The Templates: Redan Redux

A history and analysis of modern Redan holes built by Tom Doak, Coore & Crenshaw, and others


The Redan is one of C.B. Macdonald’s templates that has best stood the test of time, which makes it no surprise that modern architects continue to incorporate them. The hole lends itself well to use on sloping landforms and minimalists like Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw and Tom Doak have made terrific versions in recent years. In spite of the advance of technology, redans continue to be relevant, and the various iterations remain among our favorite one-shot holes.

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort – Pacific Dunes – 17th – 209 yards

The first of two Redans on the Bandon Dunes property, Tom Doak originally employed the design on the 17th hole at Pacific Dunes. A tough one-shot hole on the closing stretch, this par-3 makes a player hit a downhill target that’s heavily protected by a deep bunker.

Pacific Dunes's 17th, playing over a gully to the sloped green - Photo Credit: Jon Cavalier

Black Creek Club – 7th – 239 yards

Designed by Brian Silva, the Black Creek Club features a Reverse Redan that stretches to a whopping 239 yards. Silva wanted the 7th at Black Creek to play like Macdonald’s original design in the early 1900s. That meant requiring players to run the ball up and utilize the slope to get the ball close. This is an extremely difficult and absolutely beautiful hole.

The tee shot on Black Creek's 7th, a long reverse redan designed by Brian Silva - Photo Credit: Black Creek Club

Bandon Dunes – Old Macdonald – 12th – 237 yards

Tom Doak and Jim Urbina’s take on the Redan at Bandon Dunes’ C.B. Macdonald tribute course has a bit of a twist on the traditional version. The 12th plays from a longer yardage to accommodate modern technology and features a smaller bunker on the left side. As Tom explains, “Our Redan is a bit different; the left bunker does not come across the front of the green as far as would be typical for the hole, but the bank of the green feeds short balls out to the bunker.  Only a straight fade will work here.”

Short of the open-fronted green on the 12th at Old Macdonald - Photo Credit: Bandon Dunes Golf Resort & Timothy Scahill

Sweetens Cove – 9th – 152 yards

Architect Rob Collins is making great use of templates in his design 100 years after they were originally created. The 9th hole at Sweetens Cove is a short version of Macdonald’s template. The Redan features are unmistakable as a giant shoulder rests on the right side of the green, allowing players to bank shots off it toward the pin. Read more about the 9th at Sweetens Cove here

From behind the dramatically contoured green on Sweetens Cove's finishing hole - Photo Credit: Rob Collins

The Rawls Course – 16th – 239 yards

Like every hole at The Rawls Course, Tom Doak and the Renaissance Golf crew conjured this Redan out of a flat cotton field. The hole’s length provides most of the difficulty, making it play like Macdonald’s template was intended, but there are also nasty bunkering and contours for additional defense.

The long tee shot on the par-3 16th at Rawls

Sand Valley – 3rd – 225 yards

Coore & Crenshaw use the Redan heavily in their designs, and they included a bold version hole at Sand Valley. The hole features a massive shoulder that will kick balls to the center of the green. Misses right are not recommended as recovery shots over the mound are dicey, to say the least. A slight difference from the Macdonald & Raynor versions is gentler slope on the putting surface.

The view from the tee on Sand Valley's 3rd, with the green beyond the right shoulder

Kingsley Club – 16th – 205 yards

Located in Northern Michigan,Mike DeVries’s Kingsley Club features a Redan par-3 on the 16th hole. DeVries adds a spin to the original design with two bunkers behind the green that add penalty to a shot that misses long. Listen to our podcast with Mike DeVries here

The view from behind the green at Kingsley's 16th - Photo Credit: Kingsley Club

Black Creek Club – 11th – 195 yards

Silva’s Chattanooga gem also features a traditional Redan hole that has all the standard template features: three bunkers (one short, a deep left bunker and a long right bunker), and a heavy right to left sloping green.

Short of the green on the second of Black Creek Club's two Redans - Photo Credit: Black Creek Club

Tobacco Road Golf Club – 3rd – 157 yards

Few architects have the vision and skill to merge two templates into one successfully. Mike Strantz is on that short list with his talent and creative courage. The 3rd hole at Tobacco Road is a Redan/Biarritz combo — a sight to behold and a joy to play.

Short of Mike Strantz's hybrid 3rd, with high right slope ready to feed balls to back pins - Photo Credit: Sugarloaf Creative Lab

CommonGround G.C. – 17th – 243 yards

At CommonGround, Doak threw a tough test right in the middle of the closing stretch with this Redan par-3. The front of the green is open to allow running approaches. Short is the best miss given the bunkers and trees guarding the sides and back of the green.

From the tee on the 17th at CommonGround - Photo Credit: CommonGround GC

Arcadia Bluffs South – 5th – 190 yards

This uphill par-3 on Dana Fry’s Chicago Golf Club inspired course plays longer than the scorecard yardage to a Reverse Redan green. Judging distance and direction for the tee ball is a real trick as the Michigan wind whips across this open property.

Short of the 5th green, with slopes that feed into the deep greenside bunkers - Photo Credit: Arcadia Bluffs

The Sandbox – 16th – 149 yards

The 16th is the longest hole on Coore & Crenshaw’s par-3 fun-fest at the Sand Valley Resort. It’s a wonderful rendition of the Redan hole, and the C&C team did not cheat players of any of the classic template’s features.

From the left of the 16th, revealing the strong front-to-back slope