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Hole #13 "Redan"

Hole #13 “Redan”

212 yards, 196 yards, 189 yards, Par 3

Charles Banks in 1925The third water hole is the regular Redan or one shot hole for the cleek (ED: the equivalent of today’s 1-iron or 4-wood). The original hole is on the North Berwick course in Scotland. In levels and undulations this green closely resembles the original but has a different setting. The line of play cuts the green diagonally from front to back right corner. The green slopes down to the back. The pin set at the back left corner for championship play. The approach to the green rises to the green proper whence the green slopes away to the back with the front right corner the highest point on the green. From the above it is evident that the play for the green is to catch the approach a little above and beyond its center for a kick in or carom off the right corner and a curving roll across the green to the pin at the back left corner. When properly executed the play of this green is one of the most pleasing and interesting plays in golf. The tee for this hole is 48 feet above the surface of the water, partially crossing the fairway. Directly in front of the approach a broad bunker runs across the fairway necessitating a carry of 150 yards to safety. The fairway is flanked on either side by high knolls so that a straight shooting and a 150-yard carry are the compelling influence of the hole. The green is bunkered along the right and left sides making short cuts dangerous.

Banks’s original prose well describes the perils of this long par-three. The green itself remains true to its North Berwick model, sloping sharply to the left from its highest point at the back right corner. Here at Yale, however, the tee box is set high above the hole, offering a stunning view that rises from a small pond at the base of the tee box to the green itself, wrapped by a tree line and protected on four sides by bunkers. Two bunkers were restored behind the green to regain this “surround” effect.

The challenge of the tee shot here is to drop it precisely onto the back right corner of the green to take advantage of the Redan roll. Scott Ramsay has extended the green to create another false front that rejects short approach shots.

Looking back from the green to the tee, with no leaves on the trees, one can appreciate the hand work it took to build the rock retaining wall that supports the tee. The laurels on the hillside in front of the tee were transplanted from behind the ninth hole. In the 1950s, Harry Meusel suspended his workers from ropes to do these plantings. Meusel developed a passion for Japanese garden design, taking seminars at Yale, and traveling to Japan to study famous gardens. This inspired him to design and build a small Japanese-style garden next to the pond below the tee, which is now being restored.

On the tee itself are two memorials. The bench “Fore Steve” is in memory of Steve LaMantia, who played in the Beinecke Tournament with Chris Moran ’86, Ted Moran ’86, and Joe Glancy on September 9, 2001. Two days later, at age thirty-eight, he perished at the World Trade Center. Chris Moran says that the bench “was placed at the top of the thirteenth tee as an informal acknowledgement of some golf magic that happened at No. 13 that Sunday.” The other bronze plate is mounted on a rock at the beginning of the cart path and commemorates the gift of the 150-yard evergreen markers that were planted in the 1960s by the Wareck family.

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