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Eric Smith

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When I played at Ballyneal last month, I'll never forget the 3rd hole, where fresh off a 3 hour flight and 3 hours in the car, I flushed a 7 iron that ended up being two clubs too long, flying everything and leaving my ball in the native back behind the green and the rear left bunker.  [Yes, I had forgotten to factor elevation into my distance calculation!]  Upon locating my ball, I looked to the flag and saw what has to be the most beautiful bunker I have ever laid eyes on there in front of me.  The way in which it looked to be ripped out and away from the green itself was to me, really awe inspiring golf architecture.  I don't have a picture sadly, but maybe someone else will post one.  I practically walked to the next tee backwards as I couldn't take my eyes off of that bunker and the cool little green it is attached to. 
There were more eye popping greens and bunkers interacting at Ballyneal, the most notable being at hole 7, the 'E' green. So unique and fun. 
Still, it is the 3rd at Ballyneal that I'll remember as having the most impact to my eye, design wise. Great craftmanship abounds out there and I am so privileged to have had a taste of it.

What are your favorite examples of great green and bunker interaction?

Mac Plumart

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Re: Best examples of bunkers and greens interacting with one another?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 04:08:53 PM »

I love the question and would love to hear others thoughts and opinions.

I think you are spot on regarding the bunkering at Ballyneal.  Sublime perfection?  I think so.  Here is a shot of 7...

I like a lot of the stuff that Coore & Crenshaw do as well.  Sand Hills was simply off the charts bunker/green interaction.  But here is a shot from another one of their courses on one of the par 3's and the bunkering.  I thought it was incredible.

Here is a short par 4 that Fazio put together at World Woods Pine Barrens.  I love how the massive bunker makes you want to take the "safe" route to the green, but really that isn't the play.

I think Mike Young's Longshadow gets it right.

Although not my favorite course, Tobacco Road has some incredible interaction.

But here is one, from a course I love East Lake, that I really don't like.  The shot is interesting and exciting, but I dislike the look and blend of the bunker and the green.

And here is another one from a course I love (Harbour Town).  I love the look, I love the huge bunker, I love the small green...but I would love to hear others opinions on the interaction between the bunker and the green.  Bunker too big, green too small, approach angle too goofy, or just right?

Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.


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Re: Best examples of bunkers and greens interacting with one another?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 04:45:13 PM »
The green side bunkers I saw that most caught my attention and made me say, "OMG" by the way they literally ate into the greens with no froghair transition, were on TV a couple of years ago at the Metropolitan Golf Club in Australia.

I wish their website had better photos, maybe someone has better shots.  This is #7's green, plus a diagram that shows how those bunkers bite a chunk out of the green.  Spectacular!   :o 8)

Morgan Clawson

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Re: Best examples of bunkers and greens interacting with one another?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 05:12:25 PM »

Thanks for your thoughtful post and great photos (as usual).

I think the thing that makes golf exciting is the variety.  Compare your Ballyneal and the Harbor Town photos. Could they be any different?

I have been in that bunker at Harbor Town. It is certainly not a natural looking bunker, but not many of them are at that course. Harbor Town is like most courses; it is imposed on the land. The challenge for the golfer is to avoid the natural elements (ponds, ocean, woods, trees). And when there weren't enough of those Pete Dye threw in some railroad ties and sand. The bunker is huge and dramatic and memorable and it works well on that course.

That said, the Ballyneal bunker photo has captured my imagination!


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