The location was selected because it offered all the combinations that we were looking for to develop one of our favourite hole types. It features an elevated tee shot, which was ideal for being able to see the strategy of the hole from above. The hole featured a long right to left cross fall that could be used to run a ball into a green below. The prevailing wind was coming from the right and would help a ball turn with the slope.
There are always alternatives. The other way to route this hole would have been to play across the shallow valley and place the green on the other side. By angling the approach, we have a fairly solid hole concept.
But Mike and I believe that at least one par three should encourage the ground game as an option. This location was by far our best opportunity and the elevated tee enables the player to see their options from the tee. By shifting the green down below the long slope we had a feeder slope that would direct shots towards the green. The red line indicates that we still needed to provide a reason for playing out to the outside rather than directly at the target.
The simplest concept is to add a bunker cut in front left and an angle the green behind. The player can still carry the trouble but it now becomes possible to play to the right and feed the ball down towards the hole. The only issue we had was the slope was still a bit shallow.
We added a hill on the right to raise the height and steepen slope to make sure a well struck ball would find the green. The green was sloped from front to back to further help the ball flow from the banks and onto the green. The bunker in front was added to reinforce this option and an additional bunker was added to indicate where the players should aim and how far they need to hit the ball to find the feeding slopes. This is our Redan hole.
So why the pond? I’m not a fan of ponds, but the club would like to see some water in play, it helped drain a low spot on the property, it adds to the storage volume for the club, and it provided the fill for the hill right of the fairway. The more fill, the broader the landform, the more natural the feature will look.
An image of the concept: