|From the tee, stay right for safety|
At the National Golf Links of America, Macdonald set out to find a natural site for his Redan. He had stated that every hole had room for improvement and the Redan was no exception. He was not fond of the blindness of the original and found a natural site for the green that was clearly visible from the tee. The joy of MacDonald’s version of the hole is that all the strategy and difficulty are clearly visible from the tee; what’s even more enjoyable is the opportunity for the player to watch the result from the tee.
|Direct line in red, running line in yellow|
So what have I learned from this hole? How effective a defense it is to place a green on a diagonal line from play and defend it with a front bunker. This is the basis of the strategic school of design. But the biggest lesson is the green which places a player in a defensive mode. Rather than playing into a green pitched towards play that receives and favors the high shot, the fall away green requires more creativity and a running approach is the safer play. It favors the flight of the middle handicap more than the high aggressive flight of the great player because they won’t want to chance bouncing in the approach. Finally there is nothing better than providing an option. The player must make the decision to either play directly over the hazard with a precise shot or draw and approach around the fronting hazard using the land to feed the ball onto the green. This requires creative thinking rather than just swinging the correct club.