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I had an idea that I wanted to run by my fellow golfers. Maybe it's already been done. If you have modifications or gripes with my idea let me know. I'm looking for feedback.
Fairway bunkers: Set at strategic points on par 4 or 5 holes such that an errant drive may end up in one and far enough away from the pin that they do what they were intended to do.
-if a player lands in a bunker, they must on that next shot throw from a standstill with no run-up.
-ALTERNATIVE: no restriction on stance, but the bunkers would be deeper so as to make a traditional backhand or forehand impossible so that your only out would be a roller of some type, an overhand shot, a spike hyzer or big sky anhyzer.
What do you think?
The DGCD course designers group has rejected any form of shot restriction in a bunker such as throwing opposite handed or stand still throws. Deep bunkers are valid options if you can get the site owner to build and manage them properly so they don't become wet sink holes. The buncr is the easiest way to achieve the sand trap effect. One option is to mark an area near the green where a player cannot play from it if they land in it but have to move back to its edge on the line of play (no penalty). It has the effect of a ball rolling away when a ball golf hole has a small slope on one side of the hole.
The second option is placing a marked or uncut grass area maybe 70 feet long and 40 feet wide about 300-350 or so from the tee on the side of the fairway (probably left) on a par 4 hole. This works to boost the challenge on holes with few trees. If the player lands in the buncr, they proceed to a drop zone which is marked maybe 20-30 feet behind a tree on line with the pin (no penalty). This forces the player to make a more challenging and probably longer approach to the pin.
The third option is the USDGC style buncr where the player has to rethrow from their previous lie if they land in the marked area (no penalty). I'm not a big fan of this one in general but it's better than a throw and distance penalty sometimes forced on some holes by the TD when a player throw OB.
Off handed throws are just silly because hardly anyone practices that throw. Stand still throwing I still feel is somewhat viable, but I liked some of the options you suggested better. I do like my deep bunker idea but you bring up a good point about drainage. I suppose a small wall section would serve the same purpose as the deep bunker. I think you're right on board with what I was thinking about distance placement on the fairways. Although I don't like that big arms could just blast over it. I would perhaps consider a hole that had two sets of these bunkers. One at 300-350 and one set at 450-500' so that there would be some reward for landing between the sets, but most players might be better served laying up in front of the bunkers. It would reward power and accuracy. Actually I'd REALLY love it if a creek intersected the fairway at those distances, but now I'm just daydreaming. :-)
I like the drop zone idea to a restricted area as well as the "sloping greens" you suggested. I think I'd rather have a tiered green though to create a real slope that would be more aesthetically pleasing. I understand there are costs to such a feature though.
When I start construction on my dream-course some day I want your input on my ideas for holes. It WILL happen, it's just a question of when.
Blue Level Design: Blueberry Hill and Steady Ed (w/Tom Monroe)
Gold Level Design: Highbridge Gold
Best Twin Cities: No winner. I have the most fun playing several: The Valley, Oakwood, Acorn, Red Oak & Lakewood Hills. If they complete the upgrade to 18 at Lakewood this summer, that might become my favorite although The Valley is only 5 minutes away...
I have played tourneys where they have areas that if you land in you have to throw a UD (upsidedown) shot from, and there was no stroke penalty as long as you threw ud.