A guide to The Bear Trap: "It should be won or lost right here"

The Bear Trap is not for the faint of heart. Here's what the PGA Tour players will be dealing with at the Honda Classic this week. 

A guide to The Bear Trap: "It should be won or lost right here"
A guide to The Bear Trap: "It should be won or lost right here"

As you walk off the 14th green at PGA National the words of Jack Nicklaus are staring you right in the face on a giant plaque as you enter The Bear Trap. 

"It should be won or lost right here". If that quote doesn't make you the slighest bit nervous then maybe the giant bear standing next to it will.

You'll likely hear this talked about a lot this week at the 2022 Honda Classic as the PGA Tour begins its Florida swing ahead of the major season. 

There is absolutely no denying that the 15th, 16th and 17th holes are probably one of the most recognisable and toughest stretches of holes in golf. 

Statistically, the stretch is the third toughest collection on tour behind Quail Hollow's 16-17-18 and Pebble Beach's 8-9-10. 

Why exactly are these holes so tough? Well, to put it bluntly: water. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. 

Adam Scott was memorably bear trapped and carded a quadruple bogey here before. Though he did later get his redemption. 

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Let's start with 15. The Bear Trap has two par-3s and both (yeah, you guessed it) are laden with water. Water looming everywhere. 

The 15th is a 179-yard hole that really needs a slight draw over the water. The smart play? Aim for the bottom tier and hope for a two-putt to a back pin.

At 16, the hole is a dogleg-right par-4 measuring at 434 yards. There is water up the right hand side, with fairway bunkers protecting aggressive and cautious drives. 

A bad approach shot can also get wet. Bunkering to the right of the green is also visually intimidating from the fairway. 

The final hole on The Bear Trap at 17 is another par-3. At 190-yards with water guarding the green it is another hole that demands accurate club selection. 

It plays slightly downhill and overshooting the green will put you in a bunker, leaving a difficult sand shot with the dance floor sloping towards the water.

Well, good luck this week. 

Watch some water balls in the video below

Next page: The best three-hole stretches in golf?

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