There can only be one Design-a-Hole champion each year, which can be a problem when you have multiple creations that are truly exceptional.
In 2016, that has indeed been the case. The task of narrowing down a group of more than 150 to 10 was a tall order. Getting from 10 to three was even harder. Getting down to one has proved to be an enormous task, but that is the nature of the contest.
The design below will instantly go to course creator Jim Zielinski’s desk. Heck, it’s already there. There is work to be done.
Our winner will also receive a Golden Tee Home Edition, a prize that will allow him to play his design—equipped with a sign to identify the creation as is—for eternity. It’s a big deal in our world, and we’ve approached it as such.
As we transition into the part you’re interested in—the part you came here for—let me one last time say thank you. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Thank you to everyone who participated. Thank you to everyone who posted feedback. Thank you for making this one of our favorite events of the year.
And so we arrive to the purpose of this piece. Let’s get to it.
The winner of this year’s Design-a-Hole Contest is The Knee (Par-5) by Dan Croutch—a 525-yard dogleg that features sand, a perfectly placed stream and a green that will undoubtedly make precision approach shots a must.
“What really stood out to me was the choice you had off the tee and just how critical ball placement is,” Zielinski said on the design. “Your approach will ultimately be dictated by what you decide off the tee, which isn’t always about power. I think there is a lot of strategy packed into one hole, and the size and makeup of the green only serve as the cherry on top.”
Second place was Boulder Canyon (Par-4) by Brian Hill, one of the most original submissions we have ever seen and a fabulous hole to boot. Completing our podium was Lone Tree Hill (Par-5) by Dave Rhoades, a submission that managed to incorporate a known item (a tree) and somehow craft a very intuitive golf hole. Congratulations to both and some superb ideas.
And congratulations are certainly warranted for Dan Croutch, who is now a piece of Golden Tee history. We will be speaking to Dan in the coming days for information on his design. We will also pass along some of the early images of The Knee as it makes its way into Golden Tee 2017.