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I think Chautauqua Golf Club has two pretty decent courses. The Lake Course dates back over 100 years and was designed by Donald Ross. The Hill Course was designed in the 80s or so by someone far less famous. The sixth on the Hill is a 392/342/336/263-yard par four with a bunker in the left rough from 40 to 60 yards from the center of the green. The nearest point of the bunker is just under 25 yards from the front edge of the green. Here's a photo from Google Earth: Here's a photo from behind the bunker looking toward the green: So, let's review. The bunker is over five yards into the left rough. Balls are unlikely to roll into it with the rough holding balls short. The bunker starts 332 yards from the back tees, 200 yards from the forward tees, and 275 yards from the middle tees. Almost nobody will find this bunker with their tee shots. Ever. This bunker is not anywhere near the play of a parallel or nearby hole. At all. The bunker is surrounded by and protected by trees. Tall trees. Your ball is unlikely to get into the bunker even if you hit it toward the bunker. There's a f***ing tree between the bunker and the green. 🤦♂️ 🤦♀️ I mean… c'mon now. Why does this bunker exist?
On another forum, they've got a topic called "Is 7-8 Handicap The Best Skill Level To Appreciate Golf Architecture?" (link) So I thought I'd ask the question here. I haven't read that topic yet, but I think 7-8 might be a bit high. I don't think you have to be a scratch golfer to appreciate GCA. I think you have to be good enough to recognize what's being asked of you, good enough to be able to pull it off somewhat often, and good enough to appreciate the recovery options when you fail. That's a guy who gets par on a lot of holes, while a 7-8 is only getting pars on about half. So, maybe a 3-4 handicap, or better. (But not so good that you're too focused on just playing for a score, like a Tour player, many of whom are NOT great at appreciating golf course architecture.) What do you think?
With the masters behind us () I thought I would throw this out there to keep us talking about the “hallowed” pines of Augusta National. I have been thinking about this all week and thought I would see what the TST opinion is: Obviously, with all it’s history Augusta is a golfers dream come true. But what if the course was designed less than 20 years ago? What if it looked exactly like it does today, but had no history or major championship tied to it? Would it be a bucket list golf course? In other words, if the course had none of the history and prestige it has today would the design itself be worthy being one of the best golf courses in the world?