How to navigate an unfamiliar hole
Sometimes there’s no substitute for experience.With rare holes, if you haven’t walked the land, you’ll want to be paired with someone – maybe a caddie – who can clearly articulate what lies ahead. But most of the time, a simple scorecard drawing shows all you need.As a designer, I try to give golfers very clear cues with the bunkering.
Take the par-5 16th at the Condado de Alhama Golf Resort (illustrated), a course I designed in Murcia, Spain. At 582 metres from the back tees, almost nobody is getting home in two. From overhead it might look like a jumble of obstacles, but what you have to do becomes pretty straightforward if you ask,“What shot do I want for my third?”Then, by plotting how far you typically advance the ball, you see what’s doable. The key is to identify the challenge bunkers (the ones you can choose to hit over) and the directional bunkers (the ones you can use to help your aim). Figure those out, and an intimidating hole becomes strategically simple. – with max adler
Challenge bunkers Directional bunkers