Friday, February 17, 2012

In his own words: Geo. Thomas on Riviera's 10th.

An incredible photo of the Riviera's 10th, c. 1927, before three
additional bunkers were added to the hole a few years later.
(Irresistibly borrowed from;
click on image to enlarge.)
"The poorest of all holes are the short two shotters, where a missed first shot allows a recovery to the green that is only a mediocre shot. By reducing the size of the green, and by tilting it up from one side to the other, or back to front, so as to require a placement on the drive for a shot which can be played toward the higher part, and by making it narrow and long with the opening opposite the carrying trap, it is easy to insist on a fine first shot to make the second one reasonably possible. In other words, if the hole is 300 yards long, and a man misses his drive and goes only 125 yards, he should not be able to reach and hold the green.

This arrangement is most difficult to accomplish in short two shotters. The more exacting the test, the more skillful will be the golfers developed; but a really fine test for a long player is likely to make the second shot too penalizing for the short man, especially on short two shotters. A partial answer to this problem is found by the new 300 yard No. 10 at the Los Angeles Athletic Club course (Riviera), where the green is narrow, yet opens in the line of the short player, but is raised several feet above the adjacent fairway with no traps near it. This makes it very difficult for the short man to hold the putting surface unless his drive is an exceptionally long ball. This practice may be varied on holes of different lengths by the size and shape and facing angle of the green, and it does away with traps. However, it could only be used occasionally, and, therefore, is not a complete solution for the short two shotters."

- George Thomas, from Golf Architecture in America (1927).

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