HOUGHTON’S ‘SEXY’ NEW GREEN
Semi-island green will create drama at No 12
Houghton Golf Club have created an exciting new green on what used to be the most challenging hole on the course, the long par-4 12th. Water now encloses the green on three sides, with a large bunker protecting the left of the green. Standing in the fairway after a good tee shot on this dogleg left hole, the challenge is scary but obvious.You either go for the green across the water, or meekly lay up to a narrow ribbon of fairway short of the putting surface.
The hole has at least been shortened to 385 metres from the club tees, the previous green having been 50 metres further on, past the water hazard. Now the green appears to be in the middle of the aqua, more in your face, and the shot is there to be taken on with a short- or middle-iron. “It’s a semi-island green, and the hole is now so much more dramatic and sexier looking, particularly for the residents who live in
T he Houghton apartment residences overlooking the 12th,” says Houghton head professional Richard Kaplan. “The hole is our stroke one on the card, and previously at 430 metres it was so long that most of our members didn’t go for the old green with their second shots.
They bailed out left of the water.” Houghton developer David Nagle proposed the new green when told that the storage dam alongside the hole was leaking, losing lots of water, and needed attention. “David got involved and suggested that a new location for the green would be an aesthetic improvement,” said Kaplan. “The dam has been relined, increased in size, and deepened.The green, opened in February, is large at 600 square metres so it’s a bigger target than it looks from the fairway. (The island green of No 17 at TPC Sawgrass is 364 square metres.) We’ll see how No 12 plays for the rest of the year before altering our scorecards. However, I think it will stay stroke one on the card.”