The Womp Rat: Wakonda Club No. 14

“Like targeting womp rats back home,” or so the quote goes from Star Wars. Luke Skywalker was referring to the ease with which he he used to vaporize small desert rats, intimating that the small exhaust port on the Death Star was no big deal. At Wakonda, we have our womp rat. Actually, it’s a heavily defended thermal exhaust port.

The fourteenth hole at Wakonda is a Rorshach test of a golfer’s mindset. From the blues, the hole is about 165 to the middle of the green. The prevailing winds are left to right. The problem is the three foot differential between the upper and lower tiers. Also, there is about a two foot drop over a thirty feet length going from back to front. This means that balls tend to roll right and off the green.

The pin position shown is front left. Depending on the mood of the greenskeeper and the pro, the pin can be placed right next to the precipice. This translates into a challenging two putt from below the cup. Anywhere else and a three putt bogey is a relief. In terms of score, this little bantam of a hole behaves like a par four or five, leaving grown men with tears.

Success on this hole requires command of your swing and fearless putting. Ideally, you want to hit into the fringe up front with a draw and roll onto the green below the hole. My ball ended up with a fade, landing hard in the center of the green, on the incline, which squirted the ball hard right and off the green. My chip landed short, sending my ball rolling back to the right fringe. A long putt failed the hill climb and three more putts later, a 6 was my reward.