Copy-paste holes, what are Template Holes

The concept of Template Hole, or model hole, was born at the end of the 19th century in the United States

by Andrea Gussoni
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Copy-paste holes, what are Template Holes

The concept of Template Hole, or model hole, was born at the end of the 19th century in the United States when C.B. Macdonald begins to build the first golf courses of the new continent, trying to make sure that they are up to the great courses of Great Britain.

Template Holes, story

Charles Blair Macdonald is considered the father of golf in America: he helped found the USGA, won the first U.S. Amateur and built the first 18-hole course in the USA. When Macdonald was commissioned to build this course, the Chicago Golf Club, in 1890, he first crossed the Atlantic and went to St.

Andrews, where he had studied at the university and where he had learned to play golf with Old Tom Morris. He will spend nearly a year researching the best courses between Scotland and England and identifying around twenty Template Holes which he believes incorporate all the best possible architectural features in one hole, in terms of strategy, challenge and enjoyment.

His idea was to use these models to bring the best of British golf to America, thus ensuring that the new American courses have the same quality as those he had fallen in love with on the other side of the ocean. The American architect will build some of these Template Holes in the Chicago Golf Club, but will bring this concept to its pinnacle in the construction of the National Golf Links of America, on Long Island.

In this course, which can be considered the Old Course of the United States, each hole is a Template Hole. It is important to underline that the Template Holes are not "copy-paste" holes, copied and pasted exactly to the original ones, but they are models from which to start which must be adapted from time to time to the various natural characteristics of the terrain on which they will be built.

In fact, what distinguishes a Template Hole is its strategy, determined by the position of the obstacles and the main slopes. The Template Hole concept has been taken up by many other architects, and each template has been scaled down countless times on golf courses around the world.

The most famous are: Redan: Taken from the 15th hole at North Berwick. It consists of a par 3 with the green elevated and oriented diagonally from right to left, with a slope that goes towards the bottom of the green, a deep bunker on the left and small bunkers that protect the entrance to the green.

Probably the most copied hole in golf history. Road: Taken from the 17th hole of the Old Course at St. Andrews. It consists of a par 4 with an obstacle inside the dogleg (out of bounds in the original version) and a long, narrow green protected by a bunker on the opposite side of the obstacle.

The strategy is that the closer you get to the obstacle with the tee shot, the easier it will be to hit the green. Biarritz: The origin is not clear. Macdonald probably discovered it during a trip to the south of France. This type of hole is easily recognizable by the characteristic raised green with a large depression in the middle, which divides it into two distinct levels. It has been used on both par 3 and par 4 holes.

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