What is a cape in golf?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

A cape in golf refers to a specific type of hole design that adds an element of challenge and visual appeal to the game. It is named after the geographic feature it resembles – a cape jutting out into the water. Cape holes are typically par-4s and can vary in length, ranging from the low 300s to mid 400s.

One defining characteristic of a cape hole is the presence of water or bunkers surrounding the green on three sides. This setup creates the illusion that the green is floating over a water hazard, adding a sense of drama and excitement to the hole. The strategic placement of the hazards forces golfers to carefully consider their approach shots and make precise decisions to avoid potential trouble.

The idea behind a cape hole is to provide both a visual spectacle and a strategic challenge for golfers. The sight of a green seemingly perched on the edge of the water can be intimidating, creating a psychological element that adds to the difficulty of the hole. It requires golfers to gather their nerve and execute well-planned shots to navigate the hazards successfully.

Personally, I have had the opportunity to play on a few golf courses that feature cape holes, and they have always left a lasting impression on me. The beauty and drama of the hole are truly captivating, and the strategic complexity adds an extra layer of excitement to the game. I vividly remember standing on the tee box, admiring the picturesque view of the green surrounded by water, and feeling a mix of anticipation and nervousness as I prepared to take my shot.

Cape holes are often strategically placed within a golf course layout to provide a memorable and challenging experience for golfers. They serve as a focal point, drawing players’ attention and testing their skills and decision-making abilities. The risk-reward nature of these holes can lead to a wide range of scores, making them exciting to play and watch.

A cape in golf refers to a hole design where the green is surrounded on three sides by water or bunkers, creating the illusion that it is floating over a water hazard. These holes are visually stunning and strategically demanding, adding excitement and challenge to the game. Playing on a golf course with cape holes can be a memorable experience, as they provide a unique test of skill and decision-making for golfers.