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Archive for the ‘Course Hole’ Category

Hole 17: “Hell’s Half Acre” Par 3; plays 173 to 54 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on July 29th, 2015

#17 golf hole at Purgatory Golf

 

Hell’s Half Acre is probably the most visually interesting or dramatic hole on the course. This hole is an island green, par 3 surrounded by a sea of sand. The 8 bunkers total just over a half acre of sand. This was one of the first hole that was designed, it naturally fit into the topography and very little ground was moved during construction on #17.

 

The hole is designed to where the longer distance tee boxes have a more difficult angle of approach. The forward tee boxes have a more receptive and inviting angle to the green. The green is slightly elevated and appears much smaller than actual. Hell’s Half Acre has a very large green with the total depth being 37 paces. Depending on the hole position, this could mean up to a 3 club difference in selection for most players.

 

There is an on-going debate as to whether this or #13 is our signature hole.

 

Hole #16: “Blinding Cloud of Smoke” Par 4, plays 474 to 293 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on July 24th, 2015

#16 golf hole at Purgatory Golf Club

Blinding Cloud of Smoke is one of the most intimidating tee shots on the golf course. The hole is framed on both sides of the fairway by bunkers. There is a total of 10 fairway bunkers on this hole. If you play the either of the back two tee boxes the aiming line is over the right edge of first bunker on the left, just before the fairway starts. From either of those tees boxes the fairway is mostly hidden which raises the player’s anxiety over the tee shot. The fairway widens out in a couple of areas, making club choice off of the critical and leaving the player several options to attack the hole. The approach shot is uphill to a kidney-shaped angled green, with bunkers surrounding most of the green.

 

 

The interesting thing about this hole is as intimidating as it looks from the tee to the green, upon the completion of the hole, turn around and look back toward the tee, the bunkers magically disappear, just like smoke. Now it looks like the easiest hole on the course. While we wish we could take credit for this unique design feature we actually honored Alister MacKenzie, who was the first architect to implement this into a course design.

Hole 13: “Everlasting Torment” Par 5; plays 741 to 357 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on July 15th, 2015
Hole #13 Everlasting Torment

Hole #13 Everlasting Torment

The Thirteenth hole is named Everlasting Torment since it is the longest hole on the course at 741 yards from the red tees.  The prevailing summer wind is usually at your back so the hole plays downwind.  Most people want to make the hole as short as they can and aim too far right and that brings into play bunkers or the rough.  The aiming point off the tee is the bunker on the left hand side at the very corner of the dogleg.  The aiming point bunker is not reachable on the tee shot.  The second shot should also be aimed at one of the bunkers on the left, either one or two bunkers farther up from the tee shot.  That leaves you the best angle with your approach shot and the green is most receptive from that position.  The green slopes to the left, so the approach shot should be slightly to the right of the pin.

 

The green is one of the most interesting on the course.  The tournament “Sunday” position is back right.  That position brings in a very deep swale on the left of the green, which very often brings 3 putts into play.  If your ball is right of the pin, you are left with a very fast downhill putt.

 

Everlasting Torment was not originally designed to be 741 yards.  During construction, the owner Mike Merchent was standing behind where the original red tees were to get a better sight angle and said “This would be a great place for a tee.”  The next day when he arrived on property a tee was constructed on that spot, be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

Hole 11: “Eden” Par 4; plays 406 to 251 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on July 7th, 2015

#11 golf hole at Purgatory Golf

 

Eden is a subtle hole, similar to number one on the front, not very long, with a generous fairway.  A barn used to reside in the landing area.  The mailbox post is still located in the left rough.  The barn had a watering hole for the cattle that was surrounded by rocks.  We took the rocks and repurposed them into a rock wall protecting the green.  The rock wall was designed to frame the green, not to penalize poor shots.

 

There is a hump on the left side of the fairway that is the aiming point for tee shots.  The three bunkers on the right side of the fairway can come into play if the wrong aiming line is chosen, or the tee shot is poorly executed.

 

We paid tribute to Bill Diddle on the green by installing one of his famous design traits “Diddle Bumps.”    The green complex doesn’t appear to be overly difficult, but if you have some little bumps in the right places it can really add to the difficulty of the hole.  We have a “Diddle Bump” in front of the green that actually blends into the green complex.  This can really have a determining effect on the shot that you hit into the hole. It’s a very subtle bump out there, but it really impacts the play of that green.

 

If you play golf in the Midwest, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, you’ll come across a lot of Bill Diddle designed golf courses where he used these bumps to add a degree of difficulty on what appears to be an easy hole.  Bill is one of the five founding members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.  He was born and raised right here in Carmel, IN.  Our architect, Ron Kern, is a direct descendent of the Diddle design tree.

Hole 1: “Pride”

By: Brian Rhodes on June 5th, 2015

TennaMerchent Hole 1

Hole 1: “Pride” Par 4; plays 373 to 206 yards

 

There are a few architects that think the first hole should set a tone for the course and be a very challenging hole.  Donald Ross immediately comes to mind as most of his course that I have played start off extremely hard and par is an excellent score.  The first hole at Purgatory eases you into the rest of the day, it is relatively short in distance and wide in the landing area.

 

It is a dogleg left, where the object is not about hitting it long, it’s trying to fit your tee shot into an area that’s 200 to 230 yards off the tee and 50 yards wide.  So hopefully you start your round off out of the fairway, leaving yourself with a short iron, into a little bit of an elevated green that’s pretty receptive, not a lot of undulation, not a lot of movement to it … so you’re not going to hit a shot and be rejected left or right.

 

Two decent shots ought to give yourself a chance for a par on the first hole; depending on the tee markers many longer players approach this hold as a classic risk reward as they may be able to drive the ball onto the green.  I personally do not recommend this as the approach shot from very close and left of the green is very challenging and depending on the hole placement could eliminate a good birdie opportunity.  When you are on the green take time to overlook the whole course as the green is the highest elevation point on the property.

Hole 6: “Eunoe” Par 4, plays 434 to 241 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on April 18th, 2015

 

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On paper and on first site this hole looks very benign, during normal play conditions quite a few players have a hard time remembering the specifics of this hole after the round.  The tee shot is shaped by three fairway bunkers and the landing area is fairly wide, leaving an approach shot between 165 to 155 yards to the green.  The players who have length as an asset can challenge the bunker on the right and leave themselves with just a wedge shot into the green.

 

This hole completely changes when we install tournament conditions, just a slight increase of green speeds make a world of difference on this hole.   The green has a Seth Raynor style hogback that routes it way through the green, creating three separate tiers.  If you are on the correct tier the player will have an excellent opportunity for a birdie, the wrong tier increases the odds of a three putt and makes par a good score.  If a player challenges the back left pin position then a bunker behind the green comes into play and makes par almost impossible.

 

“Eunoe” has had the distinction of the highest scoring average in relationship to par during our last 3 Indiana Major events.   Unfortunately, a high number of very good players walk off this green shaking their head at what just happened to their round.

 

Hole #6 was recently featured by Athlon Sports in their article “18 Holes to Play in 2015”

Hole 2: “Stains of the Inferno” Par 4; plays 462 to 295 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on March 31st, 2015

lake on golf course indiana

Number 2 is where the course really starts it is a classic “cape hole” design.  The definition of a “cape hole” is a hole on a golf course that plays around a large, lateral hazard, and presents a risk-reward tee shot. That hazard is often water, and such water might extend the entire length of the hole. The fact that the fairway on a cape hole gently curves around the hazard means that golfers on the tee face a risk-reward decision: Carrying more of the hazard means placing your drive farther down the fairway, but also creates greater risk of losing your ball in the hazard.  The key point is that a cape hole forces you to think about how much of the hazard you want to cut off in order to carry your ball closer to the green.

 

The hole has a series of bunkers on the opposite side of the fairways that frame the hole and add even more visual intimidation.  I have heard from many players that their first thought is where I drive it, which is the thought process the architect wanted the player to determine before teeing off.  At this point our touchscreen GPS units come in extremely handy in assisting with you decision.  Just a quick reminder that depending on the line you choose to pursue it could be all carry, so remember to subtract the roll from your normal tee shot.  The hole can be played without ever having a forced carry, playing it this way usually will leave the player with a short iron left on their 3rd shot trying to get-up and down for your par the advantage to this route is that it usually eliminates a score higher than bogey.  Your better player is going to get in more trouble than your average player.

 

The staff encourages members and frequent players to play from one of the closest tee markers and the hole becomes a drivable par 4 that can really be a turning point in the match.  By utilizing different tee markers you can play a different course out here every time you play.