The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: March 23 – 27, 2016. The 17th at Austin Country Club, Home of WGC-Dell Match Play.

Tournament: WGC-Dell Match Play – Austin Country Club, Austin, TX
Hole: 17th – Par 3, 135 Yards
Architect(s): Pete Dye – 1984

Architectural Summary:

The 17th hole at Austin Country Club is a dramatic, yet short, par 3 at 135 yards. Playing along a deep ravine to the left and protected by four greenside bunkers, the hole provides a test for competitors as they look to find the small green to setup a reasonable look at birdie.  As the hole’s name, “Windy Cove,” implies, the section of the course is known for its blustery conditions, but players often won’t feel or see the wind as the prevailing southeasterly is somewhat blocked by the hill behind the green.  Competitors must trust the wind they have experienced on earlier holes when making a club selection, which will often cause confusion and trouble when attempting to select the correct club. The green measures roughly 4,000 square feet and is angled front right to back left. When looking to avoid the three fronting greenside bunkers and the ravine short of the green, many players will be left with a longer than expected putt on a green that drains off on four sides creating many subtle breaks throughout. The most difficult hole locations will be found toward the front of the green, as well as toward the left side of the green as the ravine running down the left side of the hole comes more into play. Overall, the 17th hole will offer a good scoring opportunity and birdies may halve or win the hole.

Statistical Analysis:

As Austin CC hosts the WGC-Dell Match Play for the first time, we anticipate the 8th hole to play to par or slightly under depending on the wind conditions for the tournament.

Fun Facts:

  • John Klinkerman, construction superintendent at the Beau Welling and Tom McBroom-designed 27 Club in China and at Austin Country Club during the recent work, suggested covering the 17th hole as he thought it was a well-designed short par 3 that would add excitement and drama to the finish of matches.
  • The par 3 plays as the 8th hole for member play, but is playing as the 17th hole for the WGC-Dell Match Play.
  • The hole is nicknamed “Windy Cove” because the flag at the green often remains still, as the green is protected by a large hillside; however tee shots will be affected by the prevailing southeasterly winds and competitors must take this into account when making proper club selection.
  • Founded in 1899, Austin CC is believed to be the oldest golf club in Texas. The club has relocated twice since the end of World War II.