Hole 12 "Ha-Ha"
The start of the Home Field - the last of the three distinct areas of the course - brings the second of the par threes: a comparatively straightforward hole climbing gently but steadily from a tee by the clubhouse to a green just outside the immediate grounds of the Castle. Hence the name, referring to a hidden ditch close behind the green, invisible from the tee but not to be visited; invariably resulting in either a penalty drop or a tramp back to the tee. The ancient ditch, intended to prevent livestock wandering too close to the Castle, apparently provided insufficient protection from golfers when the then Earl of Scarborough sanctioned the first course design in 1909, taking another twenty years before the hole could be brought into play. Then, as now, the slope leading up to the green leaves the flag, but not the hole, visible from the tee; though the entrance, between deep bunkers, is relatively wide. Yet the slope from the back can be beguiling; the embarrassment of a firmly struck putt running down and off never far away.
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