5th hole, 410 yards; A text book example of the benefits of central hazards adding interest to a hole, two bunkers are found in the fairway just where the golfer might wish to place his drive.
6th hole, 390 yards; An unique diagonal hazard off the tee, Hood grassed over several piles of rock and debris on the inside of this dogleg to the right. While the stronger golfer can make the 230 carry over this hazard, Hanse has plans in with the Club to establish several new back tees, the 6th being one of them. The addition of such tees is not a mindless attempt to add length for length’s sake (as at Riviera’s 12th hole) but is being selectively proposed to bring such specific hazards back into play.
10th hole, 345 yards; Two new bunkers were added by Hanse to the course, one of which is found on this hole some twenty paces from where Flynn had originally placed one. Hanse’s bunker is at the 235 yard mark from the tee while Flynn’s is at the 215 yard mark. The twenty yard difference is obviously brought about by the never ending gain in technology and once again, the golfer has to contend with the grassed over rock formation in the fairway which pinches the fairway toward this pair of bunkers.
11th hole, 240 yards; Interestingly enough, the two greens with the boldest contours are found on one shot holes that exceed 200 yards in length, here and the 8th. Such an approach is long gone from most modern architecture where ‘fairness’ seems to rule the day. As it is, these two severely tiered greens make their respective holes much more than just a long slog as the invariable recovery shot is often fascinating.
12th hole, 395 yards; One of our favorite two shotters in New England, the 12th features an impressive fairway bunker that pushes the golfer to the right, from where he has to carry a right hand greenside bunker. The bold golfer who plays down the left side of the fairway is rewarded with a simpler approach.
16th hole, 400 yards; When Hanse arrived in 1998, the wall of dense evergreens to the left and behind the 16th green masked its links setting. A contingent within the Club had mighty reservations regarding felling those trees but in the end, down they came. And now the sweeping views of Buzzards Bay is often praised by those same members as the most dramatic improvement. The challenge of the hole is increased as it is further exposed to the elements where the golfer is again asked to hold a small, raised target.
17th hole, 395 yards; Considered the longest sub 400 yard hole in New England, the 17th often plays into the prevailing wind and as such, requires a long iron or even wood for an approach from even the best player. The fact that the approach shot is from an uneven lie to an elevated horizon green does little to assist the golfer in hitting it.
The general questions posed at Kittansett are how can the golfer best a) hold the small greens and b) use the wind to work the ball toward the hole locations. Certain hole locations make the course a bear and are no doubt used when Kittansett hosts important events. Other locations make for a more straightforward proposition. This degree of flexibility is admirable and comes without Flynn/Hood ever having to resort to any goofy features.
Flynn/Hood’s design at Kittansett enhanced the general rugged New England features through their innovative grass formations and ragged bunkering. In addition, the greens are exacting targets that require the golfer to invent shots as required by the wind. With its variety of features and links characteristics fully restored, Kittansett once again provides the kind of challenge that every true golfer relishes and demonstrates that such golf can still be played on this side of the Atlantic.