By Jason Lusk
Lusk: 10 unforgettable holes I played in 2021
No. 16 Belvedere
A view across the green of No. 16 at Belvedere Golf Club in Michigan. Photo courtesy of Brian Walters Photography
346 yards, par 4
Clearly I have an affinity for short par 4s, perhaps because I don’t hit it long enough these days for many holes to still qualify as short. But I was blown away by the options and challenges presented on No. 16 at Belvedere in Michigan, a William Watson layout that has been restored by Bruce Hepner.
Uphill off the tee with two seemingly innocuous bunkers flanking the fairway and a creek way to the right, No. 16 forces players to make a choice. A mid-iron would do for many players, or a hybrid, maybe a fairway wood to the short grass. Any of those would be smart. But the hole dares players to smack driver, trying to get as close to the green as possible.
But that green is perched some 20 feet above the fairway, and any shot that lands short or on the right side is likely to roll down and away dozens of yards. Taking that into consideration, it seems entirely wise to maybe aim a bit left on the approach, but the left side of the green is protected by evil little slopes, from where it’s entirely possible to send a ball skittering all the way across the green that slides away from that left side. That results in the ball rolling back down the hill right of the green and into the fairway – the exact calamity you were trying to avoid from the fairway in the first place.
It’s a devilish green, full of promise and deceit. It’s incredibly fun to try and figure it out, then pull off the shot.