• Richard Mandell

Braemar Golf Course - Hole #3



Local Knowledge

The first of three front-nine par-three holes, number three’s green sits in front of a pond and tucked into a modest ridge from the left side. As the ridge enter the putting surface, it separates the front left from the back right, creating specific targets for those yearning for birdie off the tees depending on the pin placement of the day.


The third hole is the first of a series of alternating par threes and fives (holes three through eight). This non-traditional routing truly maximizes the best holes possible given the topography of the site, which should always take precedence over trying to follow a more accepted “standard” mix of pars.

Continuing with the thought of utilizing all natural features as possible, I routed the third hole parallel to the same creek which crosses the second fairway (which is the key strategic element for that hole). Knowing what natural features lay ahead, with the desire not to create an impossible round of golf, I decided that the creek should only be a visible feature of the third hole rather than determine strategy. Clearing all the buckthorn and underbrush along both sides of the creek opens up the course to extended vistas literally from one end of the property to the other.


The strategic feature that distinguishes the third hole is a mound that extends out of the ridge along the left into the putting surface. Local knowledge will quickly develop as to the benefit in using the mound to kick a tee shot onto the putting surface from that side. Also known as the “member’s bounce”, the path of the tee shot off this feature is a shotmaker’s opportunity to utilize the lay of the land to direct a tee shot toward the target. The ability to utilize the ground to create a tee shot provides an alternative beyond the straight aerial attempt that defines modern golf and is hard for most golfers to accomplish on a consistent basis.


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