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Bamboo Wall 2.0
A hyzer bomb or thumber were common shots around Hole 7’s bamboo wall in recent years at the USDGC. This year, however, those same shots could likely lead to a missed mando.
Once known to be one of Winthrop Gold’s easier birdies, the Bamboo Hole now sports a triple mandatory entrance that strongly encourages a more direct route.
Instead of a ceiling-less gap from two contoured bamboo walls, the new structure is essentially one piece with a garage door shaped opening that’s 15.5 feet wide and 10.5 feet tall. The gap is the only way to gain entry to the green.
“It will take a line drive to get it there,” said Course Superintendent Michael Shugart, who built the new wall.
At the wall’s ends, mando string runs the width of the hole, so if players miss the wall completely, they’ll be making a visit to one of two drop zones, placed 45 feet from either side of the gap’s opening. From there it’s no picnic to the green either. Players may be forced to employ some inventive shots to wind up with an easy putt.
USDGC Course designers Harold Duvall and Dave Dunipace thought the hole’s previous set-up did not have enough scoring variety, and emotionally there was little upside.
“A birdie was not a cause for celebration – it was simply what was expected. Par or worse was failure,” said Duvall.
Now, just getting the disc inside the gap will be a cause for celebration. That, followed by a successful birdie putt will give players “two scoops of joy,” said Duvall.
The tradeoff is fewer ace runs, but the ace run is still there.
Making up the wall, about 100 Bamboo poles are supported by six, 16-foot 4 by 4 wooden posts. Construction took a total of 5 days including some adjustment to make the gap taller. At its tallest point the wall now stands at about 14 feet tall, which is about three feet taller than before.
Once Duvall gave the order to make something with a triple mando, Shugart started figuring out how to hold it together.
“A well braced backbone to the wall is what it needed,” said Shugart.
Building this wall was a greater challenge then the last time it was built in 2010, said Shugart. With the triple mando, there were more variables to keep on top of while still making it a solid structure, said Shugart.
Shugart and USDGC staffer Justin Alderman, who assisted on the job, felt like the end result will amount to a stronger structure then years before.
“It’s (Hurricane) Hugo proof … At least it feels Hugo proof,” said Alderman.