Sunday, 26 December 2010

The 4th at Laval

The second par five has the best land of the three fives. The hole will play down into a valley from an elevated tee and then back up to an elevated green location out on a point. The green site falls off steeply to the left and back making it a dangerous green to be aggressive with. The entire hole is surrounded by really large mature trees which are very pretty in the fall. The key to this hole is the cross-slopes that are used to help feed shots and to direct shots away.
The tee shot is an opportunity for the player to use the slope and prevailing wind to get down to the bottom of the hill. If they can accomplish this they are rewarded with an opportunity to reach the green in two. The only major complication is the landing falls from right to left and the tee shot will need a little cut designed to hold the slope and avoid sliding into the left rough. The second shot is where the fun begins because the player can use the cross fall from right to left to feed the ball back towrards the green.
The green will be set on the same angle as the existing drop which will make the running approach a more appealing option. By adding a couple of deep bunkers into the steep green side slope reinforces the angle of the green and penalizes a player that gets on the wrong side of the slopes. I added a big red dot to indicate the ideal line of approach. This also becomes the ideal location for a central hazard designed to test the nerve and decision making of the player.
By adding the bunker, the player must make a decision. They can lay short and face a tougher approach. They can try flying the trouble and risk coming up short. They can plan to skirt the bunker and use the feeding slopes to direct the ball towards the green. It’s all up to them. The reason there is not a line of bunkers is we wanted to make the option of flirting with the bunker more appealing since there appears to be room either side. The reality is the slope between the bunkers is quite strong and will most likely feed the ball into a tough position to come in from.
You can see with the plan that the slopes in the second landing are the key to the design. The outside bank is there to help you whereas the slope in the centre is there to defend the hole. The slope of the green was the toughest decision because if we built a redan style green the ball could easily run out the back and far away because of the steep slope behind. We felt that it might be wise to slope the green back towards play, but we will have to look very hard at this in the field and decide what would be the most interesting answer.

Here is an image of what we expect the hole to look like from the landing.

Some holes have inspiration or ideas from other, this one is a reaction to the land. 

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