Critics are raving about the last four holes at the new Cabot Cliffs. Here's why | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Critics are raving about the last four holes at the new Cabot Cliffs. Here's why

A golfer hits from the tee on the 528 yard, par 5, 18th hole at Cabot Cliffs, the seaside links golf course rated the 19th finest course in the world by Golf Digest, is seen in Inverness, N.S. on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Located between the coal mining town of Inverness and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the sister course to Cabot Links is receiving rave reviews and drawing international attention. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
June 02, 2016 - 9:03 AM

INVERNESS, N.S. - Ever since preview play began last year, critics from around North America have been agog over the four-hole finish at the new Cabot Cliffs course, part of the 36-hole Cabot Links Golf Resort. The centrepiece is the par-3 16th, which features a multi-tiered green perched at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

For the benefit of match-play drama, all top-shelf golf courses feature a strong par 3 near the end of the round — Pete Dye's infamous island 17th at TPC Sawgrass is perhaps the most famous — but discriminating players know a strong finish is about more than a single hole. Here is how co-designer Bill Coore, one half of the acclaimed design duo Coore & Crenshaw, sees the last four holes at the Cliffs playing out.

Hole 15

Par 5 562 yards

There's a lot of fairway on this hole, but how you play it will be determined by the route you take off the tee. While there is more area to the right, aggressive players who want to try to get to the green with their second shot will need to be on the higher ground on the left, an area protected by bunkers.

We think people who have been around golf will think there must be a reason to play up the left, while those who play down the right will have a blind second shot. The fairway naturally presented itself this way, and those who hit to the left will have a clear view of the green and be able to manage the centre hazard. It was there naturally and we took advantage of it. In fact, the hole is highly reachable for a strong player and you don't even have to carry the central bunker. You can play right or left of it and get it running. If the turf is firm, hitting it over the green will be a factor.

Once you've arrived at the green you'll notice there's a beautiful contour right in front that defines the pin placement. For an accomplished player, this will determine whether you play right or left to get closest to the flag.

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Hole 16

Par 3 176 yards

There is no question this is an extraordinary spot for a hole, but the conundrum during the design phase of Cabot Cliffs was whether we could make it work given the elevations and area for the green. Truthfully, this is another hole where the flag position and wind will dictate how it is approached.

There are ways to play your tee shot far to left and be surprised when the ball rolls down the slope and towards the hole on the right. Given that, the 16th is a hole that people will want to play a few times to understand. By then the intimidation of the tee shot should have subsided. The far back left is the most difficult hole location, significantly more challenging than the one on the right, which looks like it is hanging out over the ocean.

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Hole 17

Par 4 331 yards

This is another hole where the tee shot appears daunting, but the real challenge is recognizing the shot is also uphill, making the carry greater than you think, especially if you are taking a route close to the green. But once you're over the cliff, the land helps you dramatically, propelling your ball towards the putting surface.

The 17th hole revealed itself immediately after we walked from the area that became the 16th green. We remember thinking, 'My God, this has to be a hole.' We wanted it to be a short (par) four that would be a lot of fun and receptive. There's a huge fairway to play to and people who are strong and courageous can drive the green.

The feature that really defines the hole is the juxtaposition of two bunkers down in front of the green. If you play wide left you'll have to contend with those bunkers, making your pitch more of a challenge than it initially appears.

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Hole 18

Par 5 528 yards

This is a hole that just cried out, "Here I am." There is more of an angle to the cliff here than on the 10th, making it more visible, and the ravine in front of the green is an incredible feature. It is a hole that anyone who plays golf will love and it is a great finish. At the same time we wanted people to have fun and enjoy the conclusion, so making it a three-shot hole made sense.

One of the keys here is the narrow, serpentine green. Players who play away from the ravine and the water will face a tricky shot back towards the cliff with only a slight area of green to receive the ball. Will they make the bold play when faced with the ocean as a backdrop? I expect there will be a lot of flubbed chips as they come towards the green!

Source: Cabot Links Golf Resort course guide (Bill Coore)

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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