Blowing in the Wind
Steinbreder, John, Chief Executive (U.S.)
Paul Fireman was a 15-year-old sophomore at Tabor Academy in Marion, MA, when he played the 17th hole at the Kittansett Club for the first time. "I was on the school golf team, and Kittansett was one of the local courses we used," he says. "I liked the entire layout, but there was something special about the 17th." Four decades later, Fireman holds that same view, and though he has played dozens of different championship courses over the years, he still hasn't found a hole he likes more.
"Number 17 is definitely my favorite," he explains. "It's a par-four that measures only 395 yards from the back tees but most days plays a lot longer because the prevailing wind blows from the southwest right off the Atlantic Ocean and into your face. You have to hit your drive over a little hill, and the hope is your ball bounces off the down slope and rolls to a flat section of fairway. If not, you have a downhill lie that makes your second shot very difficult. Get down to the flat, and you'll have about 150 yards to a medium-sized green that has some undulations and is guarded by two bunkers." Good as the design is, what truly makes the 17th so great is the wind. …