Golf Course Architecture - Issue 59, January 2020

57 a short par three will accomplish this. Usually you see this at resorts that have limited coastal frontage for golf. “It could also be a skyline of a downtown that has a perfect angle and it only works in that particular area. It could be late in the round and be an all or nothing two or 20 type hole, a big chance to make up some shots. But it could also be an innocent little hole that’s perhaps after a long four-hole stretch of tough pars and acts as a deep breath. I don’t like super short par threes when it’s obvious they are just trying to squeeze in a hole to make for nine or 18 holes. TPC Sawgrass’s seventeenth is the ultimate two or 20, but I have to say that I don’t like it, because of the big pond carry more than anything. I’m not against building an island green if it’s two creeks wrapping around the green in a Y shape, but ponds are not great for visuals. Water stays on one flat plane. I like to see movement in the ground, not pure flatness.” “I really think a golf course is incomplete and not well-rounded without a hole where anyone can get a birdie or a six,” says Ron Forse, who has worked on any number of short threes during his career as a restoration specialist. “They round out the test of golf, and they can equalise the course demands and enjoyment for the shorter hitter as well as equalising the scores a bit. There is often a great disparity between high and low scores in a day on these short holes which I think makes them good. Also, you can justify tucking the pin close to trouble where you could not for a longer approach. They complement other types of holes beautifully. I love how they call for extreme precision which is such a contrast to so many other shots on the golf course such as drives and three woods. The keys from a design standpoint are plenty of tee space and quite often a total surrounding of the green with a hazard, the sort of thing that cannot be done on long holes – it makes them unique and complementary. A favourite shorty is the second at Whitinsville. Ross did a very similar hole at Seminole and we put it in at the Country Club of Orlando, number seventeen. My last example is number eight at Tedesco Country Club, north of Boston, which we worked on two years ago – a small double-tiered green with bunkers totally redesigned all around.” Architect Bill Bergin says: “They are usually located in a special environment that might be more of a discovery than a creation. We are currently working on Highlands Falls in North Carolina (read more on page 21). Joe Lee nestled a tiny hole practically underneath a gorgeous natural waterfall. On a personal note, I missed the cut in the 1982 US Open at Pebble Beach by one shot after playing the ‘damnable’ seventh hole in three over!” GCA “They are usually located in a special environment that might be more of a discovery than a creation” Ron Forse redesigned Tedesco’s short eighth hole, which has a small double-tiered green surrounded by bunkers Photo: Larry Lambrecht SHORT PAR THREES