Thursday, January 03, 2008

What Might an Ian Andrew Course Have? - An All or Nothing Par 3


One swing to glory....or disaster










There will be no rhyme or reason to the subjects that I choose, and I’m sure that may make the series more fun for you and me. I have six images drawn currently and each is on random subjects, which confirms that the series will be all over the map as I go. One thing I that I know for sure is that I will have an “all or nothing”par three on every course I build.

There is no hole that is more anticipated in a round than a short par three. It provides all players with a realistic opportunity to make a birdie with one great swing. Even the weakest or shortest of player can look at the short par three knowing that only well placed shot will bring a certain birdie or at least a good chance. That’s the reason that the short par three is everyone’s favourite hole to play.

My short holes will generally be the “all or nothing” type. I still will create others like the Big Baby at Jasper where short grass is the key element but most will likely involve a ring of sand like the 10th at Pine Valley. I prefer the idea of a plateau green site or a carry over a great natural feature like a ravine to define the difficulty. One thing for sure is I will never build an island like the 17th at the TPC at Sawgrass and in fact you’ll likely find that my holes in general will try to avoid the all or nothing carry over water.

I believe that the Postage Stamp is a perfect hole. The second shot may be the hardest shot on the course, which most players find out after they miss! What I like about the Postage Stamp is if you miss there is still a possible par through a great recovery shot. I believe that the recovery shot is one of the most important parts of the game and the one shot that separates the great player from the good player.

As an architect the short three represents our greatest opportunity. While I may embrace the idea of width and playability as a generality, this is the opportunity to ratchet up the difficulty and tell the player to bring their very best. After all, the hole is short and the player begins on a perfect lie. There is so much opportunity to for the player to make a good score, therefore there must be equal risk or danger to keep the situation in balance. The short three is a chance to really ramp up the architecture, to push the envelope, to make a statement, to do something spectacular. I believe that the short par three should be the most memorable hole on the property, whether from selecting the ideal location on the site, or from some exceptional architecture used to place a premium. Even on a limited budget or poor site, this remains possible since the all you need to build is a clever green site. There are so many examples of great ones even built on nothing sites.

13 comments:

Manu said...

There is a very good way to demonstrate your ideas within a virtual world like Second Life. Have a look at the Mercedes 6 holes course (http://www.mercedes-benz-secondlife-infos.com/). How about a Ian Andrew island golf resort with your very avatar to play ?

Evan Smith said...

Great looking hole Ian. I can't wait to play it! :)
The one thing I wanted to ask though is how much an architect considers traffic patterns. Looking at your drawing, and knowing that your courses will be walkable, I can imagine that the foot traffic between the bunkers would decimate the grass. What sort of things could you do to minimize this?

Brewnoser said...

Ian, that looks a bit like number 17 at Crowbush Cove (McBroom). Man he catches hell over that hole! Th e green is on top of a dune, and you pop up a small wedge to a green you can't see, surrounded by deep bunkers.

96 yards from the blues and 87 from the whites.

I once asked McBroom about it - he replied, and I paraphrase: Well, I was asked to design a course for pros, that tourist golfers could throw themselves at once a summer. For pros, if they don't know where their sand wedge is going, that's not my problem.

Samantha said...

Hello Ian...Excellent Tips - and advice I really needed to hear it right now.You can achieve your goals in golf if you assess where you are at in each area of the game, get the knowledge of the fundamentals, plan which areas to work on, practice these areas, test how they go when practicing and playing, and reassess so you can go through the cycle again. Have fun, be persistent and have patience.

Ian Andrew said...

Evan,

I do - but the concepts are the focus in this set of images and writing. I usuallt go through everything from tree removal through to access during construction to avoid suprises.

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