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It’s your friendly bogey player checking back in after our successful Hacker’s Guide to Handara. After completing the Hacker’s Guide, I recently went back out to my favorite course here in Bali to see how I would fare from the Blue tees. This blog is a summary of my thoughts leading up to that experience.

Now, there are differing opinions on who should be playing which tees and why they should be playing them. In the near future, we’ll be putting together a rough guide on how to choose a set of tees that suit your game. Having had the luxury of playing Handara perhaps 50 times in the last year, I know the course well enough, and the alternative tee locations well enough, to make the decision to give the blue tees a try.

From the back tees, the course is an average of 576 yards longer (depending on the placements that day), increasing from 6407 to 6983. When playing from the white tees, there are a couple of long par 4 holes that leave me with a 5 or 6-iron in my hands for an approach. When moving back to the blue tees, I have to accept that I am absolutely playing for bogey on these holes. Aside from these (and provided that my long irons are firing that day) I should be able to play the course from the blue tees.

The blue tee box on hole 15 plays 34 yards longer than the whites. Whew!
The blue tee box on hole 15 plays 34 yards longer than the whites. Whew!

I made this decision for three reasons:

First, since I first started writing the Hacker’s guide, I have played a lot of golf at Handara and managed to work my USGA handicap down to a 13.4. This gives me a course handicap from the 73.6/139-rated blue tees of 16. If I follow my own advice from the Hacker’s guide, I should be able to get around in 90 or better.

Second, my previously weak slice has straightened out somewhat, now resembling a much more powerful fade. Knowing that I can put the ball in play “most” of the time, and out to about 240yds, I am confident of having playable approach shots on most of the holes.

Third, I usually play very early in the mornings when there is not a lot of traffic on the course. If my pace of play is a bit slow because of the additional length, at least I don’t slow anyone else down. If I do happen to encounter anyone else on the course, I will happily let them play through as I battle my way from the tips.

I hope to post an update soon with the results from my round. Taking my index and course/slope rating into account, I should be looking at a score of 90 or thereabouts. I will certainly accept a few extra strokes here or there due to the learning curve of being in so many new positions here at my favorite course in Bali… More to follow!