LaPurisima Golf Club

Lompoc, California

1st hole / 542 Yards / Par-5

Architect: Robert Muir Graves (1986)

  1st hole / 542 Yards / Par-5

Opening holes can play different roles but one that often works best is a par-5 type that blends just enough challenge without being overly demanding. The 1st at LaPurisima fits the bill quite nicely.


Located 30 miles north of Santa Barbara the golf course is situated on nearly 310 acres of rolling beautiful land. The natural folds of the property provide LaPurisima with an ideal setting for golf.


The 1st commences from a slightly elevated tee. In the near distance the hole turns gently to the left and there’s a menacing pond to the right which must be avoided. 


The drive zone narrows down considerably as the hole turns left. Players have to be cognizant that the deeper one drives the ball off the tee the greater the need for accuracy is called upon.


The 2nd shot is equally tested. Players can lay back into a much wider landing area but such a decision results in a far longer 3rd to the green.


Those opting for a bold play — even attempting a 2nd shot to the putting surface — will need to account for the narrowing of the landing zone the closer one gets to the green. Three bunkers fiercely defend the green which is slightly elevated above the fairway. The putting surface runs deep with significant challenges for the player to overcome should either a pushed or pulled approach occur.


The 1st at LaPurisima also has nearby trees which must be accounted for. These trees are especially in play when players get out of position in their preceding shots.


Opening par-5 holes can provide a slew of different shotmaking issues with a range of scores certainly possible. LaPurisima’s 1st hole is a solid example in how a range of options can be carefully calculated for a range of handicap levels.