The 2018 Lido Competition Countdown

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The 2018 Lido Competition Countdown

May 04, 2018

No. 17

Timothy Gallant of Edinburgh, Scotland called his design, “Spine,” and wrote that, while he suspected many entrants would offer up drivable par 4s, he favored “long, challenging, heroic two-shotters that offer the opportunity for heroics and hatred.” Thus, he peaked his fairway with a diagonal ridge that must be carried from the tee in order to see the green.DALE’S CRITIQUE: “Down the left side, you do have a sight line and an idea of where to hit it. I like the bunkering arrangement and I like the idea of using the contour to feed the ball down to the green. But any player hitting short of the ridge is stuck with this blind shot into the green. You’d have no idea where the hazards are. I’m opposed to this blindness for shorter players.”

No. 16

Alex Ochoa, the assistant women’s golf coach at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, called his dogleg right, “Boomerang Valley.” “Because of the mounding around the green,” Ochoa wrote, “it will be very hard to give yourself a close look at a birdie from the wrong side of the fairway.”DALE’S CRITIQUE: “The hole offers no reason to play down the right side. It’s too narrow with too much trouble. I don’t care for a boomerang green with a knob on the inside corner. The amount of slope you’d have to build to be able to putt around that corner would be severe. It’s an extremely penal green, not the containment type you see at, say, Crystal Downs.”

No. 15.

Ben Baldwin, a PGA pro involved in sales and business development for Best Approach Publications in Mesa, Ariz., came close to violating an essential rule of this contest, which requires a single hand-drawn entry. Baldwin provided a sketch of his concept, “The Hollow,” but accompanied it with both a computer graphic and an animation of his proposed hole. Dale didn’t see those until after his judging was completed; we’re displaying everything here. You can see the animation here.DALE’S CRITIQUE: “MacKenzie liked to use bunkers, flashing the sand up virtually to the sky. This entry doesn’t use bunkers much. They don’t seem to have much meaning. He’s got one big scrape of sand short left off the tee that’s meaningless in terms of strategy. There’s not much thought required off the tee. Hit it right or hit it left, you’ll still have the same club in your hand hitting to the green.”

No. 15

A computer graphic rendering of Ben Baldwin's hole, "The Hollow."

No. 14

Building architect Gil Rampy of Princeton, N.J., proposed a 60-yard-wide green fronted by an 80-yard-wide fairway, containing hollows left and right, a ridge along the center and one dominant “Hill Bunker” short of the green.DALE’S CRITIQUE: “That bunker is relevant to the landing area but not to the greensite itself. The weakness of the hole is that, for such a wide landing area, it leaves a 120-yard approach shot from either side. Any drive going down the right has to carry the trees to a blind landing area. From the left, it’s a semi-blind approach, but you’re able to attack a pin left, middle or right, from the left. I see no advantage going to the right.”

No. 13

Josh Pettit has his own golf design company, Pacific Golf Design of Richmond, Calif., but since he’s not yet the architect of record of any course, he’s still eligible to compete under the Lido rules. Savvy artist that he is, he tried to tip the scales by providing his entry in the classic watercolor graphics often used by MacKenzie.DALE’S CRITIQUE: “A lot of gingerbread on this hole. No one would try and hit it down the right side past the bunker, not with a stream cutting off the fairway. That’s just too much risk. I think that’s a waste of land on the right side of the creek. I’m not sure why anyone would play far left, either. The center route is the only logical route. The green is such that everything is accessible from the center, you just take the front bunkers out of play simply by hitting a bit long. The green accepts that, and its contours will feed the ball back down to front hole locations.”

No. 12

Philip Kent, a Dallas consultant for Claffey Pools, offered a 405-yard dogleg left with a classic MacKenzie-like triple-level green.DALE’S CRITIQUE: “I like the way the green surface is shaped. The green will hold shots played up the right side, won’t repel them. It’s a good green site. The contours set up well for both angles. But there’s no reason to play to the fat right fairway. Big hitters will just bomb it over the left bunkers and get close to the green, shorter hitters will play short of them and have the depth of the green for a longer second shot. The bunkering, especially on the right, is just noise. The green is pretty darn cool, but I’m not a fan of the landing area.”

No. 11

Wyatt Harris is a senior at Deerfield (Ill.) High School senior. He says he’s conceived an entire 18 holes inspired by Cypress Point and this year’s submittal is the 14th on his imaginary course. “Outlook” provides a window to the Pacific Ocean, but only from the fairway and green, not from the tee.DALE’S CRITIQUE. “With a hillside and bunkers right, you’ll want to play up the left, but only really big hitters can reach a spot to see the green. If you’re down the right side, it seems blind into the green. Average golfers are always going to have an obscured view of the green. The hole is 450 yards long from the tips, and half of the green falls away from the shot. That’s pretty severe.”

No. 10

Daniel Smith is a sophomore studying civil engineering at Penn State and a part-time caddie at Oakmont Country Club. He writes that his design “is a surreal and self-contemplative experience,” named “Blue Jean’s” not for the generic pants but for his mythical “Jean’s Creek” down the right side of his hole.DALE’S CRITIQUE: “I like what’s in the landing area, up on the left. If you leak it right a little, you’ll drop downhill, it changes your angle, and you’ll flirt with the stream on the right. I like the stream close to the front of the green, but not of fan of the stream over the green because it poses rules issues. ‘Where did I go in? How do I do my drop?’ There’s this ‘Lone Maiden’ bunker on the far right of the creek. It has a good shape to it, but it’s so far right, right of the creek. Why is it there? I know it’s a bummer to eliminate the hole on the basis of one silly bunker, but it is what it is.”

No. 9

Zac Blair is, to our knowledge, the first active PGA Tour pro to enter the Lido Competition. He envisions his hole built in the Wasatch Mountains of his home state of Utah, an uphill hole with a wide lower-left fairway, a narrow plateau upper fairway and a perched L-shaped green.DALE’S COMMENTS: “This is a cool hole. Pretty neat. I like the offset fairway. I like the diagonal. I like how, if the pin is back right, you really have to drive it far down the left hand side, past that bunker in the fairway, to have a decent angle to the right corner of the green. I’m not a fan of the green, though. The slope of the green slides from front to back and there’s a five-foot mound just right of the green kicking away shots. The average golfer has a tough time with this one. I’m just not a fan of what’s going on at green.”

No. 8

William Kendall, an architecture student at Monash University in Australia, won the Lido Competition in 2013. He suggests a 302-yard par 4 intended to be reachable from the tee, but his diagram failed to indicate if that 302-yard measurement was direct tee-to-green or tee-to-fairway-to-green. If the latter, then the direct carry over the heathlands is far shorter than 302 because of the math principle that the sum of two sides will exceed the third.DALE’S CRITIQUE: “Would MacKenzie do a drivable par 4 today? I suspect he’d remain progressive in his thinking, so I think he would. The rough is all ‘heathland,’ so it’s a forced carry, a possible lost ball for anything that falls short. Looks to be a receptive green, scalewise. There’s a runout behind, a hollow to catch anything through the green. I like the swale across the front of the green, almost like 14 at Pasatiempo. That’s kind of neat. But as a drivable par 4, it’s just a simple up-and-down with a wedge. It needs more challenge around the green.”

No. 7

Cameron Hurdus, who manages an art gallery in Ventura, Calif., is a two-time Lido champion, in 2012 and 2016. His entry this year was designed, he said, “to appear difficult from the tee, perhaps a bit cramped approaching the green, but actually affords plenty of width, options and places to utilize the ground game.”DALE’S CRITIQUE: “I like the hazards down the middle of the fairway, the options off the tee. The fairway has three really good landing areas. It’s the second shot I’m not keen on. The bunker short right is meaningless, has no relevance. I like the mounding short left and the ridgeline on the right for a short hitter to roll onto the green. You’re able to use the ground to feed the ball into the target. I don’t like the fact that the bunker is so far away. It’s mere eye candy. It may seem like a minor little detail. But minor details make a difference.”

No. 6

Trevor Hansen of Utah is a project superintendent for Landscapes Unlimited, one of the nation’s largest golf course contractors. As such, he brought realism to his entry. “No amazing views on the horizon,” he wrote, “or dramatic water bodies or oceans. I wanted the hole itself and its adjacent features to determine the merits of its greatness.”DALE’S CRITIQUE: “This is a really cool golf hole. Lots of detail on this entry. Everything fits in so darned naturally. But there’s a mound in front of green. He’s writes it’s on the left, but for most players, it has to be carried to reach the green. I don’t know if the cross slopes on the green can hold the ball. Around the green are some really interesting recovery shots. You’ve got to think, use the slopes. The bunkering is also dramatic. It’s a pretty picture, but bottom line, that front mound asks too much of shots. Hitting uphill over a front mound? I don’t think so.”

No. 5

Christopher Colla is a sophomore studying environmental science at Cal State Chico. He also caddies during summers at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, where he found the inspiration for his entry, “Amish Fields.” Driving near the course, he spotted three glacial hills. “A small one front right, two bigger ones behind,” he wrote. “It seemed like the perfect little nook for a green.”DALE’S CRITIQUE: “I like options off the tee, the diagonal fairway where you can bite off what you want, a central bunker that challenges bigger hitters. I like how the green opens up for those risking the far left carry, and the diagonal bunkers right of the green. There are solid strategies on this hole for good players. The mound right of the first bunker obscures the landing zone for the average golfer, so your target line is either over that bunker or over that mound to a fairway you can’t see. It’s a good hole, but too punishing for the average golfer. It becomes a three-shot hole for them.”

No. 4

Craig Snyder, a stay-at-home dad in San Diego, calls his hole “Loch Lomond” despite the fact it involves no water. “Just like the Scottish song, ‘The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond,’” Snyder wrote, “this hole has a high road and a low road and no one knows who’ll get there first.”DALE’S CRITIQUE: “I like the options, carry the bunker down the right or position a shot left with two bunkers long left posing a distance-control problem. It’s interesting that the approach feeds shots down onto the green, so you have to judge roll-out. But I don’t like the fall-off in back of the green, too harsh for a hole measuring 475 yards. We’re hitting rescue clubs into that green if we’re lucky. The green ought to hold a shot. Playing down the right side, you’re shortening the hole but you’ve got basically about 15 yards of depth to the right side of the green, which is really challenging. There’s no point where the green really opens up to an approach. Every angle seems like a perpendicular one. The best angle of approach seems to be from the left rough.”

No. 3

Robert Hoye, a retired building architect from Dover, Mass., named his hole “Drumlins” after the glacial erratics found along the New England coastline. He placed his tees atop a high one, his green atop a lower one.DALE’S CRITIQUE: “I like the diagonal soft curve off the tee. It’s an appealing line of play. I like that you must play well out to the right to open up the second shot for a better angle into the green and take that front left greenside bunker more out of play. So there’s two strategies: bite off as much as you can or play out to the right for a longer second shot but a better angle to the green. There’s a ridgeline in the middle of the green yet it remains pinnable. I like the deception bunker; it’s not necessary, though it does frame the green site. The green sits in nicely, being high right and low left, transitioning naturally in the landform. Bunkers right do have some meaning off the tee. I like this hole, but there are two I like a bit better.”

No. 2

Bryan Orellana, a senior developmental engineer for a biomedical firm in Fort Wayne, Ind., is the defending Lido Competition champion, and came this close to repeating last year’s triumph. His hole, “Deception,” was inspired by a hole at St. Charles Country Club in Winnipeg, site of last year’s MacKenzie Society meeting, which he attended as the reigning Lido winner.DALE’S CRITIQUE: “I like this one a lot. It’s a straight hole that feels like a dogleg. I like that you have to carry the bunkers and allow the ground to feed the ball. That’s a really good cross bunker off the tee, with the land sloping right to left. The more you hit up the right side, the more the ball will move right to left. Bunkers sit naturally into a hillside on the right., while bunkers sit below the fairway on the left side. If the Deception bunkers in front of the green are carried, the ball feeds down onto the green. I like that the ground is in play everywhere on this one. This is my second place pick.”

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