We’ve arrived at the two new holes created to make this Open a reality. You’ll see much coverage on this, including a Golf Channel feature I hope you’ll enjoy early in the week, with a special emphasis on architect Martin Ebert. (As with the previous flyovers, I can’t embed, so hit the links and enjoy.)
The new par-5 7th measures 590 yards and features a tribute to Nellie (hit link to see the flyover), the huge fairway bunker at the old 17th hole where the tented village will sit this year. What will be done with the old 17th has yet to be officially announced. But in the meantime, we will see if Ebert’s fairway bunker poses the same risk/reward threat as Nellie. From there the 7th winds through steep dunes that used to be part of Valley course holes before a fairly simple looking green, with some fall off left and in front. Note the exposure of sand in the dunes.
From there Ebert created a dogleg left par-4 8th that looks pretty stunning. The tees sit atop dunes and the 430-yarder bends around a ridge line except for one open sand pit that still looks a bit raw and new in this flyover. There are two small bunkers on the outside of the dogleg to catch drives not turning the corner.
This green complex looks much livelier than the 7th and similar to many at Portrush, with plenty of trouble for the missed approach.
Here are two R&A-produced videos with Rory McIlroy playing the new holes and giving his endorsement.