Best drivable par-4s
1. Mather No. 13: It's doable it's 295 yards at its longest with a firm run-up area. The hole can be simple a 6-iron to a generous landing area and a sand wedge for those laying up. It's straight it looks as if it's just sitting there, waiting to be conquered. The allure is that it looks so darned easy, yet is so potentially penal. Landing among tree roots can morph an easy par into a double bogey in a hurry. But players also know that an aggressive play that doesn't find the green can turn out OK. Without any forced carries or defined hazard, and the potential for bad shots to be playable, it's difficult to resist.
2. Wildhorse No. 16: Tee shot calls for a baby cut, which brings the hazard to the left into play.
3. Teal Bend No. 3: If you're going to hit it hard off the tee, just don't hit it left.
4. Bartley Cavanaugh No. 13: Requires a left-to-right ball flight, some helping wind and conviction.
5. WildHawk No. 5: Starting your tee shot on a line the necessary distance left of the visible layup area requires discipline.
6. Woodcreek No. 11: Tough to say whether the hole is any easier laying up, so it's the perfect hole to give it a whirl.
7. Lockeford Springs No. 13: There's something about this hole that screams "rip it."
8. Turkey Creek No. 15: Players fantasize about flying it onto that downhill slide to the green.
9. River Oaks No. 12: If par is just a number, this course's Nos. 11 and 12 are just about the same.
10. Auburn Valley No. 2: Out of range for most, it's still a good place to vent your frustration after a likely three-putt on the first green.
Places a player is most likely to be hit by a golf ball
1. Bartley Cavanaugh, No. 6 green: Local ground zero for air attacks. The perfect bail-out area for players protecting against out-of-bounds left on the fourth hole. Add mounding that prevents any visuals and a prevailing northerly wind and it's hard hats only.
2. Wildhorse, No. 9 fairway: Scores of range balls in the fairway and fairway bunkers are generally not a precursor to ultimate safety.
3. Bartley Cavanaugh, No. 11 tee: Shouldn't be in the line of fire but acts like a magnet for anything off the toe from the second tee.
4. Cherry Island, No. 12 fairway: In-course OB markers, love them or hate them, along the right side of the 14th fairway were meant to discourage players from cutting the corner and playing away from OB on the left. It's a free-for-all now where No. 12 meets No. 14.
5. Dry Creek, No. 5 tee: You're a sitting duck for a screaming hook off the third tee. One of only two area "hot spots" left of the intended target, not surprisingly.
6. Diamond Oaks, No. 11 fairway/green: Big banana balls from the 10th tee can find the 11th green. Any slice from the upslope of the 10th fairway drifts toward the 11th fairway. At least the 11th tee is relatively but not completely safe.
7. Plumas Lake, No. 4 tee: Don't be lulled into thinking those skinny little Italian cypress trees at the back of the tee box will actually stop a golf ball.
8. Bartley Cavanaugh, No. 18 fairway: There's no practice range at Cavanaugh, meaning players teeing off at the adjoining opening hole can and usually do hit it anywhere.
9. WildHawk, No. 5 green: Those balls you've seen flying over your head? They're coming from golfers playing down the right side of the third hole.
10. Sunset Whitney, No. 3 tee: What it lacks in volume, it makes up for in velocity in the form of pulled drives off the fourth tee. Cart-driving regulars never feel comfortable driving around the bend from the second green.
Most significant golf competition
1. 1982 U.S. Women's Open at Del Paso: Janet Alex earned her only professional win.
2. 1941 Sacramento Pro Invitational at Haggin Oaks: Sam Snead won one of the first competitions limited to PGA Tour winners.
3. 1970s Swing at Cancer at Del Paso: The annual one-day event for years attracted the best men's players and was the catalyst for the senior tour.
4. 1942 Red Cross Charity Match at Haggin Oaks: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Babe Ruth and California Gov. Culbert Olson played in the one-day exhibition.
5. 1938 Sacramento Open at Haggin Oaks: Ben Hogan finished third, earning $350 for his first paycheck as a pro.
6. 1996 Twelve Bridges LPGA Classic: Kelly Robbins won the inaugural event.
7. 1987 Rancho Murieta Senior Gold Rush: Orville Moody won the inaugural event.
8. 1997 Longs Drugs Challenge at Twelve Bridges: Annika Sorenstam earned one of her 72 LPGA tournament wins locally.
9. 1957 U.S. Women's Amateur at Del Paso: JoAnne Gunderson (later JoAnne Carner) won as a precursor to a long and successful pro career.
10. 1963 U.S. Amateur Public Links at Haggin Oaks: Sacramentan Bob Lunn, who went on to record six PGA Tour wins, emerged victorious.
Homesites most likely to be hit by a golf ball
1. Left of Whitney Oaks' No. 15: Cutting the corner on the short dogleg left par-4 means taking the drive directly over the top of homes. Living here is particularly a nightmare during scramble-format tournaments when the first player in the foursome plays safely to the fairway and the remaining three can go for the green without consequence. There have been times when some residents didn't let their children play in the yard without a helmet.
2. Left of La Contenta's No. 7: With a par-5 fairway that angles sharply to the right and a lake to the right, the hole configuration calls for players to actually aim at the homes through the fairway about 225 yards from the tee and hit a fade. The slightest pull and uh-oh.
3. Left of Woodcreek's No. 11: A true risk-reward par-4 on which the layup is no bargain and the green is reachable from the tee by players of even moderate length. Out-of-bounds stakes were moved inside the course's boundaries to discourage players from considering aggressive lines that brought the homes on the left into play, but that has hardly mattered. The dimpled water control boxes to left of the tee box are examples of how far off line players can hit it.
4. Right of Whitney Oaks' No. 11: A hazard to the left and a tight landing area off the tee on this par-5 make players swing defensively, which more often than not results in a rightward-heading slice. As a result, lawsuits have been filed and homeowners have moved. The tees were moved up, but that just brought other homes into play, so the tees have been moved back. A bunker was added along the right to encourage players to aim left, and trees were added along the right, but still
5. Left of Timber Creek's No. 1: First-tee jitters and unpredictability combine with a hazard to the right, so it's a par-4 recipe for disaster.
6. Left of Wildhorse's No. 1: See above.
7. Left of Empire Ranch's No. 6: At least they let the bombarded erect nets along the left of this straight and seemingly benign par 4. Some homeowners' associations aren't so understanding.
8. Left of La Contenta's No. 18: When a par 4 is configured such that even a hook taken over the corner of a dogleg left still ends up in the right rough, trouble is brewing.
9. Left of Castle Oaks' No. 17: Not the hot spot it was before netting and trees to the left made cutting this dogleg left par 4 less enticing. There's a reason this was the last house on its street to sell.
10. Left of WildHawk's No. 8: It seems almost out of play, but the evidence in the form of dimpled stucco and broken window doesn't lie.