Great architectural features - biarritz, redan and false front greens
Time for a little golf design education. The truly expert golfer knows how to "read" a golf course. The architect is trying to teach you something almost all the time when you stand over a shot. (Note: happily the "doctrine of deception is resurging. That's where the architect doesn't spoon feed you your line off the teebox. But that's another column.)
Today we'll look at some interesting features that, with a little bit of knowledge about them, can actually help you lower your score with smart play.
1) The redan. Probly the most copied and recognizable hole in the world. Sadly, it has also become the most watered down as well. The hall mark of the redan is a long iron or fairweay wood shot shaped from right to left is required to avoid the deeper and more dangerous parts of a bunker but also that the green slopes away from the player. Pictured right is the 9th green at Brian Silva's Black Rock in Hingham, MA. Just swinging away trying to drop one aerial style on top of the flag is highly dangerous as it will likely roll over. play one bounce and on and let the ball filter to the hole location.
2) The biarritz green. Easily recognized by the deep swale that extends all the way across the green, effectively dividing it into two parts. The green is so severe that bunkers are often uneccessary as the severe countours around the hole location defend par adequately. Pictured right and below is the 5th at Arcadia Bluffs in Northern Michigan.
3) False fronts. My personal favorite. I keep a box on my scorecard that reads "Mental errors." Recognizing the false front green is only half the batle. Ending up short of the green after not carrying the ball to the safe section of the green counts as a mental error. Pictured right is the 1st green at Mike Strantz's Royal New Kent outside Williamsburg, VA. Misplayed shots are severly penalized as the ball will roll to about 40 feet short of the green leaving a dangerously slick uphill pitch back to the green. Mishit it, and it's back at your feet...or worse.