The finish to a round at Harbor Links -- starting at the high-altitude 16th tee and ending at the long dogleg 18th -- remains as daunting of a challenge in this 2018 season as it's been in the past. Catch the Port Washington course on the right day, however, and the final stretch will be a bit less grueling of a gauntlet as expected.
A new set of tees on Harbor Links' 17th has added a different, more pleasant dimension to the course's penultimate hole, a treacherous par-3 that has long combined length and hazards with fully blind views. Since they were built atop an adjacent hill in summer 2017, the new tees, on days they are in the rotation, give players the opportunity to attack the pin from up high with an unobstructed look at the green.
Renovations on the adjacent 18th provided the course's grounds crew with enough extra soil to build up the new tees and, in doing so, address some concerns about the demanding nature of the signature par-3. Stretching 185 yards and up from all but the forward tees, #17's original design challenges players to land a long-iron or hybrid shot on a peninsula green bordered by water deep and to the sides, and do it blindly. Reeds and fescue block any sight of the green, and once the ball's in the air, finding any offline shot is a guessing game.
The new tees -- measuring anywhere from 100 to 152 yards -- come in from more of a side angle and allow a full, elevated view of the water short and left, and the safe area to the right. It makes for a more scenic setup, and with water still largely in play, it maintains the hole's difficult nature while opening up birdie and par opportunities for a broader range of players.
Special thanks to GOLI follower Glenn Reeder, who snapped a photo of the hole (above) late in 2017.