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Sean,I had the pleasure of Littlestone last October as a guest of the wonderful late Jim Goby. I took plenty of photos but it was an overcast day and I found a much better thread of pics by Craig so didn't bother posting mine.The 6th and 8th were two favourite holes as were the 16th and 17th so I especially look forward to your pictures of those!Cheers,James
Sean - looking forward to the rest of your comments. I have a German aerial of Littlestone taken during WWII that shows LGC fairly well. The current course follows the same routing. The greens are in the same locations but some of the tees have been moved - 2nd and 16th for example. But the most dramatic difference is the number of bunkers. Over 50 have been removed and the remaining ones have shrunk significantly. The best example of that are the 2 small bunkers fronting the 1st green. In 1943 a long bunker covered the entire front and right side of the green, following a dry ditch - no more run-on shots to the green. Without the defense provided by the early bunkers, it's not a surprise that the teeth of the course is now the rough.Hawtree Ltd. has been working on a master plan for the course which should be available soon. I'm anxious to see it.
Nothing like an overcast sky to take the zing out of photos...must have been a difficult day to shoot.Bart, what makes the bunkering terrible?Sean, might the superintendent listen to a plea to rearrange the fairway cut lines?
Sean,I'm not suggesting that adding 50 bunkers would be a good idea, but one of the problems with the site - a huge piece of land as expansive as RSG - is that it's mostly flat with few significant dunes. If all the holes can't play over the dunes, how do you create interest? It's clear from the aerial that the old bunkers created angles that tightened up the course and asked for more thoughtful play. The old bunkers that weren't removed were larger and more natural in shape. This photo taken after MacKenzie's work on 8 shows how much larger the originals were. Now the sand is confined to circular pits a couple yards across and the bunker site to the right of the green is really unfortunate.Here's a crop from the 1943 aerial. It shows most of the 16th and the end of the last 200 yards of the 3rd. The 3 bunkers set in diagonal across the 16th are still there but they've become little circular pits, one of which is nearly completely surrounded by long rough. The aerial shows they were larger and more natural - possibly as irregular as the ones on 8. The horseshoe ring of bunkers fronting the 3rd green have been replaced by a single small bunker far from the green and the right greenside bunker. The old arrangement looks a lot more interesting to me. An historical artifact - the 16th green that MacKenzie replaced - can be seen to the right of the current one. Its bunkers are still visible.Bill - I don't think the story about the 16th and the road is correct. As you can see from the aerial, the coastal road is far from the 16th. I don't see how it would have been affected by playing up the left of the fairway.