.9
A short Par 3 to a long two-tiered green, mostly over water. Left and short is wet. Left and long is no safer, the slope ensuring a similar result. Gokarna forest comes into play punishing anything errant to the right, though a slight miss off the green to the right often ends up with the ball kicking in close to the pin. Long and left may seem safe, and it actually is, as long as you realize an up and down is quite improbable. Hitting the green is easier than it seems. Getting down in two puts may be more of a challenge.
Hole 6 - 415 Yard - Par 4 - Stroke Index 11 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.1
A leisurely stroll through the forest brings you out of the valleys into the flat plain created by the holy Bhagmati river. The view here is spectacularly different, as are the three exciting holes before you. A well elevated tee provides a picturesque panorama from where a drawn tee-shot well left of the apparent landing area would serve you best. A fade would follow the natural right to left slope of the terrain, and the shape of the hole. However this would leave an array of trees to contend with. The green is severely contoured sloping from right-to-left and guarded by bunkers along the shorter lines of play. Although the second shot is often just a medium iron or less, this hole provides a strange feeling of euphoric accomplishment after completion. Perhaps it is the distant mountains that watch your progress silently.
Hole 7 - 520 Yards - Par 5 - Stroke Index 1 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.9
The downfall of many. A sharp dog-leg left, the out of bounds wall appears innocuous down the left side of the tee shot. A long draw carries the turn of the brick wall, setting up an opportunity to hit for glory in two. All it involves is a carry of just under 200 yards over the grass eating Carp filled lake. Out of Bounds menaces just yards left of the long narrow green. The so called safer route around the water body still involves placing your second shot well away from a creek feeding the lake. The short pitch from this angle is now to a green hardly 20 feet wide, made smaller by the stern slope into a bunker beyond. Most players will wish they had practiced their short game more.
Hole 8 - 225 Yards - Par 3 - Stroke Index 3 - Leading Pros Play this to 3.7
The most demanding, challenging, nerve wrecking hole at Gokarna Forest Golf Club. Few leave unscathed. The green is dominated by a seemingly magnetic, huge, deep, wood-faced bunker that appears to sit right in the center. This novel C-shaped green is unabashedly contoured to attract everything towards its 10 foot abyss. There is no safety anywhere as creeks seem to crisscross every avenue. This is the type of hole where you cannot think too much. Keep your head down, hit the ball, and suffer the consequences. Consider a par on this hole a collectors item to be treasured.
Hole 9 - 362 Yard - Par 4 - Stroke Index 15 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.1
Though appearing to be a modest in length, it often plays much harder. Out of breath after reaching the well elevated tee, a golfer needs a reasonably long drive to reach the ideal, flat landing area. A push to the right? Expect to add 50 yards to your next shot. The green can been driven by hitting high, long and left over the tall mass of tress protecting the 1st tee. Catch those tress though, and be ready to drown your sorrows at the half way house. Any tee shot under 230 yards from the back tee will leave you with severely uphill second, to a blind double green contoured from left to right. Stay well away from the central bunker in front. Hit the wrong part of the putting surface and be satisfied with a 3 putt on this huge two tiered green shared with the 18th hole.
Hole 10 - 196 Yards - Par 3 - Stroke Index 16 - Leading Pros Play this to 3.1
A picturesque downhill par 3, the green is carved from forested hillside to the left. To the right is a long way down to the valley floor. A real challenge from the elevated championship tees. Much friendlier from the normal tees below.
Hole 11 - 530 Yards - Par 5 - Stroke Index 4 - Leading Pros Play this to 5.3
The eleventh hole at a modest 530 Yards is the perfect example of ‘risk - reward’ play. It is easily possible for any long hitter to reach the green in two, but the drive must be both accurate and with a slight fade. After a good long drive that must start left and end up fading right, the long iron second shot carries over part of the lake guarding the right half of the green. Hitting long into the bunker over the green would mean blasting out back towards the lake. For the "normal" golfer, a safe 3 wood followed by a medium iron leaves just a wedge in. The creek runs throughout the length of the hole, down what feels like the center of the fairway. Dense wooded forest looms unabated on the left. Once on the green, it takes deft touch to overcome a combination of steep slopes and subtle contours. Even the regulars ask their caddies for advice here.
Hole 12 - 518 Yards - Par 5 - Stroke Index 8 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.5
Perhaps the most spectacular elevated view, the climb leaves one feeling effects similar to oxygen depletion. What appears to be and extremely intimidating tee shot from so high up is in fact quite simple if played sensibly. The hole bends gently to the left with a creek running along the left of the fairway. The green itself is interestingly contoured and sloped steeply from right to left. Not a long Par 5 hole, much of the challenge is around the green.
Hole 13 - 146 Yards - Par 3 - Stroke Index 18 - Leading Pros Play this to 3.2
Playing downhill, this hole is a lot shorter than the yardage suggests. The green has been shaped between a wooded hill on its right and another hill forming its backdrop. The pleasantly elevated tee somehow offers a refreshing feeling. The green is guarded with a deep bunker on its left, strangely a place where most end up. The green is one of the fastest and trickiest on the course, its inverted bowl shape posing most of the problems. A miss to the left would probably end up less fortunate, unless you are satisfied with a one stroke penalty for a ball cleaned in sparkling mountain water
Hole 14 - 417 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 6 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.6
Somehow this one always gets messed up. The professionals have yet to master it. The members smirk when visitors carry their driver onto the tee. The key is really in the tee shot. Get it in play, and the hole comes alive. The fairway slopes naturally from the hill on the right toward the stream along the left edge, the place where most end up, the ball cleaned in sparkling mountain water for a one stroke penalty. The fairway narrows to just a dozen yards at the ideal landing area before expanding again to its full width. The green is fairly large and forgiving, with friendly bunkers to the left. Right or long is hostile with out-of-bounds awaiting you.
Hole 15 - 553 Yards - Par 5 - Stroke Index 2 - Leading Pros Play this to 5.2
The longest hole on the course, one often feels it may never finish. The Silver Oak lined out-of-bounds boundary wall runs all along the right from the tee shot. The creek protects the left. The fairway is reasonably wide, but seems narrower due to the penalties on either edge. A fairly well hit tee shot is needed to enable a second that would cross over the flowing creek. The hole turns sharply right, and from there on is upwards to the lofty green perched way up on a plateau. With three severely contoured tiers, a slight misjudgement and you will find yourself in all sorts of trouble. The bunkers will often save you from rolling back to the valley floor. Did anyone notice it was never even mentioned that one might attempt this green in two?
Hole 16 - 197 Yard - Par 3 - Stroke Index 14 - Leading Pros Play this to 3.1
A beautiful hole to photograph. Just a mid iron is needed to carry the scenic lake that separates you from the not so distant green. A tree juts out from the left, giving slicers no easy angle. The forest takes away any safety play down the left hand side. The green is a generously sized target for this length of shot, yet it is hit less often than one might expect. Perhaps it is the water that causes most to over-club. Once on the putting surface, the widthwise ridge causes all sorts of putting challenges. The caddies love this hole, for they will be selling your balls back to you the next morning.
Hole 17 - 394 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 10 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.0
A narrow gentle dog-leg left that requires a controlled length of shot from the tee. The creek strategically allows you to play safe to the right, yet also lets you play longer to the left. From the former position you will have a mid iron left. From the latter just a short iron. The double tiered green can be very tricky when the pin is cut on the top tier especially if one has a side hill putt.
Hole 18 - 390 Yard - Par 4 - Stroke Index 12 - Leading Pros Play this to 4.1
A fitting climax to an enjoyable and challenging round of golf. The tees are set high up and deep inside the forest. The view truly befits the whole Gokarna Forest Golf Resort. In the distance, the aesthetically designed clubhouse beckons. To its right the combined 9th and 18th greens lies awaiting. The well defined flat fairway in the valley below is wide and inviting. After that it is all uphill. Grassy hollows dot the fairway and approach area adding an interesting feature. The second shot would range from a mid to short iron. A large bunker protects the middle half of the green that slopes at places severely from left to right, and at the same time towards the bunker. Proper placement on the huge putting surface gives the home players a distinct advantage.
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