The Redan Hole

The Redan hole is probably the most famous of all the Macdonald template holes and is arguably the finest par 3 design. The original Redan is the 15th hole at North Berwick Golf Club in Scotland (Images). A Redan is a military fortification formed by ramparts shaped like a V, angled toward the enemy and open in back (Images). This concept was adapted to form a par-three hole with the green on the plateau created by the embankments. A Redan hole gives players multiple options off the tee, something very difficult to do with a par 3. Its emphasis on risk/reward has had a tremendous impact on the design of par 3 holes and, thus, has made it one of the most influential holes in golf.

The length of the hole is about 190 to 215 yards. The green is angled 45 degrees to the tee. The concept of the hole is to take either a conservative approach, using the slope on the right to feed the ball to the hole, or to play the risk/reward and take it at the flag. The green is tilted from front right to back left. A reverse Redan hole is a mirror image of the one at North Berwick.

Charles Blair Macdonald described the hole like this in his book Scotland’s Gift. “Take a narrow tableland, tilt it a little from right to left, dig a deep bunker on the front side, approach it diagonally, and you have a Redan.”

Notable examples of Redan holes in the United States are the 4th at the National Golf Links, the 3rd at Piping Rock, the 8th at the Creek Club, and the 8th at Old White of the Greenbrier .

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