Fly­ing Blind

How to nav­i­gate an un­fa­mil­iar hole

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

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

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