Cen­tre Cut

How to han­dle a bunker that splits the fair­way

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play -

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. –


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