Is this the perfect par 4? A bunker-lined dogleg inspired by Royal Melbourne

GOLF + Nicklaus Design Challenge

Matthew Seybert’s submission for the GOLF + Nicklaus Design Challenge.


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 Bramwell, Bryan Orellana, Trevor Hansen, Arno Kamphuis, Keith Maysley, Daniele Smith, Chance Williams, Tim Bailey, Grant Lau

Age: 38
Residence: Bronx, N.Y.
Occupation: Architect
Handicap: 6.3
Been playing golf for: 28 years

Favorite course you’ve played: Bethpage Black

Course you’d most like to play that you haven’t: The Old Course at St. Andrews

Ever designed a golf hole before? I was a junior designer and the project manager for the residential master plan that surrounds a golf course outside Cairo, Egypt. I didn’t design the holes but did coordinate the housing layouts around the golf routing.

Time spent on your design? I worked on my design in my free time for about two weeks, but it was based off of some doodles I had been fussing with since the Presidents Cup in 2019.

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

Please explain your creative process.

As an architect, I went through the same iterative process that I would for a building design or mixed-use master plan. I started with a big idea (The Fried Egg Dogleg), a simple sketch, and prepared refined sketches with more and more detail until I was happy with the result. The design came together fairly easily, but getting the details, particularly the green features and grades to a point I was satisfied was tricky. The design was inspired by Royal Melbourne, having spent a lot of time watching the Presidents Cup. In particular, I was inspired by the dogleg of the 6th hole of the West Course and a knob feature in the 16th green.

Alan Bastable

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.