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Craig Disher

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Knole Park - June 2006 w/pics
« on: July 15, 2006, 06:04:25 PM »
Knole Park GC hasn't received much attention here. It's a JF Abercromby design built in 1924 on a mixture of heathland and park land next to one of the great English country estates - Knole. Anyone who has seen The Addington would recognize Abercromby's sharp-edged bunkers cut carefully to follow the ground slope and his use of ground contours to create problems on a short golf course. Most of the greens, with one extreme exception - the 12th, are relatively flat and only slightly tilted according to the slope of the ground.

The course is on hilly ground near the clubhouse with greens and tees perched on tops of cliffs or in vales. After the 5th hole, the course moves out onto a plateau near the manor house giving spectacular views of the Kent countryside. The course is home to a herd of tame deer which wander the course at will. We played on a warm, sunny day so they tended to hide under trees and weren't too much of a bother. They add charm, and droppings, to the course. We had to shoo them off the 1st tee.

Just as at The Addington, the 1st hole is a simple par 3 up the hill away from the clubhouse. The 2nd hole is a short, par 4 played up a steep incline. A tee shot too far to the right will run 100 yds down a slope away from the fairway. The green is on the left just behind the large oak.


The tee shot on the par 4 3rd is blind into a valley which shares the fairway for the 4th hole.


Approach to the 3rd green from the valley.


The tee shot for the par 4 4th, a dogleg left. The line is towards the 3 small trees over the left of the large one.


The 4th green showing typical Abercromby bunkers.


The tee shot for the par 4 6th. The fairway is on a diagonal with a bunker and bracken patch placed at about 240 yds.


The par 3 8th


The par 5 9th. The two bunkers are in the landing area and gather any shot not drawn away from them.


The view from the 9th green looking back. The course turns back to the clubhouse here.


Perhaps the best hole on the course, the par 3 12th. It's the most memorable. The green has a 2-3' high spine that runs diagonally through it creating infinite problems if the tee shot isn't placed correctly. I was 15' from the hole and needed 4 putts. A few of the bunkers on the course stand out as not being in Abercromby's style - e.g. the 2nd one from the left here. James Braid was said to have "assisted" Abercromby and the raised grass face as seen here is similar to other bunkers he built.


The short (300 yds) par 4 13th hole. The fairway is bisected by a pond at 200 yards but since the hole is severly uphill and plays into the prevailing wind, most would play their tee shots safely short.


The par 5 15th hole. The deer had taken over the valley and we had to walk carefully through the minefield.


The view back from the 15th green showing the par 3 5th green and the 6th fairway.


The view from the 18th tee - o/b right over the stone fence and plenty of bracken before the fairway begins.


The 18th green and clubhouse.


Evan_Green

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Re:Knole Park - June 2006 w/pics
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2006, 08:05:09 PM »
Craig

Thanks so much for posting these pictures. Its a really neat looking course.

One of my favorite things about GCA is logging on and learning about a course I never previously knew existed!

Paul_Turner

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Re:Knole Park - June 2006 w/pics
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2006, 10:22:33 PM »
Thanks Craig.  I've been curious about the course fir a while, since it's an Abercormby and he built so few.  Looks to have it's own character particularly with all that bracken!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2006, 10:23:24 PM by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Tony_Muldoon

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Re:Knole Park - June 2006 w/pics
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2006, 03:13:55 AM »
Great report Craig thanks.  Do you know what kind of soil its on, I ask because it would be within reach for me this winter?  Hopefully by then I will have played Coombe Hill
Let's make GCA grate again!

Philip Gawith

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Re:Knole Park - June 2006 w/pics
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2006, 03:25:15 AM »
Thanks for the pics Craig - it is a great looking course. Also looks pretty difficult! Where is the course, roughly? In Kent?

Tony_Muldoon

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Re:Knole Park - June 2006 w/pics
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2006, 03:34:50 AM »
www.kentgolf.co.uk/knowlepark

Phillip, half a mile from Sevenoaks.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Craig Disher

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Re:Knole Park - June 2006 w/pics
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2006, 09:33:23 AM »
The turf away from the clubhouse was springy, much like the turf at Walton Heath. Nearer the clubhouse on the hilly parts the soil was firmer, probably containing more clay. During the winter I expect the holes in the valleys would become a bit boggy. But except for #4, #13 and #18, the greens are set high and would drain very well.

Although it's in Sevenoaks, it's not the easiest club to find. But if you're clever, it's only 5 minutes from the M25. It took me a good 20 minutes but now I know Sevenoaks.

Richard Boult

Re: Knole Park - June 2006 w/pics
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2008, 10:26:41 PM »
added to our gca photo tour directory at:

http://delicious.com/golfclubatlas/England

Mark Chaplin

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Re: Knole Park - June 2006 w/pics
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2008, 05:17:29 AM »
KP made the Golf World second 100 this year. Very worthy of a day out Abercromby has used the land well going through as well as across the valleys of the park. The course skirts Knole House one of the UK's largest with 365 rooms, 52 staircases and 12 court yards.

KP is a good value day out to boot especially as Sevenoaks is close to London and the M25. Also another very viable, 30 minute train ride from London and 5 cab ride from the station.
Cave Nil Vino

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