Twice Bit­ten

Don’t go from bad to worse

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best -

al­tus­rol Golf Club, which hosted the PGA Cham­pi­onship, has a bunch of great holes. But I’d say the par-5 17th on the Lower Course (il­lus­trated) is the most strate­gi­cally in­ter­est­ing.

Right away, the dis­tance lets you know this is a true three-shot­ter. It’s 647 yards (592 me­tres) from the cham­pi­onship tees with an up­hill fin­ish to the green, so only go­ril­las have any chance of knock­ing it on in two. (John Daly was the first to do it, dur­ing the 1993 US Open.) Most par 5s al­low you to make up for a weak shot with a strong one, but that lux­ury doesn’t ex­ist here. Miss the tee shot, and the hole ef­fec­tively be­comes a par 6. Botch the lay-up, too, and it’s a par 7.The rea­son is the four cross bunkers that di­vide the fair­way. They’re the foun­da­tion of what I call a “pro­gres­sive-penalty de­sign.” This is a con­cept I’ve used in many par 5s I’ve built. Ba­si­cally, an early mis­take stays with you the en­tire hole. – with max adler

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