Sunday, 26 December 2010

The 16th at Laval

Mike and I like the idea of having our shorter fours being played from two sets of tees. The main tee will be the one illustrated each time, but the next tee up will have enough additional room to play short on occasion.
The hole is very natural and needs very little to make it work. The tee shot plays slowly downhill to the landing and then continues to drop slowly all the way to the green. The green site is a plateau that begins flush to the fairway and rises up before falling away steeply at the back. The hole is entirely surrounded by large mature trees with the majority being large White Pines. The setting is one of the most beautiful on the course.
The simplest approach would be to leave the green on grade and surround it with short grass. The surrounds would have fallen away and the green would have been heavily contoured to compensate. The concept would have some similarities to the first at Pine Valley, but in our case this hole comes at the end of the round and we wanted a much tougher shot approach shot for this shorter four.
We added a bunker to defend the inside corner of the dogleg that could be flirted in order to shorten the hole. We certainly were not trying to stop them from doing this, but we did want them to pause and consider the risk. Convention would be to angle the green to the left and bunker the left side creating the most classic architectural pattern of them all. Play close to the bunker for the best line of approach. Every once in a while you need to break convention to keep the players honest. A carry bunker on the corner draws the attention and interest of players and they tend to take it on to lay claim to the shortest route to the hole. But if we turn the green right instead of left, the ideal line of approach is as far left as you can go and away from the bunker. Being huge fans of the 10th at Riviera, and the deception of the tee shot, this was the option we liked more.
We decided we were going to take things a step further to complicate the player’s approach from the right. We added very deep bunkers to defend the carry line in, raised the green slightly in the approach, create a sharp fall away on the sides and back, and add even added a fall away into the left middle of the green that would effectively collect approaches played from the right and direct them off the green.
The premium of the hole is to be left off the tee, but all the architecture suggests the opposite from the tee.
This is the shot most will face coming into the green.

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