The 7th Hole at Kierland's Acacia Nine

By Shane Sharp, Contributor

SCOTTSDALE - Are short par-4's on your menu of tasty holes to consume for par or birdie? Then don't be surprised if the special of the day at Kierland's Acacia Nine doesn't appear with the lunch specials.

Playing at a mere 374 yards from the tips, and 232 yards from the forward tees, the 7th hole on the Acacia course can start many a golfers mouth a-watering. But consider this fair warning - sometimes the most tempting victories become the most hard felt defeats.

What kind of curve balls could Scott Miller, architect of all 27 of Kierland's championship holes, throw you on the 7th? How about a sharp breaking hook that has the bottom fall out of it - that would pretty much sum up the 7th Hole on the Acacia Nine.

All told, Kierland is home to over 300 bunkers, and the 7th hole on the Acacia Nine boasts 20 of them. That's right, 20 bunkers on one hole - you didn't think it could be that easy did you?

The Hole: The 7th Hole on the Acacia Nine at Kierland Golf Course - plays 374 yards from the tips, and 232 yards from the forward tees.

Architect: Scott Miller

The Layout: A short par-4 that features a forced carry off the tees, thirteen bunkers to the left of the fairway, water to the left of the thirteen bunkers, a desert ravine full of buffalo grass in front of the green, and seven greenside bunkers to get in the way of even the most well-played approach shots.

The Strategy: Brought to you by Dale Balvin, Director of Golf. "Off the tee, the hole requires a long iron 200 to 225 yards out. But don't run it into the buffalo grass. The lake is too far to the left to come into play except for the strongest of hookers. The approach shot is to an elevated green, and behind the green is a back drop of mounding. Keep it on the right side of the fairway if you can."

The Average Golfer: Should stay within the confines of his or her long iron of fairway woods off the tee. Believe it or not, this is no time for the average golfer to attempt to pick up a stroke against par off of Kierland.

Don't Play: "Your approach shot short of the green," says Balvin. "There is a bunker short of the green, and your approach can roll back down into it.

Play the Hole: With an extra club on the approach shot according to Balvin. That way you ensure that you will not be sand blasting your way towards bogey.

Shane SharpShane Sharp, Contributor

Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of from 1997 to 2003.

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