With the IHSAA state tournament in girls golf just a few weeks away, there is one thing every lady with a dream must do -- avoid a big number on your card.
But there are some holes in the area that were made for big numbers. The Times spoke to several golfers this week and asked them what the toughest nine holes in the region were.
These are not in order. Just the toughest nine this fall.
1. No. 17 at Palmira, Par 5, 490 yards
Lake Central sophomore Kylie Shoemake said what many female golfers did. The Par 5s often are the toughest around.
"No. 17 is really, really long," Shoemake said. "There are trees everywhere. It's really hilly. Your second shot it blind. Your third shot is really narrow. And the green is like an upside-down hamburger bun."
Indians coach Chris Rossiano agreed that the Par 5s are typically tougher for the girls. The greater distance puts more pressure to make precise shots.
"There are some holes that the girls really struggle with and the boys tear them up," Rossiano said.
2. No. 8 at Palmira, Par 5, 499 yards
Rossiano said that this hole has brought more than its share of "Circle 8s" to his team. Once your score hits 8, you pick up your ball, write down the score and put a circle around it so everyone knows the hole wasn't completed.
Off the tee there is water and bunkers to the right and three big trees on the left. The second shot needs to be laid up because of a creek and the trees continue down the left side.
"I've had my share of Circle 8s on this one, but today I got a five," L.C. senior Jamie Hintz said Tuesday. "You just have to hit your spot or else you'll be in trouble. And once you get to the green it doesn't get any easier."
"The green there is a nightmare," Rossiano said. "It's easy to get a three-putt there."
3. No. 17 at Beechwood, Par 4, 350 yards
Chesterton's Marissa Kroeger is one of the state's top golfers, so playing at this course in the regional is a common thing. But even with the talent the knees can still knock a bit on this tee box.
"It's hard mentally because you're almost done with your round but this hole can be very tough if you're not careful," she said.
There are a ton of trees and a narrow landing area on the drive. There's a sharp dog-leg right and with a driver you could hit past the fairway and into a lake.
The green is surrounded by a forest so any wayward shot can be costly.
4. No. 4 at The Brassie, Par 5, 490 yards
Kroeger said this hole is also tough on the mind. Water runs all along the right side of the fairway, which slopes toward the H20. Trees and heather are on the left.
If you survive that, a little pond sits in front of the green to gobble up any off-line shots.
"Every course has a couple holes that can be tough," Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt said. "As a golfer, you have to be strong mentally and believe in yourself otherwise the tougher holes can get you."
5. No. 9 at Aberdeen, Par 5, 429 yards
Crown Point senior Lucia Bracco has had a headache with this real estate from time to time. She said you have to hit over a patch of weeds twice, with the second shot being blind.
"It's a really long hole," Bracco said. "It is kind of tricky. You have to make three good shots to make par there."
6. No. 4 at Lost Marsh, Par 5, 476 yards
This hole is long and tough on any day of the week. But if the wind is blowing, which it usually is, duck and run for cover.
"The whole Front 9 at Lost Marsh, especially when the wind is blowing," Crown Point coach John Haas joked when asked what the toughest single hole is in the area.
"You have to carry water three times on this hole," Haas said. "If the wind is blowing it is brutal."
Bracco said you have to be precise on the course the Bulldogs have played their sectional..
"This hole can be a challenge," she said. "You have to hit it straight and have your distance down."
7. No. 6 at Centennial Park, Par 4, 310 yards
Munster senior Hailey Estes knows this one can be a bear. It is a dog-leg right with bunkers everywhere.
"There's a lot of trouble there," Estes said. "A lot."
The fairway leans to the right. There are five bunkers around the green.
Mustangs coach Bill Smitka said you could put nine numbers in a hat at Centennial and whatever one you picked out could be considered "the toughest hole around."
8. No. 6 at Youche, Par 4, 311 yards
Crown Point's Alyssa Harvey is a positive player. She does not want any negative thoughts when she's playing the game. But this hole, well.
"There's a creek right in the middle so you have to lay up," Harvey said. "You have one little flat spot in the fairway that you have to hit or you'll be hitting off a slope on your second shot."
There are bunkers on both sides of the green, which is on a hill.
"I hit it short and chip up because I get better scores," Harvey said.
9. No. 18 at The Brassie, Par 5, 450 yards
Lake Central junior Kiana Jongsma has a natural draw in her drive, which makes this hole really tough. Why? Because there's water on the left. A lot of water.
"I've hit it in there almost every single time I've played this hole," Jongsma said. "It's a long hole, too. Normally, I play it more safe."