Is this the perfect par 4? A desert beauty that doesn’t kick you in the teeth

Keith Maysley's par-4 design

Keith Maysley's par-4 design.

Ed. note: The inaugural GOLF + Nicklaus Design Challenge, to which contestants submitted plans for their dream par 4s, attracted nearly 200 entrants. From that group, the experts at Nicklaus Design, along with a handful of GOLF editors and writers, nominated 10 finalists — and now we’ve recruited your help in picking the winner. (You can cast your vote here.) To give you more insight into the designers behind the designs and how they conjured their holes, we’re profiling each of them in more detail in the coming days. The winner — which will inspire a hole design on an upcoming Nicklaus Design course — will be announced on or before May 15.

Previous finalist spotlights: Todd BramwellBryan OrellanaTrevor Hansen, Arno Kamphuis


Age: 42
Residence: Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation: Sales director for an eyewear company
Handicap: 5.8
Been playing golf for: 30 years. My dad got me my first set and taught me how to play. I played collegiate golf at Johnson & Wales University, in Charleston, S.C.

Favorite course you’ve played: Pinehurst No. 2. The super-tough greens and having a caddie for the first time made it memorable.
Course you’d most like to play that you haven’t: Cypress Point
Ever designed a golf hole before? I used to draw detailed courses when I was younger when I started playing golf but it has just been doodles of holes at my office during phone calls waiting on hold. (Coworkers still razz me about it.)
Time spent on your design? About 4-5 hours. I did one design before this desert-themed one but I felt it was too “Golden Tee” from a design standpoint.

WE WANT YOUR VOTE! Click here to pick the perfect par 4 from among our 10 finalists

Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C.
Pinehurst No. 2. Christian Hafer

Please explain your creative process.

I love to play in the desert, so after my first failed design I decided to focus on that type of terrain. I also prefer when courses have a memorable finishing hole so I decided to make this an 18th hole. From there, I just wanted to add features I think people would like to play from all handicap ranges. I understand most people want to play on gorgeous courses but a long par 4 that people can’t reach in two can seem too daunting. This hole is the perfect finale to a great round for all levels of players.

Golf course design
golf course design

Designing the hole started out fun and got my creative juices flowing but where I’m guessing most contestants got frustrated (like I did) is calculating all the measurements like widths of fairways, greens, bunkers, etc. Initially, you feel the scale is just fine when designing, but then you research the width of your favorite features on current courses and realize things just become ridiculous if this course came to life. I did the best I could to emulate realistic dimensions on the course so it could translate the best if by any chance it was selected to come to life by GOLF Magazine and the Nicklaus Design team.

Click here to see all 10 of our finalists and vote for your favorite design.

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Alan Bastable Editor

As’s executive editor, Bastable is responsible for the editorial direction and voice of one of the game’s most respected and highly trafficked news and service sites. He wears many hats — editing, writing, ideating, developing, daydreaming of one day breaking 80 — and feels privileged to work with such an insanely talented and hardworking group of writers, editors and producers. Before grabbing the reins at, he was the features editor at GOLF Magazine. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the Columbia School of Journalism, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and foursome of kids.