Big greens are a prominent feature of Raynor’s courses; his greens often are square or rectangular in shape and sit on raised plateaus that appear flat, or almost flat, at first glance. Looks, however, are deceiving; the breaks are subtle and can leave your first putts a long way from the hole if you’re not careful. The par-3 6th hole at Shoreacres is a perfect example: Here, the green is more than 200 feet deep (the equivalent of 70 yards, or three-fourths of a football field). There isn’t a field-goal kicker in the NFL who could make a field goal of that length. Depending on pin placement, there could be a five- or a six-club difference in club selection. Big greens are not specific to Shoreacres. At the Raynor-designed Camargo, the practice green was closed, so two practice holes were cut on the back of the 18th green, which didn’t seem to interfere with play in the least.
There are significant elevation changes on Shoreacres, mostly in the form of ravines, with a few on the front nine and several on the back nine. Thank goodness for our great caddie! He knew what club we needed and where to aim every time. Knowing your carry distances is crucial here because the bottom of one of these ravines is not a good place to be. Some of these ravines have mowed, playable areas at the bottom, and one even has a patch mowed to fairway length, but for the most part, if you hit into one, it’s kiss your ball goodbye. If you’ve read Golf in the Kingdom, you’ll know what I mean when I say that some of those ravines on the back nine could be the home of Seamus McDuff.
At Shoreacres, the lake breezes definitely come into play. Oddly, the clubhouse is the only place at the club that is directly exposed to the lake, and you can’t see the lake from anywhere on the golf course. Larry Berle.
Date: December 04, 2014