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Hole #12 "Alps"

Hole #12 “Alps”

400 yards, 350 yards, 318 yards, Par 4

Charles Banks in 1925This hole is intended in its original form to give the player the feeling of playing up on the side of a mountain to a hidden pocket. From the back tee of this hole the ledge at the back of the green is visible in outline above the elevation in the front of the green. Men on the green are entirely out of view. From the position of the second shot only the mound in front of the green is visible. The second shot is to play over the mound in front of the green. A roll up and over this mound is punished by a bunker on the left side and is highly undulated. For the first shot a carry of 176 yards from the back of the tee catches the near side of the knoll for a roll over to the level playing ground for the second shot.”

As the golfer realizes by now, Macdonald and Raynor respected the complex topography of the Greist estate and left many of the fairways undulated by saddles, knolls, and swales. This hole is yet another example, and, as its name suggests, it is intended to give the feeling of playing up the side of a mountain to a hidden pocket.

A semi-blind tee shot is played straight over a saddle of fescue to the fairway landing area beyond. This fairway rises gently and then more steeply, towards a green that lies beyond a high cross ridge that hides a bunker between it and the green itself. The green is wider than it is deep, and it is split-level, bisected front to back such that the left side is higher than the right side.

Nowhere has Scott Ramsay’s restoration been more dramatic. Tree removal around the long tee and on both sides of the knoll has returned the view from the tees to the first shot landing area to that seen in early photographs. The fairway has been extended all the way up and over the crossridge. The wide lateral bunker in front of the green has been restored to the original, and trees and brush behind the green have been removed to fit the Banks description from the tee to green.

Looking back across the green of No. 12 “Alps”

Behind the green is a bell to be rung when the green is cleared. It was a gift of Dr. Irving Glassman, who practiced radiology for forty years. He began playing the Yale course in 1985, when he was associated with the Yale Health Services. Even now, in his mid-eighties, he is still playing three days a week.

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