GolfPass - The Approach | GolfPass Grass Guru - Shriners Open
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GolfPass Grass Guru – TPC Summerlin

Shriners Open • TPC Summerlin • Hole 3• Par 5 • 492 yds • by Eric MacPherson

 

The tour is back in America this week for the Shriners Open, at the Bob Weed designed TPC Summerlin. Bob Weed, besides having the best name for someone dedicated to the craft of giving us lush golf courses, is the name to sling when talking TPC courses. He’s designed several, and all of them are courses where people shoot VERY low. Shout out to TPC River Highlands and that time I helped Jim Furyk shoot a 58. I’ll leave that story for another time – probably when the Travelers comes back around.

 

TPC Summerlin – like its twin, TPC Las Vegas, which is located right in its backyard and also a Weed design – has large swaths of desert interspersed between fairways and tees throughout the course. I absolutely love this look. Tiny, little tee box islands, with large chunks of desert running through a fairway – the juxtaposition always adds to the ambience of a desert course. However, I’m ruling them out of the running for best bunker. You can’t have the natural areas taking the shine from the bunkers that were purposely placed there.

 

The BOTW this week is on hole 3. This is a hole that has a split fairway with desert down the middle. Now, on the right side of the split fairway is a tiny bone shaped bunker that I love. Why? Because I don’t see it coming into play unless you get a mean roll, which can certainly happen at this elevation, coupled with a tight, dry fairway. There’s also another bone shaped bunker one would have to carry if he ends up over there and I love it’s inclusion. ‘Oh desert not enough to clear? Here’s a green side bunker for ya.’

 

...a tiny bone shaped bunker that I love. Why? Because I don't see it coming into play unless you get a mean roll, which can certainly happen at this elevation, coupled with a tight, dry fairway.

 

The bunkers here are not show stoppers. They are mostly flat with minimal lips and so I opted for the oddball in positioning. Does that bunker need to be there? No, but it looks good and it’s by a green complex that’ll be shown on TV, so it’s a nice addition. If Weed decided to add this same bunker 200 yards closer to the tee box, I would hate it. Unnecessary bunkers by greens, good (with room to mow of course). Unnecessary bunkers out in fairway fronts, get out of here.

 

TPC Summerlin would not be anything special if you took it and dropped it into the Midwest or Northeast. The fact that it blends into the surrounding area so well is why it works. The only way it could blend even more would be to let it look like Badlands Golf Club just a short walk away, and I don’t think anyone wants that.

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