Built after MacKenzie’s death but apparently to plans that he had left the University, the Scarlet Course at Ohio State first opened for play in 1938 but has been substantially overhauled in the decades since, most notably by Uni alumni Jack Nicklaus. Today’s layout barely resembles the MacKenzie plan, aside from the routing, and is a much more modern and penal test than the great old architect would have wanted. His use of gentle undulation is quite sound, particularly through the start of the back nine and on holes like the left falling par four 16th and the cross gully par three 17th. The rest of the holes are fairly mundane, the new bunkering is large, sprawling and pinches play tightly for the modern golfer but offers little strategic value. The green contours are much softer than MacKenzie’s, many targets are new Nicklaus creations while others borrow MacKenzie’s ideas but are softer and therefore less interesting.
The Scarlet Course isn’t a bad track but it’s a little compact, and several of the holes are a touch uninspiring.