Design Perspective from Golf Course Architect Richard Mandell
I always picture 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).
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.