Saturday, 28 January 2012
Espen Kofstad   (Getty Images)
Espen Kofstad (Getty Images)

Young Norwegian Espen Kofstad takes us round the North Course at Byneset GK, in Trondheim, which this year hosts the Norwegian Challenge for the first time…

Hole 1: This can either be played as a par four or a par five, depending on where you put the tee box. If it’s a par four you can easily fly the fairway bunker, but if they push the tees back the trap comes into play much more. The green is quite slopey so depending on where they put the pin, you could be left with a tricky approach shot to get it close.

Hole 2: This hole plays all downhill, so it’s just a case of ‘grip it and rip it’. If you find the fairway, it’s a very straightforward hole because you can get close enough to the green that you’ll only need a gap or a pitching wedge for your second shot. So it’s a great birdie chance.

Hole 3: This is a ‘safety first’ hole. It’s best to hit an iron off the tee and lay up short of the bunkers, then you’re left with a nine iron to the green. If you can stay away from trouble, you’ve got a decent chance of picking up a shot.

Hole 4: I’d give it a rip with the driver, especially if the wind’s helping you, because you can easily carry the Out of Bounds area. I don’t know any way to play this hole other than to attack it. If you can get your drive away, you’ve got a great chance of making birdie.

Hole 5: It’s probably a six or seven iron into this par three, depending on the pin position and the wind strength. It’s best to aim for the centre of the green, take two putts and get out of there, because you can really come unstuck if you miss the green.

Hole 6:
I always hit my drive short of the bunkers. For me it’s not a hole you really expect to birdie, so par’s definitely your friend. Just play it safe and aim for the middle of the green again.

Hole 7: This hole is a great birdie chance. The rough is quite thick but the fairway’s wide, and ideally you want aim for the middle or left hand side. It’s not a long par five, so you’ll probably reach it in two with only a five iron for your approach shot – as long as you find the fairway off the tee.

Hole 8: If you’re long off the tee, it’s a fairly straightforward hole as you can carry the bunkers. If the fairways are firm, you’ll only have a flick onto the green for your second shot. But if you find one of the bunkers you’re really going to struggle to make par, because they’re very deep.

Hole 9:
Again, par is your friend on this par three. It’s probably a five or six iron from the tee, so middle of the green is good enough.

Hole 10:
The Out of Bounds is very close to the fairway on the left hand side, so you want to aim right. I’d usually take a four iron off the tee, then an eight iron for my second shot. So if you find the fairway you’ve got a good chance of making birdie, but if you go left then you’re in big trouble, because the Out of Bounds runs along the entire fairway.

Hole 11:
This hole suits a cut shot perfectly, whereas my natural shot is a draw. The fairway runs away to the right, so if you can fade your driver, you’ll be left with a seven iron to the green. The green suits a lot of different shots, so you’ve got a few options with your approach. It’s not the easiest hole on the course, but you can make birdie with two good shots.

Hole 12: It’s a three wood or rescue off the tee, aiming at the wide part of the fairway. You can’t really see the bottom of the pin from the fairway, but the green is well-sectioned so if you put it in the right place, you’ve got a good chance of making birdie. But again, it’s by no means a gimme hole.

Hole 13: This par three is probably one of the easiest holes on the course. It’s all downhill, so I’d probably only be hitting a pitching wedge. If you hit the right shot, you can use the slopes on the green to get close to the hole.

Hole 14: This is a good hole to be aggressive on, especially if you favour a draw because you can shape it round the corner and go for the green in two. But if you’re not going to go for it you might just want to lay up short of the bunkers. It can play quite long, especially if it’s into the wind, so it’s no gimme birdie.                 

Hole 15: Just make your par three and get out of there, because it’s probably a five iron off the tee – or maybe even more if you’re playing right into the wind. So if you can find the middle of the green, you’ve done well. 

Hole 16: I’ve always gone for it, because there’s not much trouble on this hole. So if you aim straight for the pin you can get it pretty close to the green, and then you’re only left with a pitching wedge. Definitely a good birdie chance here.

Hole 17: If you can get your drive away, you’ll only have a shortish club into the green for your second shot. You can fly the traps and it slopes into a bowl, so it’s pretty easy to find the fairway. It’s a semi-blind approach shot, but it kicks in from the right so it’s not the hardest par five in the world.

Hole 18: A good finishing hole but it’s a tough driving hole, because you want to aim your drive over the rough on the left hand side. The fairway doglegs to the left so you can’t see it that well, but as long as you stay left of the bunkers on the right hand side of the fairway, you should be fine.

For a map of the course, please click here

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