Double Plateau Hole :
'Double Plateau' is an overlooked design in the array of Macdonald, Raynor and Charles Banks classics. It can appear as any length par-4 except a drive and pitch hole. Tee shots on these holes varied so much there was no real overall pattern. It seemed as time went on, these holes became steadily longer. Eventually they became one of the toughest par-4s on their courses. The green was generally in an 'L' shape and contained at least three levels. A lower level in the center of the green, one plateau one and a half feet higher and a third plateau higher yet. The plateaux were most often right rear and left front but came in varied configurations. The lower level funneled aggressive shots directly into the rear bunker beyond. Pin placements are very difficult because for what has been created is essentially three small greens on one putting surface.
Double Plateau Green designs
The 17th hole at Yale.
That said, it appears a large target from the fairway, and aside from Biarritz, usually the largest green on the course. The trick is to manufacture shot to stop the ball on the correct level - no simple task. Charles Blair Macdonald referred to the Channel hole (4th at Lido) as the best two-shotter he ever designed. The landfill at Lido encompassed filling in a morass up to 20 feet or more in some areas. A lagoon was built with water gates adjoining Reynolds Channel to control water level, tides etc.
The premise of the hole: A short par-5 of just about 505-yards with an optional fairway. The main fairway was a 'C' shaped affair, taking the long route straddling a lagoon while negotiating two carries over hazards. However, for the bold there was more direct route to a raised island fairway (30-yards by 100-yards long) surrounded by sea bents and eel grass - in effect taking the short cut. Find the fairway and a long-iron or brassie approach to the green was well within the grasp. Miss, and the recovery was all but impossible. Even the conservative route had its trials, the third shot was tricky in the wind, and carried a cross bunker.