On the Skillet: Mountain Lake par 3 9th

Mountain Lake Colony House - 9th 146/113/105 yards

Short par 3's are often the most revered, memorable and photographed holes at a course. For a single shot, any player can outperform another no matter their skill level.

The design of a great short par 3 is not simple; it's all about psychology. A well-designed short hole creates an exacting test for the skilled golfer and provides an achievable shot for the regular player. The 9th at the Seth Raynor designed Mountain Lake does just that.

At first glance, the hole looks quite simple, a wedge or short iron to a large squared off green. The green can be hit by every level of golfer.

A closer examination finds it's unique horseshoe green design, which infuses interest. The large depression in the center of the green wrecks havoc on every pin position. To make a birdie, a shot needs excellent accuracy and distance control. Approaches that find the wrong side of the horseshoe faces a difficult two-putt. It removes the safe play option for players looking for a birdie, one back, dead aim is a necessity. Aggressive plays bring the trouble that lies on the outside of the green complex. Deep bunkers surround the green, and short sided miss almost guarantees bogey and disappointment.

You can see this horseshoe design at many other Raynor, C.B. Macdonald and Charles Banks designs. More short holes.