This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


The Lido's Channel: A US Open Set-up?
« on: August 31, 2002, 02:54:45 PM »
In Golf Arch in America, Thomas includes the Lido scorecard as an example of multiple tee placements, and calls the Channel hole "a remarkably fine test."  The Channel hole is listed as a par 5 (the card only lists one par per hole), but the yardage is puzzling.  The 'Regular Course' Channel yardage is listed as 505 yards (surely a par 5), but the 'Champion Course' yardage is listed as 466. (The short course yardage is 448.)  It is as if a US Open type set-up (making a par 5 into a par 4) was designed into the hole from the beginning.

Was the hole to be considered a par 4 from the championship tees?

If so, did Dr. MacKenzie envision this when he designed prototype of this hole?  (My copy of Spirit of St. Andrews in on loan.)

Do (or have) any architects design(ed) courses with a lesser par from the championship tees?  (I've seen a greater par from the short tee, but never a lesser par from the Championship tees.)

I know that many on this site (including me) frown on the USGA converting fives to fours in order to protect par, but what if the alternate par was designed into the hole from the beginning? Would this make an alternate par for "championship" golf more palatable?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: The Lido's Channel: A US Open Set-up?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2002, 07:20:44 PM »

This is the way the Lido's Channel Hole is described in Dan Wexler's "Missing Links" by both Wexler and C.B. MacDonald.


'Among great lost hole, few if any can match The Lido's fourth, the Channel hole, whose legend has far outlived its most challenging and heroic existence. A par 5 based largely upon the little known 16th at Littlestone, England, it is perhaps best described by MacDonald himself, who wrote:

"The fourth hole is a long hole of the elbow type, which to the usual scratch player will be a three shot hole, 510 yards in length. Both the first and second shots will be over water. The green is built high on a plateau with a deep bunker protecting it some 60 yards from the middle of the green. However, unusually long drivers, who are accurate, may play in a pocket among sand dunes by carrying 180 yards off the tee direct at the flag into a valley of fair green some 100 yards in length by 30 yards in width. Having accomplished that, they have a brassie shot at the green, making a par 4 hole of it by playing it that way."

In conclusion he characteristically added;

"I think this hole will be considered the finest 510 yard hole in the world."

And he may very well have been right.

Dan Wexler


It appears that Philadelphia C.C. had a hole or two that were designed by Flynn that were normally par 5s but par 4s for the Open there in the late 1930s. I know that definitely #12 was and I'm not sure which other one because we do have some correspondence between the club and Flynn discussing how Philly C.C. will be a better test and challenge for the Open as a par 69!

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: The Lido's Channel: A US Open Set-up?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2002, 12:45:10 PM »

I believe number 6 at Philly CC played as a par four as well during the 1939 US Open, which would have been rather daunting.

That left number 3 (then played as number eighteen) as the only par five on the course.  Unfortunately for Sam Snead, it needed to be a par 8!!

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:09 PM by -1 »

George Bahto

Re: The Lido's Channel: A US Open Set-up?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2002, 04:03:54 PM »
OK  - try this one on for size - something I’ve not discussed with anyone before - not even faithful editor, Gib Papazian:

but first Macdonald:

“The fourth hole at the Lido I consider the finest two-shot hole in the world, but fully 90 percent of golfers will have to play it as a three-shot hole. I absorbed the idea from the sixteenth hole at the Littlestone Club, but the Littlestone Club never took advantage of the remarkable natural opportunity they had there for making a separate fairgreen among the dunes, where there was a perfect setting for it, a narrow width and 100 yards long, with a carry from the tee of 190 to 200 yards. Heaven knows when a player would get out of the rough if they didn’t make this narrow faigreen among the dunes, but once they did they had a wonderful driving iron or brassie shot to the green, which was on an eminence some fifteen to twenty feet above the fairway, with a deep bunker across the face of the green some forty yards from the hole.
The bunker at Littlestone was about fifteen feet deep.

The charm of this hole at Lido is accentuated b the lagoon which encircles the entire fairway and which must be carried off the tee and also carried in the approach to the green, the back of the lagoon being about eighty yards short of the centre of the green.”

The “Evangelist of Golf” - The Story of Charles Blair Macdonald (that imaginary book) has all the drawings and info you could ever want in the Lido section and greatly details this hole - drawings and all. Actually many thanks to Gil Hanse for describing and drawing the hole from the Littlestone Club history.

That small area of land out in the dunes was not used by the club but Macdonald’s saw it as an optional play - I mean this patch of solid non-dune area was out in the middle of no place toward the beach from the inverted "C”-shaped fairway of their hole.

There is a photo of the deep crossbunker in Aleck Bauer’s book Hazards which I have reproduced ion the Lido chapter  as well.

According to Gil and especially the drawing in the Littlestone history, the green was set inside a group of dunes also so this was really hard to get to from any direction.

Now the Lido Channel hole: Macdonald Raynor pumped all this sand fill to a height of (what they said) of about 30-feet high for this alternate fairway and the “patch” of fairway was 30 wide X 100 yards long - sand barrens front, left and beyond and Reynold’s Channel on the right. You were there or dead but you could two-shot to the green from there but could never make two-shot from the “normal” fairway” - “normal” ? What a laugh! There was water off the tee-ball (you could drive thru the fairway) - water all along the left for two shots and on the right for all that distance, there was the ever-present off-fairway sand hills filled with sea-bents and eel grass. The third shot had to cross water (the lagoon again) and then the crossbunker to the green. Unfortunately they never described the green in all their writings.

All that said (and digested) - hope I described it well enuf) we have what I was originally thinking about ............  what I think is a great version of that Littlestone 16th / Lido Channel hole (4th).

I’ve been vacationing for more 20 years at Hilton Head and have about 50 rounds over the Harbour Town Links - this before the green fees went thru the roof.

I would like to discuss this with the eminent Pete Dye one day, whose work I admire, but to me the 18th at Harbour Town is, in fact, a version of the Channel hole - buuuuttttttttt with the optional fairway connected to the “C” shaped fairway that routes around the outside of the two indents of Calabogie Sound. Cut that first peninsula off from the mainland with a channel of water and you have the Channel hole.

Off the tee a diagonal carry to either the peninsula (the risky option) or play the safe right side (OB - houses on the right) and take the longer route - there is the requisite crossbunker and the greens sits there protected on three sides with a bailout to the right.

Before the advent of the hot ball / hot clubhead / hot shaft or whatever they allowed, eh 18th Harbour Town Links hole left you with a long club (for most humans) to the green, all carry - this assuming you could get your tee-ball to the peninsula.

Today, a lot of no-tour guys can get a short iron to that green but when I first played there everyone seemed to be left with 190 to 210 to the green after you blasted your drive.

I’d love to talk to Pete about that hole and get his thoughts about it. It may have been planned - it may have been the existing landform, but that is some kind of golf hole - one of my favorite hole on earth.

Remember Harbour Town in the early days? The pros were just about breaking par (and complaining) -then along came Big Jack and shoots a 64 one year and then it seemed the fear factor was gone.

Your thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: The Lido's Channel: A US Open Set-up?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2002, 10:33:25 AM »
Thanks for the responses.

George (or anyone), any idea why the Lido card read 466 for the the "Championship Course" but 505 for the "Regular Course?"

Was there a shorter 'championship tee?'  It doesn't sound likely from the quotes above.  

Could it be that there was one tee, but that the hole was 464 yards along the alternate route through the "patch" fairway?  If so, what an interesting way to measure the hole.  (This would also negate Thomas' observation regarding multiple tee placements, at least for this hole.)

Interesting comments regarding Harbour Town, which, unfortunately, I have not played.

Tom & Mike: When Flynn designed the holes, do you think he considered that the par 5s at Philadelphia C.C. would sometimes be played as par 4's?

In the "correspondence between the club and Flynn" regarding the issue, was Flynn in favor of the relabeling of the holes?  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

George Bahto

Re: The Lido's Channel: A US Open Set-up?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2002, 11:57:47 AM »
DMoriarty: there were multiple tees at Lido which is why you  sometimes get different yardages

CB stated this, any number of times when discussing the Lido - and again how did they measure - thru the fairgreen and up and down hills, line of sight (not), who knows

I love the double yardage for difinitive alternate route holes
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

George Bahto

Re: The Lido's Channel: A US Open Set-up?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2002, 12:00:58 PM »
also: remember Macdonald called this "the finest two-shot hole" he ever designed, so he is talking about the straight route to the green ..... which as about 460 or so when I scaled it out
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: The Lido's Channel: A US Open Set-up?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2002, 12:26:17 PM »

I'll check again but I don't think Flynn was ever that concerned about par, and I don't recall him being that involved in the par, per se, for the US Open at Philly C.C. The correspondence was from the club to him but the issue of making the course a par 69 for the tournament seemed to be the concern of the club. The holes were what they were, but there is a Philly C.C. card (of 69) presumably just for the tournament.

On a very comprehensive hole by hole letter describing the holes of Seaview to a sports writer Flynn never even bothered to mention the pars of the holes although he explained in detail how they should be played!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()