Latest Riviera Changes: No. 3

Saving the worse for last, here are a few photos of the new hole location added to Riviera's wonderful third green.

3rd at Riviera (click to enlarge)
Feeling Nicklaus-esque with its sunken-quadrant, circa 1991 Sherwood feel when Jack would throw a tier in just about any old place no matter how badly it fit, the apparent thought process behind the "restoration" of this hole location was George Thomas's original sketch. 

It showed a hole location in exactly the spot where one has been restored. Unfortunately, we also know that Thomas's sketches did not bear much resemblance to what was actually built. He tinkered in the field, or Bill Bell did. The result was a better course. Unfortunately, architects who rely on plans and who do restorations, seem to not be aware of the in-the-field methodology and it has led to a disappointing addition to Riviera's third.

Aerials do not show such a pronounced hole location, nor do photos indicate the funky tiering that is now in the once wickely subtle third. 230136-274329-thumbnail.jpg
Rear view 3 (click to enlarge)

Besides enlarging a green that was nice because of its fairly small square footage (and yet, number of versatile hole locations), the addition is fasinating because it seems to eliminate some of the deceptive qualities that have long made No. 3 unique.

Whether that deception crept into the design intentionally or through the evolution of the fronting bunker is debatable, but either way the real charm of this approach was the slight angle that the fronting bunker sat at, making goes at right side hole locations a bit daring (in the way that #12 at Augusta works, only with sand in this case).

And like the added hole locations on 8, 9, 12 and 13, the new work looks exactly that: like new, modern design ideas added to really nice old architecture.