Sunday, 26 December 2010

The 8th at Laval

From two holes in a row that required creativity, to one that is all natural.
The hole begins from an elevated tee shot playing down into the valley. There is a very large stand of Maples all along the right side of the hole creating a long and slow curve where longer players must be able to work the ball to find the fairway. Mike and I talked often about this concept early on and it was wonderful to find a perfect example of this type of shot. We both love the shape of this tee shot.
The approach shot to the green set on top of a 15 foot rise. The hole immediately reminded me of the work of Willie Park Jr. and Mike of Olympia Fields. This led us to talk about a couple of his greatest par fours including those at Olympia Fields. What Willie had done in those instances is what defines him as an architect. He elevate the green a few “extra” feet to create a promontory. This places a premium on the approach because the green falls away on all side.
This was the ideal solution for us since the hole is one of the first of the mid-length fours on the course where players will have a shorter iron in their hands. Ideally as the holes get shorter, there should be more premium placed on accuracy.

We originally planned the green to be perfectly flanked by bunkers and aligned with the centre of the fairway, but we eventually tweaked the opening slightly to the right to reward the player who could work the ball around the corner.
The approach shot shown here is one of the most beautiful on the course.

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