Sunday, 27 March 2011

Template Series - #9 Crown

can't post pictures - not sure why...

The short par three 11th at Shinnecock Hills is one of my favourite holes. There are lots of great elements from length to layout, but the key element is the unusually brilliant green and the short grass beyond.

The front three quarters of the green has a very strong pitch forward with some subtle undulation. The closer you get to the front, the more aggressive the slope becomes until everything simply rolls right off the front. The middle of the green contains all the major pin positions with the easier pins involving a putt from below and up towards the back.  Around three quarters of the way back into the green, the green crowns and the drops off very steeply by the back edge which leads into a short grass swale behind the green. This feature is one of the best four or five ideas I have ever seen.


Any shot played beyond the crown will pick up speed as it exits the back of the green and more often than not leave the player with a downhill lie for the recovery shot that must be then pitched into the hill to make it hopefully die just beyond the crown and remain on the green. Short returns to the swale and firm is off the front. The delicacy of the chip is unimaginable.

So how do I use this template?

This green concept can be used on any hole as proved by the three examples below. Shinnecock Hills is the most extreme example and in my opinion only suits a short three or reachable five. It does a wonderful job of balancing opportunity and risk on shorter holes.

The gentler version has more applications on longer threes, long fours and strong fives. It’s also an opportunity to use a semi aggressive version to create an extremely challenging four when required like the finisher at Merion. The features requires the use of short grass beyond the green to provide the ability to play creative shots from beyond the crown, otherwise the hole can be too onerous for regular play.

Influences:

11th at Shinnecock Hills
18th at Merion
15th at Augusta National (don’t like the hole, but do like the green)

The List:

#1 Riviera
#2 Redan
#3 Azalea
#4 Road
#5 Peninsula
#6 Serpentine
#7 Ridgeline
#8 Sideways
#9 Crown

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