Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta Georgia, though controversial in its policies, is one of the most famous golf clubs in the world.
Ever wondered about the greens? The golf course greens? The Masters Open just ended, with US gambling laws allowing golf fans to bet on the best golf players playing on the Augusta National Golf Club perfectly-designed golf courses. Now, Augusta has a long history with the Maters when it comes to its fabulous golf courses. Augusta’s innovative ideas include the red and green scoreboard numbers meaning under par and even or over par.
Even a SubAir system was set up to add luster to lush, thanks to well-regulated temperature and moisture levels. Moreover, the club looked to expand the game worldwide through the Asia-Pacific Amateur and the Latin America Amateur championships. However, there are a lot less laurels at Augusta’s for the clout it has when it comes to course-design.
And it seems that the immaculate greens of Augusta’s has been having loads of influence on other golf courses as well, such as the Congressional, Shadow Creek, Dancing Rabbit (Azaleas), Muirfield Village, We-Ko-Pa (Saguaro) and Spyglass Hill golf courses. Let’s have a look at these groovy green layouts inspired by the Armani of landscaping.
The Congressional golf courses
The Congressional golf courses of Bethseda, Maryland took on Augusta’s more strategic design rather than a reformatory one. Robert Trent Jones Sr. managed to achieve just that before the 1964 U.S. Open. The 18th hole, par 4 mirrors Augusta’s 11th hole, par 4 with both holes clearly characterizing victory vs. defeat. According to Bobby Jones “Two things were essential.
First, there must be a way around for those unwilling to attempt the carry; and second, there must be a definitive reward awaiting the man who makes it. Without the alternative route the situation is unfair. Without the reward it is meaningless”. And Congressional managed to capture both.
Shadow Creek golf courses
Over in North Las Vegas, Nevada, which is home to some great online betting operators, Tom Fazio’s influence also rubbed off on the 18th hole, par 5 of the shadow creek. Being a consulting architect of Augusta National for over 25 years, it is little surprise then that Fazio’s work elsewhere has tinges of Augusta’s intense ‘risk/reward’ 13th hole, par 5 .
From a heightened tee, the ambitious player, gunning for the green, in two, will strive with a water carry on both shots, through a series of three lakes with interjections of waterfalls. Go for the three shot way and you still have to fly your third over water from the proper angle to a long, narrow green held in by grassy hills, pine trees and flowers.
Dancing Rabbit (Azaleas) golf courses
Alister MacKenzie, prior to taking on the job of co-designing Augusta, wrote in his Golf Architecture novel, published in 1920, that : “The course should have beautiful surroundings, and all the artificial features should have so natural an appearance that a stranger is unable to distinguish them from nature itself.” The book managed to set the stage for 13 general design principles. And it is the Number 7 that influences Tom Fazio’s and Jerry Pate’s work on the Dancing Rabbit golf course which is found in Choctaw, Mississippi, in the 6th hole, par 4.
Azaleas litter the backdrop in the springtime, giving the otherwise fabulous hilly layout a feel of heaven on earth with its semblance to Augusta’s 13th hole, par 5.
Muirfield Village Dublin golf courses
Although the Muirfield Village Dublin golf course in Ohio is named after Scotland’s Muirfield, it does pay full tribute to Augusta’s 12th hole, par 3, thanks to Jack Nicklaus.
The Columbus-area course with its par-3 12th is indeed essentially Augusta. When the hole is cut to the right on the slender, left-to-right diagonal green, it’s easy to want to try for a 2 on this 184-yard hole, even though it’s a tad longer than its forefather, it’s still feasible. But like at Augusta’s 12th, flag-hunting requires audacity and rigor.
We-Ko-Pa (Saguaro) golf courses
Ben Crenshaw, the co-designer of We-Ko-Pa golf course boasts about Alister MacKenzie’s courses referring to them as being “equitable for all classes of golfers. The good player is forced to play all different shots, yet his courses are very fair for average golfers. His bunkers are gorgeous, and his greens have lots of character.”
This said, little wonder then that We-Ko-Pa 18th hole, par 4 fathoms the 5th hole, par 4 of Augusta’s with its wide fairways, galaxy of routes to the green, smart contours on the putting surfaces, drawn out of a course that was carved from furrowed desert in 2006 and a course shaped from a nursery of the 1930s.
Spyglass Hill golf courses
Spyglass Hill’s ‘wooded wonder’ was influenced by the Augusta’s the par-3 16th which in fact shouldn’t have there. Well, according to original designs. Pebble Beach, California, home to 15 US Poker rooms and casinos, is proud of the visual and strategic drama effect that Spyglass Hill managed to borrow from the Augusta National.
Though it‘s not a favorite of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who painted the marvel, Trent Jones Sr. ambitious recreation allows golfers in California to enjoy the water-guarded left side at their own risk, with a meandering downhill giving way to a scintillating pond, anyway.