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I would like to welcome everyone to the 2012 edition of the Humana Challenge. This week the Tour makes a stop in California at an event that always sees plenty of birdies. The event has previously been associated with Bob Hope, but has now moved partnerships to be with the Clinton Foundation. The tournament has also gone from a 90-hole marathon to the regular 72-hole style the PGA Tour players are accustomed to playing. Though the name, charity and format may have changed, I can assure everyone the scoring will continue to be on the verge of ridiculous. Let’s take a closer look at the courses the players will be piling up the birdies on.
The 2012 Humana Challenge Courses
PGA WEST (Nicklaus)
This Nicklaus designed golf course features elegant beauty and plenty of birdie and eagle holes. Measuring only 6951 yards in length and a Par 72, PGA West offers plenty of excitement for the fans and players. This course features plenty of reachable Par 5s, a Par 3 that you will probably see a hole in one on (number 7), and 4 water hazards that will come into play. Nicklaus is one of the world’s best course designers, and although this is not one of his most challenging, it is extremely entertaining.
PGA WEST (Palmer)
Arnold Palmer designed this course and it will be played by all players for 2 rounds this week (with everyone playing it on Sunday). The PGA WEST Palmer course is 6930 yards and plays as a Par 72. The course record on this short but interesting track is a sizzling 59, shot by David Duval in 1999. This course ranked as the 2nd easiest played in 2011, only one spot easier than its partner in crime PGA WEST (Nicklaus), which was ranked 49th out of 51.
If you would like to watch plenty of eagles, set up at number 2 on the PGA WEST (Palmer) course. This hole ranked as the easiest hole on the course last year as the Par 5 measures only 514 yards. Even the Tours shorter hitters will be on this green putting for eagles.
La Quinta CC
If you would like to walk one of these 3 courses and just enjoy the beauty, this is the one to choose. La Quinta CC is lined with vegetation that ranges from rose bushes to tropical banana trees. The course plays as a Par 72 like the others on this circuit, but is the longest measuring 7060. Though this is not long at all by PGA standards, La Quinta gives the players very long Par 3s, to go along with shorter Par 4s and 5s.
The courses shortest Par 3 is the 7th hole, measuring only 168 yards. What the hole lacks in distance, it makes up for in scenery. In 1999 an amazing waterfall was added to this gem of a hole, funneling into a pond in front of the green. Look for some players to choose the wrong club here, possibly going into the water, especially if any wind picks up. Overall a very fun hole to watch and play.