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Howard Riefs

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2015, 06:06:42 PM »
Uncle George on road holes...

"Road’ hole. What is there to say except it has withstood the challenge of 150 years of golf? Since it was first built in 1842 when Allan Robertson formalized the Old Course, the Road Hole at St. Andrews remains the most fearsome test in championship golf. Ben Crenshaw has remarked that the reason it is the toughest par four in golf is because it is really a par five. Most of Macdonald and Raynor’s versions were designed as par fours holes. They rarely built the requisite bunker as deep as the original, but most were still a daunting task to negotiate. One of the more interesting versions is found at North Shore CC on Long Island. Thought to be purely a Tillinghast course, there are many classic Raynor greensites – especially the Road hole."

http://golfclubatlas.com/feature-interview/george-bahto/
"Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: Taking long walks and hitting things with a stick."  ~P.J. O'Rourke

James Brown

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2015, 06:30:16 PM »
Number 11 at Old MacDonald is pretty darn close to the original in how the bunker fits into the green and captures the downslope a in a similar way to the original.  It's also got a high wind and firmness factor that some of the other US versions don't have. 

Andrew Simpson

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2015, 07:10:33 PM »
Matt and Howard (and George) thanks for the explanations, I can understand the theory somewhat clearer.
My comment was slightly tongue in cheek but I had a genuine interest on how close I was or how loose the connection could be.
Having played 99.99% of my golf in Scotland we don't seem to put these labels on everything but I'll happily label most of these holes as very good looking holes.

Jason Way

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2015, 08:39:33 PM »
Folks would rather point out which courses they've played than explain this.

I also am still waiting for a reasoned explanation as to why one version of the template is better than others. We've seen photos, but how about a discussion in addition to some pretty pictures?

Do you have an opinion on the subject Brian?
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

Jason Way

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2015, 08:50:39 PM »
Not to disagree with GB, because I am not remotely qualified, but what I love about these holes is that they are the quintessential par 4.5s.  It doesn't matter what they are labeled on the card.  A 3 is next to impossible on any of them without a tremendous amount of luck in the approach and the putt, a 4 is a great score, a 5 is okay, and higher scores are a real possibility.


The up and down that Jon described at SA should not be undervalued.  Judging the pace of the first putt up the slope left of the green takes both skill and a little luck.  Making the putt for 4 on the slick green takes some intestinal fortitude.  Just like on the original, choosing to play long left is not less demanding.  It is just as easy to make 6 from there as 4.


This thread was not intended to be about which American Road Holes measure up to to the original at the TOC.  That would be a foolish thread.  I do find the different opinions here fascinating though.  As long as the strategy and key elements of the original are honored, comparing the American versions seems to highlight the details that resonate most strongly with each of us.
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

BHoover

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2015, 09:04:16 PM »
Folks would rather point out which courses they've played than explain this.

I also am still waiting for a reasoned explanation as to why one version of the template is better than others. We've seen photos, but how about a discussion in addition to some pretty pictures?

Do you have an opinion on the subject Brian?


I haven't played the hole, so it would be difficult to offer an informed opinion.


I was not so much criticizing your topic as I was hoping that some of the responses would have offered an explanation as opposed to simply letting us know which Macdonald/Raynor courses the poster(s) has played. But that's just my opinion, I could of course be wrong.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 09:08:22 PM by Brian Hoover »

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2015, 09:33:40 PM »
.

William_G

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2015, 10:05:16 PM »
ahhh, the risk of template comparison explored
It's all about the golf!

Jason Way

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2015, 10:09:34 PM »
Specifically regarding the version at Blue Mound, although it is a cool hole, there were three elements that made it less than idea for me:


1.  The trees down the right looked to be encroaching on the bunkers, and extended well beyond them.  For me, this meant that challenging the corner was less tempting.  Below is the photo from Ran's tour that provides that look at the corner.





2.  I'm not a fan of the uphill approach, as seen from this photo I took from the left side of the fairway.  To me, executing a low runner uphill with a fairway wood or long iron for the second is much easier than when the terrain is flat with the green elevated slightly above.  The infinity look of the green perched above is beautiful, but not quite so terrifying.





3.  On this version, bailing out green-high right comes with no risk.  That is what I did and the green was wide open from over there.  It seems to me that the intent of the original hole is to take that bailout away.  Further, the bailout long and left does not leave options the way it does at Shoreacres.  It is a lob from rough grass up to the green.  It's by no means an easy shot, but it does not require thought.





Don't get me wrong - I loved this hole.  It just doesn't quicken the pulse for me the way that the Shoreacres version or some of the others mentioned do.
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

Jason Way

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2015, 10:14:20 PM »
ahhh, the risk of template comparison explored


Actually, this whole thread is an elaborate ploy to get Pat to call me a moron (for suggesting that SA's is better than NGLA's).  Disappointing thus far...
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

Ian Andrew

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2015, 10:43:23 PM »
Ian, why do you prefer Emmet's Road Hole?


It's the contours on the front right of the green and the fact that they match the original green very well.
I find some of the subjective changes to this area make me less interested in the replicas/templates.


Shoreacres is a great 10th hole, but I prefer other Road Holes greens over that one
I do think the first shot is better than any other road hole / replica / template that I have seen


My2C
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Bryan Izatt

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2015, 04:34:16 AM »
Ian,

Here's your scaled picture.  Click on the "Toggle View" button at the right end of the second row of buttoms (an arrow head in red brackets).  This will display the old style commands such as "img".  Then just add "width=800" after img.




Re the Huntinton green, wouldn't it be a better replica if the green was rotated about 30* counter clockwise so the road hole bunker is bit more inthe line of play?  The green contouring around the front does look like a better replica.


Ian Andrew

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2015, 08:13:08 AM »
Click on the "Toggle View" button at the right end of the second row of buttoms (an arrow head in red brackets).  This will display the old style commands such as "img".  Then just add "width=800" after img.

Thanks Bryan



Inside the brackets - for anyone else curious
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Bryan Izatt

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2015, 12:48:01 AM »
Click on the "Toggle View" button at the right end of the second row of buttoms (an arrow head in red brackets).  This will display the old style commands such as "img".  Then just add "width=800" after img.

Thanks Bryan



Inside the brackets - for anyone else curious

You're welcome.  One of the other oddities of the new site is its penchant for arbitrarily changing the font size in quotes.

 

Phil McDade

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2015, 09:11:53 AM »
Jason:


Re. the Road Hole at Blue Mound:


-- Agree on the trees there off the tee; although I don't think they negate the strategy of the hole completely, I do think they impede it somewhat, and should be removed.


-- I think the uphill nature of the hole adds to its appeal; this is really a half-par hole (a short par 5 for long hitters; even the golfer of modest abilities might want to take a go at that in two) for the best players, but probably played in a traditional manner as a three-shot hole by most members. The single worst feature of most par 5s is an indifferent second shot that requires little thought; this one forces the golfer to think and execute.


-- We may have to disagree on the nature of how this template hole ought to play -- the original 17th at TOC offers a bail-out area right of the green, but severe penalties left. The player who doesn't want to challenge the green, or the deep greenside bunker, can safely play there and hope to pitch-and-putt his way to a par (here at Blue Mound, a birdie for what is a half-par hole). If you take the safe way left off the tee, you ought to be faced with a difficult second shot -- I guess I don't like the option of a bail-out area both left and right of the intended target.


« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 10:33:23 AM by Phil McDade »

Bill Brightly

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2015, 12:15:16 AM »
It is always dangerous to enter into a discussion about the best Road Hole, or which one might be better than another. But I will say this:  Macdonald's decision to use this hole as a template was extraordinary. He explained the principles of the hole to Raynor, who in turn taught Banks and the Road Holes they built are almost always the very best hole on their courses.


Of course they could not use a hotel as a feature, so a bunker or mound was employed to obscure the DZ. Of course they could not build a green site as close to a real road like TOC, so they placed a long, angular bunker along the outside edge of the green. The results are superb golf holes that have survived the test of time, even with the tremendous advances in equipment.



This is certainly true at Hackensack, where our 18th is one of the best closing holes in New Jersey and almost always considered the best hole on our course. (I like our Redan a little more, but I am in the minority.) It is easily the best Road Hole built by Banks. I hope to get some fresh fall pictures this weekend.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 08:02:26 PM by Bill Brightly »

Jason Way

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2015, 09:58:38 AM »
It is always dangerous to enter into a discussion about the best Road Hole, or which one might be better than another.



Just one of many dangerous and perhaps foolish things we do around here, Bill.   ;)


Looking forward to seeing those pictures. 


One of the things I like about this compare-and-contrast exercise is that it gives me new perspectives on why an architectural element (a hole, a feature, a green) is considered great.  Phil's and Ian's responses above are perfect examples.  They provided different perspectives that got me to think even more deeply about the brilliance of Road Holes in general, and specific iterations.  By seeing it through other people's eyes, my appreciation is deepened.  To me, that is the best of what this crazy group offers.
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

Bill Brightly

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2015, 11:06:48 AM »
Jason,

I've come to appreciate that while Banks and Raynor often deviated from strict adherence to the 17th at St. Andrews, their holes still are superb. For example, while the Road Hole at TOC is a left-to-right dogleg with a green angling right-to left, Banks built Hackensack's differently. Ours is a right-to-left dogleg with the same right-to-left green angle as TOC. (Road Hole green on left.)

 



If you look at this photo from the tee, the first mound you see on the left is Bank's nod to the hotel at TOC. It is only about 170-190 to carry the "hotel" but it does a great job of obscuring the landing area. If you carry the left side of the mound you'll likely be in the rough and holding the green form the rough is nearly impossible.




A funny aside that I hope the gca guys will appreciate: most of my buddies are sick of me talking about Macdonald, Raynor and the templates. Of course that does not stop me, so when we restored this hole I explained the purpose of the short mound on the left. Now whenever someone hits a poor, low drive that gets caught by the mound they call it "checking into the hotel!" Gotta love it!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 08:04:23 PM by Bill Brightly »

Bill Vogeney

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Re: Is there a better Road Hole in America than Shoreacres #10?
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2015, 10:02:24 PM »
I can't say it's better than Shoreacres but Yale 4 is a good one.
just played Yale a few weeks ago. Incredible hole; gosh, I was just so jittery over the tee shot I had zero confidence with my line off the tee. Wound up playing very conservatively and needed a 5 wood in.

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