JACK NICK­LAUS

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

Treat a stone wall like a haz­ard.

Han­dling the hard­est haz­ard

When the op­por­tu­nity is there, I like to in­cor­po­rate the his­tory of the land into a de­sign. I’m in­spired by Scot­tish and English cour­ses, where often you come across stone walls that are in play and make for mem­o­rable shots.The most fa­mous might be the one be­hind the green of the Road Hole, the 17th at St An­drews, which has con­trib­uted to dou­ble and triple bo­geys since the 15th cen­tury. Although I never air­mailed that green so badly in com­pe­ti­tion that I had to play a ric­o­chet off that wall to try to save par, I al­ways liked try­ing the shot in prac­tice rounds. It’s fun.

When we built Rich­land Coun­try Club in Nashville, we en­coun­tered a dry-stack stone wall, which is now on the par-5 sev­enth (il­lus­trated). Likely made to de­fine a prop­erty line, we learned it was used as a key de­fen­sive po­si­tion dur­ing the Civil War by the Union Army. On Dec. 16, 1864, a fierce bat­tle there ended with the cap­ture of a Con­fed­er­ate colonel. Rather than play along­side the wall, we routed the fair­way so you must hit over it.The stakes, of course, are far dif­fer­ent than in 1864, but the rocks re­tain their strate­gic essence. – with max adler

“Treat a stone wall the same as wa­ter.”

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