In this 18-part email series, we'll give you a sneak peek and a chance to get to know the new Braemar Golf Course Championship 18 Course.
Hole 11, Par 5
(588, 554, 526, 452, 385 yards)
The par-five eleventh hole can only be described as a lot of golf hole. Traversing the entire eastern border of the golf course, the elevated tee shot plays over a valley. A sentinel mound to the right of the first landing area marks the most direct line to the green. Nestled into the base of it is the first of three fairway bunkers. Another rumpled fairway runs along the base of an Oak Savanna ridge along the left before splitting in two directions around a second ridge punctuated by a pair of bunkers cut into the base.
Strategically a mirror image of the par-five fourth hole, the first par-five of the back nine’s more direct line is the uphill fairway to the right. The left side is not as an abrupt route to the green, but one must cover more ground to get there in regulation (or sooner). Sand guards the green along that side as well. The green is a rolling exclamation point to this long dogleg-right. A ridge from the right bisects the front and back halves of the green.
Design Perspective From Golf Course Architect Richard Mandell
Strategically speaking, number 11 is almost a mirror image of the fourth hole. Just like four, I had the opportunity to create another split fairway hole by simply uncovering an ideal alternate fairway buried under a mass of vegetation. The shorter route for both holes (lower on four; higher on 11) is much more narrow and requires negotiating sand bunkers more so than the longer, safer routes.
It is remarkable that we could find two very large scale holes with split fairways on the same piece of property. Considering I can't stop myself from such opportunities, I had to devise a way to differentiate each hole. The feature that accomplishes that task is the natural green location for each. Here, the green sits on the high side of the hole whereas the opposite is true for number four, sitting at the base of the hill.
One other distinct topographical feature about 11 that I love is the large hill that separates the first landing area from 18 tees. It was the perfect buffer between each hole and evokes visions of Irish links, although I am pretty sure this hillock was built as part of the original 1960 golf course. Nonetheless, it was fun to implement that feature in such a functional way. As visually commanding as the downhill tee shot was designed to be, I added a fairway bunker into the base of the hill during the construction process to visually balance the first and second landing areas as well as protect the shorter route off the tee.