Sunday, 26 December 2010

The 7th at laval

The Last and Shortest of the 11 Par Fours

The holes continue to go from longest to shortest.

This hole combines parts of two holes to eliminate a safety issue. The land is relatively flat from start to finish except for a hill on the left side of the green site. The entire hole is framed in by large mature deciduous trees with the key feature being the large pond on the right of the landing and green.
The position of the pond creates an ideal carry angle from the tee where players face an interesting option. They can fade the ball from left to right to find the fairway and an ideal line into the green or they can also play a draw out over the edge of the pond and reach the green in one single shot. The other option is to play left and away from the trouble, but that leaves a tough approach.
We originally planned to have two bunkers left and the bank on the right which essentially meant anything not on the green was in trouble. We envisioned weaker players might chip their way around to the front and play a bump and run onto the green. But we wanted to encourage the average player to take some chances so we found an alternative.
We decided on an adventurous alternative. We reasoned that the best players were unlikely to accept the arbitrary nature of the alternative, whereas weaker players would almost exclusively use this route to take the water out of play. The idea was to run short grass up the hill and around the single front bunker, so players could carry the bunker and use the slope to bounce the ball down onto the green. The swale was added to keep the shot played along the left edge of the green, but also allow a running shot coming off the hill to roll through and onto the green. We wanted players to have more options because of the water on the right.

Since the green is on grade, the player who successfully plays close to the water would have a very simple chip shot in and a tee shot on line would roll onto the green unimpeded.  

The part we most like about adding the short grass to the left around the bunker is that it encourages players to play long and left, which would leave them with the most complicated shot they could possible have on the hole.

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