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Adam Lawrence

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Epsom GC... a new player in the quirk stakes...
« on: July 31, 2012, 05:50:20 AM »
Can't quite remember why I didn't post about this at the time, but I played a charity event at Epsom GC in Surrey earlier in the year. I haven't found much mention of the course on here, but I've a feeling GCA members might quite enjoy it, because it is completely nuts.

The course is laid out on chalk downland, and, at the top of the property, comes within a long putt of the main stand of the Epsom racecourse, where the Derby is run. Anyone who's seen the Derby will know that the racecourse is extremely undulating... the golf course is pretty hilly too. It dates from 1890 and frankly I don't think it has been changed a lot since then. Several of the greens are clearly just the unaltered natural grade, and are as slopey as you might expect that to mean.

The only bunkers on the course are around the eighteenth green - because that is the only part of the property not on common land. A hedge runs in front of the green, and has been removed basically to the width of the green entrance. OB surrounds the green complex on three sides!

Not a great course, to be sure, but in the right company and the right mood, plenty of fun. Has anyone else played it?
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Robin_Hiseman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Epsom GC... a new player in the quirk stakes...
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2012, 06:29:35 AM »
Yes...with you  ;D
2023: Aberdovey, Liphook, Mill Ride (x9), Hillside, Lytham, Delamere Forest, Formby, Birkdale, Carya, Maxx Royal, Cleeve Hill, Sunny (Old & New), West Byfleet, Hoylake, East Berks, RSG, West Sussex, Hollinwell (x2), Alwoodley, JCB (x2), Beau Desert, Painswick (x2), Stranahan, Belfry (Brab & PGA)

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Epsom GC... a new player in the quirk stakes...
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 07:24:22 AM »
Well, I know that obviously... perhaps you could offer some thoughts?!
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Robin_Hiseman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Epsom GC... a new player in the quirk stakes...
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 08:43:49 AM »
Whilst not in the same league of quirkiness as Painswick, or Cullen, Epsom is definitely of that genre and will appeal to those who enjoy golf, but not as we know it.  I'd struggle to say that you should go out of your way, unless you really enjoy dramatically sloping greens and the novelty of staring down the final furlong of the World's most famous flat racing course whilst teeing it up.  But, i've been there twice now and have thoroughly enjoyed myself, hit a bunch of really nice shots and laughed out loud at the ludicrously sloping putts.  These aren't multi terraced affairs, rather long, gradual slopes that are hellishly tough to read.  The 15th is probably the pick of the bunch, an uphill short par 5 to the most undulating green of all.  16 is a steeply downhill short par 4 to an unbelievable, fall away green.  Unbelievable it is until I recognised it as being a pretty close carbon copy of a green I built in Bahrain!  When Adam , Brian Sheehy, Paul Nash and I played earlier in the year, the tiny par 3 17th was the challenge hole.  The challenge being that anyone who hit the green in regulation was challenged to not 3-putt.  Easy, or so I thought as I faced up to a 25-foot right to lefter.  Three putts later and I was still 8-feet away!

Here's an aerial view.  I wager that you won't get the hole sequence, unless you already know it or cheat.

2023: Aberdovey, Liphook, Mill Ride (x9), Hillside, Lytham, Delamere Forest, Formby, Birkdale, Carya, Maxx Royal, Cleeve Hill, Sunny (Old & New), West Byfleet, Hoylake, East Berks, RSG, West Sussex, Hollinwell (x2), Alwoodley, JCB (x2), Beau Desert, Painswick (x2), Stranahan, Belfry (Brab & PGA)

Mark Chaplin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Epsom GC... a new player in the quirk stakes...
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 08:58:30 AM »
That looks like a very long, very straight par 5 leading to a "grandstand finish" at the bottom of the picture.
Cave Nil Vino

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Epsom GC... a new player in the quirk stakes...
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012, 09:11:51 AM »
I thought it was me that recognised 16 as the doppelganger of your green in Bahrain? :)
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Robin_Hiseman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Epsom GC... a new player in the quirk stakes...
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2012, 10:54:58 AM »
I was just keeping quiet...
2023: Aberdovey, Liphook, Mill Ride (x9), Hillside, Lytham, Delamere Forest, Formby, Birkdale, Carya, Maxx Royal, Cleeve Hill, Sunny (Old & New), West Byfleet, Hoylake, East Berks, RSG, West Sussex, Hollinwell (x2), Alwoodley, JCB (x2), Beau Desert, Painswick (x2), Stranahan, Belfry (Brab & PGA)

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