Golf Course Architecture - Issue 69, July 2022

51 Adrian Stiff says that the strategy of a hole depends on the ability of the individual player. “Strategy exists in different forms for different abilities,” he explains. “At a short hole a lesser player is best to play away from extreme trouble, so if there is a pond on the left, try to miss on the right. Strategy at short holes fades almost to zero as players become exceptional but there are still isolated holes where it creeps in. Pin locations too at highlevel golf can offer similar options where it is best to miss or play away from the direct route.” “I believe playing away from a f lag to ensure an uphill putt or using a feeder slope to find a compartment is strategic. Often, it’s done based upon the knowledge of your abilities,” says Canadian architect Ian Andrew. “I’m currently designing fourteen strategic par threes at Cabot Citrus Farms in Florida!” says Texas-based Mike Nuzzo. “My core principle of strategy can be seen on the artificial putting green below my office. The goal is to leave the approach in the right place. On the artificial green, there’s a 25-foot putt that, if I stand in the correct spot, I make anywhere between 40 and 80 per cent of the time. If I move one step to my left, I don’t make any. That shows how important positioning is.” Veteran designer Jeff Brauer, who recently gave up his practice to become director of outreach for the American Society of Golf Course Architects – of which he is a former president – has thought fairly extensively about this subject. “Because there is no shot relationship inherent in par-three holes, I like the template or other shot concept holes where the main thing is to hit a certain type of shot for best results,” he says. “The precision shot [to a small green] is great for par threes, with little strategy, because you can control the distance from all tees. The Redan is good, or any hole calling for high backspin, using a kick slope to roll closer to pin, such as the Dell hole. A very large green with several smaller targets is good. With a ball on the tee, and yardage control of par-three holes, a green sitting 45 degrees where you have to combine distance and angle would be good on a medium to longmedium hole. Most architects have felt water or native carries are fairest on par-three holes, iron in hand – as having the ball on a tee minimises the threat of the hazard.” GCA Jeff Brauer likes template holes, such as North Berwick’s Redan green, as they require golfers to hit a certain type of shot Photo: GCA “ Strategy exists in different forms for different abilities. At a short hole a lesser player is best to play away from extreme trouble”