My favorite design concept is the Redan. The player faces a clear choice to hit a perfect cut shot or play a running draw – both will work – and it’s completely up to the player to decide which is appropriate at that moment.
The name Redan comes from the angle of the front bunker and the diagonal it creates, but in today’s context the name Redan describes green contours that fall away from front right to back left. It is most commonly found as a par three based upon the original at North Berwick, but the green itself has also been used very effectively on par fours to create an interesting approach shot.
Strategically the hole is set up by the diagonal line presented by the front left bunker or bunkers. The player must deal with the hazard by either playing over it or around it using the contours of the approach to the green. Where the shot becomes tough is that the land beyond the approach falls sharply off so that playing away from the Redan bunker will lead to much deeper trouble. The recovery shot from the right or long is in fact the hardest on the hole.
The joy of the hole remains the dilemma from the tee or fairway, do you hit a high fade to hold the green, or a slight draw to feed the ball - either way it certainly is a fun hole to play. The key to the hole remains the contour of the green and the fact that it slopes away on the diagonal set up by the bunker. Since there is no backstop or upslope commonly used to receive the ball, judgment and precision are put at a higher premium on the approach shot.
The green itself is one of the most effective ways to reward shot-making and combat the current equipment – but more importantly the concept asks the player to think and choose which always makes for the best architecture the game has to offer.