The Alps Template…A blind approach

One of the more diverse template holes is the “Alps.” The hole is originally modeled after the 17th hole at Prestwick in Scotland designed by Old Tom Morris.

The 16th at Old Mac is a fantastic version of The Alps. Located at Bandon Dunes, this version gives the players an opportunity to avoid flying the large bunker by providing a bit of a “runway” on the right.

It is a diverse template green in that there are so many variations. Frequently incorporated by both Seth Raynor and CB Macdonald, this hole called for a somewhat obstructed or even completely blind approach. For even the best of players, the ability to completely trust their yardage book is difficult.

A photo of the Sahara bunker from the original Alps hole at Prestwick.

In most cases, this hole is a short to medium length par four. MacDonald and Raynor typically offer a large green to receive the blind approach, so players don’t have to be perfect. However, as is typical with most of the MacDonald/Raynor large green complexes, there is a lot of movement and undulation.

In some instances, bunkering around the green can add to the challenge. The “Sahara” bunker from Prestwick is often built into this template hole. An expansive and deep bunker that is usually hidden from view protects the front of many of these greens. Nothing can be quite as demoralizing as finding your ball at the base of this large deep bunker.

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