News:

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


Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Wiley WHITTINGTON HEATH: HS2 Work Well Underway
« on: July 19, 2008, 07:15:48 PM »
Whittington Heath is one of the older clubs in England being founded in 1886 near Litchfield, birthplace of Ben Johnson.  Before becoming a golf course the area was used for horse racing.  The road on #6 is evidence of the old track and the clubhouse still retains the shape of a racing stand. Being next door to Whittington Barracks, the course was originally for military personnel.  After some time civilians were allowed access and eventually the Ministry of Defense sold the course to the members in 1994. In 1927 HS Colt redesigned some of the front nine using the existing corridors for the current 1-3 and 6-8.  All but the 18th on the back are original Colt holes.   I don't know the changes Colt performed on the holes he didn't design, or how the bunkering has been altered, but Whttington Heath feels quite unusual for a Colt course as the bunker scheme seems much more penal than his other non-championship work. 

What intrigues me most about Whittington Heath is its ability to continually impress me over multiple plays.  This is especially surprising given the course doesn't have any really stand out holes.  However, balanced against this is the lack of any duds.  There are enough interesting architectural features to keep me keen.  Of special interest is the terrain.  One gets the impression the course is flat, but that would be mistaken.  The elevation changes are very subtly dealt with and part of the way Colt incorporated the terrain is with several front to back running greens. #10 is a perfect case in point.  The fairway is wide open, but the green is severely tilted and must be approached from the correct angle.   

Given my high regard for the course, my apprehension concerning the redesign due to HS2 is understandable.  As seen by the map below, the rail line will cut the course in two and make it necessary to relocate the house.  Five entirely new holes to the design of Jonathon Gaunt are currently being built directly beyond the current 1st green, which will become the 18th.  Thankfully, the main changes to accomodate the new holes will occur on the front nine. No full holes will be lost on the back nine, although the numbering will be different.  The 11th green will  be used for a new 9th which will be a sharp dogleg across the current 8th fairway.  The 18th green will be used for the new 17th hole which will play across the current 2nd fairway and maintenance area. The only holes surviving fully intact on the front nine are 4 and 6.  The current first hole corridor will be used as the 18th with a new green immediately left of the current green.  The new bunker work for the old holes which will be incorporated into the new design are complete and should fully open in the near future.  The holes which will be lost will not have the bunker treatment even though it could be years until HS2 is actually in the ground. 

There are two questions which will be difficult to sort out until the new course is built.  First, how badly will the train effect the solitude of Whittington Heath. Second, how well will the treeless new holes blend with the mature old holes.  Sadly, even though there has been talk of removing trees for at least 10 years, there is a long way to go.  Consequently, heather is almost completely absent from the course.  There is possibly evidence of heather topped bunkers (if so, the heather is swamped in rough) on some new bunkers, but without heather flowing in from the rough it might look out of place.   


Card of the new course.


In a sort of perverse take on the runway tee, a wonderfully wide tee greets the golfer on the first which continues behind the camera.


The opener sends the message as to how tight this round will be.  Almost every drive is harassed by bunkering and/or rough. This is an excellent example of strategic bunkering as the opener is a reachable par 5 for those who take on the bunkers. The 2nd hole takes the player back toward the house and offers no respite from bunkers. 


The new bunker placed in a prime spot short and right of the green makes this a very difficult hole for those who depend on roll.  It is an oddly placed bunker, but it will be on the new 17th which will play across the 2nd fairway.


The 3rd finds us driving over the 2nd green to another tightly protected fairway to the first of many greens which run away from the fairway. 


A lovely short hole, thankfully the 4th will be preserved as the new 7th.  The hole plays sneaky long up the hill and has some strong contours which are difficult to read.  Below is an old photo which doesn't reflect the new bunkering, but one gets an idea of the green.


A view of the green from near the second fairway.


The fifth (will be the new 6th following the five new holes) is a sharp legger left over trees and a deep depression.  The green can be driven, but the land moves right and losing the tee shot is very easy. The hole could be dramatically improved if the large hollow on the left were cleared of trees and a view of the green opened up.  The uphill approach after a lay-up.


Another short par 4, the 6th legs hard right over an old part of a race track to a fairway which is too narrow for the concept.  The approach is to a wild volcano green with dips and rolls just shy of the putting surface. 


A medium length, downhill par 3 with the green running away to the right.  Like many par 3s of this type, it is lovely to look at, but the 7th plays the easiest of the set.


The eighth is a down n' up hole bending left.  It is only listed at about 350 yards, but it seems to play longer.  The left bunker has been made irrelevant because of the trees.  It seems to me that taking the trees down and putting a bunker in the face of the hill would create a much better visual enticement from the tee.  The 9th is an unremarkable par 5 heading back toward the house.  #10 comes back down the hill that 9 climbed.  The drive doesn't seem like its up to much until one sees the green.  It has just about the most severe front to back slope I have ever seen.  Anything down the left brings a bunker into play which makes holding the green nigh on impossible.  The club has recently made some moves in cutting down trees and this is evident behind this green.  A new fairway bunker on the right has tightened up the drive.  The new 11th tee will be located some 75 yards or so beyond the left hand bunker. 

Before and after.




#11 is a cracking hole which moves gently right and up the hill.  The green is another one which runs away from the fairway.  By now it should be evident that Whittington Heath more or less sticks to tried and tested methods of design.  There is nothing terribly fancy to get the golfer over excited, yet it is wonderful golf all the same.


The excellent back 9 continues with the splendid 12th.  Yet another legger at the driving zone which makes avoiding the rough with a driver most difficult.  The front mounds hide the movement of the green which slides away from the fairway and moves left.     




There is loads of dead space between the mounds and the green.


#13 is a very good par 3 whose sunken green is shaped like an 8 on an angle.  Yep, its another green which runs from front to back and some of the contouring off the backs of the bunkering is very good.  There are also some blind rear bunkers for the over aggressive players.


Before and after.  While I think the bunkers are an improvement, there is a lack size variety which niggles.




The back 9 is loaded with lovely holes and the following one is no exception.  #14 slides gently right and downhill.  YES, the green falls away from the fairway.  I have never seen so many greens of this type on a course, but Colt kept things reasonable as the slopes are manageable.


The green also moves against the grain of the dogleg by sloping right to left. 


A look at 14 green from behind shows a gathering depression short of the green on the left (to the right from the fairway) which feverishly collects balls.  Getting up and down from this area is very difficult.   


15, 16 & 17 are good holes which gradually take us back in the direction of the house.  All are tricky and challenge the best of players not least because of some awkward elements.  The long one-shot 15th is difficult to visualize from the tee, but the new bunkering helps. 


Reminiscent of the 12th, the 16th has had a bit more radical treatment.  There was a line of bunkers well short of the green which were removed.  Consequently, the view of the green has been opened up. 


The 17th too has been altered by placement of two bunkers.  Previously, the hole was bizarre with a very narrow fairway which turns left around a very large swath of rough.  Visually, the hole was a mess.  The new bunkers are a great improvement, however, a tree just off the right front of the tree severely limits the ball flight options.


Made even more awkward because of a new bunker fronting the green, the 18th isn't much of a finisher.  Despite the rather staid finisher, Whittington Heath is a corker and certainly one of the better ones in the Brum area.  In fact, Whittington Heath is good enough to host Open Regional Qualifying now and again.  At ~6500 yards the course is deceptively difficult as is evidenced by its SSS rating of 71 to a par of 70. The bones of this course are excellent, but the rough and fairways which don't come close to filling the corridors take away too much from the clever architectural elements.  All in all, I recommend a stop at Whittington especially if one is in town.   2019

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 05:49:32 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Mark Bourgeois

Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 07:39:33 PM »
Thanks for the pix, Sean.  I will say I've about had my fill of bunker fur.  Good times when this trend is put down like a rabid raccoon!

Reading your commentary regarding the first then scrolling down provided a happy moment.  Expecting to see a drive over a green, how funny to see a drive over a "red" -- a red brick clubhouse.

Man, they sure would have liability issues if that were over here.  Not only that, who in their right mind would practice putting or sit near the windows in the spike bar?!  Do you know if they've given that space over to the ladies?

Cheer up, Autumn is around the corner!

Mark

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2008, 07:57:46 PM »
Thanks Sean, as you might remember, I played WH right after we played Beau Desert.  I was disappointed.  After revisiting the course through your pictures, I'd like to see it again. 
Tom Williamsen
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 02:25:44 AM »
Mark

I rather like the hair.  It blends the bunkering in with the rough very well.  Additionally, the club may have somethng going here because I only saw one bunker attacked by rabbits.  I imagine this must be a maintenance nightmare with the faces collapsing after not too many visits from the rabbits. 

Tommy

I think WH is every bit as good as Delamere Forest.  WH doesn't quite have the highs of DF, but it doesn't have the lows either.  The greens are certainly more entertaining at WH and I think if the rough was cut back WH would be my clear favourite.  Its a real pity about DF's greens.  They are so very similar to Stoneham's - another cracking course down in Southampton that would be awesome if the greens were more interesting.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 09:39:25 AM »
Thanks, again, for the trip down memory lane. WH was one of the courses I played as a teenager and, as at Deau Desert, it was one of those places where you could never play to your handicap. If you were playing in a competition there you were always advised to play a practice round there first because nothing was ever obvious. Do they still have the periscope?

Anent Delamere Forest I should know more about the greens ere long as i've been asked to help with their centenary book (2010).  What I hadn't known previously is that the present course is the second Fowler course on the site.  They have abundant archival material, so it should be a decent book.

Michael Wharton-Palmer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 03:13:24 PM »
Is this the same place as Whittington Barracks?

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2008, 03:22:57 PM »
Sean,

Thanks for the tour of WH. As its not far from me I had heard of it but couldn't find out enough information to get me excited enough to make the trip. However, your photos have certainly made up my mind that I will have to make the trip soon! I like the look of the short 4th hole and I actually quite like the long grass around the bunker edges also.

Cheers

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay, Ganton, Burnham & Berrow, Royal Dornoch, Woodhall Spa

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2009, 06:13:21 AM »
Sean,

Thanks for the tour of WH. As its not far from me I had heard of it but couldn't find out enough information to get me excited enough to make the trip. However, your photos have certainly made up my mind that I will have to make the trip soon! I like the look of the short 4th hole and I actually quite like the long grass around the bunker edges also.

Cheers

James

Boony

I was sorry you are over-worked and couldn't make the trip on Friday.

All - take a look.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Retread: A Suprise Visit
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2009, 07:57:39 AM »
Sean,

Just glad to have the work to do at the moment, even if its getting in the way of golf  ::) Hopefully, I'll get to WH next year?

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay, Ganton, Burnham & Berrow, Royal Dornoch, Woodhall Spa

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Retread: A Suprise Visit
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2009, 05:43:43 AM »
Somewhere at the back of my mind I seem to recall that Hawtrees put in a new green at the 5th or 6th maybe 20 years ago. I can still visualise it in its incomplete state, but I may be making it up!

Delamere Forest's greens were kept small in area by the club - it was felt that this was one of its main defences. You can see one or two spots where the putting surface may once have been greater, but one or two only. They have never had pop up sprinklers so it is not shrinkage due to her installation.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Retread: A Suprise Visit
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2009, 02:03:16 AM »
Somewhere at the back of my mind I seem to recall that Hawtrees put in a new green at the 5th or 6th maybe 20 years ago. I can still visualise it in its incomplete state, but I may be making it up!

Delamere Forest's greens were kept small in area by the club - it was felt that this was one of its main defences. You can see one or two spots where the putting surface may once have been greater, but one or two only. They have never had pop up sprinklers so it is not shrinkage due to her installation.

Mark

The 6th does have a green much more in keeping with Pennard than Colt.  Its a wild one with the rolls leading into it and is completely out of context with the rest of the course.  I just assumed it was a hang-over from the original course.  The 5th is much more conventional and looks like Hawtree or Colt would have built it. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 02:08:47 AM »
Thanks Sean, as you might remember, I played WH right after we played Beau Desert.  I was disappointed.  After revisiting the course through your pictures, I'd like to see it again. 

Tommy

WH is a quite a subtle design, the exact opposite of the in your face Beau Desert. 


Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Retread: A Suprise Visit
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 12:29:48 PM »
There are a whole host of courses that disappointed me the first time around, but found delightful the second time.  For whatever reason, I can miss the subtle qualities especially when I am playing well. 
Tom Williamsen
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Wiley Whittington Heath: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2012, 04:59:34 AM »
Take a look at the update. Whittington Heath continues to impress me despite never getting a full day's worth of good weather there!  There are signs the rough is being dealt with a bit more sensibly, but its hard to tell because we have so little rain this winter.  Some trees have definitely come down here and there, but there are still more here and there which don't make sense.

Previous stops on the Tour:

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40029.0.html  Edgbaston

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50805.0.html  Sherwood Forest

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32655.0.html  Woking

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32228.0.html  Huntercombe

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50427.0.html  Berkhamsted

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,46538.0.html  Coxmoor

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37725.0.html  Temple

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,38973.0.html  Little Aston

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30965.0.html  Beau Desert

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

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50088.0.html  The Old Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50086.0.html  The New Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50078.0.html  The Castle Course

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

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37526.0.html   Harborne

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49998.0.html   Worcester G&CC


Next scheduled stop: Huntercombe


Ciao

 
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 04:14:09 PM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Mark Saltzman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Wiley Whittington Heath: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2012, 11:28:31 AM »
Sean,

Thank for yet another excellent tour -- I'm just over halfway through.   Somehow, the bunkering feels unusual to me.  On so many of the courses you profile, the bunkers are minimal in number, but placed to be used with maximum effect.  In the case of WH, however, they seem more penal in nature and quite numerous.  The 2nd hole, for example, seems over-bunkered to me.  A straight-away hole with cross-bunkering and then green side bunkers predictably placed at 5 and 7 o'clock.  Perhaps a shrinking of the leftmost cross-bunker to allow a bold driver to thread the needle and leave a shorter approach with an ideal line into the green.

The 4th is a perfect classic golf hole.  Located naturally at the bottom of two small ridges -- a golf hole apparently designed by nature.

Can you explain the 6th further? What am I looking at in that first picture?

I completely understand your comments re the trees on 8, and still, without leaves and the pin in view, the temptation is there.

The hole is awfully similar to the 5th at Old Town.  Would tree removal be a positive? I'm not sure... JC Jones is, though.


8 at WH
 

5 at Old Town
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 11:31:23 AM by Mark Saltzman »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2012, 04:26:53 PM »
Mark

I am not sure I would say Old Town's 5th is similar to WH's.  OT's is almost a knob to knob tee shot while WH's plays in a bit of a vallley.  The second too at OT is far better.  All, OTs 5th beats WH's to hell and back.

I do agree with the bunkering comments.  I think the scheme has been altered a bit, maybe by Hawtree.  #2 is a good example of ineffective cross bunkering, but I like the bunkering on 3.  In short, much or the fairway bunkering squeezes play, in a few cases very tightly.  This style reminds me of Copt Heath, but to a much lesser degree. I think some greenside bunkers could be filled in for a bit of variety.
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,44836.0.html

Yes, #4 is a typically very fine Colt par 3.  It may very well be that nobody designed short holes better than him. 

The 6th is an original hole with changes to the green and fairway by Hawtree(?).  The hole turns sharply right around the old track (pictured) with a blind landing zone.   All in all, a very awkward hole. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2012, 07:47:19 PM »
Sean,

Thanks for organising our recent trip to Whittington Heath. A very enjoyable course! And while I prefer Beau Desert in the area, I'll certainly head back to WH sometime soon.

Colt's holes are certainly the pick of the bunch, though I'd love to know if the rough hollow short and right of the 1st is original or his doing? 4 is a great little par 3 with a very deceptive green from the tee, but I think 14 was my favourite hole. An excellent green site to go into with a long iron and the back drop of the timber railway sleepered wall to the next tee just behind, just added to the character.

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay, Ganton, Burnham & Berrow, Royal Dornoch, Woodhall Spa

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 08:51:52 AM »
Whttington Heath used to be as open as Walton Heath and the fairways about as wide as the current tree line with the heather beyond that.

The bunker scheme is pretty much the same with a few added by M Hawtree.  And several originals missing that would now be in the trees.  A couple of center line bunkers missing too.

Some of the bunkers were much larger and have been broken up e.g. the front bunker on the 7th was one large diagonal trench rather than three separate.

I can't work ouit what happened to the 6th. It wasn't originally without bunkers; there was a large diagional front bunker and the green looks a different shape.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 08:56:07 AM by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2012, 05:38:58 PM »
Sean,

Thanks again for the updated photos. Here are a few pics I took…

From just short of the 1st you can see the hollow short and right of the green, well positioned to catch anyone going for the green in two who doesn’t quite nail it. I wonder if it used to be a large bunker in the early days?


Here is a view from just short of the 4th. From the tee it looked to me like its was a big false front but in fact most of the green is on a lower tier with only a smaller shelf to the rear. But there is a big drop off long and right, which is part of the rough ground that you drive over on the 2nd hole’s tee shot


It was tricky to pick the line on the 5th but the aggressive line proved the best option. I would think clearing a few trees out would help tempt more players to get closer to the green?


From a little further back in the fairway, you can seethe rough ground that needs to be carried, along with the trees, if taking on the aggressive line


The 6th tee shot is from a crowded little area shared with the 3rd green and 4th tee. The old race track that needs to be carried on your tee shot can just be made out from the tee wit the fairway itself hidden by the rising ground, before it all falls away again


A periscope is provided to see if its all clear


The 9th isn’t a great hole, but I quite liked the setting of the green, with the distinctive clubhouse visible in the distance through the trees behind the green


The 14th was probably my favourite hole. Here is a view of the approach with the hollow short right, from which an up and down is really tricky as the green is sharply right to left


And from behind


Paul,

Thanks for the additional historical information. Have you an old plan or club history book?

The greens have quite a bit of interest, and when not full of internal contours, are often quite steeply pitched from one way to another. And restoring the more open heathland feel to some extent wouldn’t be a bad thing if they could, but the club has bigger concerns at present! Here is a link to a thread from early last year discussing the HS2 high speed train line, that if completed as currently proposed will bisect the course!
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,47090.0.html

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay, Ganton, Burnham & Berrow, Royal Dornoch, Woodhall Spa

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2012, 06:10:59 PM »
James

Yes the HS2 is bad news for the club and us Colt fans!  I guess the only saving grace is that the tracks are routed down the 9th, imagine the devastation if the proposed route was rotated 90 degrees to that...then the course would be totally lost.

I thought the rippling greens were a great appeal of the course....extensions of the fairways with some natural contours developed.

I have an old aerial but don't have the rights to post.  And actually the 9th looked more interesting with a big center line bunker.

The 14th from 2003, firm and fast:

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,47133.0.html

PS I happen to think the 2nd is a very fine example of cross bunkering (although it used to be one bigun rather than two).  The fairway just needs to be opened up to the left a bit.  The right hand greenside bunker eats into the approach much more and is more penal, so the tiger line is definitely in the slot just left of the cross bunker.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 07:51:06 PM by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2012, 09:56:56 AM »
Paul

I wonder if the second (old third) was a bogey 5 in the old days.  I can't see how the bunkers ever caused troubles for the club players most of the time.  I too think the hole orients better from the left, but the double bunkering and straight fairway corridor doesn't give any hint of this.

Thanks for the pix.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Neil White

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 11:40:22 AM »
I managed a game around Whittington Heath a couple of days ago and saw this plan of a 9 hole layout dated from 1924.



The 1st is as existing but the 2nd on the plan puts the hole outside of the perimeter of the course.  The current 2nd, 3rd on the plan seems to be the same length as now so possibly not a par 5 as thought - agreed the bunkers would be out of range back in the day (240 yards from the tee).

The current 3rd is shown as the 4th on the plan with the wonderful par 3 4th coming back into the depression as shown on the plan and completing the triangle of holes we see nowadays. The 5th doglegs around the outside of this depression, the corner of which is still visible on the inside of the dogleg and presents a sizeable hazard from the tee.

Today's 6th, 7th and 8th are as on plan (5th thru' 7th) and the 9th on plan plays as the current 18th, although as to which green is in use today I'm not sure.

The 8th on the plan is the other hole lost to revisions completed by Colt, the 2nd being the other, however the current 17th green is located in a similar position and may explain why it doesn't sit that well with the hole as it stands today as noted by Sean in his original write-up.

Below is a plan outlining the changes - white is as existing - green is new - red is NLE.



As for the course - it played really well, fairly firm with no apparent wet areas.  The greens were in excellent condition and I would imagine them being a handful in the summer given the amount of internal slope found in many of them.

What did surprise me, and not in a good way, was the lack of width in the fairways.  It was evident that there had been efforts to reduce the bracken encroachment as many areas running alongside the fairways had been cut back leading into a second cut of rough about 6 or so yards wide with a similar width of first cut.  The fairways though narrowed down to less than 10 yards in many places with little or no options as suggested by Sean around the numerous centreline bunkers found on the fairways.  The space is there for the fairways to be widened to give more playing options it's just that the club is choosing not to use it.

Neil.





« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:11:19 PM by Neil White »
Courses played 2020 - ................!

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2012, 12:22:17 PM »
Neil

Good stuff.  I think the 7th on the plan is simiilar to the current 8th but plays to the current 10th green or just short of it.  Today's 8th hole turns more left to a Colt green, by the defunct 8th tee in the original plan?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:29:06 PM by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2012, 12:26:49 PM »
I also think Colt pushed the 1st green further on, just beyond that quarry area that was used for the defunct original 2nd? i.e the current 1st green is level with the quarry carried for the current 2nd tee shot.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:28:23 PM by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Neil White

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2012, 01:16:06 PM »
Neil

Good stuff.  I think the 7th on the plan is simiilar to the current 8th but plays to the current 10th green or just short of it.  Today's 8th hole turns more left to a Colt green, by the defunct 8th tee in the original plan?

Quote
I also think Colt pushed the 1st green further on, just beyond that quarry area that was used for the defunct original 2nd? i.e the current 1st green is level with the quarry carried for the current 2nd tee shot.

Paul,

Agree on both counts - what do you think to the old 8th green possibly being the current 17th?
Courses played 2020 - ................!

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back