Sunday, 26 December 2010

The 18th at Laval

The tee shot is played uphill to the very top of the rise where there is plenty of room between the trees. From there the hole tumbles and drops all the way down to the green site which is set on a natural plateau located at the bottom of the hill.
The ground falls strongly from right to left and we will use this natural fall in the land to create options for the players. The red arrows indicate how a player can use the strong slope on the right to direct the ball back to the left and towards the green. Since we want players to utilize this option we will also angle the green to the left and slope the green from right to left to run the ball in. This makes the running approach not only feasible but for many a desirable way to play the hole.
One of the greatest influences on this hole is the second shot to the 13th at Pine Valley. The 13th offers the player the choice of playing directly over the waste areas to the green or playing a little draw right of the trouble and using the natural fall of the land to feed the ball onto the green. By adding a front left bunker we have created essentially the same strategic concept. One new idea that we did add was to include a small swale at the back right that will collect a ball hit through the feeder slope and send it down into the chipping area leaving a tough recovery.
We designed the approach shot and green site before we addressed landing area. The landing is quite open but does have a subtle problem for the players to deal with. The tree on the left at 300 yards out really encroaches in. The players in the left rough will have serious issues unless they play a running hook which they can because of the slopes inn the fairway. We also added a rare fairway bunker to the right that will only catch the very longest of hitters who try and take this long four down to a short iron approach. We didn’t take away the ability to be long and aggressive, but we certainly wanted to put a premium on accuracy. This also creates a nice twist in the shape of the fairway too.
What we have is a hole that can be approached in multiple ways. Since the player is well above the green and fairway they will be able to clearly see their options and then watch the results of either approach.
This will definitely be one of the more fun holes to play despite the length. Here is an image of the approach shot from the landing.

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