Third hole (four hundred and ninety yards). Some two hundred and fifty yards from the tee a road has to be carried on the second shot, otherwise there is no trouble. A drive, brassey and iron will land us on the green in three strokes.
Fourth hole (one hundred and fifty yards). A full iron ought to land us on the green and escape the bunker one hundred and fifteen yards from the tee.
Fifth hole (three hundred and twenty yards). Another drive and iron. The only features of this hole are long grass one hundred yards from the tee, and a sand ditch thirty-five yards or so beyond the hole.
Sixth hole (three hundred and sixty yards). Another road crosses the line of play two hundred and eighty yards from the tee. Two good shots should reach the green.
Seventh hole (one hundred and ninety yards). There is nothing at all to interfere with a good drive here, and the long player will get home without any special effort.
Eighth hole (five hundred and ten yards). Fifty yards from the green is a wide sand ditch., which may easily be carried with an iron, or cleek, if the drive and brassey have not been particularly long.
Ninth hole (three hundred yards). A road one hundred and forty-five yards off, with broken ground intervening, abounding in poor lies, makes a good drive necessary. No other hazards.
Tenth hole (one hundred and fifteen yards). A pond stretches from the foot of the tee some eighty yards across to the green, which is fully guarded by wide sand ditches at the back and sides. A full mashie should land close up to the hole.
Eleventh hole (four hundred yards). Here is where the very long player should meet with due reward if he gets off two screamers. The bunker, three hundred and twenty yards from the tee, ought not to have any terrors for him or for the ordinary good player.
Twelfth hole (three hundred and fifty yards). This will be played the same as the first hole, excepting that the going is free from hazards - save the long grass beyond the green to catch an over-play.
Thirteenth hole (five hundred yards). One hundred and forty yards from the tee a bunker has to be carried.
Fourteenth hole (two hundred and seventy yards). From the tee to the fair green, one hundred and thirty yards away, the grass has been left uncut. The green is surrounded with bunkers some thirty yards equidistant from the hole, necessitating a high lofted approach with cut to hold the green.
Fifteenth hole (three hundred and thirty yards). Very sandy soil, with indifferent lies, marks the going for some one hundred yards until a slight depression is reached where the lies are excellent for another one hundred and twenty yards. Thenceforward, until about eighty yards from the green (which is in another slight depression) poor lies are the rule.
Sixteenth hole (three hundred and seventy yards). A brook has to be crossed on the second shot, some two hundred and ninety yards from the tee.
Seventeenth hole (four hundred and seventy yards). Two hundred and forty yards from the tee is a wide sand ditch. The green is on a plateau of about forty yards square, dipping down slightly on all sides.
Eighteenth hole (three hundred and fifteen yards). One hundred and ten yards away is a ravine about thirty yards across, with another eighty yards beyond the hole.
Such is a brief sketch of a course that ought to bring out all the good golf there is in a man to do it in a decent score. An endeavor has been made to arrange the distances and likewise the hazards so that it is practically impossible to get off a poor shot and make a recovery on the next, save by some phenomenal stroke.
The large majority of courses have too many levelling holes, of from two hundred and twenty to two hundred and sixty yards, and with the hazards so arranged that a player may top a drive and yet get the green on the next shot by simply taking a full stroke with some club, in the same number of strokes as the man who has played the hole perfectly. Or the hole may be from four hundred and fifteen to four hundred and thirty yards, calling for three strokes to get home, the first or second of which may be topped or sliced or pulled without any loss, it being comparatively easy to reach the green in three, while the better player, making each stroke perfectly, cannot do better than expend the same number of strokes. The true remedy is to so apportion the distances as to demand the playing of one, two, or three perfect strokes, as the case may be - or when this is not practicable to so arrange the hazards as to catch a poorly played stroke. In respect to distances, a single-stroke hole may be anywhere from one hundred yards up to two hundred - two hundred being the maximum, as anything beyond that is scarcely within the compass of any but the extraordinarily long driver. Coming now to holes of greater length, it is advisable to proceed upon some proper basis. Anything between one hundred and fifty yards and one hundred and ninety yards may be taken as a fair mean, the lesser distance being accepted as a fixed minimum. Thus we have one hundred and fifty yards or the multiple of three hundred yards for a two-stroke hole, or four hundred and fifty yards for a three - stroke hole, on the one hand, with one hundred and ninety, three hundred and eighty, or five hundred and seventy yards on the other. Anything within these limits of from one hundred and fifty to one hundred and ninety yards, forming the basis, may be accepted as furnishing little room for recovery without penalty in case of a poor stroke, while anything outside of the limits mentioned tends rather to pull the better player down to the level of the poorer one. Somewhere between one hundred and fifty and one hundred and ninety cannot be far wrong. Take the mean of one hundred and seventy yards, or the multiple of three hundred and forty yards, for instance; it is obvious that the player cannot hope to reach the green on his second shot when he has failed to get off a fairly respectable drive. To do so he must make an exceedingly long second. And unless he can rise to the occasion by performing such an exceptionally brilliant stroke it is only fair and proper that the poor drive should be meted with some penalty.
It may be contended that a course such as we have outlined may be suited for first-class players, but that the large majority of the players in nearly every club fall short of such excellence, and that therefore the course should be laid out with reference to the majority, who otherwise would be spending the greater part of their time in bunkers. Not at all; there is no such need to prostitute the game. Lay out the course in every way solely with regard to its being fully up to the highest standard at the outset, and until improvement in play manifests itself construct alternative tees - two or three, if necessary, for each hole - so as to make it possible for the weaker players to better negotiate the hazards. It doesn't involve much trouble or expense to build up tees and provide sand-boxes, etc., for each, while it means both time and money to build up a new green. The alternative tees spoken of may be so arranged as to shorten the holes from twenty to fifty yards, or whatever distances may be desired. All competitions, however, should be played over the full length of the course. Endeavor, so far as possible, to avoid constructing artificial tees. Where it is necessary to do so try and get them as large as possible, so as to keep them in good repair by constantly changing the plates or teeing-marks. Aim to have all built-up tees sodded. Anything but turf tees is an abomination. A tee should have almost as much care as a green, and should be freely watered in summer.
I have already stated that the distances of the holes referred to have been laid out on the assumption that the ground is fairly level, and also without any regard to the wind. The majority of courses are not level, and on some the wind is a very potent factor. Consequently, it is essential that these elements should be carefully considered, according to the natural contour of the surface and the prevailing winds during the playing season. I say during the playing season, as very few courses in this country can be played over during the whole year.
No bunker on a first-class course should be so arranged as to trap a good drive, or, following a good tee shot, to catch a good second with the green yet some distance away. Bunkers should be arranged with the primary idea of penalizing poor play only. Nor should they be made with perpendicular and precipitous faces so as to make it almost impossible to get out in one stroke. Instead of the array of steep cops with narrow ditches which disfigure so many courses, aim rather to make the cops more semicircular in shape, and to have wider ditches leading up to them. It is better, also, if possible, to cover the embankments with sand rather than to have them turfed, and to likewise fill the ditch with several inches of sand, so that the ball should be played where it lies, and thus avoid the necessity of any local rule providing for the dropping in the bunker or ditch of a ball lodging in or on the face of the turfed creations. All artificial hazards should be made of or liberally covered with sand.
The width of the fair green should be about seventy-five yards. Particular attention should be paid to the places where good shots should go, say from one hundred and twenty to two hundred and twenty yards from the tee, and so on correspondingly with long holes, so that each good shot should be rewarded with a good lie. Rather let the intervening ground go somewhat neglected, as a player has no business there anyway. On the sides hazards should be arranged to catch sliced or pulled balls, where long grass is not present. Endeavor to so construct the hazards as to furnish some diversity, rather than have them all of the same family type.
In laying out a new course or making changes in an old one, it is highly advisable to secure expert advice before commencing work.