Par 5 holes are challenging in themselves. At Maderas, we have one of the hardest par 5 holes of any San Diego golf course. Unlike some of our other holes, this one gets harder the closer you get to the green. It’s a 552-yard uphill shot that catches many of our golfers off-guard, including the most experienced ones. It’s earned the nickname “The Monster.”



The tee shot will probably be the easiest of your five strokes. However, give it as much effort as you would a more difficult shot. Start with a hard drive, preferably toward the left bunker. This will drive the ball up the hill and toward the right.


Unlike many holes at San Diego golf courses, you can’t always go for the green on your proceeding strokes. The 14th hole at Maderas has a steep ravine in front of the green, so lay up at about 110 yards. This gives you a shorter shot and saves you the headache of walking uphill throughout the entire hole.

On this hole, the third shot is your “moment of truth.” Again, you want to avoid playing the entire hole uphill. Aim for the back edge of the green. Aiming for the back edge increases the ball’s spin and forces it to roll toward the middle of the green, giving you more options to position yourself. Set up for a 110-120-yard shot, which gets you safely over the ravine.


If the third stroke gets the ball to the green, don’t let your guard down. The green on Madera’s 14th hole slopes all the way from back to front and down into the canyon, increasing the risk for lost balls, poor scores, and possible injury. Aim for the back slope, which is the safest location and may let you get the ball into the hole in four strokes instead of five.


Further Strategies

As with other par 5 holes, the Maderas 14th hole can be an automatic birdie. If you’re an amateur, don’t try to shoot for par the first time you play. Instead, focus on preparing each of your shots and giving yourself breathing room. If you have 7-, 8-, or 9-irons, bring them with you. You’ll have more opportunities to club up, which will make the long shots feel shorter and less intimidating.

If the rules allow, consider exchanging clubs. Use a wood to get from the tee to the fairway and then switch to an iron. Lay up when you can; amateurs especially should take this advantage.

Play the Maderas hole aggressively on the first couple of strokes, but plan more carefully once you’re on the green. As with similar holes on San Diego golf courses, the wedge may be your best friend. However, choose your wedges carefully. High loft may not serve you well on a hole like the Maderas 14th. Go for a lower loft degree, especially on your third stroke and beyond.

Take plenty of practice swings and use pre-shot rituals that work for you. If possible, go to the Maderas Golf Club as a single instead of in a group. This gives you more time for practice swings, setting up your shots, and aligning your body.

If you’re an expert golfer and want to make the hole in two strokes, go up and down. Use a chip or bunker shot to get the ball onto the green. Then aim for back edges and slopes during the rest of the hole. If you’re a beginner or intermediate player, go for par and don’t try to make the hole in less than three to four strokes.


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