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Behind-the-scenes of Copperhead's bite

4:27 PM, Feb 24, 2014   |    comments
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To win on the PGA Tour, you have to know the ins-and-outs of every course you play. Innisbrook's Copperhead course, home of next month's Valspar Championship, has brought many of the top pros to their knees over the years.

The course is beautiful yet unforgiving. It's a masterpiece and it's terrifying at the same time. Copperhead's designer, the late, great Larry Packard, called the course "the ultimate test of fair." He didn't want to build a course that could only be conquered by players who blast the ball a mile off the tee.

"You have to use every club in bag," said Innisbrook Director of Golf Rodney Green, who gave 10 News a guided tour of some of the trickiest holes Copperhead has to offer. "The courses here at Innisbrook are not very tricked up."

They don't have to be. The Innisbrook resort is home to four courses -- The Copperhead, the Island, the North, and the South. The Copperhead has hosted a PGA event for 25 years.

Green took 10 Sports Reporter Bobby Lewis on a ride around Copperhead and highlighted the 1st, 5th, 14th and 16th holes -- the holes he felt would give fans the best idea of how talented you have to be to win a PGA event at Copperhead.  

HOLE DESCRIPTIONS:

 #1: 560 yard par 5 nicknamed "Innisbrook's View". The opening hole features a drastic drop in elevation off the tee box. Many birdies are made on this hole because the longer hitters off the tee have the opportunity to attack the tiny green with their approach shots.

#5: 605 yard par 5 nicknamed "Longview". It is a true 3-shot par-5. Players have a blind second shot up a hill to a green tucked behind bunkers and trees.

#14: 590 yard par 5 nicknamed "Packard's Double Dogleg". It's the course's signature hole that winds right at first, back left, then back right towards a green that's nestled in tight between water and sand. The green is elevated and offers fans in the bleachers behind the green a great vantage point of one of the top holes on the course.

#16: 475 yard par 4 nicknamed "Moccasin". This is the first hole in a stretch of three very difficult finishing holes at the Copperhead course. It is a huge dogleg right with water along the entire right side of the fairway. Trees line the left. Miss the fairway here and it could cost you strokes at the most inopportune time of a tournament.

Kevin Streelman won the tournament at Copperhead in 2013 and played those four holes combined 1-under par in final round. Those are not the ONLY tough holes on the course but they are a few of the ones you can't miss when you come out to the Valspar Championship.

The tournament hits town from March 10-16.

 

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