PLAYING TIPS FROM THE PRO
One of the most appealing traits of the Rees Jones-designed Rio Secco Golf Club is the diversity of challenges found throughout your 18-hole journey. From risk-reward tee shots, to strategic layups, players at Rio Secco should be picky about their club choice and sight line in an effort to get the best lie and approach angle. And while the par-4 7th sits in the middle of the road as far as difficulty is concerned, low scores require a clear head, focus, the correct club choice and a lot of confidence.
Did you three-putt the par-3 6th? Never mind. Forget about it. You’ll need an even-keel attitude when you get to the elevated tee box on 7. It’s easy to get mad, forcefully grab the big dog and let ‘er rip, but give this tee shot a little more attention because a straight tee ball is key, but it’s not necessarily driver. The fairway of this 366-yard par-4 runs out at 280 yards, so some of our long hitters should be cautious about grabbing the lumber. Unless, of course, you’re one of the PGA TOUR pros working across the street with Butch Harmon.
HIT THE FAIRWAY
Good tee shots should find the middle of a fairway that slopes right to left for an excellent opportunity to score, as most players will have a short iron or wedge on approach. The canyon carved from years of riverbed erosion makes your second shot feel like you’re playing in a Roman amphitheater, and the echoing sound of a well-struck golf shot surrounds you as you watch your ball drop gently onto the green.
Sloping slightly from back to front and carefully watched over by the Rio Secco moniker carved into the side of the canyon backdrop, the green on 7 is receptive to solid shots and should provide an excellent chance to make birdie. Take your time, make a good stroke, celebrate and move on to the next one.
Greg Brockelman, PGA
Head Golf Professional