Redan Hole :
What more accurate way to describe a 'Redan' than Macdonald's own words? 'Take a narrow tableland, tilt it a little from right to left, dig a deep bunker on the front side, approach it diagonally, and you have a Redan.' Bear in mind when Macdonald says 'tilt,' he means it. At National, hole #4 falls over five feet from front to rear.
The most famous Redan, the 4th Hole at NGLA. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The corrected aerial view of the 4th hole at NGLA.
Redans are usually around 190 yards (a formidable distance in the early days of golf) with numerous strategic options depending on wind direction and course conditions: Fly it to the green if you are able, lay-up and chip on hoping to make three, hit a running shot at the banked area fronting the green or even play left of the Redan bunker hoping for a better approach angle (not recommended!). Behind the green are usually deep sand pits to catch aggressive play. To identify the best renditions, National's 4th and Piping Rock's 3rd are the most outstanding they built. Macdonald stated: 'The strategy of the Redan cannot be improved on.'
The 3rd hole at Piping Rock. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The 3rd hole bunker and front mound at Piping Rock. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The 3rd from further back, near the 4th tee at Piping Rock. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The Redan strategy is used by nearly all architects - even as the green complex on par-4 holes. Redan traces its origin to the 15th at North Berwick where Davie Strath first built the hole while revising and formalizing the course. Sir David Baird, a former British Guards officer and a member at North Berwick, remarked that the escarpment Strath used at the 15th hole reminded him of the fortification he had stormed in Crimea 20 years before - the hole was immediately christened the 'Redan'.
The original Redan. The 15th hole at North Berwick. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The 15th hole at North Berwick, from the left side. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The 2nd hole at the magnificent Somerset Hills. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The 3rd hole at Huntingdon Valley. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The 6th hole at Yeaman's Hall. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The 7th hole at Chicago. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The 7th hole at West Hampton. Courtesy of GCA.Com
The 14th at Kiawah. Courtesy of GCA.Com
Another view of the 14th at Kiawah. Courtesy of www.golftravelinformation.com