For those of you who I’ve never met at a Golden Tee event, my name is Adam Kramer and I serve as the director of the Design-a-Hole Contest. Man, that would be the best business card EVER.
With the 2015 Design-a-Hole Contest open and ready for business, this time of year becomes awfully busy. New to the contest? Here's the deal: Design your dream par-3, par-4 or par-5, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could see this go from concept to creation. (You could also win your very own Home Edition or a Big Bertha Driver.)
Full contest details can be found here.
While I don’t pick the winning design, leaving such challenging tasks up to the prestigious judges, I do sit in the meetings and absorb the enormous amount of feedback and conversations over submissions that take place.
In my time of working alongside this group, I’ve learned a lot about the judges want to see. And in an effort to offer up some guidance, I’ll be passing around various Design-a-Hole tips before the April 15 submission deadline arrives.
Let’s start with Tip No. 1: Obstacle Management
We begin with something simple. When you’re designing your hole—whether it’s a par-3, 4 or 5—be mindful of the items that will make a design challenging.
The things that are in the way.
Far too often will we see a mountain blocking the hole from the tee box—just a lump and “mountain” written on the page. Now using a mountain (within reason) on your design is one thing, but just imagine how this structure might translate into the game when you write it down.
Most issues with obstacles come in the form of items you would have to hit over, under and around. A large gathering of trees makes a lot of sense on paper, but how would it look on your design? Are they the right distance from the tee box? Would they be easy to maneuver around? Think about what makes an obstacle unique, and better yet, how you would exploit it if you were playing it.
It's not just throwing an obstacle in there, it's making sure that obstacle serves its purpose.
The same can be said about water and sand. Don’t just place an item in there to see you did. Make your obstacles mean something. Obviously the risk vs. reward shots is what we tend to crave, which makes obstacle placement key.
Perhaps the text above could be best summarized accordingly: Have a plan with your hole design, especially the objects that help define your hole. While there will be other items that matter in designing the best gold hole imaginable, ensuring your obstacles in order could prove to be a defining part of what you create.
Want more information? Read up on the Design-a-Hole Contest here.