News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Philip Gawith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2013-14 Winter Tour
« Reply #125 on: May 28, 2014, 02:34:23 PM »
Bogey, interested to hear your  further impressions of the course as a first-timer.

There is an Artisans Club but i am not aware that there membership includes any such duties!

Philip

Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2013-14 Winter Tour
« Reply #126 on: May 28, 2014, 03:13:56 PM »
Bunch of freeloaders, Phillip.  Put them to work!

More later on Huntercombe, but I'm debating whether it is my favorite golf course on the planet.  Nuff said?

Bogey
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2013-14 Winter Tour
« Reply #127 on: May 28, 2014, 04:48:29 PM »
keep the photos of Huntercombe coming, please!  and thank you

As requested - B&W view from behind the par-3 7th green

atb

Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2013-14 Winter Tour
« Reply #128 on: May 28, 2014, 07:06:10 PM »
Bunch of freeloaders, Phillip.  Put them to work!

More later on Huntercombe, but I'm debating whether it is my favorite golf course on the planet.  Nuff said?

Bogey

Bogey, aren't the old hollows wonderful?   I loved the pits out in front of the par 5 16th.   I cou,KD play y the re ev every day.  The early front none greens are just amazing.   

Philip Gawith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2013-14 Winter Tour
« Reply #129 on: May 30, 2014, 05:19:40 PM »
as requested,  some photos from the round i played about a month ago with Brian. There are much better photos elsewhere on the thread - and these appear a bit out of focus (new camera?) -  but they do show the course with some bright splashes of colour from the bluebells and gorse in the spring.

Philip







these first few are of the first green which has a great view into the middle distance now that they have cleared it up.



Tee shot on 2



3rd green



a favourite view - of the 5th hole back up to the clubhouse from the 17th tee

Philip Gawith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2013-14 Winter Tour
« Reply #130 on: May 30, 2014, 05:29:37 PM »
and a few more, apologies for wrong size!



green on 2



6



no 8



9



12




from behind 13



14




a view of the large pot on 16


Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-5 Winter Tour New
« Reply #131 on: February 28, 2015, 12:30:18 PM »
I notice that the club is trimming tons of branches thoughout the course, but not too many trees have come out as of yet  :'(  Anyway, Huntercombe was in very fine nick yesterday despite some crazy fairway lines a good 30% in from the vegetation  :-\ (the 8th being a prime example).  See updated tour on page 1.

Previous 2014 - 15 Winter Tour Stops:

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,33988.0.html  Notts

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,48115.0.html  Moseley 
 
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,47211.0.html  Worplesdon 

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,60107.0.html  Walton Heath New 

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,59831.0.html  Cumberwell Park Orange 

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30926.0.html  Kington 

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49796.0.html  Cleeve Cloud 


Future Scheduled Stops: Delamere Forest, Formby Ladies, Formby & Little Aston 

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 04:53:13 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Richard Fisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #132 on: July 29, 2015, 09:40:21 AM »
I am taking up Sean's invitation, and moving a Huntercombe-related exchange over from the '2 par fives' thread.

'Richard

It could also be that in the change of handicapping system, the 16th became a par 4.  Its hard to believe it remained a par 5 for its entire existence.  Otherwise, why squeeze out more yards to that 475ish mark?

Yes, I think Huntercombe was considered very long in its day.  I have seen some old yardages and few stand out as remarkably changed.  Maybe you would care to offer your opinion #s 2, 3, 5 and 14.  I don't want to overly hijack this thread so reply using the Huntercombe link.'

To answer as fully as I can, taking a lot of material from both John Moreton's centenary history (2001) and the earlier (1983) booklet by John Adams which, very usefully, contains a plan (reprinted from Golf Illustrated) of the near-original layout of August 1901,

the 2nd (original 7th, at 490 yards) was originally played much closer to the current 5th fairway, and doglegged round to a green some way above the present location: shortly after the opening, the field on which much of the 2nd now plays was obtained by the club, and one of the best bunkerless holes in golf gradually emerged. The green originally sloped markedly away from the player, but by 1904 it had been flattened and built up at the rear (as now). How this original hole could have been nearly 100 yards longer than the current 2nd is not, however, clear, and isn't accounted for simply by improvements in measurement techniques.

the 3rd (original 8th, at 456 yards) was likewise at least 80 yards longer, and the 1901 plan does suggest a tee much closer to the 2nd green, rather than the current walk through the bushes, and that would certainly account for much of the divergence (in addition to suggesting a truly heroic hole of c450 yards, given the nature of the green)

the 5th (original 10th, at 496 yards) tee was likewise further back, beside the 4th green, and it looks from the plan as if the 5th green itself was further on, almost behind what is now the 1st tee (I hope this is all making sense, and apologies to the non-Huntercombe-familiar): that would account for the 90-yard discrepancy in yardage

the 14th (original 1st, at 473 yards) may have played to a green a little further on from the current site (it's clear from the August 1901 plan that at no time was the original 1st tee ever across the Oxford-Henley road, close to the original clubhouse) and that seems the only explanation for the additional 40 yards.

My only other piece of evidence is a scorecard of my father's from ( would guess) the late 1940s, and that gives the current 14th (then 439 yards), 16th (443), 6th (520), 8th (438), and 12th (419) all as bogey five, and an overall bogey of 73.

I should perhaps state that by Huntercombe standards I am a relative newbie, having only been a member for about 20 years, although my  uncle Neill was secretary there during the 1970s, and the family connection goes back, as mentioned, quite a way.

Hope this helps, anyway. Rye has famously contracted over the years, and I wonder what other 'category one' courses have actively shrunk in the century or so since their foundation? Luffenham, which lost a trio of holes during WW2, might be a contender, and I am sure many GCAers can think of others: Rhyl, where the Welsh Championship was played immediately before WW2, and which lost half its course, is perhaps the most extreme example (without ceasing to exist altogether) that I know of personally.

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #133 on: July 29, 2015, 09:42:50 AM »
I can't speak to Huntercombe, but Sunningdale, which of course Park built at the same time, was considered very long indeed at first. Read Darwin from 1910, and he says he feels Sunningdale, more than any other course, was improved by the Haskell, because it was more playable.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

GLawson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #134 on: July 29, 2015, 09:59:31 AM »
Played in summer 2014 and loved Huntercombe.  Very interesting that Ian Fleming grew up playing this course.  It's also mentioned in the Goldfinger novel.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #135 on: August 01, 2015, 09:01:31 PM »
Richard

Thank you. 

I am still having difficulty figuring out the extra 100 yards on #2 with your description...same for the 3rd. 

Ciao 
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 04:59:16 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Richard Fisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #136 on: August 03, 2015, 05:57:18 AM »
So am I. It can't just be down to inaccurate measurement, not over that scale. The 3rd I can just about figure out (just), but not the 2nd. Apologies!

Mark Saltzman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #137 on: August 06, 2015, 01:31:53 PM »

[size=78%]As is the case whenever I play a new course, I try to avoid all information and photos beforehand.  As a result, I knew nothing about Huntercombe, other than it came highly recommended by GolfClubAtlas members and was designed by Willie Park Jr.  After playing the course, I was surprised to read that the layout was Park Jr's alone as I expected it was a modification of an earlier layout.  There is an odd mix of features.  I suppose it could be said that this is what contributes to the uniqueness of the golf course, but I struggled to find the harmony between the strategic and penal, and the subtle and overt.[/size]


Take, for example, the tone set by the second hole (lets ignore rough and tree lines throughout as I suspect we'd all agree they are something of a mess).  The second is an exceptional golf hole that uses the lay of the land and an angled green to create a demanding hole that nonetheless offers width and safety for the bogey golfer.  Contrast this hole with the 6th.  While I understand that the land is far less interesting, I was certain that the penal features (in the form of 3 crossing hazards without ample or any width to play alongside) were the remnants of an earlier design, reminiscent of the cross hazard on Royal Melbourne West's 15th.


And then we have the contrast of subtle and bold.  It was something of a shock to see the raised mounding surrounding the 7th green and worse was the raised 17th green.  Perhaps I'm being overly critical as, in both cases, I liked the hole, but throughout the round I found this random movement affected the continuity of the course.


A final question... how well do hollows serve as a hazard?  Do they require significant rough to be effective? I, fortunately, only found one throughout the round (the deep one, short of the 16th green) but as it was only a pitch the blindness didn't bother me much.



Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #138 on: August 06, 2015, 01:45:08 PM »
Mark

We have to be careful when speaking of width because I think the course was far wider 100 years ago than today. So a hole like the 6th may well have had space to steer around the hollows.  I am certain there was space on the road side of the hole, but I am sure you can understand the issue of safety causing trees to be planted the entire length of the hole. 

I am not sure the entire course is Park Jr.  For instance the 7th had its mounds put in after opening (but still quite early in the design evolution) and Park may not have directed the work. 

I like the hollows because one has a recovery, but often its not the end of the world and if well recovered a par can be saved.  That said, some hollows are far more hairy than others so its a bit of mixed bunch that really wants to be avoided even if one will often get a lucky lie.   

I don't worry about harmony of design so your concerns never occurred to me.  The 17th is a welcome break from what comes earlier and offers one last sting before finishing.   

Ciao
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 05:01:00 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Richard Fisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #139 on: August 12, 2015, 04:27:04 AM »
I heard a talk last night by Alan Henderson, Captain of the British Golf Collectors Society and a Huntercombe stalwart, which I think finally solves the mystery Sean and I were trying to unravel. In essence the original site for what is now the 2nd green was much further down the hill, almost backing on to the Oxford-Henley road, and the original drive for the current 3rd likewise altogether more demanding, 80-90 yards below its current site. Park (whose original intentions were not always viable within the land, as eventually secured) changed this routing very quickly. What is now the 1st hole was likewise played from a tee on what is the site now of the clubhouse itself, at an altogether different angle to the green. Mr Henderson displayed, also, a fascinating aerial view from 1946, showing no fewer than 50 sand bunkers of one sort or another in play: many simply became grassed over naturally, in the gentle post-war sleep of the course during the latter stages of the Nuffield tenure.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #140 on: August 12, 2015, 04:36:16 AM »
Richard

Thanks.  See the link below. Some of the now missing bunkers look very compelling and some of the newer ones look better placed.  This aerial comparison demonstrates how much width has been lost due to trees.  I know that we all know trees are an issue, but once one sees the difference it can be alarming.

http://golfcoursehistories.com/HC.html

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 07:41:57 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Ed Tilley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #141 on: August 12, 2015, 05:20:34 AM »

Richard


Thanks.  See the link below. Some of the now missing bunkers look very compelling and some of the newer ones look better placed.  This aerial comparison demonstrates how much width has been lost due to trees.  I know that we all know trees are an issue, but once one sees the difference it can be alarming.


http://golfcoursehistories.com/HC.html


Ciao

That older version of Huntercombe looks much more enjoyable than the new. As I've mentioned previously I find Huntercombe too claustrophobic. I was actually planning on going and playing yesterday evening on the twilight rate (£40) as I wanted to see it again given all the rave reviews on this site - I've never been wrong before but there's always a first time :). Alas, the weather didn't look great so I played at Frilford instead. I might try again next week before the light makes it impossible after work.

Conley Hurst

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2017-18 Winter Tour
« Reply #142 on: February 09, 2018, 10:17:45 AM »
I visited Huntercombe today for a cold and wet morning round. I am happy to report that there was a tremendous amount of maintenance work going on around the course, particularly involving some significant clearing of the undergrowth lining so many of the fairways.


Compared to my last round here in October, several areas were noticeably clearer today (i.e. behind 4 green, right of 6 fairway, around 10 green). They were getting started on some work to the right of 9 fairway and to the left of 16 fairway as well. Much more needs to be done as the course still has a somewhat claustrophobic feel, particularly off several of the tees. But the club seems to be committed to improving the presentation of the course.


There were also a few bunkers in the process of refurbishment (10, 16, 17) and some drainage work here and there. Come the spring, it all should look considerably better. Great things happening at Huntercombe!


 

JNC Lyon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2017-18 Winter Tour
« Reply #143 on: February 09, 2018, 12:28:02 PM »
I was just reminiscing about playing Huntercombe on a February day in 2010 with Sean A., Tony M., and Philip G. It poured for the first five holes, but after that the sun broke through, and it became a great day for winter golf. Once the round was over (I remember playing well but losing our match), we retired to the clubhouse, ordered tea and teacakes, and watched Ireland defeat England in rugby. This made our table happy, with Tony being from Ireland originally and Philip "having no love for English rugby," while the rest of the clubhouse groaned and the Americans looked on with a mix of interest and confusion. Since I had only been in England a month at that point, this was all a new experience for me, and it was fantastic. Thank you to Sean for pointing me to this hidden gem, Tony for driving me over and back from center London, and Philip for hosting.


A few comments on the course:


- The first four holes are brilliant. The short par three at 1 is unique in the golfing world, as far as I have seen. It's an 8-iron or less to a runaway green backed by Oxfordshire countryside, and it gives you the sense that Huntercombe is going to be something different. 2-4 are all standouts, due to their use of terrain and wicked green designs. No bunkering is necessary on any of these holes, which makes you wonder: how many bunker features (especially fairway bunker features) are redundant, expensive, and cluttered?


- I would agree with Mark S. that the hollows throughout the course are not fearsome hazards, but they do create some unsettling shots (16, for example, is not a comfortable approach, mainly because of the big crater in front of the green). They also mean a player's wedge game has to be honed to do well here, as the short-to-medium length pitch shot off an uneven lie will get a major workout here. Also, while the hollows may be less penal, the mounds on holes like 7 can be a nightmare, certainly more so than a bunker for the top 10% of golfers.


- 18 is the only letdown of the whole place. I suppose the layout fits with a match play mentality, in that the electrifying 15 to 17 stretch will decide most contests and 18 serves as a formality. I am not sure I buy this rationale. Call me a pampered American millennial, but I like to see a strong finishing hole, and the closer at Huntercombe does not deliver. It is overly similar to the 5th (though it turns the opposite direction) and does not offer the drama of what has preceded. Something more exciting on the tee shot, perhaps, would have closed things out in more appropriate fashion.


- The dog bowl outside the clubhouse is a major plus. As a new dog owner in Los Angeles (there is only one course in LA that encourages dogs--can you name it?), I appreciate this even more today.
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Kyle Harris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2017-18 Winter Tour
« Reply #144 on: February 09, 2018, 01:22:29 PM »
Quote
- The dog bowl outside the clubhouse is a major plus. As a new dog owner in Los Angeles (there is only one course in LA that encourages dogs--can you name it?), I appreciate this even more today.


Yes. Also has one of the best short Biarritz holes around.
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2014-15 Winter Tour
« Reply #145 on: February 10, 2018, 05:14:33 AM »
I heard a talk last night by Alan Henderson, Captain of the British Golf Collectors Society and a Huntercombe stalwart, which I think finally solves the mystery Sean and I were trying to unravel. In essence the original site for what is now the 2nd green was much further down the hill, almost backing on to the Oxford-Henley road, and the original drive for the current 3rd likewise altogether more demanding, 80-90 yards below its current site. Park (whose original intentions were not always viable within the land, as eventually secured) changed this routing very quickly. What is now the 1st hole was likewise played from a tee on what is the site now of the clubhouse itself, at an altogether different angle to the green. Mr Henderson displayed, also, a fascinating aerial view from 1946, showing no fewer than 50 sand bunkers of one sort or another in play: many simply became grassed over naturally, in the gentle post-war sleep of the course during the latter stages of the Nuffield tenure.

Richard

Do you have any ideas as to why the yardage was reduced?  Was it a cost saving measure?  When I look at the issue of the 2nd I can imagine if the left half of the hole was purchased after the course opened then that explains the reduction in yardage for 2 & 3....which is a considerable amount of perhaps 150 yards. This might also explain the reduction of yardage for the 5th.

Young JNC...you are welcome. I agree that 18 is a letdown.  Though I am not overly fond of the 5th either.

Ciao
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 05:17:59 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Philip Gawith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2017-18 Winter Tour
« Reply #146 on: February 10, 2018, 12:53:54 PM »
JNC - they lengthened the 18th hole by about 20 yards a year or so ago. Played into the prevailing wind it is quite a daunting hole and not an easy par. But I agree, not especially dramatic. I like the 5th. It has a slightly random tree that can obstruct a good drive, but has some nice features such as the low ridge on the right off the tee that helps shape the hole. And I like the overall rightward sweep up to the clubhouse. Not one of the best greens on the course but an awkward one to putt on.


There is no doubt that the club is now in the midst of a determined effort to tidy up the undergrowth and generally make the course less claustrophobic - an initiative as welcome as it is overdue, but which can only improve the course.


Philip

Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2017-18 Winter Tour
« Reply #147 on: September 11, 2020, 11:11:20 AM »
Enjoying Sean's Liphook review I could not resist on clicking his link to the review of Huntercombe.    I never tire of looking at and thinking about this course.   I find the comments regarding the course's status in England as immaterial.  I have it clearly in my top 10 favorites I've played and strongly encourage each of you to get there in your lifetime.   If you can go around with the Yank, all the bettter. 


It is the rare case of effective shaping in places and restraint elsewhere.  I like the sandless hollows and the half-stroke they exact. A great mix of pushed up and lay of the land greens - the fall-away third being my favorite.  I'm not bothered by the forestation since inception as it seems congruent with the area.  Sure, you could clear out some of the underlying brush, but there seems to be more than adequate room to golf your ball.


When one falls in love with a course, there is no need to assign it a number. 


Bogey
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Philip Gawith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Hollows Of HUNTERCOMBE: 2017-18 Winter Tour
« Reply #148 on: September 12, 2020, 05:22:49 PM »
Bogey I hope you get back to Huntercombe before too long. The new greenkeeper has done a wonderful job improving the presentation and playability of the course over the past two years. I played this afternoon and the course has never looked better in the twenty years I have been a member.


Also interesting, 85 players teed it up in the Autumn medal. Only two played better than their handicap, and this despite it being a fairly benign day and no stupid pins. A combination of the inherent challenge of the greens and “firm and fast” presentation Offers more than enough protection.


Philip

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back