THIS IS GOING TO STING A LITTLE – DESIGNING HOLE 5 AND 6 AT SNGC
Only two holes stand side-by-side on The Bad Little Nine at Scottsdale National Golf Club, and together they form one of the most distinctive landscapes on a golf course anywhere in the world.
From the earliest concepts of this layout, one based on the theme of a military obstacle course and designed to be the most difficult par 3 course in the world, only one hole survived virtually intact from first drawing to the final product. That was the sixth (a.k.a. “Stinger”), which features a raised green surrounded by deep trenches akin to those found on a battlefield terrain scarred by war. Not hitting the green off the tee means not only missing par, but perhaps even a bogey is unlikely.
That combat zone theme was also incorporated into the adjacent fifth hole, which was built as a direct response to its neighbor. Because the latter’s design utilized trenches akin to where soldiers would have been throwing grenades upward toward an enemy, the designers decided to have the fifth, called “Shotgun,” reflect a scene of post-battle carnage, with significant mounds of upheaved earth scattered in front of, behind and even directly on the green. “It’s a battlefield,” said architect David Kahn. “We made it as crazy as we could.” For these two holes on The Bad Little Nine, there is just one goal: attack quickly and hopefully escape unscathed with no blood spilled on your scorecard.
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