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LAVAL-SUR-LE-LAC   Blue Course
Status – Designed - Now Requires Membership Approval

 

We have been commissioned to completely rebuild the Blue Course at Laval-sur-le-lac. We spent November reviewing the golf course and came up with a new routing, new design philosophy and concepts for all 18 holes.

 

Our inspiration for the Blue Course at Laval-sur-le-lac is the architecture of Melbourne, Australia. In a small area south of the city called the Sandbelt there is a series of outstanding courses built largely out of average terrain. What makes these courses great is the common use of short grass around the greens.

 

At Laval-sur-le-lac we will use short grass areas to wrap the entire green which means there is no long rough around the putting surface anywhere. This use of short grass surrounds helps to create multiple options for recovery shots but also adds a little more difficulty to the approach. With the sides of the greens kept short the wayward approach is no longer contained by a ring of thick bluegrass. A shot running through the green or missing the surface will continue to roll out until the ball runs out of momentum. This means that the better player will find that a shot that may have barely missed the green may now result in a very tough recovery to save par.

 

The use of short grass is one of the very few methods that the architect can use to increase the challenge for the strong player and increase playability for the average player. When playing from the short grass, the average player will simply select the shot that they are most confident with. But the strong player will have to decide between all the options they have. They can putt, get creative with a bump and run, but are still most likely to select a wedge. The flop shot may provide them with the best opportunity to get the ball close but is by far the most dangerous because of the tight lie. The wonderful result of all this is they will be far more worried about the recovery shot than a high handicap.

 

The inspiration for our greens came from our mutual love of Shinnecock Hills in Long Island, New York.  Shinnecock has long been considered one of the greatest courses in the United States and is a regular host of the US Open. The greens at Shinnecock are fairly subtle until you get out to the edges where they simply droop and fall away into the surrounds What this creates is lots of simple and friendly pin positions up the middle, but a whole series of dangerous and complicated pin positions out on the edges. This approach builds in the flexibility to set the course up hard or easy just by the selection of pin positions.

 

We have made these choices so that we can build the club a course capable of challenging the players of the PGA Tour while still offering the membership a course that is fun and interesting to play.

 

 

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