Royal Troon countdown: 10 days to go
9th hole, The Monk – 422 yards, par 4
The 9th hole has seen one of the more significant adjustments since The Open in 2004. The woodland behind the green was casting large amount of shade across the green surface, with it hardly ever seeing the sun in the winter.
This led to the green being the softest on the course and regularly affected by disease. The trees were removed and a series of dunes built to replace them as a backdrop to the green.
In addition, the surrounds to the green to the left and right have been reshaped and converted to a tighter cut sward.
At the tee end of the hole, the championship tee has been enlarged and gorse cleared to the left of the carry with the area converted to bare sand and sprigs of marram grass.
The hole name… (The Monk)
Faces towards the village of Monkton.
- Championship tee enlarged
- Gorse cleared and area converted to bare sand
- Green surronds reshaped to the left and right
- Trees behind green cleared and dunes constructed instead
Architect Martin Ebert explains..
“Ends the outward half with a stiff dog-leg two-shotter. After a straightforward tee shot short of the bunkers on the left, it is a mid-air to a slightly elevated two-tier green.
“The dune that has been constructed around the back of the green will have gorse on it – for once we want to encourage gorse – because however well it has been shaped it is so difficult to create the natural look.
“For The Open it is required for spectators but the gorse brash cleared from other areas spread over top of dune and is ready to go. This was the worst green of the course because of the shade due to the low winter sun.
“The downside of the dune is that previously it was a steep run-off and now there is a backboard.”