Bill Shamleffer

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Bunker in middle of green.
« on: May 17, 2010, 07:42:12 pm »
During yesterday's broadcast of the Texas Open, there was a discussion about the hole with a bunker in the middle of the green (I do not know which hole this was).  During the discussion, Peter Kostis mentioned that he would like to see someone design a drivable par-4 with a bunker in the middle of the green.

On first thought I like considering doing this, but am completely undecided about the positives and negatives of trying to create this type of hole.

Has anyone seen a hole like this, or have any of the designers/architects on this site considered doing this?

Any other thoughts?
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Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 08:07:04 pm »
Probably makes more sense than doing it on a Par 3, a la Riviera. If the golfer gets on the wrong side, he has three putts to make par. If a golfer is approaching with a wedge, he should be able to get it on the right side of the green.
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Nick Campanelli

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 08:36:34 pm »
Bill, I was watching the telecast at that moment as well.  The hole they were playing was the par 3 sixteenth. 

Jim Nantz then referenced Doonbeg's 12th, a par 4 with a bunker in the middle of the green.  I too am surprised you don't see this done more often. 

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Bill_McBride

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 08:53:20 pm »
Before a recent renovation, the 13th green at Tiger Point (Gulf Breeze, FL, across the bridge from Pensacola, Jerry Pate mid-'80s) had a bunker in the middle of the lower tier of the green on the par 5 hole.

More often than not, the hole was cut on the back tier, but it was fun avoiding the bunker on the 3rd shot.  I never saw anyone short of the bunker.  There were no slopes that would let you putt around the bunker a la Riviera, so just as well.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2010, 09:01:23 pm »
I considered doing a bunker inside a green at The Sheep Ranch.  But I don't think I would ever do it on a regular course; to me it has something of a "kitchen sink" feeling about it, as in, we've tried every other gimmick, let's do this one, too! 

I never say never, but I've only seen one of them I even remotely liked [#6 at Riviera, which is okay but not a particular favorite], and I've seen at least half a dozen others that have failed to inspire [and some of which have eventually been removed].

The one at Doonbeg is just silly ... it's pretty much blind from where you hit the approach, as I remember it.

Bill_McBride

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010, 09:10:29 pm »
I considered doing a bunker inside a green at The Sheep Ranch.  But I don't think I would ever do it on a regular course; to me it has something of a "kitchen sink" feeling about it, as in, we've tried every other gimmick, let's do this one, too! 

I never say never, but I've only seen one of them I even remotely liked [#6 at Riviera, which is okay but not a particular favorite], and I've seen at least half a dozen others that have failed to inspire [and some of which have eventually been removed].

The one at Doonbeg is just silly ... it's pretty much blind from where you hit the approach, as I remember it.

The bunker at Tiger Point is an example of one that is NLE, and I've never heard anyone say they missed it.

Sean_A

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2010, 09:33:40 pm »
I considered doing a bunker inside a green at The Sheep Ranch.  But I don't think I would ever do it on a regular course; to me it has something of a "kitchen sink" feeling about it, as in, we've tried every other gimmick, let's do this one, too! 

I never say never, but I've only seen one of them I even remotely liked [#6 at Riviera, which is okay but not a particular favorite], and I've seen at least half a dozen others that have failed to inspire [and some of which have eventually been removed].

The one at Doonbeg is just silly ... it's pretty much blind from where you hit the approach, as I remember it.

It does look a bit odd, but to be honest, on a firm links which keeps its surrounds quite tight - this are is essentially green.  So, I don't think the concept is really off the charts.  I guess it comes down to if those spots near the bunker are good hole locations which couldn't be achieved with a standard green/bunker configuration. 

Ciao
Realistic Next Dozen: Roaring Gap, Orchard Lake, Moortown, Lindrick, Blackmoor, Welshpool,  Mimosa Hills, Leckford, Royal Guernsey, Royal Jersey, Raleigh CC & La Moye

Nick Campanelli

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2010, 09:42:05 pm »
Does anyone know of any par 4/5's with a center bunker other than Doonbeg 12 that still exist?
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Tom_Doak

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2010, 10:11:01 pm »
Nick:

The 13th at Kingsley has a bunker which is not actually inside the green, but the green wraps around the bunker to a back plateau, so that you can be on the green and stymied by the bunker -- it's very possible to drive the green and have to putt around the bunker to that hole location, as Bill and Jeff suggested earlier.  Personally, that's the only reason I don't really like that hole, but others seem to embrace it.

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2010, 10:13:09 pm »
I looked at the Doonbeg pic and thought the bunker is facing the wrong direction, perhaps on a -350 yarder it could work athough I still think it should face the player. It would be a rare situation where a bunker in the green could work, although maybe 'in the middle' even less practical. The fact that there are so few probably answers the question.
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Sven Nilsen

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2010, 10:29:49 pm »
Isn't this the last feature you'd want on a links course?  You've negotiated the wind to reach the middle of the green, and you get penalized.  Not to mention any effect it has on low running shots in to a back pin position.
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2010, 10:30:22 pm »
The putting green is almost a place of refuge. Once you've 'fought' your way through all the hazards you should only have to concentrate on getting the ball in the cup (a difficult task at times), not on avoiding sand.
"The surface of the ground looks like one vast irregular succession of congealed sand waves" - Caspar Whitney describing Sandwich in 1894

Matthew R.

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2010, 11:12:43 pm »
Make it a water hazard, instead of a bunker, and I think players would invent all sorts of interesting strategies.

Greg Chambers

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2010, 12:19:34 am »
Does anyone know of any par 4/5's with a center bunker other than Doonbeg 12 that still exist?

Adams Rib in Eagle, Colorado, designed by Tom Wieskopf has a par 5 hole with a bunker in the middle of the green.
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Sven Nilsen

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2010, 01:44:08 am »
The more I think about the hole at Doonbeg, the worse it gets.  The hole could work better if there was sufficient width in the fairway to let you favor one side or another for strategic approaches past the bunker.  For example, if the pin were back left, having enough room up the left side of the fairway to play out wide to allow for a better angle to the pin.  However, this hole is pinched close to the landing area by the remains of a stone wall which cuts across the fairway, with an opening in the middle that is the only safe line off the tee.  You are forced to play from the middle of the fairway.  If anyone has an overhead image that could verify this is the case and I'm not confusing holes, please help me out.
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

Michael Wharton-Palmer

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2010, 01:57:45 am »
I agree if you are going to do it at all a driveable par four would be the place...the worst I have witnessed is a par three at Dismal River...from the back tees the hole ia about 200 to the front...about 240 to the back with a bunker and some ridiculous contours at about 215..bloody crazy...plus the back portion of the green is blind...you dont even now it exists until you get to the green.
A true architecture disaster......unfortunately like much of that golf course. predominantly the front nine.

Mike Demetriou

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2010, 02:02:09 am »
Nick:

The 13th at Kingsley has a bunker which is not actually inside the green, but the green wraps around the bunker to a back plateau, so that you can be on the green and stymied by the bunker -- it's very possible to drive the green and have to putt around the bunker to that hole location, as Bill and Jeff suggested earlier.  Personally, that's the only reason I don't really like that hole, but others seem to embrace it.

Tom D,

I'm one of those who loves this hole, in no small part because of the combination of a massive undulating green and the relatively short nature of the drive required to make things exciting.  I think the bunker makes the a front right pin difficult, but I really cannot remember seeing someone ON THE GREEN and being stymied. Have you actually seen that occur there? I've played that hole enough to have a decent sample size and I'm not sure it is possible. 

Sean_A

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2010, 02:32:10 am »
Why is it folks can accept that getting caught on the high side of a green and having next to no chnace of two putt is okay, but being stuck behind sand on the green is not?  I don't see much material difference between these two and would again suggest that the essential question is if there are crucial hole locations which can be gained because of the bunker in the green.

Ciao
Realistic Next Dozen: Roaring Gap, Orchard Lake, Moortown, Lindrick, Blackmoor, Welshpool,  Mimosa Hills, Leckford, Royal Guernsey, Royal Jersey, Raleigh CC & La Moye

Bill Brightly

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2010, 02:57:06 am »
I agree with Sean. While I used to think a bunker in the middle of the green would be goofy, I have changed my mind  if the green is really large (and you are allowed to hit a wedge.) I think of it as just really short fairway grass, never a comfortable play over a bunker...

Tom_Doak

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2010, 03:32:34 am »
Michael:

I've played Kingsley just twice, and the flag was never in the back left behind the bunker ... but I thought for sure that if the flag was back there and you drove onto the front left of the green, you'd be stymied.

Bill Gayne

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2010, 04:41:12 am »


The second hole at Doonbeg. A short par four.


The twelfth hole at Doonbeg. A short par four.


Somewhat similar but one is a hole that I really like, the second, and the other I'm indifferent about, the twelfth.

The difference being that with the second hole everything is visible.  I think one short par four with a front center bunker would have been plenty and he should have stopped after the second hole.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 07:01:51 pm by Bill Gayne »

Andrew Lewis

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2010, 04:43:24 am »
Regarding #13 at Kingsley:  I'll confirm Tom D's assessment that the small bunker on the left side of the green can indeed create a stymie (or at least something very similar) between the front-left and back-left of the green.

I had that shot in a match and considered two options, neither of which really involved an eagle:  1)try to use the internal contours on the ridge that skirts that bunker and connects the two shelves to work the ball back toward the hole, and 2)lag a put into the bowl that forms the right side of the green and put up the hill at the flag from there.

Option 1 keeps birdie possible.  But hitting the perfect line and speed to navigate that very narrow (maybe 5 paces?) ridge without careening off the green to the left (into the bunker or a chipping area 10+ feet below the putting surface), to the right (down through right bowl and into bunkers beyond if you're lucky, and into the scrub on the hillside if not), or long (**shudder**) is not an easy task.

Option 2 makes a three-putt par the base case, but it also will take the dreaded X out of play.

Without the gory details of my choice and the outcome, I would offer that if you see a back-shelf flag on the 13th green while walking down from the 12th tee, keep in mind that par can be a very good score.

(Mike D -- I believe you're thinking of the front-center bunker, which does not have a stymie effect on any ball/hole combination.)

Mike Demetriou

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2010, 06:38:28 pm »
This is very interesting. I've never seen that result occur, but of course I take your word for it Andrew (and Tom, I guess I should've known better than to challenge your memory).  To be clear, are you saying eagle is difficult, or simply not possible (with a putter)?  Architecturally, I think the difference is vast. I've never played Riv, which of course is the prototype in the US, but I guess I just didn't think of this hole as having the same DNA as Riv.

Mike DeVries, if you're watching this discussion, can you weigh in on the genetic makeup of this hole? If we assume that the back left pin placement negates the chance for eagle, we must also assume it was an intentional design. It is surprising to me in some part though, as this is a very difficult pin placement - in fact, I've never seen it in use. I would think that if you were going to go through the effort to engineer this result, and this is one of the only holes at TKC where it makes sense to try, why leave only one variable setting at the super's disposal to engage this feature?  Of course all of this is moot if it is used all the time, and my sample size is too small. But at 16 or 17 rounds, I don't think that is the case.


Paul Jones

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jeffwarne

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Re: Bunker in middle of green.
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2010, 07:01:41 pm »



Well it's clear that as long as "it's all out in front of you", or you're "hitting a wedge in", or if the fairway's wide enough,(but not if you "fought your way onto the green")--that a bunker in the middle of the green is acceptable. ;)

Obviously only certain quirk is acceptable on this site, and it's important that the "cool kids" embrace it, particularly early in a thread.
If North Berwick had a bunker in the middle of the green, we'd be discussing it ad nauseum.
If it was designed by Joe O'Norman in 1901 we'd embrace it, but God forbid Greg Norman demonstrate a bit of quirk in a region noted ::) ??? ;D for such (but then if he;d designed the Dell hole, we'd hate that too)

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