Bryan Izatt

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Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« on: January 20, 2010, 05:11:10 am »
We kicked off the new year in style with two rounds at Barnbougle Dunes. My one fear going in was that, having traveled half way around the world, I would be let down by the experience.

From Canada, Tasmania looks to be off the edge of the known world, so I had anticipated that it would be isolated and rustic.  Turns out to be quite accessible from Sydney or Melbourne.  Arguably easier to get to than, say, Bandon Dunes, and, not really rustic at all.  Arriving at BD is certainly low key.  The entrance wasn't on my GPS and the signage on the road is minimal.  On the entrance road, you're left wondering where the dunes are, as it is on a dead flat cattle grazing plain.  Flat enough that there is a grass runway that runs parallel to the second hole.  Approaching the club house and cottages, the dunes become apparent.  The cottages are simple and spartan, but each provides a patio with a view toward the first tee, the 9th green, and the clubhouse and, further to the right, across the heli-paddock (oops, or maybe that's the driving range too) to the 10th fairway.







In the shop they give you a scorecard, appropriately simple and spartan, that is specific to the tees you are playing.  Based on handicap, they suggested either the back tees (6148 meters par 71) or a mix of the back tees and the next up depending on whether you were playing up-wind or down-wind.  Normally, the tips at almost 6800 yards on a par 71, would be too long for me, but given firm and fast conditions I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Unfortunately the wind was fresh in both my rounds, probably averaging 30 knots, and the holes were either downwind or upwind, very little cross-wind.  I have no idea if this was the prevailing wind or speed, but it was daunting.  The up-wind holes were killers, despite some of them being short 4's or 3's.

Now, onto the course. First thing I noticed was that the tees hadn't been cut in some time.  The grass was long and wispy, reaching up to at least the bottom of a teed up ball.  Don't think it affected play, but just looked odd.  I've never seen anything like it anywhere else.  The other feature of th etees that stood out is that they are ill-defined and not necessarily flat, nether of which is a bad thing.

The first hole is a 506 meter (560 yard) par 5 playing into the wind, at least on my two rounds.  It is a long slog into the wind.  The hole bends a bit to the right (in fact it seemed to me that there were a preponderance of left to right holes on the course. If I were doing a Doak rating on the course, I think that the first and second holes might tempt me to rank it a nine rather than a ten.  They are on pretty flat ground with the greens adding the primary interest and challenge to the holes.  Apart from the green complex, the first hole seemed a little mundane, but the flat ground needed to be utilized to route the course, I guess.




The tee shot is routed in a gap between two dunes that make the hole appear narrow, but the fairway is very generous, as are almost all the fairways on the course.




The second shot faces a wide crossing bunker on the right side of the fairway, presumably protecting the preferred right hand approach to the green.  Or is it just placed there to lure you to that side?  In any event, from those tees, and into the wind, it wasn't really in play for me on the second shot.

.

Sadly, I didn't have the time to get really good pictures of most of the greens, but the first green certainly provides a good introduction, with lots of internal movement.  It is relatively mild compared to many of the other greens.  Getting a third shot pitch or chip close to the pin locations is difficult without a lot of local knowledge.  These greens probably pretty well define defending par at the green.





  
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 09:39:19 am by Bryan Izatt »

Chip Gaskins

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 05:20:28 am »
Wow, that looks like my type of pin position in that saddle/bowl!

Bryan Izatt

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 09:41:26 am »


If you're coming in from the safer left side of the fairway, there are a lot of angles to consider on the green to get it close.  It sure doesn't gather to that pin.


Rob Rigg

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 11:33:02 am »
Ha - If you are a fan of flat greens you just got a wake up call on the first hole (and you clearly teed it on the wrong course) - that looks like the roof of the saddle dome in Calgary.

What is the effective area of the green and how many pin positions would be available?

It looks like the left side is not pinable?

Fun stuff indeed.

Anthony Gray

Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 06:46:37 pm »


  Love theses threads!!

  Anthony


Bryan Izatt

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 09:48:10 pm »
Rob,

Two plays was not enough for me to be able to answer your question.  Perhaps others more familiar with the course could.  I'd observe that the greens are not maintained super fast, so there are no doubt more pinnable places than there would be on greens stimping over 10.  In my recollection, I didn't see any greens that looked like there was any lack of pinnable locations.


Michael Dugger

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 10:03:09 pm »
Can we just fast forward to the pictures you took looking over at Lost Farm, please?  LOL!!!
What does it matter if the poor player can putt all the way from tee to green, provided that he has to zigzag so frequently that he takes six or seven putts to reach it?     --Alistair Mackenzie--

Emil Weber

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 10:07:45 pm »
Ha - If you are a fan of flat greens you just got a wake up call on the first hole (and you clearly teed it on the wrong course) - that looks like the roof of the saddle dome in Calgary.

What is the effective area of the green and how many pin positions would be available?

It looks like the left side is not pinable?

Fun stuff indeed.

Rob,

Its a really good and fun first green, I reckon there'd be about 3-4 different pin positions ?

During 8 plays in 3 days, the pin was actually placed front left / left everytime I played. It's a tricky pin position, one where its crucial to place your second shot near or over fairway bunker on the right hand side.

The first is one of the best opening holes I've ever seen. Wide fairway, strategic decisions on every shot, a great green site, great aesthetics... like every hole at Barnbougle basically.

Seriously I never saw a course that I thought was clearly superior to every other course I've played until I played Barnbougle. It's in its own "tier" in my book.

Bryan Izatt

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 10:13:38 pm »
Hole #2  Par 4 381 meters (420 yards)

The hole is essentially straight with the defining features being the length (especially into the wind), pinched landing area for the drive, and a raised, bunkerless green.  





The back tee is a little bit of a walk back from the 1st green and partly up on a dune.  It felt to me like you needed to fade the tee shot although a straight drive along the right would work just as well.  The dunes on the right covered in sea grasses that would mostly result in a lost ball are intimidating, although really not that much in play.  And, that darned bunker sitting out there on the left.  Is it an alignment target, or to save you from going into t he deep hay on that side, or an indication that the left is the preferred side for approaching the green?

As you can see in the picture, the forward tees are a bit up the dunes on the right and provide the same perspective as the back tees.  Kudos to Tom for placing forward tees that are just not afterthoughts.





Into the wind, a good drive gets you out near the one fairway bunker on the left.  I would guess that that is the preferred side to set up the approach shot to the angled green.  Into the stiff breeze, a run up shot seems most likely called for, but the raised front of the green provides challenges for the running shot.  I hit a pretty good driver off the fairway, but couldn't get it all the way there and up the ridge.  Like all the greens, being close to the green is no guarantee that you can get the ball close to pin on the chip shot.  Like most, if not all the greens at BD there are closely mown runoff areas around the greens that provide plenty of opportunities for creative recoveries.

Of course, the indigenous wildlife can also be a little distracting.


 


And, here, courtesy of David, a closer view of the contours of the green.





« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 10:38:42 am by Bryan Izatt »

Bryan Izatt

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 10:19:41 pm »
Patience, Michael.  I have one more Lost Farm picture when I get to the 16th hole.  But, don't wish away BD.  As Emil says it's at the pinnacle of great courses.  I'd be very surprised if Lost Farm turns out to be substantially or even marginally better.

Emil,

That's some praise for number 1.  I thought it was a good par 5 opener, but probably the weakest hole on the course.  Not to say it's bad or even mediocre, but it just pales to the other 17.


jonathan_becker

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2010, 10:31:52 pm »
Thanks Brian for doing this thread.  I'm highly anticipating the rest of the holes.  :)

Tyler Kearns

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 11:22:29 pm »
Bryan,

I think No. 2 is the least interesting hole on the course, and not surprisingly, it resides on the least compelling land at Barnbougle Dunes. I'm not sure whether the bunker complex on the left hand side of the fairway was constructed to provide some balance to the hole, but it seems a more natural location for them would have been cut into the dunes along the right side.

TK

Michael Dugger

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, 11:35:16 pm »
Patience, Michael.  I have one more Lost Farm picture when I get to the 16th hole.  But, don't wish away BD. 

Oh I'm not "wishing away" or discounting the first Barnbougle course...

It's analogous to the Tiger/Elin drama.... ;-)
What does it matter if the poor player can putt all the way from tee to green, provided that he has to zigzag so frequently that he takes six or seven putts to reach it?     --Alistair Mackenzie--

Bryan Izatt

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2010, 01:49:12 am »
Tyler,

I agree that 2 is one of the less compelling holes on the course.  Indeed, I was starting to wonder a little bit at that point about what all the fuss was about.  But, I did enjoy trying to run the second shot up onto the green (unsuccessfully), but did manage to pull a par out.  The trap, I think, is probably placed where the drive should be to open up the green to run in a second shot.  But, Tom or Mike could probably give a better view on what the intent was.  A trap on the right in the dunes would have been overkill in my view.  The long grass over there is hazard enough, as it is everywhere else on the course.


Matt_Ward

Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2010, 01:51:15 am »
Bryan:

Quick question -- first great photos & commentary -- look forward to the rest.

Can you tell me among ALL the courses you have ever played -- where specifically would you place BD. Is it ahead of Pac Dunes inyour mind? I'm assuming you have played the OR gem.

Thanks ...

Bryan Izatt

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2010, 02:11:32 am »
Matt,

I'm not a big fan of ranking in a numerical sense of this course is three places ahead of or 2 points better than that course.  I'd put Barnbougle in my top tier of courses played - probably even in my top ten.  I liked it a lot.  Admittedly, I have a weakness for links courses. 

I liked Pacific Dunes a lot too.  It's in my top tier as well.  I'd say that Barnbougle is a better site.  More dunesy.  But, I don't want to split hairs and say that one is 2 points better than the other.  There are a lot of similarities between the two, both architecture-wise and in the location and facilities.  BD is like Bandon used to be from a feeling of place point of view.  And, the price is certainly better than Bandon.  Which makes me sad about Bandon.

Anyhow, given the opportunity, I go back to either in an instant.


Jeffrey Stein

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2010, 02:17:22 am »
Planning a trip to Barnbougle Dunes this year, very excited to see your pics!  l would love to wait for Lost Farm, it looks like the timing will only permit me to see one course though.  Should be an incredible duo.
I love the smell of hydroseed in the morning.
http://worldgolf-jeffrey.blogspot.com

Tom_Doak

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2010, 02:18:56 am »
Bryan,

I think No. 2 is the least interesting hole on the course, and not surprisingly, it resides on the least compelling land at Barnbougle Dunes. I'm not sure whether the bunker complex on the left hand side of the fairway was constructed to provide some balance to the hole, but it seems a more natural location for them would have been cut into the dunes along the right side.

TK

Tyler:

It wouldn't have made any sense to have bunkers on the right of the fairway and a wide-open field to the left of them.  The bunkers are there to guard the left-center of the fairway which gives you a direct line into the green.  Most people cannot clear the bunkers off the tee when the hole is playing into the prevailing wind, so they have to play between the bunkers and the dune on the right.

I am sure the hole seems plain compared to what follows, but it is built in the same style of minimal disturbance.  And it's a reasonably difficult hole, thanks to the wind and the green complex; I'd wager that in a competition the scoring average on #2 would be one of the highest on the front nine.

Matt_Ward

Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2010, 02:56:24 am »
Bryan:

You said "probably" top ten. Hate to pin you down -- but can you be a bit more definitive. Is that yes or no?

What others would you include in your top ten ?

Tom D:

The wind pattern Bryan alluded to -- is that the prevaling headwind you get when playing the first two holes during their summer season ? was that part of your design efforts to include such a situation with that in mind?

do cross wind patterns routinely happen there -- or is it more headwind / downwind elements? should the wind flip from what Bryan experienced does the design account for that and is it equal to what it is when the prevailing blows?

thanks ...

Big Pete

Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2010, 03:05:52 am »
I am sure we discussed the 2nd hole in a thread a couple of years ago .
At the risk of repeating myself , the 2nd stands up well and becomes more appreciated the more you play it . Mike Keiser labelled it "an architects hole" because it was built predominantly outside the wonderful dune land , and brings you back into the dunes , allowing the rest of the routing to work .
 I walked the front nine with Bill Coore when he first arrived at Barnbougle and he was particularly impressed with the routing of holes 3 to 7 - none of which could have happened without the link 2 provides .
There were perhaps other routing options which may have provided holes more in the dunes for 2 , but perhaps then compromised what was to follow .
And the green at 2 is just great fun , and one of my favourites....
There used to be a big old pine tree framing the left side of the hole , but in his wisdom the landowner decided that his new runway would be better served without trees in the vicinity...

Big Pete

Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2010, 03:10:34 am »
Matt
Yes the north westerly is the prevailing wind through the summer months - in your face for holes 1 , 2, 3 , 4 , 7 ,12 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18

Bryan Izatt

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2010, 03:28:29 am »
Matt,

I'm sure you don't hate to pin me down.  OK, make that a definite, it's in my top ten (now I have to figure out what else is in my top ten  ;D).  As a sampler, I'd put it up with Pacific Dunes, Royal Dornoch, TOC, North Berwick, Ocean course at Kiawah, Sawgrass, Highland Links, Teeth of the Dog  ........  Not to divert the discussion, but, I preferred Barnbougle to Pebble, partly due to cost and partly due to the golf course land.  Barnbougle is far superior land and way less expensive..

Peter,

Since you seem familiar with the wind there, can you just confirm for me that 30 - 35 knot winds are not the norm.  If they are the norm then the strategies for the short 4's into the wind, such as 4 and 12, seem to me to be compromised.

 

Matt_Ward

Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2010, 03:40:13 am »
Bryan:

Many thanks -- love definitive answers. ;D

Likely you will get to this in time -- best hole, least impressive hole, most underrated, how different does the course play from different tee boxes - i'm assuming you played different tee boxes when there.

Bryan & Peter:

Can long hitters challenge the green at the 4th -- it appears from the club's wesbite photo there is room -- is the tee area you play set at ground level or slightly elevated? Also, it looks to be about 260 yards to clear that right massive bunker -- would balls then feed to the green if executed that way ?

Bryan Izatt

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2010, 04:13:57 am »
Matt,

I played the tips the first time, and one up from there the second time.  I didn't find a substantial difference based on the tees.  The course/wind beat me up both times.  The beating took place, for the most part, around and on the greens.

I'll deal with your questions about 4 when I get to that hole.


Tom_Doak

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Re: Barnbougle Dunes - Hole by Hole
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2010, 05:20:18 am »

Tom D:

The wind pattern Bryan alluded to -- is that the prevaling headwind you get when playing the first two holes during their summer season ? was that part of your design efforts to include such a situation with that in mind?

do cross wind patterns routinely happen there -- or is it more headwind / downwind elements? should the wind flip from what Bryan experienced does the design account for that and is it equal to what it is when the prevailing blows?

thanks ...

Matt:

As Peter Wood noted, the wind in your face on the first hole is the prevailing wind -- 75% to 85% of the time.  The only other strong wind I've seen is 180 degrees opposite.

The strip of dunes is very narrow so there wasn't really any chance to build holes that would have been crosswind ... you'd have started or ended out of the dunes altogether.

The clubhouse pretty much had to be in the middle of the course because of the location of the access road.  Bill Coore suggested that I should have started on the back nine (to save the most dramatic stretch for the back nine), but if we had done that, you would have played eight consecutive holes into the wind (15-18 followed by 1-4).  I preferred to split them up to the start and end of the round.  Most of the middle of the course does play downwind, but you turn back into the wind at 7 and again at 12.

Originally we had a more cross-wind hole laid out for #7 but the green site seemed much too severe for a severe crosswind shot.  So we started looking around for an alternate solution and found our Little Devil #7 instead.

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