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Sean_A

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RYE GC: Bigness & Grandeur (Redux) New
« on: September 21, 2009, 06:04:23 AM »


Rye is a lovely town stranded high upon a hill some two miles distant from the links at Camber Sands.  The warren of lanes demand more than a cursory visit and will greatly reward any that make the effort to explore. Originally attached to Hastings as an Ancient Town in 1189, Rye eventually became a member of the Cinque Ports Confederation.  Due to the vagaries of storms and silting, by 1560 the Cinque Ports were no longer vital bastions against invasion.   Changing its colours from a naval port, to entrepot port, to smuggling port, to fishing port to tourist port, Rye continues to be a vibrant town rich in history.  Virtually all that remains of Rye's Cinque Ports days is Ypres (the locals pronounce it wipers) Tower, once part of the Rye Castle walls.   

Town Hall & St Mary's...separating church and state has long been a problem in British politics.


Church Square


The less sombre end of Church Square


The Water Tower!


There doesn't appear to be a shortage of pubs.


The Standard is special due to its adjacent private tv lounge.


Oh yes, Henry James spent some time in Rye at Lamb House.


The club is storied for being the host of the President's Putter.  While the Putter is not of much importance today, it has seen much more salubrious times when the leading British amateurs squared off for the honour of hanging a ball on the Putter.  That isn't to suggest that the standard of golf today is by any means poor.  Likely the lack of famous names is more due to the demised state of amateur golf compared to the heady days of Cyril Tolley, Earnest Holderness and Roger Wethered.  Held in the depths of winter, The Putter is a scratch match play knockout between members of the Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society.  To merit membership of the society one must have earned a blue at one of the prospective universities.  Incidentally, THE Putter has tripled in number. The original Putter was donated by John Low, the second Putter was the handiwork of Laurie Auchterlonie and since 1983 the one on which balls hang was crafted by Willie Park Sr. 

My general impressions are several. 

1. The course well and truly takes complete and full advantage of the land both in terms of routing and the undulations.  There is a main dune ridge which effects the entire front 9 and a few holes on the back. 

2. Many greens are smallish targets and difficult to hit especially when the ground is keen.  However, several greens have superb ridges, humps and hollows short of them which dictate the best angle of attack when the trying to kick an approach in. 

3. Several holes, many of which may be perceived as bland, particularly in the corner which contains #s 10, 11 and 17 are in fact better than given credit for.  These flatter holes are a stark contrast to the sometimes uncontrolled rambunctious land.  Second, when looked at closely, all have a bit of something about them.  For instance, the visually horrific 11th is quite rare for a links in that it requires the player to take on a pond.  #10 is quite different at Rye because of the approach slicing through gorse.  #17 is flat, but deceptively long, with great bunkering down the left and a lovely ridge pushing balls right of the target. 

4. Rye has a palpable element of the old fashioned about it even though much of the course is more from the modern era than not. #s 6 and 13 are wonderful examples of this old world charm.   

5. The par 3s, while undeniably strong, are not what gives me the overwhelming sense of what Rye is about.  I think the group of 4s is outstanding in their variety and the execution required to play them successfully.

6. Much like Pennard, Rye is a bumpy course which affords only the rare flat stance.  When wind is also factored in, the player who can best control ball flight will gain an immense advantage. 

Rye White Card...I notice that the yardage on every hole has changed except for the 6th, yet the total yardage is only 6 yards different!  The important element of the card to note is the SSS of 71 to a par of 68....Rye is tough as old boots.


The Yellow Card and Course Map.    The Yellow tees are far from easy and arguably the course is better from this distance. 






The course opens with a rather mild mannered par 5 which suits well as the first.  Its a chance to get a jump on the card and many will rue not earning a birdie.  I played the yellow tee, higher up to the right.  Its a better hole from this position and 25 yards shorter...meaning a shot could be knocked off par!  #2 is the first of Rye's famed short holes and one of two designed by Major Tippet just after WWII, the 7th being the other.  The green is well protected on both sides with sand and in front with a swale just shy of the green which shoves approaches to the left bunker.  Rye excells in sandless trouble short of greens. 


On the White card there are nine two-shotters over 400 yards in length of which the third is the primer.  What makes this hole interesting is the outstanding Tom Simpson green-site.  The player will come across these interfering ridges and folds fronting the greens all day long. We now climb to the top of a dune and turn back toward the house to play an engenious Sir Guy Campbell hole...one of six he created for Rye in 1938.  Bunkerless, the 4th is completely unique in my experience; riding the top of a dune ridge for some 400 yards.  In 1950, while repairing WWII damage, Major Tippet pushed the green back to it's present position.  It is surprising that Rye is not more well thought of in GB&I because it certainly has all the elements of grand golf. 


Looking back to the tee.


The second of this stellar set of 3s has the tee on the same ridge as the 4th, but the green is perched on another ridge.  This change came in 1907 when several alterations were made to the orginal layout.  It is noted that both Braid and and Darwin approved of the changes.  It is thought that the green has sunk a bit, losing its convex shape, but "A truly noble hole it is - from a high tee across a chasm to a plateau green, with a drop into nothingness on either side of it." Looking back to the tee with the 6th fairway to the right and the 4th in the background.  It is quite evident how compact Rye is and why it is a walker's delight.


The player now turns away from the house again to play the 6th and what a wonderful spot it is. The 9th tee and green, 18th green, 5th tee and green and 4th green are all easily viewed.   The blind tee shot over the dune ridge turns hard left. At 468 yards with penal bunkers both sides of the kick up zone for the green, this hole is as difficult as they come. 


The view from the top of the ridge...not a bad par 4 from here! 


The green is well defended.  I am not sure what the club hopes to achieve with the upright rakes, but they look bloody awful.  One Pest commented that the rakes were great for locating bunkers!


In this photo left of the green, the reader gets a glimpse of the land prior to the creaton of the Jubilee Course.


The par 3s come fast and furious and it is essential to play them well to keep a card going.  The 7th is a curious hole which I don't quite get.  I suspect the westerly wind (from behind) we had today may be slightly unusual because trying to hit this green requires quite a bit of luck. There is a bunker down below the two short wooden walls (a feature of Rye I don't at all like) which necessitates trying to bounce one in from the left.  Its doable, but I think any choice of shot here with a tail wind is low percentage.


A better perspective of the sloping green.


#8 is one of those holes some may nominate for less than good.  I am not sure I would agree.  I like the temptation of seeing the green from the tee.  Its easy to be drawn to the direct line rather than playing the hole as a dogleg.  Hitting the second from the right is no bargain as there are humps on this side of the fairway and large bank of vegetation (recently cleared, but still nasty) which looms ever so close to the approach line. 

We finally get some respite on the 9th - a drivable par 4 which follows a natural valley ploughing  up into the dune.  The bunkers down the left are the main concern off the tee if one uses driver.  The lay of the land pushes balls down toward them with alarming efficiency.  Simpson created this hole and it is thought he believed the hole was too straight forward.   Well, not from the yellow tee.  Being further right than the white tee, it is a far more difficult drive because the terrain is now working against the player...bringing the bunkers more into play.  The photo below is from near the 15th tee.


More evidence of grief shy of the green.




The turn takes golfers to the least admirable section of the course, #s 10 & 11.  As mentioned in the intro, both holes have some redeeming features and I can't help thinking that if #11 had huge fronting bunkers or a huge sandy waste on the right to be carried rather than the pond than it would be seen as a masterpiece of old age architecture.  Still, the pond is jarring and to make matters worse, the huge harbour building in the background kills any sense of visual flavour this hole may bring.  Despite this, 11 is a strategically sound hole. In any case, the extracted gravel which created the pond was a financial saviour of the club.

#12 heads back into more interesting ground.  Play crosses the line of the old Rye to the Camber rail line which now serves as a road.  Approaching from the left of the fairway means playing through the angled swale short of the green.  Below is Rye Harbour.


Unlucky 13 has to be the pick of the bunch as the controversial hole...even from its inception back in 1907 by CW Archer, Chair of the Green Committe.  The golfer plays over a low ridge to a fairway angled to the left then over a high ridge to a green in the flats beyond.  These flats were at times under a rising tide!




Once over the second ridge, which I think was created from a turfed over old seawall, this is what the green looks like.


The 14th is very reminiscent of Dornoch's 6th with it's deceptively narrow green.  This was the first hole created by Campbell's 1938 efforts and it eliminated Simpson's blind short hole played to the far side of the dune.


The tee for the 15th takes golfers back over the old sea wall for a very clever hole which is routed left rather than straight at the green.  Even if the player resists temptation on the tee by staying left the eye is drawn more toward the middle and right for the approach.  However, there is a wee blind ridge which kills the kick up approach.  Banging one down the left follows the fairway and leads to the hole as if it were a bob sled run.


Even a place such as Rye doesn't get everything right - this fairway line is atrocious.


The 16th continues the fine run home with a hole that competes with the 4th as the best two-shotter at Rye.  Like the 6th, the hole turns left over a ridge, but this time there is a large bunker protecting the corner which gobbles up hooks turning off the ridge.


It is difficult to make out where the green starts from the landing zone.  This photo is taken from a spot closer to the green which gives the reader a better idea of the green-site.  On a clear day Rye stands proudly in the background.


Mayday called this green a cracked bowl!


The final par 3 is visually the least enticing of the one-shotters, but it is none the worse for that.  I think it is an excellent contrast to the others which are either raised or on plateaux.  At 200+ yards the 17th continues the long hitting trend of the finishing run of holes.  From this view short left of the green, the reader can see how shots will funnel left.


Darwin wrote that all of the changes made at Rye improved the course except for the 18th, which used to hit over the gaping Soup Bowl bunker.




A better sense of the bunker's location.


As an indirect consequence of the changes made due to the road, the final hole was altered.  It may not be as good as the old hole, but the home hole is very fine in its own right.  The tiger line is the clubhouse clock and one must not be right or his chances of earning a par will be severely hampered. 


Its a bumpy road to the final green.


The club thinks of everything; the dormy house and pro shop.


Well, thats Rye.  Its a tough little course as its SSS of 71 against a par of 68 indicates.  The course requires all the shots and more importantly, imagination like few others do.  Patric Dickinson likened Rye to looking at a wild cat through a magnifying glass and imagining a tiger's fierceness. This is about an apt description of Rye as can be conjured.  The clubhouse, a gem of modesty which perfectly suits the ambience of the course and club, affords lovely views of Rye, its harbour and the Fairlight Cliff off in the distance.  Somewhere between the sky, the land and one's imagination, the sea can just be made out.  1*.   2017

Ran's Review.
http://golfclubatlas.com/courses-by-country/england/rye1/

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 23, 2021, 03:13:00 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

Tom MacWood

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 06:27:01 AM »
Speaking on bigness and grandeur here are a collection of Darwin's snippets as he observed the evolution of the course.

Late in life Bernard Darwin reflected on the evolution of his beloved Rye: “Here and there are courses which may be said to have had a new greatness thrust upon them. I have no manner of doubt that Rye, as it is today or as it will be when two fresh holes are completed [by HC Tippet], is a finer course than it was. I have equally no doubt that those changes would never have been made if they had not been forced upon us by the summer rush of cars along the once lonely road to Camber beach. We should have been perfectly happy to ‘leave it alone.’ Our new splendour has been attained in our conservative teeth, and at least we have the melancholy satisfaction of still being able to see the old greens now derelict by the roadside and remember our old shots to them.” To my knowledge no other great golf course has had a more tumultuous architectural history--especially one still held in high regard by aficionados of the art--and Darwin was there to document it all.

Harry Colt, then a young solicitor in nearby Hastings, originally laid out the Rye links in 1894 with the help of a local professional, Douglas Rolland. Darwin became a member of the club in 1905. The first changes were voluntary, when in 1907 Clement Archer, the club secretary, took advantage of the receding sea and first pushed the course south of the sandhills. Only one of his three changes survives-the controversial 13th-nonetheless Darwin recognized Archer’s important contribution: “He has raised at least one enduring monument to himself in the form of the 13th or Sea hole. The making of that green in the sandy waste beyond the hills was in its day a great adventure regarded by many with overt skepticism, but it not only produced what I take leave to think--whether blind or not--one of the great second shots; it also gave to the homecoming nine a new bigness and spaciousness which had been a little lacking. Today there are other fine holes on the sea side of the hills, and while we give there creators all due credit we must remember Archer is the pioneer of their unknown country.”

The links enjoyed a period of relative stability until 1931, when traffic on the road connecting Rye to the Camber sands became a serious issue. “I began by loathing all notion of change in beloved Rye, and even now were I permitted a machine-gun I would gladly turn it on the endless string of holiday-makers in their cars who crowd our road in summertime…Several of us had been appointed on a sub-committee to try to devise alterations-the fewest and cheapest possible-that should make less perilous the road that runs through the course. One or two long-cherished holes had to go; that could not be helped. We took as our motto that we did not mind hitting each other, but we must not hit the passer-by. We toiled amain and produced a scheme, and then we asked our architect to come and look.” Their architect was Mr. Tom Simpson.

Simpson did come and look, and then tossed their plan in the wastebasket, with one exception-the ninth. Darwin described the scene as he and the committee walked the links with their architect. ” ‘There,’ we said to him, half-proudly, half-tremulously. ‘We thought of going down that valley,’ and we showed him a shallow valley, broken, benty, sandy ground which we had fondly likened to some pretty holes at Formby or Birkdale and one at Prince’s. ‘No,’ said the great man. ‘No. That bores me’: and then in gentler tones, ‘you know I don’t want to insult anyone, but you chose that because it was obvious.’ It was true, and we felt like little boys who had been caught using a crib in school. The valley, he said, gave the player a feeling of confidence; he felt that those banks to right and left would keep him in the proper path, and so he could hit out boldly, just as a man does in approaching a green with a back or side wall to it. That was dull; the thing to engender in the player’s breast was doubt and wondering, not confidence. In the end he had to come back to our poor, despised hole. I readily admit he improved on it, because he managed to turn the second shot partially out of the valley. At the same time, we did feel like the Doctor when, for once in a while, he mildly scored, and Holmes remarked, ‘A hit, my dear Watson, a palpable hit.’”

1937 brought more changes; again the road was the culprit. This time Sir Guy Campbell was engaged and he created a number of excellent holes-including the outstanding 4th. Darwin had a typically nostalgic perspective, “Could we not put up inconspicuous little tombstones on the sites of departed holes? I remember once to have made a plea in Country Life for memorial stones to mark the battlefields of great prize-fights…Nobody will ever put up such memorials any more than they will put up my little tombstones; yet I like my sentimental idea…These melancholy musings came into my head when I went to Rye the other day and saw for the first time the transformed course. I am full of admiration for the alterations, but still I did feel the manly tear welling up.”

Hitler initiated the next remodeling effort. Military intelligence had learned the Nazis were targeting Romney Marsh for an impending invasion and consequently considerable fortifications were placed upon the links. After the War, Major HC Tippet, the club secretary, restored the course and introduced two new short holes-the 2nd and the 7th. He also converted Campbell’s par-3 9th back to a par-4, in essence reclaiming the old Simpson/Darwin hole. Tippet was not your average retired British officer turned club secretary, he had been an accomplished golf architect during the Roaring 20s, creating a number of high profile American designs, among them Montauk Downs, Meadow Brook and LaGorce. Darwin wrote, “The introduction of these two one-shot holes (there will be three in all on the way out and two on the way home) necessitates a new longer ninth, but I have explained more than enough, and will say no more of the plans which Major Tippet’s ‘immense and brooding spirit’ has evolved. Enough that Rye is going to be, unless I am mistaken, at once as charming and more tremendous than ever before.”

Today Rye is an amalgamation of the best of Colt (#5), Archer (#13), Simpson (#14), Campbell (#4), Tippet (#7), and last but not least Darwin (#9)! Of the final rendering of the course Bernardo concluded: “I have said before, but I will say it again for the last, that Rye is a better course than ever it was…However much the sentimental or conservative--and I am both--may have loved the old course, that of today has gained something of bigness and grandeur.”
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 06:29:47 AM by Tom MacWood »

Scott Warren

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 06:29:17 AM »
Sean,

Did you not think the blindness of the drive on 11 a touch over the top, given there is water flanking the right of the fairway? The only fairway you can see from the tee is a good 30m left of the line you want to be on.

My partner and I aimed at the Rye Wharf sign off in the distance and hit 3 hybrids and were still in the bushes down the left.

Sean_A

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 06:41:03 AM »
Sean,

Did you not think the blindness of the drive on 11 a touch over the top, given there is water flanking the right of the fairway? The only fairway you can see from the tee is a good 30m left of the line you want to be on.

My partner and I aimed at the Rye Wharf sign off in the distance and hit 3 hybrids and were still in the bushes down the left.

Scott my son, we played the back tees.  From there its all water in front of the player.  I did however notice the yellow tee and how the blindness with gorse down the left and water down the right would cause some consternation.  I wouldn't like the that tee at all because I don't think blindness should be coupled with an easy opportunity to lose a ball. 

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

Scott Warren

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 06:43:38 AM »
So that's gorse then, is it? That was my first contact (literally) with the stuff. I backed in to try to play my ball from under a bush and it felt like a thousand needles being jabbed into me. Horrific.

Jamie Barber

Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 07:24:09 AM »
it felt like a thousand needles being jabbed into me

Yep - that's gorse

Melvyn Morrow

Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2009, 08:48:55 AM »

I note with interest the connection of H S Colt with Rye, yet not much is actually mentioned about Douglas Rolland.

From reports Douglas Rolland with H S Colt, laid out the new Rye course in 1894.  Rolland is also associated with advising and designing Hastings Course on the East Hill, again with Holt in the same year.  My understanding is that Tom Dunn laid out the old 9 holes in 1893 and that Douglas Rolland with H S Colt, laid out the new course in 1894. The Hastings course being described as one of Colts earliest efforts with design. That being the case then Rye undertaken in the same period would also be classified as one of his early efforts.

Again, Rolland name is well in the frame and continues with the additional 9 holes of Hastings course circa 1896 constructed on private land, leaving the original 9 holes for the Ladies. Some years later Hastings abandoned the original 9 holes in favour of a more Easterly direction on the East Hill, more based upon the design by Rolland and the then Club Pro C R Smith. See Map of course showing clubhouse approx. tune of the 20th Century.



If we jump a few more years into 1901/2 we see the new course at St Leonards Golf Club at their Bulverthythe 9 hole site being designed by Rolland this time with James Braid, but no mention of Colt. Bulverthythe area can be seen on the colour map below with Hastings and Rye.


For those interested the closed Hasting Course is located just South of Ore on the land towards the coast.

The interesting point being that these courses (when in existence) are rather close to each other. Those who know the region can use the Coastal Path and walk to Rye about 12 miles towards the East, whilst St Leonards is adjoined to Hastings but on the West side of the town. Yet today we lead with Colts name but it seems that Douglas Rolland was very active in the area.

Whilst I am not dismissing Colts input, is it right that he appears to get full credit when Rolland on paper appears to be the more experienced?

Melvyn 


« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 08:54:12 AM by Melvyn Hunter Morrow »

Tom MacWood

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2009, 10:04:59 AM »
Melvyn
We went over that yesterday on another thread.

http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41440.35/

Melvyn Morrow

Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 10:21:48 AM »

Tom

Thank you for pointing that out, I have as yet not read the Swinley Forest Topic. Perhaps the map and location gives a clear picture of the location of these courses.

The Hastings clubhouse survived until 1972 when it was demolished.

Melvyn

henrye

Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2009, 11:21:50 AM »
The par 3s come fast and furious and it is essential to play them well to keep a card going.  The 7th is a curious hole which I don't quite get.  I suspect the westerly wind (from behind) we had today may be slightly unusual because trying to hit this green required quite a bit of luck.  There is a bunker down below the two short wooden walls (a feature of Rye I ddn't like at all) which necessitates trying to bounce one in from the left.  Its doable, but I think any choice of shot here with a tail wind is low percentage.

To me the 7th is Rye's "postage stamp" or "Island green".  The hole is riddled with trouble and that's the idea.  Land in one of those pits and your cooked.

Sean, not sure I understand your title in this thread - I don't see how 'Bigness & Grandeur' have anything in common with Rye.

What did you think in comparison to Swinley?

Bob_Huntley

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2009, 12:21:02 PM »
The par 3s come fast and furious and it is essential to play them well to keep a card going.  The 7th is a curious hole which I don't quite get.  I suspect the westerly wind (from behind) we had today may be slightly unusual because trying to hit this green required quite a bit of luck.  There is a bunker down below the two short wooden walls (a feature of Rye I ddn't like at all) which necessitates trying to bounce one in from the left.  Its doable, but I think any choice of shot here with a tail wind is low percentage.


Rye, oh beautiful Rye. No, I am not talking of the golf course but the delightful town itself.

I was posted to RAF Rye in late 1948 whilst completing my National Service stint at the Radar Station there. I must confess I never saw the golf course, as at that time I had no interest in the game, it was all football, both Rugby and Association with some cricket thrown in. The East Sussex young ladies were also quite beautiful, leading to some deep emotional experiences.

Bob

To me the 7th is Rye's "postage stamp" or "Island green".  The hole is riddled with trouble and that's the idea.  Land in one of those pits and your cooked.

Sean, not sure I understand your title in this thread - I don't see how 'Bigness & Grandeur' have anything in common with Rye.

What did you think in comparison to Swinley?

Tiger_Bernhardt

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 12:45:05 PM »
I am sad that my pathetic inabilty to ditch my gf in paris kept me from joining you guys at Rye yesterday. It s one of the worlds special courses as one can tell from the pictures and discussions. May all of us walk this grand links at least one day in our lives.

Sean_A

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 12:49:09 PM »
The par 3s come fast and furious and it is essential to play them well to keep a card going.  The 7th is a curious hole which I don't quite get.  I suspect the westerly wind (from behind) we had today may be slightly unusual because trying to hit this green required quite a bit of luck.  There is a bunker down below the two short wooden walls (a feature of Rye I ddn't like at all) which necessitates trying to bounce one in from the left.  Its doable, but I think any choice of shot here with a tail wind is low percentage.

To me the 7th is Rye's "postage stamp" or "Island green".  The hole is riddled with trouble and that's the idea.  Land in one of those pits and your cooked.

Sean, not sure I understand your title in this thread - I don't see how 'Bigness & Grandeur' have anything in common with Rye.

What did you think in comparison to Swinley?

Henry

Despite Swinley's unmatched 3s, the par 4s at Rye are imo unquestionably stronger, more interesting and varied.  Given this with the superior land forms and I have to pick Rye as the better course by a slight margin, but as my favourite of the two by quite a margin.

My issue is not with the pits on #7, but the receptiveness of the green even with mild tail wind in summer.  With that bunker in  front taking away the obvious kick in point the hole is a real pot luck deal.  Sure, its easy to take your medicine, hit the green and accept the ball will bounce through, but I would like to see a bit more about a par 3 than this unless its quite a bit shorter than 160 yards. I hit a flat 6 iron to the left and short of the green and hoped for the best.  LUCKILY, I was rewarded with the opportunity to putt for the next shot.  I wonder how many others of the 12 that played were dancing after the tee shot.  I would be amazed if it were more than 2 or perhaps 3, but perhaps I am wrong.  The hole is certainly famous enough!  One other issue, I hate the gorse that has been allowed to grow which blocks the view of the entire green.  I don't understand the point of it.

Tiger - what is your take on #7?

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

Tiger_Bernhardt

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 02:00:00 PM »
Sean It is an incredible hole, yet is it better than Littlestones 17th?

Sean_A

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 02:40:17 PM »
Sean It is an incredible hole, yet is it better than Littlestones 17th?

Tiger

Its difficult to say, but I would probably lean toward Littlestone's 17th even though t may be more demanding than Rye's 7th.

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

Mark Woodger

Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2009, 10:50:06 PM »
love the pictures sean. i have two memories of rye golf course. the first was that when i was about 17/18 (im now 30) a group of friends would drive down and arrive at camber sands beach (the one right by rye golf course) and then have a bbq and beers and camp out over night in the dunes. it broke the rules but it was great fun. We would then wake up the next day feeling a little worse and then i would wander over to look at the golf course and think about playing it one day and try to figure out where the course was amongst the dunes.

the second was the one time i played it i was a stage in my life aged 21 where i correlated a good round with a good course. It was a day in which i played 18 at Chart Hills and then drove on down to rye for a great lunch and a further 18 holes.  I didn't have a good round and so i thought it was a cr*p course that was all tricked up. However looking at these pictures and the others posted on the sight along with my greater understanding of golf courses and their architecture i can't wait for a third memory in the form of at least 18 more holes and to try it out again.

thanks again sean.

James Boon

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2009, 03:45:18 AM »
So that's gorse then, is it? That was my first contact (literally) with the stuff. I backed in to try to play my ball from under a bush and it felt like a thousand needles being jabbed into me. Horrific.

Scott,

You've been in this country all this time now and yet this is your first experience of Gorse? You still have much to learn my young Padawan  ;D As a backdrop when in bloom its stunning, check out my pics of Hollinwell or any of Dornoch. As something to try to get in to find or play a ball, well only the foolish would try it... as I did the other day in desperation!  ::)

Enjoy Buda!

Sean,

Thanks for the pictures. Looked a bit of a murky day on the south coast?

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

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

Eric Strulowitz

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2009, 11:13:12 PM »
Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures.  I played 36 holes at Rye this past August.  It was a windless, sunny day, had my best score ever of 79.  It is a very fair course, and some real opportunities for birdies.  My only complaint is minor, that is navigating the course the first time, it was confusing where the next tee boxes were with all the dunes and all, a few signs might have been helpful.

We really felt like members for a day.  Everyone in the clubhouse was accommodating and friendly.  And the town of Rye itself, we just loved it.   A lot of historiclal  bulidings and wonderful cobblestone streets. Some great restaurants and pubs.  We stayed at the Durant House, one of the best B&B's I ever stayed at.

Not all that far from Rye, we discovered a little known course known as Cooden Beach.  It was amazing, part links, part parkland.  A lot of interesting forced carries over marsh and lakes, and some interesting elevation changes.  The conditons were among the best I have ever encountered in the UK.  They don't get many visitors, it is a little known course outside the area, please give it a look at if you are in that area. 

Sean_A

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2009, 07:32:01 PM »
So that's gorse then, is it? That was my first contact (literally) with the stuff. I backed in to try to play my ball from under a bush and it felt like a thousand needles being jabbed into me. Horrific.

Scott,

You've been in this country all this time now and yet this is your first experience of Gorse? You still have much to learn my young Padawan  ;D As a backdrop when in bloom its stunning, check out my pics of Hollinwell or any of Dornoch. As something to try to get in to find or play a ball, well only the foolish would try it... as I did the other day in desperation!  ::)

Enjoy Buda!

Sean,

Thanks for the pictures. Looked a bit of a murky day on the south coast?

Cheers,

James

James

Murky indeed, but that didn't temper my enthusiasm for Rye.  You really must make it down sometime.  Just looking at the pix of Sandwich and it is clear that Rye really does believe in less is more for maintenance - Sandwich looks so much more spruced up.  Mind you, Rye was in rough condition as the fairways were spotty.  I reckon it happens every summer at Rye - it reminds me a lot of Pennard.

Bob

Yes, Rye is a lovely town and a bit odd at the same time.  It looks odd sitting on a hill isolated from the sea.

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

Matt_Ward

Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2009, 08:00:51 PM »
Sean:

Many thanks for the pics and commentary.

In all my golf travels I have not played Rye but it is clearly high on my radar screen the next time I venture to the UK.

Can you tell me given the range of courses you have played in the UK -- where would you place Rye among that collection?

Is it among your first ten?

One other thing -- you mentioned the quality of the par-4's -- is there any real weakness and if identified what would you do to correct it?

thanks ...

Sean_A

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur New
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2009, 03:38:43 AM »
Sean:

Many thanks for the pics and commentary.

In all my golf travels I have not played Rye but it is clearly high on my radar screen the next time I venture to the UK.

Can you tell me given the range of courses you have played in the UK -- where would you place Rye among that collection?

Is it among your first ten?

One other thing -- you mentioned the quality of the par-4's -- is there any real weakness and if identified what would you do to correct it?

thanks ...

Matt

In terms of the quality of the golf I would say Rye compares favourably to Birkdale, Co Down, TOC and N Berwick.  Ahead of places like Pennard, Tenby, Brora, Burnham, Carne, Notts, Saunton, Machrihanish, Cruden Bay, Deal, Nairn, Notts, Princes, Beau Desert and Harlech.  Behind places like Prestwick, Merion, Sandwich and Ballybunion.  So you can see I rate Rye quite highly. 

The first thing I would do is get an archie to have a look and come up with ideas.  Assuming I am the archie I would consider the following:

I spose the simple solution is to fix #10.  I notice the club is planting trees behind #17 green as protection from #10 tee.  First, I would rip those out and use bunkering for protection as it is needed.  I would probably like to see the gorse ripped out on the left of #10 for the approach and the green made more visually available. As it is now, the hole is very lifeless and not in keeping with the remainder of the course.  That said, having a hole stand out as different isn't always a bad thing, so whatever I did I would probably want to keep this individuality for this hole. 

Finally, I would rip out the gorse in front of #11's daily tee and probably leave the hole as it is.     

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 07:20:13 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

Kevin Pallier

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Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2009, 03:51:32 AM »
Sean

As far as "blind approaches" the 13th is one of my favourites in GB&I particularly given the unbunkered green. The anticipation walking over the dune to find out where my ball had finished was interesting to say the least.

Rich Goodale

Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2009, 03:43:15 AM »
Thanks for those pictures, Sean.  What a not pity that some of us were lucky enough to play in the afternoon when the clouds and rain had disappeared.  It was difficult for us to see the merits of Rye when playing in warmth and sunshine.

As for the commentary, I agree on the complete incongruity of the 11th, but will defend the 10th as a reasonably good hole.  I do not at all remember the pond on the 11th from my previous visit in 1981, and sources have told me that it was not there in 1977, so my memories may be right.  Whoever and however that got put on such a fine course defines GCA criminality.  Overall I was relatively underwhelmed.  Rye is a unqiue club and a fine golf course, but it paled in relationship to it neighbours that we played over the next 4 days for numerous and vaired reasons.  I have taken a * off the course/club on the Rihcelin Scale (@2009, all rights reserved).

I'll also disagree with your comparison of the 14th and the 6th at Dornoch.  IMHO, the only similarity is that they are both par-3s.  Is it possible to get a 17 at Rye's 14th (as I have seen a reasonably good golfer do at the 6th at Dornoch)?  Does one's arse pucker when standing on Rye's 14th tee?  Is there a magnificent seaside view?

Regardless of what I think, I will defend to my death your right to hold such a loopy opinion.... ;)

PS--I can't exactly figure out which part of Tom MacW's Darwin post are his and which are Bernie's, but to call Douglas Rolland "a local professional" is needlessly dismissive.  Darwin would have known that he was one of the great players of his day and highly respected in the world of late-19th century golf.  I always thought that Rolland was in charge of the initial design of Rye and Colt assisted him.  It seems most logical given the relative expereince and reputation at that time of the two men.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 04:06:12 AM by Rich Goodale »

henrye

Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2009, 11:48:59 AM »
From the Swinley thread.

I'll be playing Rye on Sunday for the third time in 28+ years (two rounds in 1981), and if it does not blow away Swinley in my comparative memory I'll make a mental note to return there earlier than I will have done with Rye.

Rich, have you booked your tee time at Swinley yet?

Kevin, I would agree that #13 is one of the standout holes at Rye, along with the very penal #'s 4 & 7.

Sean, still wondering about the reference to: Bigness & Grandeur.

Rich Goodale

Re: RYE: Bigness & Grandeur
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2009, 12:17:33 PM »
Well spotted, Henry!  I have made the mental note, and you can rest assured that I will probably play Swinley again before my next trip to Rye. ;)

PS--I too am confused by the "Bigness and Grandeur" title.  "Petite Intimacy" would be my choice.

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