Architect's Notes

The Birthday Cake

By August 4, 2017 No Comments

My favorite type of part 3 is the Redan hole. Conceived long ago to reflect ancient castles with angular walls that deflect cannon balls, the Redan is built to look much like a castle or huge birthday cake.

The green is designed to sit isolated at an elevation well above its surroundings. The steep slope up to the green can be mowed at fairway or rough height, with all kinds of dastardly bunkers and deep swales around it. Success or failure depends almost completely on hitting the green in the air from the tee. 

Although this type of green design is used most often on shorter part threes, I have also seen it employed on shorter par 4’s. To exaggerate it’s visual intimidation, routing this hole to play uphill makes the visual intimidation increase exponentially. The green is generally mid to large sized to help weaker players. 

The first Redan I built was at the Brickyard Crossing course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Designed by Pete Dye, who always enjoyed sticking a Tedan into a course routing, it was the first hole that was routed inside the track, the seventh hole. The tee was backed up against the backstretch and racecatd practicing at 230 miles an hour in your backswing did not help. 

These holes are rare but immediately create distinct memorability for that hole.