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In the history of Golden Tee—through updates, platforms and countless courses—Jim Zielinski has designed all but eight holes. And even when he hasn’t created a design, he’s taken these eight holes—our collection of Design-a-Hole winners—and inserted them into the game he helped create.
Countryside Lake, Eric Manfredi’s magnificent par-5, is the latest to get the treatment from Zielinski. And although this process typically involves a variety of work and changes, those adjustments and tweaks have been minimal this year.
“There really wasn’t a whole lot to rework,” Zielinski said. “The measurements were excellent and the scale of the green was dead on. This is the least I have ever had to adjust our winning design.”
That’s not to say Countryside Lake went untouched. While the hole they picked and you saw throughout the finalist process will play as it looked once it hits Golden Tee 2016, the design team did make one notable tweak.
“I extended the fairway to get up closer to the green,” Zielinski said. “It’s a small change, but it will give those playing for birdie a better chance and more options for laying up.”
How close are the two designs?
Here is Manfredi’s submission (top) and the shot of his hole straight from Zielinski’s workspace (bottom). Keep in mind, there is still much work to be done. But the foundation is in place.
As for the rest of the hole, here is a look at a few more shots.
And with that, our Golden Tee 2016 coverage is officially underway.