This was the first good opportunity for a par three. The location features mature trees on both sides of the hole, an elevated plateau to play tee shots from, and a natural plateau to build a new green site. As architects, we seek out sites like this for par threes because of the "all or nothing" nature they have and the fact that they are best utilized on a par three or short four.
The basic hole structure
Since the natural fall of the land is to the left, the most logical way to handle the site is to slope the green in the direction of the fall of the land to make it fit the land best. If you make that basic decision, then you are favouring a right to left approach. This can be reinforced by angling the green to the left and adding a bunker for emphasis. We now have a fairly routine and common strategic approach to this site.
The carry angle is in red
Mike and I wanted something a little more precise. We thought that the target should be smaller and dangerous to miss. We kept the basic angle created on the left, but we also choose to create a hard flanking line on the right to contest the right to left approach.
The bunker on the right increases the need for accuracy
The hole is fairly short, which we wanted for the opener, but we still wanted it to be dangerous. We plan to encircle all our greens with short grass, and in this case, that means any ball that gets beyond the green surface is going to roll down the banks. This provides us with the opportunity to push pins to the edges and make the hole quite difficult during major club events.
The beauty of this is the average player can putt, bump and run or pitch to play their recovery shots, but the strong player will still face a tough recovery because the green will be sloped away. The final touch was to add a false front front right so that better had to fly their approach all the way to the target, while weaker players could still run their shots through.
The green is essentially a table top sloped to the front and to the left side. This way the pin positions can be pushed right out to all edges to bring the short grass slopes into play.
What we expect the concept will look like when built.