• Richard Mandell

Braemar Golf Course - Hole #5



Video footage courtesy of TwinCitiesGolf.com.

In Plain Sight

The second par-three of the front nine plays uphill to a green set in the base of an Oak Savanna ridgeline. The ridge buffers the entire west side of the golf course from eastward winds coming down from above. This bowl-like topography also creates a dramatic setting for the golfer facing a putting surface defined by three different tiers surrounded by three sand bunkers.

The green is partially concealed at its opening by a long ridge cutting across the line of play in front from the right, allowing a running approach entry to the putting surface if the ball isn’t flown all the way to the green.


The green is partially concealed at its opening by a long ridge cutting across the line of play in front from the right, allowing a running approach entry to the putting surface if the ball isn’t flown all the way to the green.

I always picture in my mind Stanley Thompson's famous Devil's Cauldron hole when I look at the fifth hole at Braemar. Far from the same picture but from tee to green, the enclosed feel I get reminds me of Thompson's work at Banff Springs Golf Course. The backdrop of Oak Savanna is reminiscent of the wooded slope behind the Banff hole as well (unfortunately without the rock escarpment above). The trio of bunkers that surround the green are also reminiscent of Thompson's work (although I am probably two or three bunker shy of really channeling him here).


View From Tee


View From Ridge

Nonetheless, the forms of the tier in the center of the green and the flashed sand are both functions of visibility on this hole which plays just seven feet uphill. Not very much of a rise, but enough that the putting surface (and the sand) would be blind if the features were built on a flat plane. It is interesting how just a nominal change in elevation can dramatically alter visibility (as demonstrated by the studies of the hole to the right), showing very different perspectives from elevations just fourteen feet apart.



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