Alps Hole :
The original 'Alps' hole was a term describing a blind shot throughout the British Isles. The Alps term refers to a mountain or tall hill that must be attacked on the approach shot into a green that is fronted by a deep cross bunker. From the fairway, an Alps style hole has a blind shot, or approach into the green complex itself. The green tends to sit over the horizon line on the other side of the hill, and some greens were further down the other side, sometimes in a depression, and sometimes barely over the crest of the hill. Alps greens usually have a spine, or Hog's Back ridge of some sort running through the green to compound putting problems.
A cross-bunker from the 11th hole at Myopia. Image courtesy of GCA.Com
The original Alps hole presides at the 17th at Prestwick.
The 17th hole green complex at Prestwick, the original.
The 3rd at National is an awe-inspiring version. National's Alps is considered an anachronism to some, but students of the classics consider it a wonderful tribute to days gone by. It was the end of the era of blind shots, but C.B Macdonald could not resist when he found a natural Alps site when building his ideal Golf Course.
The 3rd hole at NGLA. Image courtesy of GCA.Com
The front fairway bunker on the 3rd hole at NGLA, in here leads to hopelessness to make a par on this hole. Image courtesy of GCA.Com
The 3rd hole at NGLA, looking back to the teebox, and the windmill. Image courtesy of GCA.Com
The cross bunker ( partly obscured ) fronting the huge 3rd green at NGLA. Note the high mounding behind the green. Image courtesy of GCA.Com
Note the subtleness of the green, and the ridge which is so common on Alps style holes. NGLA's 3rd hole. Image courtesy of GCA.Com
The overhead layout of the 3rd hole at NGLA. Image courtesy of Chris Clouser
Seth Raynor built an Alps on most courses, but they were generally identified as having 'Alps bunkering' - meaning some cross-bunkering in front of the green. Instead of a blind approach over a 'mountain,' Raynor customarily positioned his Alps renditions just over the crest of a rising fairway - then cross-bunkering the green complex. Sadly, many clubs covered in the cross bunker because they did not understand the origin and concept. Alps greens usually had a spine of sorts running through the green to compound putting problems.
The 4th hole at Fisher's Island, from the tee. Note that this hole is a combination Alps and Punchbowl.
The 4th hole at Fisher's Island, with the Alps hill fronting the green.
The 11th hole at Lookout Mountain. Image courtesy of GCA.Com