News:

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


Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
ALWOODLEY Again: 2016-17 Winter Tour New
« on: July 17, 2011, 07:32:30 PM »


Located on age-old farming land in a moneyed area north of Leeds, Alwoodley retains these farming roots with extensive use of rig and furrow.  Due to the prominence of Augusta National, Dr Alister Mackenzie is probably more famous than any Golden Age architect, however, it is often forgotten that along with Willie Park Jr, HS Colt and Herbert Fowler, Mackenzie was at the forefront of an inland architecture revolution which forever changed how courses were designed and built. While Alwoodley was not the first course to spring from this well of talent, Mackenzie's first effort was built in 1907.  Not completely trusting to Mackenzie’s instincts, the club hired Colt to inspect the design and he visited Alwoodley twice.  It isn’t known if Colt made any suggestions or if The Good Doctor acted on them.  It is however, known that Mackenzie took advantage of poor weather during the winter of 1907/08 and with co-founder Arthur Sykes “were able to disregard their (the Committee) views entirely and make the course exactly as we wished.”

Map of the course.


In many ways Mackenzie’s maiden design is born of his architectural convictions. When perusing the 13 General Principles layed out in his book, Golf Architecture, there are several tenets of design to which Alwoodley adheres, but never in a dogmatic manner.  It is, however, disappointingly obvious that a major creed of Mackenzie's design theory is now hopelessly buried in lush rough and heather.  The original width offered to the rabbit golfer no longer exists. 

Who wouldn't want to have a go? 


A blind drive short two-shotter gets the pulse racing on #2.  The approach is tricky for those who can't pound their drive near the green.


#3 is a flat par 5 moving slightly downhill. There is little trouble on the hole, but the green has a wonderful dip on the left side making hole locations on the precipice particularly difficult.


A testing par four with beautiful movement to the left; the 4th can often play tougher than the 3rd. 



The lovely down n’ up fifth makes an about face on #4 and is one the few holes with any measurable elevation change.  The rig and furrow lines are a feature which must be taken into account.


As can be seen below, the rig and furrow lines can run up and down or across a fairway. 


An old photo showing the bunkering/hummocks near the green.


The 6th slopes right, but not to the degree of #5.  The greens are generally quite large and often times missing one can result in a similar situation as off the fairways; lush, heavy rough.  Combined with the canny slopes and numerous greenside bunkers, many greens are effectively smaller targets than they appear.


There is a bit of a hitch in the routing after 6 as we have long walk to the 7th....I believe due to the green being moved further back at some point in Alwoodley's history of many changes. Delaying the introduction of a short hole until the 7th may seem less than an ideal, but Mackenzie had to cope with a narrow neck in the property.  He rather cleverly built two par threes bisecting the course, #s 7 & 14.  Essentially, a cross-over is created between 8 & 15 without actually having the danger of crossing holes.   




Legging hard left, the 8th uses "Wigton Cover" extremely well.  There is a good deal of space right, but those wishing to reach the green in two will need to stay near the "Cover".  To gain the best approach position down the left the cross bunker and rough must be coped with. Often times this cross bunker won't be in play, but it does serve its purpose when the wind is contrary.


The Pound seats after two shots.


The side closes with a stern par 3 playing toward the wood.  The following two holes are where the major changes of Alwoodley have taken place since the original course was opened.  It is clear that Dr Mac planned for the changes if additional land could be leased.  In the end, these changes were realized and a rather awkward corner of the course was dealt with fairly well.  The changes to #s 10 and 11 are depicted in the upper right section of the plan.


For those who know Augusta National well, the 10th will look familiar.  In the same vein as the 8th, #10 swings severely left then cuts back on itself at the greensite.  A very large drive will provide a view of the green for the dangerous long approach.  If the green can't be seen, it is perhaps wiser to lay-up with a short or mid iron.  There is nothing but trouble surrounding what may be the biggest sloping green on the course.


Due to the overbearing vegetation vastly reducing the recovery options, the Redan 11th doesn't work as well as it might. I remain a bit surprised the green wasn't kept on the higher ground to the right. Still, this is a good hole demanding an exacting tee shot.  The hole was significantly altered recently. A new back left section for the green was created and several additional bunkers installed.


A longish walk through a cooling wood takes us to the fairly short par 4 12th.  Once again there is evidence of rig and furrow in the fairway.   The 13th (are there 13 bunkers on the hole?) is a medium length par 4 playing dead into the prevailing wind.  Interestingly, there is a string of pearls bunkers just shy of the fairway.  Unusual for Mackenzie, there is a blind rear left bunker which protects a nearby hole location. 

The collection of par threes come in a span of eight holes between #s 7 and 14.  The 14th may be the most interesting of the lot.  It isn't dissimilar to the long approach from the right on #8.  The lay of the land suggests a fade, but trouble lurks left for the pulled shot and right for the under-weighted cut. Despite appearances due to the excellent use of natural vegetation, the goodly amount of space available for a bounce in shot is well camoflauged.

"Wigton Cover" once again makes it mark down the right side of the 15th.  Mackenzie again conceals the space fronting the green with clever bunker placement.  Notice the right bunker limits the depth perception between the forward centreline and right greenside bunkers. 


Unfortunately, in 2017 the club took the decision to flatten out the back left bowl of the green to create more hole locations when so called big events come to town.   


While blind, the 16th fairway is rather generous.  It is best to stay right due to the slightly angled nature of the green.  The clubhouse beckons for the final two holes.  If it wasn't for the 400+ yards of length, the 17th could almost be bit of light relief with its sunken green.  Approaching from the right isn't inviting because one senses there is a large conurbation of gorse to be mindful of. 




In a rather Fowlerish manner, the green is tucked under the fold of a hill and for Alwoodley, is unusually defenceless where bunkers are concerned. Although, I believe a bunker once existed back right of the green.


The second hitch in the magnificent routing is the long walk back to 18 tee.  The view on 18 tee is just as beautiful as that on the veranda...but not so inviting.  It seems everytime I return to Alwoodley the drive gets tighter and perhaps sand is overly emphasized for the shot.  I am not convinced the bunkers down the left are needed and they highlight the debate between aesthetic VS penal bunkering. While these are not Mackenzie originals, this balancing act seemed to be something Dr Mac played with for most of his career.


Dr Mac on the tee.


Directly in line with a flag is a dip making the golfer think a bit on how he wants to tackle the shot.     


Because Alwoodley was Dr Mac's first effort, it is perhaps somewhat surprising that top to bottom Alwoodley is a very well designed course. But we must remember that he was associated with the club for approximately 25 years and it must be assumed he tinkered with Alwoodley now and again.  Perhaps due to this the course comes together in an exceptional manner in that it is a classic example of the whole being better than the sum of its parts. Not that there aren't exceptional holes, #s 5, 8 and 14 are very fine holes with the 8th being one of the best three shotters with which I am acquainted.  The ebb and flow of the design works well in offering birdie opportunities to create a highly admirable balance between challenge and playability.  While not daring, the greens are interesting and where a bold feature is utilized it is done so with purpose. There are few more inspiring views from a clubhouse veranda than Alwoodley’s and one can’t help but to want to stick a peg in the ground and begin the journey.  Unusually, this inviting and beautiful sense of grandeur is present throughout the 18 holes.  On my visit in 2015 the situation of reduced playability due to severe punishment for missing the not overly wide fairways was a serious detriment to the joy of the game.  Thankfully, the club has taken steps to cut back rough, heather and gorse and it is hoped these efforts will pay off.   2017

Ran's Review.
http://golfclubatlas.com/courses-by-country/england/alwoodley1/

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 13, 2022, 01:52:59 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

PPallotta

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 08:12:38 PM »
I ask again for the 'applauding wildly' emoticon, a round yellow dot as happy as sunshine with short bouncy legs and three-fingered little hands clapping madly in appreciation!

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 09:18:13 PM »
Sean,
Thanks for starting this thread. I was fortunate enough to play Alwoodley a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed it. 

You are spot on about the view from the veranda.  The view of the course from there is stunning, and I was certainly excited to get the round underway. 

It's absolutely amazing that this course was Mackenzie's first design.  The variety of green complexes alone in the first five holes is amazing.  I especially liked the fourth.

Mark Bourgeois

Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 09:35:11 PM »
Looking forward to the tour, Sean.

3-5 is an all-world stretch in my book. Someone should post pics of the original bunker on 1 for comparison.

A quibble, but isn't it rig and furrow? I recall Mark P and I having a discussion on the angle of incidence and the power of that concept as a distance regulator.

Wish we saw that employed purposefully on modern inland courses.

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 11:05:55 PM »
Sean
I've read what AM wrote about the formation of Alwoodley more than once and I've never quite understood exactly what took place. He wrote the committee finally agreed to his alterations. What does that mean?


Neil_Crafter

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 01:08:37 AM »
Tom, Mackenzie was part of the committee, so he was never engaged in the sense we know it today. He had to persuade the committee from within, and this was no doubt part of the reason why Colt was brought in for his opinion, ie to break the deadlock and come down on Mackenzie's side. I think after Colt had visited Mackenzie had a much freer rein.

Sean
Lovely photos. Brings back memories of my two rounds there in April last year with Nick Leefe.
A small quibble, but not Alistair. Either Alexander as he was christened or Alister.

John Chilver-Stainer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 02:09:11 AM »
Sean,

Great photos of Alister Mackenzie’s Alwoodley green entrances.

What were the “differences” between Mackenzie and the committee?



Mark,

When in doubt Google first and you’ll inevitably find Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ridge_and_furrow

not to be confused with Sid and Gruntfuttock !!!

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 02:16:17 AM »
John,

You'll find a similar (albeit shorter) Wikipedia entry for Rig and Furrow.  My home course also has rig and furrow fairways, as do others locally and I know of no-one who calls them "ridge" and furrow.  I suppose it might be a regional thing.

Mark B,

I recall that conversation.  If only golf courses could always be as firm as Alwoodley was for BUDA that year.  The sight of balls bouncing yards in the air off the upslopes was extraordinary.

Sean,

Looking forward to the rest of this tour, thanks.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

John Chilver-Stainer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 02:46:05 AM »
Mark P,

Thanks for your version of "Rig and Furrow" – very interesting and once again I’m learning something from this informative web site.

According to the Wikipedia entry for “Rig and Furrow” :-

“Rig and furrow was a type of cultivation practised in upland areas of the British Isles which differs from the more common ridge and furrow in that it appears to have been created through excavation by spade rather than plough”

Apparently the difference is discernible by the narrower spade “rig and furrow” compared with the broader ploughed “ridge and furrow” – but then again maybe the difference is just a local dialect interpretation for the same thing.

If a 5 star modern golf course construction took place these “ridge and furrows” would probably be ironed out and replaced by mounds and catch pits.
It’s great there are still good examples of *ridge and furrow” in the fairways of the older courses.
Muirfield in Scotland  has some “ridge and furrow” fairways, as also the “Braids” near Edinburgh.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 07:00:34 AM by John Chilver-Stainer »

Scott Warren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 03:13:37 AM »
Nick Leefe definitely calls them "rigs" and "furrows" at Alwoodley. I trust he can be comfortably relied upon as an authority!

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Alwoodley GC
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 03:59:29 AM »
The rigs are certainly of a narrower wavelength at Alwoodley (and Northumberland) than the movement at Muirfield, so perhaps John's quote from Wikipedia is right and what we see are two different but related styles of agriculture.  Aerial photos of Alwoodley certainly show the rigs and furrows prominently.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 06:41:08 AM »
"The late Mr. Arthur Sykes had also made a close study of golf course architecture, and on putting our heads together we thought we had more chance of getting our ideas through by permanent committee of friends than by committee that was changing every year.

On achieving this, we thought that our troubles were over, but in reality they were only just beginning, as every committee meeting was a dig fight, and on many occasion we nearly came to blows.

At the time Harry Colt made a great success of his alterations at Sunningdale, and two months previously he had got his first fee for advising at Ganton, a glorious natural course where Harry Vardon was professional.

We managed to persuade the committee to call in Harry Colt to settle the disputes, and he decided in our favour.

The committee agreed to the alterations, but few weeks' time such was their conventional outlook they passed resolutions entirely contrary to Harry Colt's and our ideas, and gave us instructions as to how the work was to be carried out during the winter."

Neil
I've read this passage several times and I'm still uncertain what he saying. I would think he was either engaged to design the course or he wasn't and someone else was engaged. Unless you are saying the committee designed the course, and he led the committee, and every thing he proposed had to be approved by the committee. That seems like a very odd way of designing a golf course, even in 1907. The line about the committee agreeing to the alterations is what throws me. Alterations to what?

He also talks about the work being carried out over the winter. Is that the winter of 1906-07?

Ironic this thread would come up right after my email to you.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 06:47:49 AM by Tom MacWood »

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 06:54:38 AM »
Sean,

The first two fairway bunkers on the left of 18 are very new.  They were being laid out, I think, when BUDA visited Alwoodley (was that 2007?)  I believe they are intended to dissuade golfers from playing towards the left and the properties which lie OOB.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 10:09:00 AM by Mark Pearce »
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 09:37:47 AM »
Sean,

The first two fairway bunkers on 18 are very new.  They were being laid out, I think, when BUDA visited Alwoodley (was that 2007?)  I believe they are intended to dissuade golfers from playing towards the right and the properties which lie OOB.

This is confusing.  There's nothing to the right but the first fairway, right?   The OOB and homes are to the left. 

PPallotta

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2011, 09:47:04 AM »
It seems that Dr. Mac wore his principles lightly here, which is very nice and also quite unexpected, Alwoodley being an early/maiden work.  I would've expected someone out to prove himself and trying too hard to impress or to impose his principles more firmly and overtly/obviously.  (Mike Nuzzo's Wolf Point seems another example of a first timer managing to create the work of a seasoned veteran.)  Interesting to compare with later work, courses Dr Mac designed with many more tools and equipment and manpower at his disposal, and with a reputation to uphold. Of course, I'm not the one able to make that comparison...

Peter   

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2011, 10:03:17 AM »
No doubt the intrigues about the formation of The Alwoodley Golf Club may appear in the Centenary Book in 2007 !!!   But the records show Alister MacKenzie (AM) was a founder member (Jan 24 / 1907) and became a member of the General Committee at the first meeting.   At the second meeting on Jan 29 / 1907 the Committee  decided who became the Officers of the Club and AM was elected Hon.Secretary and his good friend Arthur Sykes Hon.Treasurer.    The Green Committee comprised 2 Committee Members, plus the Chairman, Hon.Treasurer and Hon.Secretary.

AM was Captain of the Club in 1912 and at the same time Edith his wife was Lady Captain.   AM was also Captain of Moortown in 1913 !!!   He transferred to Country Membership in May 1929 and finally resigned in Dec 1931.

I can quote from a letter sent to Henry Longhurst and Donald Steel in 1972, by a former Hon.Secretary Ralph Middleton who stated  that the Feb 1907 Minutes show  that Walter Toogood (Professional at Ilkley 1903 - 1911) was instructed to lay out the course, if his charges were not excessive.   These were later agreed at 2 guineas for the first day and half a guinea for any other days.  (Then a guinea was about £1.10)    With no CV and experience, we can imagime that the Commitee were not prepared to let AM however positive a character he was, start on the course at Alwoodley, but there is a later minute in July 1907 that the alterations to the course were to be discussed with Harry Colt and this was presumably when the services of Toogood were terminated and AM had started to oversee all construction.   

HSC was of course the Secretary at Sunningdale from 1901-1911 and had been at Cambridge (1887-1890) round about the same time as AM and also Bernard Darwin.   Colt was already developing his reputation as a course architect in 1907.    We assume that as the first Hon.Secretary AM would have had a strong hand in the way the course was constructed and this is evident from the original MacKenzie map that we found in 1995 when we moved to our new clubhouse.   This is the map you see on page 13 in Tom Doaks book published last year.   I can only guess that this was dated 1910 similar to other "plans of the course" that we have, or was perhaps done even earlier say in 1907 right at the start up of Alwoodley, and an amendment made later to the top right hand corner where new greens were suggseted for 10 and 11, with AM recommending the leasing of an extra triangle of land from the Lord Harewood. 

At Moortown in 1909 the short hole (then the 17th) called Gibraltar was a great success and the "new 11th" at Alwoodley has many similarities.   Also similar holes exist at Reddish Vale and the 9th at Crystal Downs also plays uphill with a very severe fall off on the left.   My own view is that MacKenzie was intrigued by course design (no one knows if he ever earned a real living from his medicine) and took every opportunity to get very involved at Alwoodley.   Harry Colt who had the reputation was called in by what must have been a prudent Committee to give professional advice on the design and layout of the course.   As Chairman of Green at Alwoodley nothing much has changed, as I am still charged to seek professional support if the Green Committee propose to alter the playing character of any hole.

I think you asked me a question, so in the midst of this I may have answered it !!!
   
regards Nick Leefe     (nickleefe@lineone.net)

I found this from Nick Leefe on an older thread, and in this context the AM account now makes more sense.

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2011, 10:08:23 AM »
Sean,

The first two fairway bunkers on 18 are very new.  They were being laid out, I think, when BUDA visited Alwoodley (was that 2007?)  I believe they are intended to dissuade golfers from playing towards the right and the properties which lie OOB.

This is confusing.  There's nothing to the right but the first fairway, right?   The OOB and homes are to the left. 
Bill,

I am an idiot.  When I wrote right what I meant was left. 
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2011, 10:16:17 AM »
Toogood of Ilkley actually did the earliest construction. And the course in some embryonic form was playable within a few months. The word 'alteration' was used consistently during the early minutes, and those minutes were compiled by MacKenzie as Hon Sec. It is clear from the course map that Sean has reproduced that the course was still in the course of development in 1909/1910 which is the probable date of the map. There is another map of about the same period by one H.A. Chapman (who was not a member). His map differs in some detail (positions of teeing grounds and some bunkering) but is generally similar. However MacKenzie's map shows bunkers already constructed and those still to be constructed. Early minutes occasionally mention winter work to include converting ditches into bunkers.

When I wrote the centenary book we couldn't decide whether a resolution to construct a new 11th hole was carried out. Recent detective work by Nick Leefe and Neil Crafter has found what may well have been the original 11th green in the trees beyond the 10th fairway.

MacKenzie's plan shows an alternative 2nd tee to the right of the first green, making the hole a dog leg with a forced carry over sand from the tee.

The 3rd was played from a tee on the far side of the 16th fairway and traces can still be seen of a bunker guarding the right side of the fairway. An instruction was minuted to 'fill in the ditch and make bunkers guarding the line of the 4th fairway.' Nothing of this survives, nor anything of a diagonal line of ridges eating into the fairway on the left suggested on Mac's map. The lone bunker on the left of the fairway seems not to have existed in 1909/1910.

The 4th hole is another in which instructions were given to convert into bunkers and those probably survive as that on the right about 250 yards out and two on the left farther on, tying with those on the 5th fairway.  

The 5th seems to have been converted into its present form in the winter of 1909-10 with instructions recorded about creating bunkers on the right and hummocks on the left.

The 6th was originally played across a vast, diagonal cross bunker, but to a different green. The present green, much farther on, was constructed in 1919. Today, played from the championship tees, the drive is blind, heather and other growth obscuring the fairway, which leans to the right and causes many to drive too far right into the rough. I saw talented young golfers searching - and sometimes not finding - their balls there during the Tillman Trophy in centenary year.

Surviving old photos show that the 7th has had various bunkering schemes, including at one time a cross bunker to catch the topped tee shot.. As built it had a small bunker to the left and a long, crescent-shape one half encircling the green on the right. Instructions of 1910 call for a bunker to be made, 'short of the green to the left.'

That big bunker on the 8th was once much bigger, extending to cut across the direct line from tee to green on the 9th. The greenside bunker on the right seems to have been a long, thin one. In 1910 the entrance to the green was enlarged.

The 9th was once very formidable with a forced carry over the bunker shared with the 8th. Mac's map shows a hole very different from Chapman's, Mac's with a diagonal ridge from ten to four o'clock, Chapman's running from eight to two. Their bunkering differs, too. Traces of these are still to be found.

The 10th was created in this form in 1929/30, by which time MacKenzie would no longer have been welcome at the club. But it does seem to fulfil Mac's earlier aspirations as shown on his map. It may have been an inspiration for the 13th at Augusta National - or maybe not. It may simply have been Mac's reaction to the land which he was given to work.

We now are fairly sure that the 11th is a new hole. When was it built? Permission was given in 1919 to 'proceed with the alteration of the surface at the 11th green.' Or was it created in 1929/30 when the ground had been acquired to build the new 10th green?

The 12th was very different in look, right out in the open air with no trees. The bunkering was slightly different.

Chapman's map differs from Mac's on the bunkering at the 13th, and they both differ from what remains today. The only recorded instruction is of 1910, 'Put in some hummocks. Make a bunker on the right 40 yards or so short of the green.'

The 14th is represented very differently on the two maps. The hole was then played at 154 yards so the narrow entrance to the green between two bunkers would have posed a gentler problem that it would today at 200 yards. Mac's map and a contemporary photograph show that the OOB fence lay just beyond the putting surface. Mac's map shows a bunker to trap the topped tee shot and alternative tees presenting very different angles of approach.

Mac's map shows the 15th green as being one of the smallest on the course. A contemporary photograph shows that the putting surface was once much more extensive than today, with almost as much again on the left side.

Until comparatively recently a ridge ran through the 16th green and vestiges of it can still be found in the surrounds to the putting surface. The bunkering has changed through the years.

A pair of Principal's Nose bunkers on the 17th fairway were remarked upon by WH Fowler in a newspaper article of 1908 shortly after he had visited the course. In 1910 a bunker was introduced 'guarding the whins'. Mac shows it as a diagonal trench. It probably survives as that bunker 50 yards short of the green. Mac's map shows a big bunker through the back of the putting surface. As the hole was played at pretty well the same length as today it must have been very demanding.

As Mark points out, the bunkering on the left of 18 is an attempt to dissuade people from driving into the houses that were built on the former practice course, the sale of which land greatly enabled the club to improve the condition of the course and built that fine, new clubhouse.




Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2011, 11:15:33 AM »
Sean,

The first two fairway bunkers on 18 are very new.  They were being laid out, I think, when BUDA visited Alwoodley (was that 2007?)  I believe they are intended to dissuade golfers from playing towards the right and the properties which lie OOB.

This is confusing.  There's nothing to the right but the first fairway, right?   The OOB and homes are to the left. 
Bill,

I am an idiot.  When I wrote right what I meant was left. 

No worries, first pint's on you!   ;D


Mark Chaplin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2011, 11:23:15 AM »
If you recall the first two bunkers on 18 were marked with sheeting during Buda and there was a presentation to members due. The club as I recall had sold land to the left of 17 & 18 for housing and the OOB was an issue. The bunkering was to stop more balls crossing the fence. IMO they've done a pretty good job.
Cave Nil Vino

Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2011, 11:24:43 AM »
Mark Rowlinson says of the sixth:

"The 6th was originally played across a vast, diagonal cross bunker, but to a different green. The present green, much farther on, was constructed in 1919. Today, played from the championship tees, the drive is blind, heather and other growth obscuring the fairway, which leans to the right and causes many to drive too far right into the rough. I saw talented young golfers searching - and sometimes not finding - their balls there during the Tillman Trophy in centenary year."

That is such a brilliantly deceptive tee shot.  There are at least thirty yards of fairway that are invisible to the left, an area that from the tee appears to be a sea of heather.   When the deception works, a tee shot to the far right (near what appears to be just right of center) adds at least twenty yards to the uphill second.   #5 and #6 are really good back to back par 4s, and #4 is certainly no slouch either.

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2011, 11:27:43 AM »
If you recall the first two bunkers on 18 were marked with sheeting during Buda and there was a presentation to members due. The club as I recall had sold land to the left of 17 & 18 for housing and the OOB was an issue. The bunkering was to stop more balls crossing the fence. IMO they've done a pretty good job.
That ties in with my recollection.  Though standing on the 18th tee it's a truly spectacularly wayward tee shot that might get anywhere near the houses on the left.  Very wild and very long.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2011, 11:41:21 AM »
But, Mark, lots of players DO hit there, despite the bunkers and trees, and some of those house owners are less than friendly. When they put in the new back tee and before the houses were built they asked Mark James to come over and deliberately hit balls into what was an emerging housing estate.

Dale Jackson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2011, 11:57:37 AM »
This thread is exactly what GCA is about!  Great photography and narrative, great comments, searching and respectful questions and informed answers. 

My congratulations to all who have participated.  Please continue.

My one one small contribution to the discussion on the bunkering on #18, and this may be something I get only from a photo and not present in real life, the addition of the 2 bunkers also changes our perception of the hole.  Without them we tend to look straight up to the green, with them the hole sweeps in from the left.
I've seen an architecture, something new, that has been in my mind for years and I am glad to see a man with A.V. Macan's ability to bring it out. - Gene Sarazen

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE ALWOODLEY GC
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2011, 11:59:54 AM »
There were no trees at all when Mac built it. It was a very bleak scene. Maybe someone could post some of the pics from his architecture books - my scanner's rubbish.

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back