How to handle a bunker that splits the fairway
f I’m confronted with a huge open space when designing a course, I’ll sometimes put a bunker close to the middle of a fairway.The idea isn’t to punish the straight ball or have the erratic hitter think, “Well, if I aim directly at it, what are the chances?” The purpose is to create what are essentially two fairways. One is usually wider than the other, and there’s a reward for choosing the narrower side.
A good example is the par-4 sixth at North Palm Beach (Florida) CC (illustrated), a municipal course I did 10 years ago for the town we live in. Challenging the skinnier “fairway” on the right o ers the best angle for the second shot. From the tee, I want the golfer to feel slightly uncomfortable about the decision, because that’s fun. If you’re not feeling uneasy about getting past that bunker, you’re playing the wrong set of tees. Or your name is Dustin Johnson. –