Bradley S. Klein. Golfweek’s architecture editor. offers his opinion on one great hole:
Yards: 444. par 4
Architect: Kyle Phillips,1999
Where: Fife, Scotland
Event: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship,Oct 1-4
It’s great because . .. Kingsbarns, now a decade old, revolutionized Scottish golf with a retro-links look that combines scruffy old dunes, deep bunkers and greens contoured to function as hazards when approached from the wrong angle. The finishing hole calls for a drive into a prevailing wind that quarters from the right and brings fairway bunkers into play on the left side. From there, the approach is to a steeply sloped green pitched above a nasty burn – the only forced-carry water hazard in play from a fairway shot at Kingsbarns – that will capture any approach that comes up a little short.
It would be even better if… they would rebuild the steep back-to-front green and marginally modify its slope. As for high handicappers
looking to lay up on their second shots, the fairway tilts toward the burn and leaves an awkward third shot from a downhill lie to an uphill green – virtually impossible for the kind of player who has laid up. It would help here to counter slope the fairway and provide just a little more cushion for the high-handicapper, lest he or she finish the round with golf ball in pocket (or in the water) onthe stem approach.
September 19. 2009