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Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sandy Lodge pictures
« on: November 29, 2008, 11:44:56 AM »
Sandy Lodge

The history of Sandy Lodge is adequately told on the club website: http://www.sandylodge.co.uk/pages/History/history.htm

It is difficult to know how much of the course design is due to the club’s founder James Francis Markes and how much to Harry Vardon. What is certain is that the club has been amongst the most prominent in north London for the best part of a century. These photos were taken on a walk round with a notable member, Bob Sorbie, who is sadly with us no more. On becoming Captain he was immediately charged with organising a members’ buy-out within months. He succeeded – a remarkable achievement.

Sandy Lodge is laid out on sandy soil. It was probably correctly termed an inland links when first built. Some of the links-like character was lost during the Second World War. I think today you would have to describe it as parkland with superb drainage. The mineral rights are worth a fortune. Long may the members resist the temptation to sell!

1. 470 yards par 4. A welcoming, downhill opening hole played as a short par 5 by the members. A big green-front bunker has been removed.


2. 426 yards par 4. A famous hole with a sleepered bunker 60 yards in front of the green. Being uphill it plays somewhat longer than the card yardage. It is reputed that Markes and Vardon spent many hours experimenting with the sleepers to find the correct angle and height so that a golfer hitting the ball into the sleepers was not decapitated yet could not escape onto the green by thinning the shot.




3. 171 yards par 3. Downhill, plentifully bunkered.



4. 501 yards par 5. A decent carry is required to clear the gorse bushes directly in front. The fairway slopes right to left towards bunkers, while the green is better approached from the right. A testing hole.



5. 454 yards par 4. A tough par 4, slightly uphill with plenty of fairway bunkers and a two-level green.



6. 456 yards par 4. Another strong hole with a demanding drive to a sloping fairway and a tough approach to the green.




7. 193 yards par 3. A deceptive par 3. I like the professional’s advice to run the ball onto the green, not to try to carry it on the full.



8. 101 yards par 3. A diminutive short hole, with tees set at two different angles of approach to make the hole very different.



9. 362 yards par 4. A hole which has not stayed sharply in the memory, I’m afraid. Next time I play it it will probably exact a terrible revenge!


10. 186 yards par 3. Not an easy hole, the plateau green being difficult to hit and hold.



11. 532 yards par 5. A delightful hole, with a drive to a distant plateau followed by a downhill approach over cross-bunkers to a nicely-contoured green.



12. 395 yards par 4. Named Mae West, the hole begins with a blind drive over pronounced bosoms to an angled fairway. It’s a nice hole.



13. 327 yards par 4. A short par 4 which is all about angles of approach to the green.


14. 532 yards par 5. A well-bunkered hole demanding an approach from the left if the green is to be reached in two shots.


15. 213 yards par 3. Another green calling for the running approach.


16. 439 yards par 4. Called ‘Hooker’s Hell’ this hole is not about ladies of a certain kind, but about the fact that OOB lurks on the left. That fallow ground to the left of the trees is part of the old second course which fell out of use during the Second World War and has never been restored.



17. 508 yards par 5. An uphill par 5 curving all the time to the left around trees.



18. 154 yards par 3. A famous hole which was originally played up a sheer wall of sand, but flooding and landslip problems affecting the neighbouring Metropolitan railway line and the likelihood of a serious insurance claim should someone topple over while attempting a miracle rescue shot have caused the grassing over and lessening of the slope.


Tom Naccarato

Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 11:55:16 AM »
Mark,
Sandy Lodge, as well as nearby Northwood are two courses I hope to see and experience before the end of my days. the amount of sand in this region seems staggering--it all played such an important part of their designs. I notice that your not showing the 1st hole, whose green was fronted by a rather large sand embankment at one time. What does it look like today?


Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 12:03:46 PM »
Tom, Sorry, I don't have a picture of the green from the front. The course was quite busy when we began our walk and we had to keep out of the way of players. The club website (see my post) has an up-to-date graphic of the hole and Google Earth seems also to be up to date:  51°37'48.14"N   0°25'45.26"W
Mark.

Tom Naccarato

Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 01:13:49 PM »
Mark, I'll have to find the photo I have of the first; its around somewhere, but then I have this one, which I think pretty much sums it all up.


Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2008, 03:34:46 PM »
Tom, Weren't they rough and ready in those days! Bold, enormous gestures, but not always subtle or even finished.

Tom Naccarato

Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2008, 04:21:58 PM »
Mark, My kind of golf...


Bradley Anderson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2008, 08:50:03 PM »
Mark,

Those sand mounds at Sandy Lodge were planted with grass plugs. I have often wondered if they held their shape over the years, and judging from your photos, it appears that they have.


Bradley Anderson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2008, 08:51:08 PM »
The 18th before it was grassed over.


Tom Naccarato

Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2008, 01:51:25 AM »
Bradley,
Now that's my kind of sand pit, and nary a rake!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2008, 03:19:05 AM »
Mark

Thanks for posting the pix.  This looks to be yet another course which celebrates width.  I also like how fairways flow into greens.  I am seeking another course to play for the winter tour which has been in full swing.  Is the course dry or does it get sloppy?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Tom Naccarato

Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2008, 04:11:34 AM »
Arbs,
If this course, called "Sandy Lodge" gets sloppy then there is something drastically wrong in maintenance, or the second coming of the flooding of the world is happening, and you better run for high ground or find an arc.....

Honestly, looking at Bradley's picture and then seeing Mark's picture of the 18th, I'm inclined to think that they have erred greatly in the maintenance of this course and/or the membership has decided that they are in favor of the scorecard & pencil spirit, that the hazards on the course were just too challenging.

Before

After:

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2008, 04:48:46 AM »
Arbs,
If this course, called "Sandy Lodge" gets sloppy then there is something drastically wrong in maintenance, or the second coming of the flooding of the world is happening, and you better run for high ground or find an arc.....

Honestly, looking at Bradley's picture and then seeing Mark's picture of the 18th, I'm inclined to think that they have erred greatly in the maintenance of this course and/or the membership has decided that they are in favor of the scorecard & pencil spirit, that the hazards on the course were just too challenging.

Before

After:


Naccers

I am just being careful.  I had my obligatory sloppy round this winter at Harborne and have no interest in playing another.  Why else do you think I only belong to links clubs?

You are talking to the wrong guy where bunkers are concerned.  I like my bunkers few and meaningful hence the reason the beast you offered on 18 looks lovely.  Though, it does look a bit dangerous.  I am somewhat surprised the club didn't just get the ole railway ties to keep it all in place like at Sandwich.

Ciao

« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 05:46:26 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2008, 05:31:22 AM »
Yes, Sean, it is excellent winter golf.

Tom Naccarato

Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2008, 09:10:16 AM »
Arbs,
It is understandable, the concern. Especially when you see causal water in bunkers. But that might be because it was so soon after a British downpour occurred. Still, Sandy Lodge is a wonderful looking place to play the sport. Probably even better in the old days when those bunkers and scraggy hillocks existed.

Chuck Brown

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2008, 10:46:33 AM »
How old are the sleepers (a/k/a railroad ties) as a design feature?

Tom Naccarato

Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2008, 10:58:26 AM »
Ancient.

As old as the course itself, which was around the turn of the century wasn't it Mark?

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2008, 05:41:28 PM »




I've been lucky to play there several times, a cool place to be a member and if I lived near that part of London I'd want to apply.

The 17th has an lower section to the rear with a severe fall off.  You can't see much of the green due to the uphill nature of the approach and so a pin anywhere near that ridge makes for a very interesting matchplay finish.  Wonderful.

From the clubhouse you can watch, the first tee, the 2nd green, the third tee and the 17th.  AS the aerial shows right in the middle there's a driving range, that due to the downhill nature of the terrain remains, mostly out of sight from the windows.  But I love to hit balls and there can't be many better places on a summers evening to buy a beer and help yourself to free range balls and hang out with your mates.

Mark I know you are writing their club history and I have to ask does anyone know of earlier examples of practice grounds so close to the clubhouse?

Sean I'll be very surprised if you don't enjoy a vist.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Peter Pallotta

Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2008, 12:07:22 AM »
Thanks, Mark

You know, a golf hole can be lot of things, but for me it doesn't HAVE to be much more than the 13th hole - a par 4 that's all about angles of approach to the green.

Reminds me of Tom D's words about the high quality of the 'average English course'

Peter
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 12:16:55 AM by Peter Pallotta »

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sandy Lodge pictures
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2008, 11:57:20 AM »
Tony, off the top of my head I can't think of many practice grounds closer to the clubhouse, Alwoodley, Ganton, Royal Liverpool, for starters. I don't have my notes in front of me at this time, but I think the practice ground was formerly part of the second course. I could easily be wrong. Mark.

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