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This thread is yet another exquisite example of the depth of the bench in the UK. If this course is overlooked (I'll take your word for it, Boonie), then there must be literally dozens of other courses that are clearly superior. It looks absolutely inviting, a little quirky, with enough elevation changes, a nearby railroad, a bunch of natural heathland that comes into play and some lovely natural rumpled runoffs around a bunch of greens. Looks like a place one could play every day and be quite content.
James: We were both spot on about the large pits to the right of 13. They were once bunkers and feature in one of Simpson's hole diagrams in 'The Architectural Side of Golf'. It was the 5th hole back then. He advocates holding the tee shot to the left of the fairway to open up the line in, as anything to the right leaves an awkward 'below feet' lie and a closed off approach. I doubt that Simpson considered the 12th fairway as being in danger of becoming an optional fairway for 13th, but then he hadn't bargained on Ben Stephens!
Liphook was an absolute joy to play.I rank courses a bit differently than Mr. Doak does with his 10 point scale. My most important criteria is the desire I have to revisit the course after each visit. With some courses the desire to return diminishes with each play... with others it grows.This year I have been fortunate to play a variety of great courses on three different continents! Most of the courses I played were highly "ranked" by one or more publications and/or the Doak Scale.I can truthfully say that Liphook is one of the courses that offered increased interest each time I played it... which can't be said of some of the newer highly "ranked" courses I played.Unfortunately, some of the "highly ranked" courses that offer genius strategy and challenge don't provide enough in the way of "charm" and "fun factor" that courses like Liphook offer. Too often these courses demand one outstandingly executed shot after another, with anything less leaving the golfer feeling inadequate or just plain frustrated. While beautifully crafted, these courses don't rate highly in my desire to revisit.Liphook, while not perfect in any single ranking category, is a perfect blend fun, challenge, and charm.
I doubt that Simpson considered the 12th fairway as being in danger of becoming an optional fairway for 13th, but then he hadn't bargained on Ben Stephens!
Robin,I just dug out my copy of The Architects of Golf and that's a great diagram. It would be great if they could reinstate that bunker! I'm quite ashamed that I have read that book and forgotten all about Liphook. Time for a re-read!Putting on my amateur architect hat for a second it would be great if the 12 and 13th could be made a double fairway of some sort, though I suspect some spoilsport will mention safety? Also, if the trees to the left off the tee on 16 where thinned out a bit, you wouldn't need to put your drive there so far out right, which does put you in the firing line for the previous tee shot?However, on reflection some of you have mentioned weaker holes such as 17 say, but I'm always very happy to have a few breathers both visually and strategically in a round. I'm also not sure that 15 and 16 are weakholes, its just the safety issue that lets them down for me. And Lynn, I actually liked 8 and thought that with the large green it did actually give you an option off the tee as a safe shot short of the bunkers was difficult to get close on the large green but an aggressive driver faded around the corner, would leave a short pitch, therefore possibly easier to get close? Cheers,James
Lynn, you are hard to please if 2 is an ordinary hole! The drive is not particularly special, I agree, but the second is challenging and the green hidden behind the road appealed to me.