The bunkers at Metropolitan
This morning we played the Metropolitan Golf Club. The course is routed over very simple terrain and features only a few minor ridges or rolls anywhere on the course. Essentially this is a flat golf course built on a naturally sandy site – and it’s very good – which is incredibly hard to do.
The greens were outstanding, featuring many subtle rolls and a lot of strong slope. There were no major ridges, shelves or dominant features. But the greens were always in motion falling sideways or softly undulating, which in itself created some very interesting and often tough recovery shots. But as good as the greens were it was the bunkers that stole the show.
Nothing like this anywhere else
The bunkers were best on the older holes where they appeared to be scooped out of the land and the fill taken somewhere else since the green sat so softly into the native grade. They were not as good (Wilson among other modern architects) where the fill was pushed back to create ridges behind the bunker and the faces were stuck up in the air for visual effect or intimidation.
Notice how much they "eat into" the green at times.
But the most unforgettable aspect of all the bunkers is how they eat into the greens and fairways since there is not transition cut between. The green is cut right up to the bunkers and the fairways are also cut right to the bunker edge too. The fact that that edge is often 12-18” of vertical face makes the effect even more spectacular. This is like nothing I have ever seen. One of the reasons this works is all grades rise on the way to the edge, before they drop straight down, keeping water from running into the bunkers.
The course features surrounds of short grass, roll off from the greens, false fronts and many of the same characteristics that are common on the course that we have enjoyed – but the bunkers edges were absolutely unforgettable.
I did play Woodlands as well today - but I'm going to stick with a single course each day. Woodlands was a very pleasant suprise.