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JNC Lyon

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Favorite "Channel" Holes
« on: December 22, 2013, 08:56:53 PM »
One of the first books that got me interested in golf architecture was Dan Wexler's Missing Links.  One reason was his definitions of the four Raynor templates.  The other was the great illustrations of what clearly had been amazing golf courses.  Like many people, I was enthralled by the depictions of Timber Point and The Lido.  

Much of the history of the Lido has been thrashed out on here before, but the hole that was always interesting to me there was the Channel Hole at Number 4.  There, the golfer had to make a choice on the tee about whether he was going for the green in two.  Getting home in two required a golf to make a forced carry on each shot with a long club.  The alternate option was to take the long route, which would present three open shots but not provide the opportunity to reach in two.

Since the Lido (and apparently, the Channel template at Littlestone) no longer exist, what are some examples of a "Channel" hole that you consider excellent?  Would the 4th at World Woods (Pine Barrens) be an example of a "Channel" Hole?  I certainly think so.
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Tom_Doak

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Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 09:04:14 PM »
JNC:

I don't think the original hole at Lido has been well replicated anywhere, at least that I've seen.  The key to that hole was that the fairway for the shorter route was a very small target and the rough around it was supposedly very penal, while the long way around was MUCH LONGER around than on any split fairway hole I've ever seen.  So, the decision off the tee was really difficult to make.  That is rarely the case with modern split-fairway holes, of which you are a way bigger fan than I.

Richard Hetzel

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Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 09:16:03 PM »
JNC:

I don't think the original hole at Lido has been well replicated anywhere, at least that I've seen.  The key to that hole was that the fairway for the shorter route was a very small target and the rough around it was supposedly very penal, while the long way around was MUCH LONGER around than on any split fairway hole I've ever seen.  So, the decision off the tee was really difficult to make.  That is rarely the case with modern split-fairway holes, of which you are a way bigger fan than I.

Tom,

ALthough I am not familiar with the hole at Lido, having a tough decision off the tee on a split fairway reminded me of number 11 at Lynx at River's Bend (AKA Port Jervis CC, Tillinghast) where I played this summer during my travels. After an unlucky pulled shot, I was lucky to end up on the lower portion near a wetlands type of area and had a MUCH shorter 2nd shot in than I would have had if I stayed right with my drive. I wonder how this hole was actually separated back in day? I am sure that tree is not that old. This hole was much different than all the modern split fairway holes that I have played.



PS: I found my Missing Links book and now see the hole . Was the area around the right landing area marshland or waste area/sand dunes?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 09:30:08 PM by Richard Hetzel »
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JNC Lyon

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Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 09:17:20 PM »
Tom,

Is the difference in length between routes the most critical aspect of that original Channel hole?  To me, the most critical part of a Channel hole is that the "go for it" decision occurs on the tee shot because of the well-defined alternate routes.  Whether the difference between the two routes is 30 yards or 60 yards is not as important.  On 4 at Worlds Woods (as one example), the right-side route is the two-shot route, well the left side route resigns you to playing the hole as a three-shotter.  There is no point in attempting the carry to the right if you do anticipate going for it in two.

This unusual "second shot decision on the first shot" is what makes a Channel hole (or some rough template of a Channel hole) so interesting in my view.
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Nigel Islam

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Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 10:25:24 PM »
Valhalla #6 certainly offers a version of the channel hole strategy. Not reachable by the longer left fairway, but pros usually play left down the island fairway which is the more dangerous route.

Scott Wintersteen

Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 10:50:14 PM »
Valhalla #6 certainly offers a version of the channel hole strategy. Not reachable by the longer left fairway, but pros usually play left down the island fairway which is the more dangerous route.

Its actually Valhalla #7, #6 is the long Par 4 which has an approach shot you have to carry over a creek.  The left fairway on #7 is very small and a tough angle from the regular tees.  

Nigel Islam

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Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 11:01:59 PM »
    Ha, sorry Scott, I wasn't even thinking. Of course you are right. Yes the island is actually the easier angle from the back tee, but the second shot from there is all carry. The more conservative route essentially takes going for two out of play. Only issue is the more conservative route is actually quite awkward from the back tees.
     I also wonder if Dye was trying to recreate a channel hole at 18 at Whistling Straits. Unfortunately the hole has been modified so much the orginal intent is somewhat muddled.

Scott Wintersteen

Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 11:29:28 PM »
   Ha, sorry Scott, I wasn't even thinking. Of course you are right. Yes the island is actually the easier angle from the back tee, but the second shot from there is all carry. The more conservative route essentially takes going for two out of play. Only issue is the more conservative route is actually quite awkward from the back tees.
     I also wonder if Dye was trying to recreate a channel hole at 18 at Whistling Straits. Unfortunately the hole has been modified so much the orginal intent is somewhat muddled.

I thought the same thing about #7, if you are a big hitter and playing the back tees, why would you not go for the left island fairway?  The angle to the island fairway is much better than the angle to the right fairway.  The opposite is true for the member tees because of the angle from the tee it would be extremely tough to hit a drive and have it hold on the left fairway.  Visually this hole is pretty awesome but it has a bunch of awkward angles depending on what tee you are playing.  

It has been a long time since I played Whistling Straights so I am not sure how much they changed the 18th since I played it, but I could see similarities.  I remember I had to aim way right with my drive so I could keep it in the fairway.

Gib_Papazian

Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 12:59:56 AM »
I'm sure that many of the Treehouse intelligencia will scoff, since the arrangement of hazards is not identical, but the basic strategic elements found on #5 at the original Bandon Dunes course are quite similar.

Tell me where I'm wrong.

Gib_Papazian

Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2013, 01:01:18 AM »
Given the prevailing gale out of the north during the summer.

William_G

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Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2013, 11:08:50 AM »
#17 at Old Mac given 2 provisions...wind and tee placement
It's all about the golf!

Mark McKeever

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Re: Favorite "Channel" Holes
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2013, 01:36:51 PM »
A hole that deserves mention here is 17 at McCollough's Emerald Links down at the Jersey shore.  It's got a very small target which is an island in waste area if you want to shorten the hole dramatically.  It's one heck of a small target and you're in serious trouble if you miss it.  I don't have any pictures, but I'm sure some of the other locals do.  

It's a very unique risk reward scenario late in the round, which is pretty cool.  There is a small back tee behind a small creekbed that makes it a very tough tee shot too.
 
Mark
Best MGA showers - Bayonne

"Dude, he's a total d***"

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