Woodmont Country Club does not have a par three course like Augusta National or Bandon Dunes. Yet this weekend our club hosted a Three Par Competition with over 60 of our members in attendance turning our storied North Course into a 2115 yard Par 54 championship venue.
After a Grill Room wide search, the D & D Design team, in their first collaborative effort together, was tapped to create an intriguing array par three holes with a blend of the characteristics of the Golden Age and a touch of modern design. Using alternative routing the team discovered holes with playing lines never imagined by the original designer Alfred Tull back in 1950 . Like all timeless designs, holes like Ode to Pine Valley, Redan, Blind Man’s Bluff, The Road Hole, Ball Washer, and Tear Bucket brought out the best the topography had to offer and provided long time members with shot challenges they had never experienced before.
Throw in chilly temperatures, a steady breeze off the Rockville Court house, and slick greens with double digit downhill readings and it was all the field could handle. There was a lot of head shaking, mumbling, and staring up at the heavens as players meandered to the next tee.
For the men and women competing for gross and net honors holes ranging from 75 to 190 yards brought imagination and the full use of their shot making skills into play.
Ode to Pine Valley-160 yards of carry over rough, trees, and a waste area of macadam rock and dirt-would feel right at home in Camden, N.J.
Gooseless, an homage to the tireless work of our Border Collie, had a phone booth pin location which only a man with a red cape could get at.
A true Redan this required a deft right to left curve landing softly on the top tier feeding to the pin below.
Pondering the line on the Tree Hugger seventh.
The green staff showed no mercy in setting Sunday pins throughout.
Pinball, in the finest Irish tradition, was a blind three-story pitch from 90 yards requiring the creative use of side and back cushions to get a look at birdie.
Tear Bucket- a deft running pitch over water, rock wall, and a five-foot transition in the green to a shelved pin.
As you can see, the crew had the bucket surrounded.
At Wooten’s Worry players had to focus beyond the drop dead beauty of this green complex and hit one with sufficient enthusiasm to carry the false front and stay below the hole for a reasonable chance to convert a par.
At The End the back bunker, which rarely comes into play on the normal line of this finishing hole, is the first hurdle. A green that steeply pitches away from this line means an effective shot has to be played away from the flag and rely on a ground fade to get it close.
All I can say is that based on the exit polls of the participants, this unique competition is a tradition in the making.