Dunluce course: three key holes
Compiled by PHILIP REID
442 yards, par 4
A slight dogleg to the right – emphasising the need for a player to shape his way around the links – this hole has a number of hazards off the tee and on the approach for players to contend with: although the out-of-bounds down the left has been taken away, the drive still needs to be both long and accurate with rough to the left and some strategically positioned fairway bunkers down the right. The approach shot is to a very long, narrow green with a pot bunker to the front right and a run off on the left and bushes over the back.
433 yards, par 4
Proof that a hole doesn’t need to be overly long to put a question mark into a player’s head, the onus is on accuracy off the tee – most likely with a fairway wood – to find the elbow of the dogleg to the right. Those who opt to take driver off the tee to shorten the approach shot will need to avoid the humped sandhills on both sides of the fairway that stretch from the dogleg all the way to a narrow green that is fully 42 yards long. As if to underline the different and appealing nature of the links, there are no fairway bunkers on the hole and none around the greens. The requirement for distance control, on the tee shot and with the approach, is of paramount importance here.
14th (Calamity Corner)
210 yards, par 3
Considered the “signature hole” on the Dunluce course; and for good reason! Well-named for the calamitous nature, this is a par three that – depending on the wind direction and its strength – could have a player with anything up to a driver in his hand. The tee shot must carry a deep ravine to find the green, with anything pushed to the right liable to find a new home down the 100-foot precipice that leads down to the adjacent Valley course. There is a bail-out area to the left of the green, known as “Bobby Locke’s Hollow” after the South African who purposely played into the swale during each round of the 1951 British Open in obtaining par each day. Sure to be a very popular gathering spot for spectators.