2011-08-04 / Golf

Signature holes make courses memorable

In last week’s article I shared with you my experience at Trump National in Briar Cliff, N.Y. Its similarity in feel and beauty to Trump International in West Palm Beach made me wonder: What makes a golf course memorable?

Many golf courses have a signature hole like the 13th at Trump National or the 17th hole at Trump International with it’s cascading waterfall, witnessed by many during the recently televised LPGA Tournament. An amazing display of earth moving and imagination, these holes transport you to the tropical rain forests of Hawaii or South America.

Some courses have a group of holes so memorable they are given a name. At the Champion Course at PGA National holes 15, 16 and 17 make up the famous Bear Trap. At Augusta, the home of the Masters, Amen Corner starts at hole 11 and ends on hole 13. Amen Corner is easily the most memorable and discussed group of holes in all of golf and conjures up visions of past Masters Tournaments, won and lost.

The signature 5th hole at the Bear’s Club can be viewed from the Tuscan-styled clubhouse. 
COURTESY PHOTO The signature 5th hole at the Bear’s Club can be viewed from the Tuscan-styled clubhouse. COURTESY PHOTO The newly renovated Palm Beach Par 3 has 18 memorable holes, many of which have views of the Intracoastal Waterway or the Atlantic Ocean. Don’t think for one minute that this is an easy course. Although you are not carrying a driver in your golf bag when you play this course, there may be times when the wind is blowing so hard that you wish you did.

Why is the 17th hole at the Village Course of Jonathan’s Landing (commonly called the in-town course) memorable? A Fazio-designed golf course that winds its way through residential communities and waterways, this par 5 uses a ferryboat to cross a salt-water channel, ferrying two golf carts to their approach shots to the green. As many times as I have played this hole, I never tire of riding the ferry.

Home to a past LPGA Tournament, Ibis has three golf courses, but the par 3, 13th hole on the Legend Course is a perfect example of why you should know the rules of golf. Ranging in yardage from 82 to 166, this hole can play two clubs longer when the wind is in your face.

The reason I bring up the rules is that this green is considered a direct hazard and if you hit the ball in the water, short of the green, you will need to re-tee the ball and hit over the water again with your penalty shot. However, if you were lucky enough to go in the water on the back side of the green, your relief would be right next to the green where the ball crossed the margin of the hazard and you would not need to go over the water again.

The par 3, 6th hole at Old Palm Golf Club is considered its signature hole. Partially surrounded by water and with a backdrop of mounds and bunkers, this hole includes six different tee shot opportunities ranging from 103 yards to 170 yards. Like everything else in Old Palm, the landscape is enhanced by the bright colors of the flowers and vegetation.

The signaturee hole at the Bear’ss Club is the parr 4, 5th hole, butut the hole I alwayss remember best iss the par 5, 18th hole.e. As you stand onn the balcony of thee Tuscan styled clubhouse b- designed byy Peacock and Lewis,s, and magnificentlyy decorated withh the help of Barbara ru Nicklaus, you are able to watchh drama unfold ass players try to landd their approach shots on the green, much surrounded by water. A risk/reward hole for the longer hitters, I have witnessed eagles, birdies, pars, bogeys and the dreaded showman (for all of you non-golfers, that would be a score of 8).

I know what all of you are doing now. You are going over in your mind those holes that remind you of a match, won or lost, with your pals. You may be remembering the par 3, 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass that has destroyed the hopes of many tour players looking for a win and a two-year exemption on the PGA tour.

Some may remember Tom Watson’s famous chip in on the par 3 17th hole to win the 1982 US Open at Pebble Beach, besting Jack Nicklaus. Playing from the long grass that slopes away from a slick green, Watson did the impossible and holed a sand wedge. How many of you can still see Watson dancing around the green pointing to his caddy, the late Bruce Edwards? Pointing because Edwards told Watson to get it close, and Watson responded “I’m not going to get it close, I’m gonna make it.” ¦

— Maria Marino is a professional golfer who teaches nationally for the LPGA and locally at the First Tee of the Palm Beaches at Dyer Park. Additionally, she owns Marino Realty Group, which focuses primarily on properties in the north end of Palm Beach County. Email her at mmarino@floridaweekly.com or call 906- 8222.

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