Jeff Howes has created a new par-three first hole at Malahide Golf Club in Dublin, Ireland, to replace another hole and make room for new practice facilities.
Officials at the club asked Howes — who has consulted on architecture matters at Malahide for over 15 years — if he could devise a way of accommodating a high-quality practice area. “Despite having many positives to the facility, such as location and 27 holes, the one thing they didn’t have was a decent area for practicing,” said Howes. “Naturally, it should be close to the clubhouse. With no spare land I suggested sacrificing the weak opening hole on the Yellow nine for the practice area and creating a spectacular par three as a replacement.”
Approval from the membership was granted this year and construction firm DAR Golf began work in August, creating a new 250 metre range with a 50-metre buffer at the end. It includes both grass and artificial practice tees and three target greens.
Howes described the former first hole on the Yellow course as “about as ordinary a par four as you would find anywhere. Medium length, flat, slight dogleg to the right and a very nondescript green.” The new par three hole is 145 metres from the back and will favour a fade. “The green is elevated and protected front-centre and right by three circular traps,” said Howes. “Any shot missing the green will be a challenging up and down.”
This article is based on material that first appeared in the October 2019 issue of Golf Course Architecture. For a printed subscription or free digital edition, please visit our subscriptions page.