Biarritz Template…A classic two for one.

The Biarritz template is one of the classic designs that was used often during the golden age of golf course architecture. CB MacDonald and Seth Raynor were nototrious for using this green template in their designs and many are still around to this day.

The original Biarritz hole is from the club in France of the same name and was designed by Willie Dunn. Dunn eventually befriended William K Vanderbilt and would make his way to Shinnecock where he had his hand in the original 18 hole design of that masterpiece.

Biarritz holes are often flanked by bunkers adding to the challenge. Fox Chapel Golf Club by Seth Raynor in Pittsburgh PA.

The idea of a Biarritz is relatively simple. The green is typically very long, in some cases measuring over fifty yards, and there is a large swale in the middle that can be three to four feet below both the front and back surface. This allows a hole that normally measures over two hundred yards from the tee to the middle of the swale, to have both a short and long approach.

Seth Raynor’s Biarritz from the Old White Course at Greenbrier Resort.

As time has progressed, these greens have been used on a more infrequent basis. Simply put, they are difficult to maintain. The size of a green that measures over fifty yards from front to back can make mowing the green a nightmare. Also, the severity of the slope separating the two sections of green can also make supers sweat.

Tom Doak’s eighth hole at Old MacDonald is a classic Biarritz played downhill from a tee box that overlooks that Pacific Ocean.

Some Biarritz templates only include a green on the back section of the hole. The forward portion of the feature is cut as fairway.

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