NCG’s Golf Glossary: What is a Redan?

What is a Redan in golf? Don't know your dormies from your doglegs? Or your stymies from your shanks? NCG's Glossary of Golf Terms is here to help

Here at NCG we pride ourselves on being the publication for the everyday player, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to delve into the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Sometimes the most obvious terms have the most interesting story, so you might find yourself an interesting conversation starter…

What is a Redan?

A Redan is arguably the most famous type of golf hole in the world. Typically, it is a par-3 hole where the green is wider than it is deep and angles diagonally 45 degrees from right-to-left, away from the tee box.

The left side of the green is usually protected by one or more bunkers, with the front of the green left open to allow shots to bounce onto the green.

How would you use it in a sentence?

“The Redan at Shinnecock was probably the most difficult hole I’ve ever played.”

What are the origins?

The original Redan was created in 1869 by Ben Sayers at North Berwick Golf Club in East Lothian, Scotland. It is the 15th hole and plays at 190 yards.

It is a par-3 that has been copied across the world, most famously at Chicago Golf Club, National Golf Links of America and Shinnecock Hills.

But what does Redan mean? The word comes from the Crimean War, when the British captured a Russian held fort, locally known as a redan.

John White-Melville – a serving officer – described the 6th hole (now the 15th) at North Berwick as visually similar to the fort that the British captured in Sebastopol (now Sevastopol) on the Crimean Peninsula.

In the English language, ‘redan’ means an arrow-shaped embankment forming part of a fortification.

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