Hole #3: In the Style of Hugh Wilson (1879-1925)
Philadelphian Hugh Wilson was an insurance broker by trade an an avid golfer. In 1910, he was chosen to survey the great courses of Britain in preparation for a new course at his home club, Merion Cricket Club. He spent seven months in England and Scotland, playing and sketching holes. When he returned, he applied various features of the courses into his design of the new East Course at Merion. The result was a course as strategic as Macdonald’s National Golf Links, but much more natural in appearance. He soon designed Merion’s West Course, Cobb’s Creak in Philadelphia, and the Bay Course at Seaview in Atlantic City. Sadly, ill health prevented Hugh Wilson from pursuing other projects. He died at age 45.
Our 3rd hole, designed to convey Hugh Wilson’s design philosophy, offers many options: the closer one hugs the fairway bunkers off the tee, the more visible the green is for the next shot. There are alternatives for the second shot. Attempt to reach the green, either directly over the bunkers on the right, or using a fade. Or position a shot to the right of the bunkers to leave a short pitch. Or lay the second well back to allow a full wedge into the shallow green. The flared sand and scallops of grass remind us that Hugh Wilson was the first in America to create, “flashed sand,” bunkers.