Monday, 3 September 2012

Bunkerless holes? Make your own mind up

The Old Course at St Andrews - golf is one of ...
Best in class? The seemingly-featureless home hole at The Old Course at St Andrews (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A pet subject subject of mine cropped up on the forums last week, when opinions were sought as to the best bunkerless hole.

 I think one bunkerless hole should be mandatory on every course, although I regard the purest form of the species as a hole whose designer has simply replaced the sentinel role of sand with interference by devious contouring, designed to unsettle the stance, trick the eye and channel the errant shot away from the hole. From the tee it should seem a poor swap, until you begin to take it on.

So some of the examples proffered at the Iseekgolf forum (and this older discussion of the same theme at GolfClubAtlas) with their forced carries and water hazards don't entirely do it for me but I'm sure they are fun holes nonetheless.

We all know the usual suspects here - the 14th and 18th at Augusta National and the Old Course respectively - but where I've managed to find sufficient graphic illustration of the hole concerned, I've linked to those other holes with which some of you may not be so familiar:

Lahinch, Old Course, 5th (The Dell)
Dragon Ridge, 5th
Four Streams, 16th
Chart Hills, 8th
County Louth - the 'all world' reference could be to the 14th, although the 4th also has its admirers
Barnbougle Dunes, 6th
Royal Adelaide, 3rd
New South Wales Golf Club, 14th
Turtle Bay, Palmer Course, 11th
North Berwick, 18th
Port Fairy, 14th
Royal Liverpool, 1st 
Barwon Heads, 4th 
Long Reef, 17th 
Flinders, 4th 
Bonnie Doon, 13th

POSTSCRIPT: Drew Rogers of JDR Golf Design kindly tweeted me on this one: "Contour, firm ground, wind = best chance to utilize no bunkers. Why linksland courses so great, stood test of time."

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