This may be my favourite par four in golf - unusual, quirky, solid strategies, beautiful view, terrific green - it has it all
Sometimes presentation can make a hole even more dramatic. Raynor was smart enough to take you across the flattest section of the property with the first five holes before placing you on the 6th tee. The 6th tee has a beautiful high panoramic view of the ocean and the holes below. There are few views in golf as pretty as this one. What makes the 6th is there are few holes as good.
The tee shot appears fairly simple because there is tons of room out on the right and the bunker barely comes into play. The problem with that play is from that angle you’re pretty much dead. You really need to be on the left to have a reasonable chance at approaching the green. The forest on the left of the hole defends the ideal line and a shot into the forest is a lost shot. Therefore you must hit a light draw around the tree line to gain position on the flatter plateau for the approach.
The approach is a stunner. The green is a reverse redan (falling hard to the back and right) and Raynor has lifted the surrounds to create a punchbowl setting for the green too. This is the most unique and wonderful green complex I know. The shot is a fade into the throat in front of the green to access the front pin, or a play to the front of the green to access the back pin position. The ball will release and run a long way from both spots. The joy of the hole is that it uses the rambling hillside to define the locations of the landing area and then a perfect natural ridge to find the green site. Since the hole goes with the grade the whole way everything blends in magnificently.
What I learned? The ideal line only has to be protected by one hazard and that there is no need to defend the other side if the green can do that. That a bold idea can make a hole so unique and so memorable that people will not forget it. I have realized that “template” ideas can be combined to create far better holes than using only one of the ideas. The redan makes a great green site on fours and fives. The ground game can still be part of modern golf, it just takes some old fashioned ideas to bring it back.
Next Hole: http://thecaddyshack.blogspot.com/2006/06/18-holes-day-17-4th-at-seminole.html