Turning the 206-yard par-3 8th at Lake Merced GC into a shorter test
June 25, 2015
The USGA and Mike Davis aren’t the only ones who like to be creative when it comes to course set-up.
On Thursday at the 104th California Amateur Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club, the California Amateur Championship committee mixed things up by using the forward tee box on the par-3 8th hole.
A day after playing from 206 yards, the hole turned into a shorter but still stern test playing at just over 100 yards (the photo above was taken from the teeing area).
The tee box was so close to the green that Franklin Huang of Stanford and his caddie got confused and had to ask where it was.
The hole was hardly easy though, thanks to a flagstick that was tucked on the upper right shelf just over the right-greenside bunker.
The flagstick location resulted in most players playing a bit long into the green and spinning their ball back towards the cup. Others came up short and found themselves trying to salvage par from the bunker.
The overall numbers? Of the 16 players in the Round of 16, only four made birdie. There were nine pars and three bogeys.
As one would expect some players loved it and some weren’t as thrilled, with most opinions of course stemming around how they fared.
“I didn’t like it. I felt it took my advantage with the long ball away,” said No.2 seed Jake Knapp, who was one of those making par. “On this course there’s enough birdie holes. There’s no reason to make the par-3’s birdie holes too.”
On the flip side, Shintaro Ban liked the hole. Maybe because he nearly made a hole-in-one, leaving his shot within a foot of the flagstick.
“When I first saw the tee it was surprising,” Ban said. “At the same time, its match play and it makes it more interesting.”
Both Knapp and Ban played the hole at the same time. Ban won it with his birdie, but lost the match, 3 and 2.