By Design – Issue 51, Winter 2020

28 SKETCHBOOK T had Layton, ASGCA, of Arnold Palmer Design Company, is currently working in Uruguay on a project to add a second nine at Fasano Las Piedras. “Every time I checked on the progress of the short par four we were building on the ridgeline, my eyes would drift left toward this sandy little clearing bracketed by brambles and tawny fescues with a backdrop of tidal marshes and the Punta del Este skyline,” he says. “Knowing we could build this additional hole for little more than the cost of a few irrigation heads and the likelihood that I’d forever regret not building it, we convinced the client that this was an opportunity too good to pass up.” Layton drew inspiration from Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp eighth hole, although for his version at Las Piedras, the green is even smaller! “Our green is surrounded by bunkers, playing essentially as an island,” says Layton. “The only strategy is to knuckle up and hit the shot... if you do, you’ll have a makeable putt – if not, good luck making par! “As with any sketch, it was just a starting point – the only deliverables I considered to be concrete were that it had to be a drop shot to a small green surrounded by trouble. One challenge was getting the green to tie in properly from all angles as the ground was sloping away from play. There’s a false rear to the green that collects overly aggressive shots, but this is actually the best place to miss it. “I’m pretty sure this is the smallest green to ever come out of our office,” continues Layton. “For me this sketch symbolizes so much that’s changed with our firm’s design philosophy and my evolution as an architect: economy of construction, boldness in design, the collaborative nature of design-build, and freeing yourself from regimented construction drawings. It was a fun hole to build and it is by far the membership’s favorite hole to play.” • Fasano Las Piedras Thad Layton, ASGCA