Proper Golf

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Going Long

Par-3's: Absolutely. I fully support the use of an occasional back bunker on a par-3. Its a one shot hole, and when club selection is the main question on the tee it just makes sense sometimes.

For the most part on the rest of the course though, they are primarily unnecessary. Almost no one misses long on multiple shot holes. For whatever reason, it just doesn't happen enough to have bunkers behind green to warrant having them.

Now, of course there are exceptions. Downhill holes are a good place to work a back bunker into the design. Here you will get lots of topped and thinly hit balls rolling towards the green as well as people who don't club themselves properly and hit it long. They also allow the golfer a unique visual from the raised perspective on the back edge of bunker.

Protection from hazards, and using bunkers as safety measures are also other places where a back bunker might make sense. The ability to add enjoyment to one's round by landing in a bunker is always a good reason for another sand pit.

Picture: Bethpage Black #5, one of my favorite holes, but it could easily lose the back bunker. On a hole that is a zillion yards long to an elevated green, where almost nobody can reach in 2 shots. You cant even see it from the fairway because of the elevation, so what does it add? I say.. eliminate it.

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