Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Life - — STU­ART MCLEAN

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.”

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