#7 553 Yards, Par Five
The seventh is another reachable par five if the wind's at your back and if you avoid the fairway bunker 275 yards out on the left. The green is crouched down in a hollow behind a saddle-backed mound, with four strategically positioned bunkers to the right of the saddle and three more to the left.
#8 418 Yards, Par Four
An extremely good medium-length hole. The tee shot is downhill into a valley, with trees and railroad tracks to the right. The green is perched on a plateau with a saucer-shape bunker short right and a deep pot bunker left. I usually hit an iron off the tee, but the approach is half blind: You can see the pin but not the putting surface. Long left is a pit of thick rough.
#9 164 Yards, Par Three
The ninth is the shortest hole at Royal Lytham and probably the easiest. Your tee shot is downhill and downwind, and the green is a fairly decent-size target. But if you hang it right or pull it left, look out—the green is ringed by nine bunkers.
#10 334 Yards, Par Four
The tenth is a really cool risk-reward par four. You can hit a driver to leave yourself a flip wedge approach, or you can lay up with a long-iron. Either way, your tee shot is blind. If you go too far right off the tee, you'll end up in a sand or grass bunker. If you go too far left, your ball runs down into a hollow full of thick rough, where I ended up all four days in 1996.
#11 542 Yards, Par Five
This is a nifty little dogleg-left par five. You start with a partially blind tee shot over a little fence. There's a line of trees on the left that usually blocks the prevailing crosswind. I saw a lot of guys leave their second shots in the trees because they expected the wind to blow balls back to the right. With a safely played long-iron layup on the second shot, you can set up a birdie with a sand-wedge approach.
#12 198 Yards, Par Three
The twelfth is one of the best par threes anywhere. The green is slightly perched and runs away from front left to back right toward an out-of-bounds line. The tee box is in a chute of trees where you can't feel the wind, but it's there, and generally blows left to right. During the final round in '96, I hit four-iron to thirteen feet and felt as if I were stealing one when I sunk a birdie putt to hold on to the lead.
#13 342 Yards, Par Four
The thirteenth is the easiest hole on the back nine, but it can jump up and bite you. The fairway doglegs to the right around a row of bunkers 240 yards off the tee. You can try to carry the bunkers with a driver or a three-wood and possibly reach the green. In the first round in 1996, though, I blocked my tee shot into a bunker and came away with a double-bogey.
#14 445 Yards, Par Four
The first of five fearsome finishing holes. It's almost dead straight, but plays into a crosswind from the left, and the edges of the landing area are like minefields. You've got four sand bunkers and twelve grass bunkers on the right, and nine more grass bunkers on the left. I played the fourteenth almost flawlessly during the first three rounds in '96, going birdie, par, birdie. In the final round, though, I pulled my approach shot fifty feet left of the pin and three-putted for a bogey.