What is the Snake Pit at the Valspar Championship? A look at all three holes at the Copperhead Course

What is the Snake Pit at the Valspar Championship? A look at all three holes at the Copperhead Course

The Snake Pit statue at Innisbrook Resort

At the Valspar Championship, you can't go 5 minutes without hearing the phrase "The Snake Pit." It's the defining and closing stretch at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course, the Tampa-area course that is tournament host.

However, you may just think that the Snake Pit is another gimmicky, three-hole stretch. That's not the case. These are very good golf holes, so let's look at them.

The Snake Pit is the three-hole stretch on the Copperhead Course comprising holes 16, 17 and 18. There's a statue of a big freaking snake heading into the Snake Pit, and it's kind of scary.

The Snake Pit at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course

The 16th hole on the Copperhead Course is probably the toughest hole in the stretch. A 475-yard dogleg-right par 4, the hole invites longer hitters to take on risk with the water on the dogleg and hit their tee shot with a draw over the trees and into the tight landing area. What's more likely is that a player will take a fairway wood or long iron and try to hit their ball to the corner. A pulled tee shot leads to some tree trouble for the rest of the way to the green, which is, of course, guarded on the right by a deep bunker and to the short left by a tree that will knock balls out of the air.

The 17th hole is the only par 3 in the stretch, with a deep green that features a false front to reject lousy tee shots. You can't short-side yourself on this hole and have a realistic expectation of making par.

The 18th hole is a good finishing hole. There's some flash, with bunkers to the right side of the hole, and the fairway isn't all that wide. The hole plays 40 feet uphill, making the approach shot a little tough to judge. Appropriately, there is a deep bunker in front and left of the green to swallow up poorly judged shots. An approach shot that goes long faces a quick putt to a Sunday pin typically tucked near that bunker.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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