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Sean_A

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SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprise New
« on: February 01, 2008, 03:32:18 PM »
Of all the clubs associated with HS Colt, it is probably Sunningdale which springs to mind as the most important.  Not only did Colt make radical alterations to Willie Park Jr's Old Course and design the New, Colt was also the club Secretary between 1901 and 1913, a period in which Colt launched his career by designing several high profile courses which include nearby St Georges Hill and Swinley Forest.  Not long after resigning his Secretarial post, Colt sailed for greater glory in North America.  One of the projects Colt worked on was Pine Valley. The aesthetic similarities between this course and Sunningdale New are telling. Both are were vast, hilly, open sites with sand slashing through rough and fairway alike.  It is only in recent years this rugged, natural look which Colt promoted has finally come back into vogue.  Much of today's top architectural work is infused with this style which is closely tied to Colt.  Let us hope this trend continues!



Opened in 1922 to a Harry Colt design on Chobham Common, the course was soon radically altered in 1934 by Tom Simpson, though the original Colt routing was kept in play due to forceful membership interjection.  Holes 2-5 and 11-17 are original Colt holes even if not exact to original specification.  Colt's 6-10 saw the biggest change as these holes were all but abandoned and the old 6th with a new green became the 9th.  The 10th too had its tee moved at a right angle to play adjacent to the hill rather than down it. It is said the original Colt 6-10 were very good holes, but perhaps a bit too hilly, hence the reason for Simpson's work. Tom Simpson's redesign was not well received.  Five years later Colt was called back with J Morrison in tow to sort The New Course out and this is essentially the course we play today with a few changes here and there. Some years back the club cleared trees to offer a glimpse of the original Colt holes, but the hoped progress toward rebuilding these holes never materialized.

The last time I played the New tree clearing particularly around 15-16 and to the right of 6 was astonishing.  I thought far more clearance was going to take place, but it seems this is a slow process...the course could certainly benefit from more clearance.  The New isn't a course that can be easily labelled, perhaps because it has been chopped up on a few occassions and the flow isn't as smooth as the Old.  However, the variety of terrain, bunker schemes, greens (though they all tend toward the subtle side) & hole shapes are tremendous.  Its all made more lovely by the odd interior views which are on offer.  Especially impressive are the many greens which flow into fairways, often creating a bit of a false front.  The course plays fairly long and a few par 4s require two solid shots to get home from the forward tees.  Only 3, 8 & 16 can play relatively short if one is successful with an aggressive drive as all three holes dogleg severely right, as it happens. 

The opener is a difficult 400ish yard introduction to the course.  A new bunker on the left has tightened the hole a bit, but it does require a very good tee shot to reach the sand.


Behind the green.


The one-shot 2nd continues uphill play.


Trademark Colt knobs are clearly on display.


A shortish legger right, the third is one of those holes which begs the golfer to take the risky inside line.  Heather is pleasurable to the eye, but damaging to the scorecard.


One of the great three hole stretches in England commences with the 4th, another long two-shotter.  The heather is used to good effect in creating definition.  Nothing but two straight and long shots will see the golfer putting.


The approach.


An expertly placed bunker which must see a reasonable amount of action.  The green was moved to the lower right by Simpson then shifted back atop the plateau by Colt & Morrison.


Below is a look at how the hole originally looked...miles wider than today and barely a tree in sight. Patric Dickinson remarked that Sunny New is a brawny, athletic course. It is clear that the meaning of difficult has altered somewhat over the intervening 65 years.  It is only now that courses are being built which replicate the width seen in this photo and there seems to be a backlash against such seeming excess.  Leaning toward what Colt believed was appropriate width seems a sensible stance to take in any such discussions.


Behind the green today.


The 170ish yard 5th is another lovely hole with what should be a world famous bunker to carry. In the old days this must have been a daunting tee shot. 

H Rountree 1931 painting.




While still a fantastic hole, what exists today pales in comparison. 


The valley is quite deep!


At this point the current course alters radically from the Colt original.  The old holes essentially worked from the 6th tees (using the current 9th fairway) to the 10th green.  The new holes go the opposite direction, then swing back toward the 10th.  The few photos I have seen of the old holes makes me wonder what could be...Perhaps the best par 5 in the heathlands, the 6th is a tremendous risk/reward par 5.  I believe the second half of the hole, especially the green, is one of the few Simpson alterations which survives though I have to wonder if that green is Simpson's.  A good drive offers an opportunity to reach in two, but a miss right or left can easily result in a kiss on the card.




A brilliant hazard left of the green offering some hope for the wayward approach.


NLE 8th green.


NLE 9th.


The 10th from the original tee at a right angle to the current tee to the right below the ridge.


The current 7th is a shortish downhill par 4.  I think the flip wedge approach is more complicated than it would seem. The green is almost semi crowned from the left as it falls away.  The 8th and 9th are somewhat similar with blind drives over the crest of a hill. 


While the 8th is bunkerless, a rather harsh penalty of the dreaded gorse awaits the slightly leaked right approach, although a horrible forward tree was removed.  I don't know the evolution of this green, but it doesn't strike me as something Colt would design. 


A third ball buster par 4 on the front nine, the 9th is another long par 4 over seemingly acres of heather.  The New is not a course for those who can't consistently carry the ball about 150 yards! 


The 10th is a lovely par 3, though the angle of the tee is awkward in relation to the bunkering scheme.  The gap between the bunkers opens toward the old tee up the hill on the left. 




The remaining 8 holes aren't of the same quality as the opening 10.  Though there are some highlights such as #s 12 & 14.  Getting back to the 11th, the drive is obscured and swings hard left.  However, it is the shaping right and forward of the green which sets this hole apart.




Snaking uphill, the 12th is one of Sunningdale's best two-shotters.  The fairway bunker on the right reminds me of Walton Heath.  The greensite for the 12th is benched between high and low ground.  I am told that Simpson moved the green left of its current and original position.  I think the powers that be were right to shift the green back to higher ground. 




A fairly long par 5, the 13th is actually some 40 yards shorter than the original hole.  However, this hole doesn't do much to move my needle.  Which brings us to the spectacular 14th; the short hole Darwin thought was the best among a very accomplished set of short holes.


There is evidence here and there of filled in bunkers, but this hole has a handful of pits which have lost their sand.  Looking critically at the greensite, it could do with a complete removal of vegetation save for perhaps the right tree.  The design is quite similar to Moortown's famous Gibraltar, yet its visual impact is greatly dampened.


Swinging right over the rather odd pond and up the hill, the 15th fairway leaves a fair amount of space left to maneuver around the water.   I suspect the ditch used to continue up the hill prior to the pond being built.  It is difficult to figure out the yardage to the flag because of the uphill nature of the approach and the manner in which the green bleeds into the fairway.  The theme of obscured drives continues with the 16th, a legger right around OOB.  The difficulty of the 17th has never been in doubt, but it used to be the least interesting of New's short holes.  Recent vegetation clearing and bunker work has made the hole far more appealing.


The three-shot home hole is less than satisfactory.  With trees rather than heather crowding the fairway it is a bit jarring on the eye. The uphill approach, however, is very good.  Hawtree's fairly recent work surrounding the green is excellent.
 





I must say the the New impresses me despite less than stellar closing holes.  Without question, the par 3s set the course up as something special, but the All-England candidate 6th must be considered the best hole among a bevy of longish par 4s and 5s.  The question of which is better, the Old or the New always comes up.  All I will say is that it would be a mistake to skip the New because of its "second course" stature.  It has all the attributes of a proper course in its own right and should on no account be taken lightly.  1* 2018

Old Course
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,53335.msg1225962.html#msg1225962

Ran's Review
http://golfclubatlas.com/courses-by-country/england/sunningdale-new/sunningdale-new-pg-ii/

Thanks must go to P Turner for scanning the old photos. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 18, 2021, 04:38:57 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

John Kirk

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 07:11:24 PM »
Sean these are terrific.  I will copy these to my hard drive.  Thanks so much for the tour.  What a great looking golf course.

Paul_Turner

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2008, 08:03:18 PM »
Cracking stuff Sean.  

The heather looks healthy that's for sure and the course looks far better, lets hope for even more tree removal and heath restoration and it leaks over to the Old course.

 I think you're right about the challenge of the New,  it's probably only second to Walton Old in difficulty (Wentworth West doesn't count as heath anymore).

I think the 3rd had cross bunkers, in that depression/ridge in the fairway.  And the right/central bunker was added in the last few years.

The 5th has been amazingly transformed from how it was a few years back, when it had way too many trees and bland bunkers.  Although it'll probably never be  as spectacular as it was originally,  it's in the spirit of the original.   I don't like that bunker on the green's right hand side;  it's not original, doesn't fit and I think unnecessary.

The 6th is the best long hole on the London heaths.  Even better that 14 and 16 on Walton Heath Old, Addington 16...

The New has a convoluted evolution.  It basically boils down to  Colt original...a few holes were unpopular because they were too hilly,  Simpson redesigns and replaces those holes...Colt and Morrison return, change Simpson's holes.
 
For example, the 12th green:  Colt had it where it currently is, Simpson put it low and to the left, Colt and Morrison put it back.  A similar sequence occurred on the 4th too.  Simpson moved the green low/right and built a highly contoured one....Colt and Morrison move it back to the plateau a few years later.  

(The 8th green is Pennink).

14th is a great Colt par 3 that is often forgotten, such beautiful lines in that green complex.

The 15th:  instead of that pond, it used to have a ditch on a diagonal up the hill.  You can still make out the depression.  I think that might have been a great strategic drive given, with the width to the left and it would be an interesting but probably controversial feature to restore.

You are correct about the 10th, it was originally played from much further to the left because Colt's abandoned holes (6-9) went way up onto that ridge which you descend on the Old 10th tee shot.

I'd like to see all the trees go between 1 and 18.   The course used to be completely open there and its the one part of the course that feels parkland.   The Hawtree & Co bunker work looks quite interesting,  I suspect they will add heather to the bunker faces.

Any more pics?  2, 17?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 09:29:32 PM by Paul_Turner »
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Mark Chaplin

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2008, 08:03:32 PM »
Sean,

Great pictures, great golf course and a fine club. I met this evening with a friend whose membership to Sunningdale and the R&A recently came through in the same week....lucky &*^%!!

To answer your question they both stand up on their own merits, IMHO the New has a weaker #1 & #18, but better holes through the rest of the course. I'd be very happy to be "forced" to play either course. The New is tougher to score well on as well.

Chappers

ps only 3 weeks until I try to play again!  
Cave Nil Vino

Paul_Turner

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2008, 08:16:33 PM »
Colt at his peak, the 5th as it was originally. Note 2 front bunkers,  stretching over a wider area, and without bunker eating into the green.  Looks like the green extends further to the bunkers too:

« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 08:41:08 PM by Paul_Turner »
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Sean_A

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2008, 04:20:05 AM »
Cracking stuff Sean. 

The heather looks healthy that's for sure and the course looks far better, lets hope for even more tree removal and heath restoration and it leaks over to the Old course.

 I think you're right about the challenge of the New,  it's probably only second to Walton Old in difficulty (Wentworth West doesn't count as heath anymore).

I think the 3rd had cross bunkers, in that depression/ridge in the fairway.  And the right/central bunker was added in the last few years.

The 5th has been amazingly transformed from how it was a few years back, when it had way too many trees and bland bunkers.  Although it'll probably never be  as spectacular as it was originally,  it's in the spirit of the original.   I don't like that bunker on the green's right hand side;  it's not original, doesn't fit and I think unnecessary.

The 6th is the best long hole on the London heaths.  Even better that 14 and 16 on Walton Heath Old, Addington 16...

The New has a convoluted evolution.  It basically boils down to  Colt original...a few holes were unpopular because they were too hilly,  Simpson redesigns and replaces those holes...Colt and Morrison return, change Simpson's holes.
 
For example, the 12th green:  Colt had it where it currently is, Simpson put it low and to the left, Colt and Morrison put it back.  A similar sequence occurred on the 4th too.  Simpson moved the green low/right and built a highly contoured one....Colt and Morrison move it back to the plateau a few years later. 

(The 8th green is Pennink).

14th is a great Colt par 3 that is often forgotten, such beautiful lines in that green complex.

The 15th:  instead of that pond, it used to have a ditch on a diagonal up the hill.  You can still make out the depression.  I think that might have been a great strategic drive given, with the width to the left and it would be an interesting but probably controversial feature to restore.

You are correct about the 10th, it was originally played from much further to the left because Colt's abandoned holes (6-9) went way up onto that ridge which you descend on the Old 10th tee shot.

I'd like to see all the trees go between 1 and 18.   The course used to be completely open there and its the one part of the course that feels parkland.   The Hawtree & Co bunker work looks quite interesting,  I suspect they will add heather to the bunker faces.

Any more pics?  2, 17?

Paul

I loved the 6th, if you are going for the green it may be the best second shot on the course.  Though, I think Addington's 16th may be its equal because it takes more effort to place the drive in a position to go for the green.  Off the top of my head I can't think of another par 5 in the heathlands which can rival these two. 

So far as the Old goes, I get the impression that folks want to more or less keep it as it is where the trees are concerned. 

I don't know if the New can eclipse the Old mainly because of the history of the Old, but with stellar holes such as 4, 5, 6, 12 & 14 I couldn't say the New is a little sister to the Old. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 11:03:56 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

David_Tepper

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2008, 12:09:45 PM »
Sean -

Thanks for the wonderful pics. The course looks to be in fine shape for the winter season.

I played both courses at Sunningdale in one day well over 20 years ago. While my memories are a bit hazy, I do remember being every bit as impressed with the New as I was with the Old. You are absolutely correct when you say the New should not be thought of as a "second" course.

DT  

Scott Witter

Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2008, 12:34:26 PM »
Sean:

Great tour thanks.  I agree with you on the smooth and subtle transitions between putting surface and fairway...it does make you think and  that's precisely what we want.

I was surprised though and the narrowness of so many holes when cut through trees.  I would have expected to see much more width with more options.  From looking at pictures of The Renaissance Club, it seems Tom Doak and crew gave their effort more width inspite of trees.  Your thoughts in this regard?

Finally, though no one else commented, the difference in bunkering within the first few pictures was obvious.  I find it odd and not at all fitting for the site given the influence of adjacent courses.

TEPaul

Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2008, 01:42:13 PM »
Sean:

On your photo of the tee shot on #9 that is just the cutest and sweetest and neatest and dearest teeeny little pond on that cartpath I've ever seen on a golf course. God I hope they keep that.

Seriously, though, wonderful picture tour.

I'm only being about half facetious when I ask what the possibility is that the club will consider taking most all the trees off that golf course and return the course to the look in that wonderful old photo of the 5th hole?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 01:45:23 PM by TEPaul »

Sean_A

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2008, 02:25:49 PM »
Sean:

Great tour thanks.  I agree with you on the smooth and subtle transitions between putting surface and fairway...it does make you think and  that's precisely what we want.

I was surprised though and the narrowness of so many holes when cut through trees.  I would have expected to see much more width with more options.  From looking at pictures of The Renaissance Club, it seems Tom Doak and crew gave their effort more width inspite of trees.  Your thoughts in this regard?

Finally, though no one else commented, the difference in bunkering within the first few pictures was obvious.  I find it odd and not at all fitting for the site given the influence of adjacent courses.

Scott

To be fair the trees are not really an issue so far as playablity is concerned except for a few spots such as between 1 & 18.  I would like to see this area cleared.  However, the course is a bit narrow in spots especially where the blind drives are concerned, but this due to heather.  Many of these blind drives are on bending holes and it isn't difficult to strike a ball well only to find the line wasn't right.  In the summer this must be a big issue and I have to believe many of these holes would be played conservatively by many.  

I am not against a variety of bunkering styles on a course per se, but I do think some shaping issues for some of the bunkers need to be addressed.  There are a handful of bunkers which I don't think are necessary as well.  

This all may sound like these matters really drag on the quality of the course when in truth they don't.  The New is a wonderful course and I would be delighted to play it again.  

Tom

I don't think there is a snowball's chance in hell that anything like all the trees are going to be felled.  Its amazing that the club has been convinced to do what they have!  The difference between 5 years ago is astonishing.  I also wonder if trees help block sound from neighbouring roads.  Sunningdale is a very peaceful spot that isn't overlooked by housing despite being some 25 miles from the centre of London.  The only area that noise rears its ugly head is out on the part of the property (#s 6 & 7) where trees are greatly less in number.  I wouldn't like to invite road noise (mainly from the M3 and probably to some degree M25) and if trees help block it then I am all for some trees.

Ciao
   
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Tony_Muldoon

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2008, 02:46:24 PM »

  Off the top of my head I can't think of another par 5 in the heathlands which can rival these two.  

Ciao

Worplesdon's 11th?  

Great report Sean.  I must say Sunningdale offers the top 36 hole day I've yet enjoyed (Portrush to come in April).

When I played a couple of years ago I felt that the club itself treated the New as the lesser of the two as it was then clearly less well maintained.

For a golfer of my abilities it was easier to love the old, though I preffered the 3's on the New.


 
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David Stamm

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2008, 02:48:35 PM »
Thank you for this effort, Sean. I can never get enough of seeing Sunningdale or Colt for that matter. What a sublime looking course. I love the simplicity captured in some of your photos.
"The object of golf architecture is to give an intelligent purpose to the striking of a golf ball."- Max Behr

TEPaul

Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2008, 03:11:54 PM »
"I also wonder if trees help block sound from neighbouring roads."

Sean:

You bet they do. You can't imagine how much. Matter of fact they do it better by a factor of about five when they have leaves compared to when they don't. But if there are no trees it would probably be a real shock to the club.

The dynamics of sound carry is really interesting. For instance, if the sound has a hill to go over and the course is below that hill the sound basically goes up over that hill but doesn't come down again that much. Across water, you can't believe how far even faint sound carries in various calm conditions.

Good Call.

I wouldn't suggest removing all the trees back to something like that old photo of #5 any more than I'd recommend removing trees at Pine Valley to the degree some on here suggest.

I just thought that old photo of #5 looks really spectacular in how much you can see.  But times change and golf clubs sure should consider how much some things change with it.

But let's be really optimisitc here. What are the chances the club can blow up all those roads around it to get rid of that road noise today that didn't use to exist?

I'll even offer to do it for them. I could be over there, do it in the middle of the night and I could be halfway back to Philadelphia by the time they got around to figuring out the extent of it. All you have to do is put out the road blocks so I don't kill a bunch of English.

But as to your thread question of whether the new can outclass the old in the future----I don't see why not. I think a number of them probably already have but to do it in real quantity there's still a long row to hoe.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 03:16:03 PM by TEPaul »

Sean_A

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2008, 06:34:48 PM »
Colt at his peak, the 5th as it was originally. Note 2 front bunkers,  stretching over a wider area, and without bunker eating into the green.  Looks like the green extends further to the bunkers too:



Paul

I know you are not enamoured with the two bunkers on the right of #5 and they aren't terribly attractive, but then you say that about just about any Colt bunkering scheme that has been altered in form or function.  

It occurs to me that the entire right side of that green is very different from the old days.  I suspect the two bunkers were put in to stop the guy who loses one right and gets lucky with a kick off the hill back onto the green.  In the old version it looks like that wee hill isn't there - its a gigantic bunker instead.  If this is the case and I do know it is possible to lose one right and have it kick back because I did this very thing and ended up in the bunker, then I think a bunker should be there to cut off that cheesy crap shot gonna get away it nonsense.  

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Paul_Turner

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2008, 06:43:40 PM »
Sean

That's all part of rub of the green.  Nothing too wrong with that.  

There hillock on the right isn't there because it's fill for the 6th tee.   And the current 6th hole wasn't added until the 1930s (Colt/Morrison)  a decade or so after the black and white photo. (The original 6th was routed similarly to the current 9th).  I don't know when that specific tee was added and the 5th bunker scheme was changed.

Regarding the trees,  I think a load could be chopped in the central areas and some beautiful views would be opened up.  The 9th still looks pretty claustrophobic.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 07:41:23 PM by Paul_Turner »
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RJ_Daley

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2008, 07:43:08 PM »
That is how nice winter golf is in England!  That looks very tantalizing at this moment!  :o ;D
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Sean_A

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2008, 03:43:10 AM »
Sean

That's all part of rub of the green.  Nothing too wrong with that. 

There hillock on the right isn't there because it's fill for the 6th tee.   And the current 6th hole wasn't added until the 1930s (Colt/Morrison)  a decade or so after the black and white photo. (The original 6th was routed similarly to the current 9th).  I don't know when that specific tee was added and the 5th bunker scheme was changed.

Regarding the trees,  I think a load could be chopped in the central areas and some beautiful views would be opened up.  The 9th still looks pretty claustrophobic.



Paul


I agree, there are some good interior views lost due to trees which don't add to the experience.

I figured the 6th tee had something to do with how the area in question changed.  BTW - there is a new tee high up on the 6th which changes the angle - the carry over the heather is much more daunting to get into primo position.  Though I suspect the carry will make no difference for the flat bellies - just the shape of the tee shot.

I know where you are coming from.  However, if we are talking about keeping (restoring) Colt design principles then the question has to be asked if Colt wanted a kick in from the right.  It wouldn't appear to be the case.  Also, if a guy can carry the all the crap to use the kick in he can aim straight at the green.  The kick in isn't really necessary unless the carry for that shot is less than the aggressive line. 

Dick

Don't get carried away.  There are plenty of awful English winter days.  It was meant to be about 5 C with 20-25 mph winds, but for some reason all the carnage (and much worse wind) stayed up north.  Thankfully the Scots thrive on that sort of weather - its what makes em Scots. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 11:08:21 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Paul_Turner

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2008, 08:12:56 AM »
Sean

I'd like to know when that tee was added.  I'd be surprised if it was added by Colt/Morrison because of the impact to the 5th and because there's loads of room to the right.

So if they now have a back 6th tee in that area way right,  the original 5th green complex could be restored by removing that 6th tee and rebuilding that huge bunker on the right side.
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Mark Bourgeois

Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2008, 08:39:41 AM »
In his initial post, Sean wrote:

"The 170ish par 3 5th is another lovely hole with what should be a world famous bunker to carry.  In the old days this must have been a daunting tee shot.  I think this pic and the previous one demonstrate what I mean about greens flowing into fairways creating false fronts and making it difficult to distinguish yardage."

I have read Colt's explanations of creating plateau greens and "hummocky" ground.  The purpose was to challenge the "artist in approach."  From my reading, Colt used the features to present a physical test, a test of touch, such as negotiating a ball over rolling ground to its final position very near the pin -- not as a deception!

Also, he writes of seeing better players challenged by such plateaus on links courses.

I can't recall mention of depth perception or visual trickery / deception.

Perhaps Paul can supply us with further information.

The reason I find the thought expressed in the sentence so interesting is that's how many of us would think of it, but at least in 1912 Colt didn't think of it that way. Would club golfers?

Today two relevant things have changed:
1. Equipment defeating Colt's intent of challenging the "artist in approach" -- just fling it right onto the green -- must figure depth perception right, whereas with ground game the challenge perceived is more of, "How hard do I have to hit it to get it up that hill?" And / or....
2. How golfers perceive design elements -- more likely to see intent of visual deception.  Perhaps it's just a function of change #1, but there's a larger idea here of designers designing not simply for the physical or even "mental" challenges but also for the emotional challenges, the notion of including an element for purposes of deception, joy, surprise, etc.  Standing with club in hand and not being sure where the ball needs to go, despite having the flag and green in full view -- that's deflating, isn't it?

(I suppose there is a "physical" challenge here: how good one's eyesight is.  But that's not what I meant by the word...)

This is something I tend to associate with MacKenzie, this idea of creating a course, a hole, a bunker, a feature, not only using an understanding of how the golfer will play / avoid / conquer it, but also how the golfer subjectively will see it (versus how it really is) and how it will affect him.  For example: bunkers that look bigger than they really are, to give the golfer who negotiates it the feeling of satisfaction, of achievement -- as Mac writes, "to give the player thrills."

Or in this case the mental and emotional affect of a plateau green.

Mark

Sean_A

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2008, 09:33:41 AM »
Sean

I'd like to know when that tee was added.  I'd be surprised if it was added by Colt/Morrison because of the impact to the 5th and because there's loads of room to the right.

So if they now have a back 6th tee in that area way right,  the original 5th green complex could be restored by removing that 6th tee and rebuilding that huge bunker on the right side.

Paul

I believe the new tiger tee on 6 was added within the past year or so.  I can't see this tee replacing the current one with the carry involved.  It would be design traits like this which would really work to create a "championship" course and a "gentleman's" course.  I hope they don't decide to go down a route such as this.  

Mark

Many of the approaches on the New blend with greens, but they are often uphill approaches with bunkering extending beyond the greens creating situations where having the correct angle of approach is imperative in summer conditions - that is to say hitting the run up alley.  I couldn't say if Colt also intended the decision-making process in determining yardage to be a bit blurry, but in winter it is crucial because the course isn't keen.  Its so easy to come up short.  

I recall commenting to Tom that on a few greens (such as #15) they could extend that green much further forward past the bunkering which would make a devil of a putt coming from the middle of the green to a frontish hole location.  Though I would think that sort of hole location would be reserved for winter and special events.  I can easily see guys putting well off the green.

Ciao  
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Paul_Turner

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2008, 09:52:39 AM »
Sean

The back member's tee doesn't have to be the new championship one.  There another one further to the right that doesn't impact the 5th.  And there lots of room to build an additional tee that is further right but without such a fearsome carry.
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Paul_Turner

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2008, 10:02:40 AM »
Aerial of the 5th green and 6th tees. (9th tees too)

can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Scott Witter

Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2008, 11:33:02 AM »
Sean:

Thanks, and I will certainly take your word on clearing and blindness/width issues, since you have played the course and I haven't.  The explanation helps.

I appreciate and respect your view on bunkers, but it still seems to me that when doing a course with so much influence around you that the least that can be done is to get details right like bunkers to all follow a similar theme onto themselves and to the surrounding landscape.

Sean_A

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Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2008, 03:17:30 PM »
Sean:

Thanks, and I will certainly take your word on clearing and blindness/width issues, since you have played the course and I haven't.  The explanation helps.

I appreciate and respect your view on bunkers, but it still seems to me that when doing a course with so much influence around you that the least that can be done is to get details right like bunkers to all follow a similar theme onto themselves and to the surrounding landscape.

Scott

For heavens sake, don't take my word for any of this stuff.  Have a look yourself - Sunningdale is surely worth a visit for anybody interested in architecture.

In a perfect world I agree with you.  I personally like the heather lined bunkers, but many are the same shape as the non-heather lined bunkers - sharp edge clam shell deals or little grass roll-over deals.  If the function remains the same I think the form isn't terribly important - mainly because its all a matter of personal preference anyway.  If I had my way there would be one hell of a lot more revetted bunkers which gather.  I don't necessarily think they are the best looking bunkers, but they are the least intrusive visually with the maximum potential for impact functionally.  

Paul

When was your Google image taken?

Ciao  
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 03:20:24 PM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Sean_A

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Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2018, 11:13:57 AM »
I had the great pleasure to play the New again after a many years.  Not surprisingly I found the course impressive...and difficult.  I had hoped to see many more trees cleared, but that doesn't seem to be the case, though I think some new back tees have been installed since my last visit.  I recall Paul writing about restoring the large bunker right of the 5th green, an area which was used for the 6th tee.  That tee is now used for the 9th!

Anyhow, see the signficantly updated tour.
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,33173.msg659312.html#msg659312

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

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