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Sean_A

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Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC New
« on: March 18, 2013, 07:45:10 AM »
Seacroft GC is in Skegness, a less (much less!) than salubrious town isolated between The Wash and Lincolnshire Fens.  One can imagine a formidable fortress erected south of town on Gibraltar Point to ward off marauding Vikings using the river system to attack inland towns.  Instead, (after the Vikings eventually settled down!) if we can be afforded the opportunity to fast forward a millennium or so; a national nature reserve was created to halt development and protect the marsh squeezed between two main dune ridges. The Wash was the tidal part of The Fens until centuries of effort to separate the land finally had a lasting effect.  Not an isolated story, Wainfleet, a most attractive town to the west of the Gibraltar Point had access to The Wash, but by the early 20th century silting severed the connection.   

In 1900 the club acquired additional land and then engaged Willie Fernie, the long time Troon professional, to build a new 18 hole course. Of course it was W Fernie who in 1883 ended Bob Ferguson’s hat trick of Open wins on his home turf at Musselburgh.  Changes were made over the next few decades. After purchasing land east of the current 11th (presumably 8-10), Dr MacKenzie was enlisted for advice, but it would seem the club declined to act on his suggestions. Sir Guy Campbell may have designed 8-10 after the club rejected The Good Doctor's counsel. A bevy of later architects had their say and to be honest the bunkering feels like a bit like this was the case. However, Whomever is credited with the lion's share of credit should be most proud for Seacroft is a links of high quality. Using the western dune system of Gibraltar Point and in Scottish tradition, the links commences in town, heads for open country and returns – refreshingly simple.  Perhaps the best compliment one could give Seacroft is that while playing; one could earnestly believe he is in Scotland. The layout features a lively use of the dunes and not surprisingly the best holes are to be found there. The hole often mentioned is the three-shot 13th; a most intriguing hole combining bunkering and elevation change to raise the blood pressure.  However, I think it would be remiss not to single out the road hugging 8th and blind 3rd for high praise. Among a bevy of good par 3s, the 10th is outstanding.     

The opening tee highlights what is a prevalent situation on over half the holes; out of bounds down the right.  This may sound ominous, but there is more room for opening the shoulders than one might expect.   The approach to the first green runs over perfectly rolling land.


The approach to #2 is very much influenced by two-tier green. It looks like the left bunker was redone. There is evidence of new bunker work throughout the course. The front of the green looks like it was expanded.




A terrific hole, the third not only plays to the middle of the property, thus altering the direction of the wind, it gives the golfer a taste of what is to come at the far end of the course.  This short par four plays blindly over a ridge then to a raised green.  Seacroft suffers a bit with unsightly bushes and trees scattered here and there.


The par 3 account opens with the 4th cutting back toward the course boundary.  The shallow green is situated on top of a ridge.  Anything long or short will fall below the green surface. There is a new bunker right and more space left. The left-centreline bunker was removed. While the hole is quite difficuIt, I am not convinced removing the bunker was a good idea.  Before and after.





5 & 6 are flat holes playing either side of a dune line.  Neither hole is particularly noteworthy.  Below is #6 tee shot. A few bunkers were removed and the green front has been shifted right. The open space left for the driver will likely be a poor position for the approach.


The brutal 7th also plays over flat ground, but the green is raised and tucked round the corner of a large mound.  A new bunker was built into the mound which does add visual interest from the tee.


We now come to one of the best holes I have seen in quite some time; perhaps Seacroft's brightest star.  The 8th goes a long way to encapsulating the biggest difference between modern and classic design.  Often times design of 100+ years ago highlighted non-golf related man-made features.  The road here is a perfect example and great use of OOB.  Hug tight to the road and one is rewarded with a view of the flag and a good angle of approach.  The safe left side leaves a blind and awkward second because the dune shy of the green must be dealt with.  The aesthetics of the bunker have been vastly improved. This is a very simple design construct, but highly effective.  The road gives the added element of satisfaction to the player who gambles successfully.  The green has been extended rear right.




The opening nine comes to a close with a short par 5 which seemed to play much longer than its listed yardage (many holes did!).  The 9th is a bit too much like #7 and the green is located in a meadowy part of the course.  That said, the carry ridge for the second shot and the restored bunker in the dune is engaging.

More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 02, 2022, 05:19:06 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

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 10:17:14 AM »
Thanks Sean Keep it coming

I really liked Seacroft, not least because it seems to offer quite a bit of variety for a links.

The second green site is an absolute cracker.  For some reason it doesn’t look that much like a links green but it works.

Agreed 5 is the low point but I liked the 6th a lot more than you do It turns us back against the direction we’ve mostly been following (with a detour at 3 & 4) and features a really long green.   

Overall I though the greens were fantastic with about as much movement as a links course should have.  It also avoids the use of tiers for flowing forms that fit well with the surrounding landscapes. Each one has many possible interesting pin positions.

Agreed with 8 as the standout but again I liked 9 an awful  lot.  If it was like any other hole surely the semi blind approach was a mirror of the feature on 8 – nothing wrong with reversing a strong concept.


Shame the day was poor for pictures.
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Neil White

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 10:49:05 AM »
I agree with Tony that the second green is quite different to what you would expect on a links course.  Extremely long and with a pronounced tier about halfway up - it along with only a handful of other greens give the feeling of having being 'built'.  

I won't make mention of other standout greens just now as Sean is yet to reach them but there are some absolute cracking green sites to come.

Neil.
Courses played 2020 - ................!

jeffwarne

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 11:30:50 AM »
Not only was Seacroft the surprise of the trip, I thought it was by far the most interesting and fun to play course of the 5 courses played, the other 4 of which are highly regarded here on GCA.

Tremendous use of width, which made it more fun for ALL players, and allowed one to use the lively turf and terrain to play shots, and often avoid trouble and hazards.
The risk reward involved considering the hazards and terrain features ON the course when considering one's options, rather than the nearly standard (and more recent maintenance) feature of knee high fescued dunes and narrow fairways being the defining feature when considering options, which leads to much more dull play.

as mentioned, 8 was a great unique hole, but there was ample width and a clever player could use the left sidewall to play to the preferred right side and avoid the risk of the road.
I'd have to disagree with Sean on 9.    
9 was a fascinating hole with the apparent strategy being to favor the left hand side off the tee to open up visibility to the green obscured by the dune. Employing that strategy however, required the player to hit his second at the OB right(and from this angle behind) of the green, and greatly reduced his odds of skirting the bunker protecting the left side of the second shot area,
I accidentally played right off the tee and had not only a wonderful look at the green, but also a sideboard to use and go around the bunker and run right onto the green, with absolutely no fear of the right OB.
To boot, the green runs away from the player, making it particularly difficult to approach for the player who plays safely too far left as he now has left to right fallaway tilt.
The run from 7-18 was terrific and 1-6 needed no apologies as even the flattish holes (5-6) had plenty of man made interest
2,3,4 were pretty good holes as well for different reasons

13 and 16 stood out to me on the back as great uses of terrain to entice risk, yet demand heroic shots.
13 is the widest fairway I've encountered, probably 80 yards, its right to left tilt encouraging use of a draw to create distance and provide the best angle, yet allowing the struggling player to play his slice comfortably into the right bank with little fear of not finiishing the hole. From there it's either a blind layup to a wide area (as were all blind shots)or a spectacular second shot into another tlted tier which funneled the ball nicely onto the green.

The run of 9-14 is an unusual par stretch of 5,3,5,3,5,3, with all three par 5's reachable, and two of them heroic.



In short everything a links could be, without all the aggravation that occurs when one (or one's playing partner's)is struggling with his game
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 11:56:40 AM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour) New
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 11:51:47 AM »
SEACROFT TOUR CONTINUED

The run home starts with the much altered cracking par three 10th. The green has been radically altered to largely eliminate the low left side and the number of bunkers have been cut from five to two bunkers. If the hole is located on the newly extended front part of the green chasing birdies is fool's gold.  While I wish the hidden right bunker remained, the bunkering short of the green is much improved. Before and after. 






The longest hole follows the shortest hole.  The bunker scheme is quite altered, but it remains difficult to reach in two. #11 is a dead straight hole with an interesting side by side two-tier green that runs away from play.


The twelfth, a long par 3, over rumbling terrain seems a bit wasteful. I never like to see great land well shy of one shotter greens. A surprising hole, #13 is a terrorizing par 5. Bunkers wait in heaving the fairway for average hitters. Flat bellies can aim left and carry the dune ridge to a flat section of fairway. From there the approach is straight up the hill to the blind green. Although bunkers on the right line have been removed, for the likes of me the angle to the plateau green isn't as inviting. There is a bunker, trees and bushes lying in wait down the left for any mishap. If one can't carry the ridge, this is about as good a layup as can be had.


A lovely short hole, the 14th features an a well placed bunker short right of the green.  The views behind the green have been opened up a bit.


A longish up n' over hole next confronts the golfer.  The pole is on the right side as the fairway. There is serious trouble left should one miss the fairway.


Approaching/recovering from right is quite difficult, but once beyond the bunker the left side of the green is raised to ease the pain.  Notice the good use of dead ground shy of the green.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 07, 2022, 02:28:40 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

Tom Kelly

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 12:55:29 PM »
I hope the Nottingham reference isn't to do with the "less than salubrious" nature of Skegness?! If not why Nottingham-by-the-sea?

Seacroft is a course I've heard many golfers in the midlands speak highly of but I have never got over there myself, its looks like another one to add to the ever increasing list of courses to see.  
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 01:45:45 PM by Tom Kelly »

Sean_A

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 02:13:20 PM »
Brian, for sure, small tree and shrub clearance would visually improve the course.

SEACROFT TOUR CONTINUED

The 16th has been vastly improved, both visually and as a test of golf. This par 4 is quite short so the thorough green alteration (close to a restoration?) places more importance on the tee shot strategy than was previously the case.  The tee has also been shifted right which doesn't leave a good view of the fairway. I recall thinking that a bunker in the mound would help give the hole an identity. Well, two bunkers are now there. Before and after.




The approach is short, but tight.


Probably the best change made to the course, the hidden front right of the green is now sunk well below the remainder of the putting surface. It looks like this new bowl is just large enough to house a hole location.




More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 04, 2022, 04:02:36 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

David Davis

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 03:19:24 PM »
Sean, nice work on the tour. I can't say I disagree with too many of the comments. I too really enjoyed the course, in fact, far better than the nightlife we encountered in Skegness, the likes of which will paint a tainted image in my brain for years to come.

I enjoyed the first holes and build up to the 8th and 10th which were two of my personal favorites as well. I especially enjoyed the way the 8th hole highlighted flirting with the road to receive a very clear view of the pin which Brian did a fine job of comfortably making use of.

There were a couple holes I wasn't really impressed by, namely the finish but since the tour is not quite there I'll keep it quiet as that will prove itself.

There were also some maintenance issues or lack of maintenance but I'd like to think that's due to it being March after a rough winter.

For me it's a toss up between Brancaster and Seacroft both certainly worth returning. I'll admit that the combination of links and inland/heathland courses really does a lot in my mind to confirm my love of links golf over any other kind.

I'll just add that I question some of "double digit" hcp's of a few of our beloved posters...my partner was perhaps one of the better double digit hcp'ers I've encountered. And then there's the guy who took me down with his Persimmons like relics and hangover to top it off. That clearly say more about my winter game than anything else perhaps. Nonetheless, a brilliant time.

Thanks Tony for a wonderful job organizing! Definitely an event that should be sampled by all.
Next up: open to ideas!

IG: @top100golftraveler
www.top100golfcourses.com

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 06:20:27 PM »
I hope the Nottingham reference isn't to do with the "less than salubrious" nature of Skegness?! If not why Nottingham-by-the-sea?

Seacroft is a course I've heard many golfers in the midlands speak highly of but I have never got over there myself, its looks like another one to add to the ever increasing list of courses to see.  

I think Sean checked out the Website.
http://www.seacroft-golfclub.co.uk/seacroft-history.html 
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Sean_A

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour) New
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 07:55:16 PM »
SEACROFT TOUR CONTINUED

The 17th has a slightly different bunker scheme, its the sunken green which peaks interest. Unfortunately, I am not keen on the 18th tee. It requires a fade around a bunker, but being hard against the houses it essentially showcases trees blocking the housing.  The winter tees are left of the 17th green...a more straighforward and less awkward hole. Still, it can't be bad to have such tee variety. The right bunker leaves a narrow shoot for those who can't fly it which includes me. That said, like Brancaster's surprising final bunker, one of the very best features of Seacroft is the home green.


The term two-tier is too clumsy for this sporty green. The low half is tucked behind the bunker.


It is clear the founding fathers from Nottingham were onto something when they decided to build a course in the dunes of Gibraltar Point for Seacroft and the wonderfully named Sandilands GC are the only links to be found between East Anglia and The River Tees. The course offers a good variety of terrain, four holes (#s 8, 10, 13 & 16) which are top class and several supporting holes of fine quality.  Mixed in the bag are also some holes which leave something to be desired, but there is nothing approaching awful. The only serious drawback is the state of the fairways. Previously the greens were troublesome. That issue has been sorted, but the fairways are dire. I suspect something has gone badly wrong and that reseeding may be required. A new fairway irrigation system has been approved by the club and that should help. Once the fairways are decent I expect the course will earn a 1*. Be that as it may, Seacroft is a very good and in parts a charming links.  Let us hope the decision by the club to invest in some design changes by Cunnin' Golf Design continues and that one or two more surprises such as the 16th are in store. Seacroft is much more than a fine pairing with Woodhall Spa...it comfortably makes the top 50 of my Happy 100.

Ran's Review.
http://golfclubatlas.com/courses-by-country/england/seacroft1/

Previous stops on the 2012/13 Winter Tour


http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37725.msg777627.html#msg777627  Temple

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30965.0.html  Beau Desert

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,36467.0.html  New Zealand

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,54349.0.html  West Berkshire

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,51321.0.html  Sutton Coldfield

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,42178.0.html  Stratford upon Avon

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49796.0.html  Cleeve Cloud

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32228.0.html  Huntercombe

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,44266.msg963781.html#msg963781  Broadway (front 9 only)

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,38973.0.html  Little Aston

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49714.0.html  Hunstanton

Woodhall Spa (no photo tour)

Next scheduled stop: Worplesdon

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 07, 2022, 02:51:03 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

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 08:32:13 PM »
Sean,
Thanks for the great pictures-great seeing you again.

16 a half pipe? you can lay up, hit longer to the left side, or go for the green.
3 choices that are progressively riskier and progressively more rewarding, depending on pin placement
I experienced the reverse 1/2 pipe effect when i nuked a high driver straight at the pin which was repelled left by the guarding dunes 20 yards short of the green ,into a virtually unplayable lie in the far left greenside pot bunker

One of 4 fun 1/2 par holes on the back (12 being a par 3.5 ;D ::))

17 had an interesting fall away green,18 green was full of interest

I'm not sure after a week of frigid temperatures, snow, rain, and sleet one can fairly evaluate greens, particularly IN MARCH ,and they were very recently aerified.
One star  definitely in order, pending repeat round to experience peak season conditions ;D ;)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 06:15:25 PM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2013, 06:05:05 PM »
Sean,

Thanks for posting the pics, though you've lost me with the Nott'm by the Sea reference you mad bugger! Mansfield by the Sea, maybe?  ;D

I will try and post a few additional pics when I can get my software sorted!

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

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2013, 03:48:16 AM »
Firstly Seacroft is better than I remembered.  The routing is a joy and a can’t think of a course that so firmly starts “in town2 and then goes walkabout for a bit before returning. The use of Dunes is innovative and I wish .e.g. Campbell and Morrison had looked at this before they routed Princes so firmly between the low Dunes land( however the owner has much to answer for).


Secondly no one has praised the width.  We are quick to moan about too narrow but this is something they’ve got right.

Re clearances.  I’m not sure if this picture will copy from Ran’s review but it shows what I recall from my previous visit, the dune to the left of 14 was covered in gorse. Ran called it intimidating.  A better hole with more vegetation?
   

Re 16. One our playing partners said that over time there must have been many suggestions to put bunkers in the mound and how pleased he was they’d al been rejected. He was right. We never discuss 4BBB architecture on here.  I played with Jeff and laid up, he went for it (and struggled from the bunker).  I could see the pin and made 4. It was that kind of hole.

The one that puzzled me was having another look at 13. I said it before it was one of my favourites as I’ve never seen a second shot to blind fairway like that anywhere else, at least not on a links.  However what became plain is that with the land rising and a large bunker at the end of the blind fairway there is nowhere to lay up just short of the green . So you are left with a very bland shot if you choose to go left. The choice is have 200+ uphill direct with trouble all around or 2 wedges if you go left.  For me 9 times out of 10 I’ll have to play left, but it’s likely a dull option.



The new guide shows it much better.

Another great place to play in England.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 03:50:31 AM by Tony_Muldoon »
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2013, 04:43:09 AM »
My first problem with the course is the concave nature of many holes.  Either play went between two high rises or between dunes too often.  Second, other than the 13th, and this is often how I feel, the par 5s are not interesting enough with the exception of #13.  I will disagree with Spangles in not liking the blind penal bunker in the landing zone. This feature makes guys want to hit it out of their boots off the tee in the hope of having a chance to reach in two and we all know what sort of disaster that can lead to. Finally, the greens weren't just about it being March. There was alien growth on them which created poor conditions.  Better weather isn't the cure, remedial work is.  For these reasons, I don't think Seacroft is in Hunstanton's, Brancaster's or Woodhall Spa's league. That said, there are enough excellent and solid supporting holes to be plenty good enough for the likes of me. Importantly, Seascale is also good value. 

I disagree about the 16th.  That hole certainly lacks pizzaz.  The land is there for something better than what is on offer.  Indeed, this is the last chance to really impress the golfer with the terrain, yet it fails to do so.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 04:01:07 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

Neil White

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2013, 05:31:48 AM »
Sean,

I tend to agree that the course looked "wooly" at best and wasn't presented in the condition that we possibly would have preferred to have seen it - that said, in the course's defence they have just come off the back of one of the wettest summers in history, have had a torrid winter and unlike last year are still waiting on warmer weather to kick start growth, which if present, will have helped smooth out the fairways etc.

The greens, whilst having 'alien' growth ran okay - not as good as Brancaster but a good deal better than Woodhall which were iffy at best.  There was indication that the club had recently applied lawn sand to help eradicate the moss.  Also consider that as at Woodhall the greens probably hadn't been cut since the Thursday prior to us playing due to the heavy rain experienced Friday / Saturday and consider the frosty conditions at the beginning of the week.

It is one of those situations where for me the architecture tips the scales over the presentation - yes there are a number of concave fairways - but that is appealing to many golfers.  The holes are draped over the dunes as opposed to between them in some cases and on the back nine you have convex fairways on 11 (to a lesser extent), 16, 17 & 18 which in the summer I imagine ratchet up the difficulty level in finding the correct side of the fairway.

A further consideration re. the presentation is a point you made when we arrived at the course in that the club were screaming out for new members - and are in no doubt trying to find a balance of sorts that maintains the course in a playable manner but doesn't stretch the clubs finances unnecessarily.

On another point regarding the odd bushes here and there - I checked out the course on Google Earth and it would seem since 2006 they have made considerable efforts to remove a large amount of vegetation.  Just need that final 1% push.

Neil.
Courses played 2020 - ................!

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2013, 08:36:36 AM »
Tony,
See reply #4 for my thoughts on width at Seacroft.
It was refreshing to enjoy such width given the recent trend in links courses to narrow fairways and allow rough to grow unchecked.
My last round with Sean was at Ashburnham where I played ultraconservatively off the tee due to knee high crap everywhere.
had a great round as I found nearly every fairway-was boring as hell ::) ::)


Sean,
Perhaps 16 would've help more interest for you from the yellows(remember they were kind enough to put us on the whites which is unusual) or on a warmer day.
It was quite cold 4-5 c and the ball was not flying.
I saw 3 distinct driving options on 16.

I thought the par 5's presented 3 different looks-very unusual compared to most courses.
9 dogleg second shot right with right centerline dune producing visibility challenges and a second shot left speed slot sling dune bunker/terrain option to avoid the OB risk. rewarded cunning and not so obvious angles.
11 a halfpipe how long can you blast it twice hole and a test of power as the gathering nature of the pin area made it important to get to the green early as many ablls in that area collected toward the pin. rewarded pure power.
13 wide fairway allowed use of terrain to turbo burst drive for one who shaped with slope which set up best angle
second shot to green-proper angle off tee from left side of fairway allowed player to use bank short right of green to avaoid going over nasty left bunker and funnel ball onto green. rewarded shot shape, angles, and power.
I putted for eagle after blasted fairway wood approaches on all three holes, but because all three drives were long and in the proper position to use sideboards (#9 by accident, but there was a place to drive the ball in the edge of the fairway for the same effect)

The greens had been recently aerified, which was the main reason they were so bumpy.
I certainly putted awful, my only birdies coming on the par 5's I two-putted
Sure there were some moss issues, but it's March, they had the wettest summer in history last year.
No doubt they are operating on a lower budget than the other three courses memntioned

You guys would be shocked to see what Shinny, NGLA, Southampton, or Maidstone(or any older poa greens over here) putt like coming out of winter in April.

I'm guessing by mid April Seacroft's greens will putt fine
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 04:35:00 PM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2013, 06:06:17 PM »
Jeff

Yes, there are three distinct options for #16, but very little in the way of penalty for an aggressive miscue.  

I hope you are right about the greens, but I suspect there is more involved to their significantly improving than merely better weather.  Someone said they were better than Woodhall's.  I think we played different courses because Woodhall's were slow due to wetness, but drier weather will definitely solve that issue.  

So far as width goes, I can't tell without seeing the course in summer.  Most courses play far wider in winter. 

Do folks really think Seacroft is better than all the other courses played?  It has some definite highs, I wouldn't say more than either Hunstanton or Brancaster though and its lows are certainly lower.  No, I think there is a clear difference in design quality with Seacroft coming in last place among a group of good to very good courses.  The surprise of the trip for me was Hunstanton.  Its is slowly winning me over as its conditioning improves.  

Ciao  
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 06:28:53 PM by El Gringo »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

PPallotta

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2013, 06:26:06 PM »
Thanks Gringo.

Here's a totally useless and probably idiotic comment - looking at your pictures, I somehow couldn't help wishing that Seacroft was actually inland someplace, and not a links course...and that it had more trees!! Crazy, i know, and I can't explain it, except to say that the wonderful topography there feels like it would've been better served (and in turn served better) if there were more trees framing the vistas, and creating angles or at least the appearance of angles.  Or to put it bluntly, I found myself wishing that Seacroft was more like Temple!

No need to comment, obviously -- I'm talking hypothetical nonsense....

Peter 

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2013, 06:46:41 PM »


Do folks really think Seacroft is better than all the other courses played?  It has some definite highs, I wouldn't say more than either Hunstanton or Brancaster though and its lows are certainly lower.  No, I think there is a clear difference in design quality with Seacroft coming in last place among a group of good to very good courses.  The surprise of the trip for me was Hunstanton.  Its is slowly winning me over as its conditioning improves.  

Ciao  

Is there a tour coming because I recall the first 5 holes at Hunst'on as offering little more than Vin Ordinaire?  The way it and Seacroft play out of town is oddly similar and for my money there's a clear winner in that section. The Norfolk course may finish stronger but not by enough to chalenge for the cup.


Brancaster, Seacroft & Hunstanton is the order for me. All good though.
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

jeffwarne

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2013, 06:47:51 PM »
Seacroft had a few trees,I found them rather attractice, particularly in the out of play savannahlike areas such as right of 11 tee. Had far more rakes in my line ::) (at least three I had to remove from their standing position)
I saw no balls affected by trees in our foursome.
perhaps the left one on #3 in Sean's picture could be removed.
I thought the ones on the horizon on #13 looked quite stark and characterful; but then  I don't buy into the horizon green groupthink anyway.

The trees infringement(if there was any at all) on play was not even close to the gorse that chokes many links courses but for some reason gets a pass despite the fact that it's a definite lost ball and a "pain" to look for a ball

Considering the quality of the 5 courses played,coming in last wouldn't be bad thing, but I'd put Seacroft miles ahead of Woodhall, which is simply prettier due to all the completely nonstrategic and penal heather.
 I did think the front nine of Woodhall was solid with good variety, but of we're going to discount Seacroft due to the condition of its greens then we have to completely diaqualify Woodhall as the back nine was a muddy slopfest. and if it was sand based, i"ve never seen dark black sand before.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Sean_A

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2013, 07:11:45 PM »


Do folks really think Seacroft is better than all the other courses played?  It has some definite highs, I wouldn't say more than either Hunstanton or Brancaster though and its lows are certainly lower.  No, I think there is a clear difference in design quality with Seacroft coming in last place among a group of good to very good courses.  The surprise of the trip for me was Hunstanton.  Its is slowly winning me over as its conditioning improves.  

Ciao  

Is there a tour coming because I recall the first 5 holes at Hunst'on as offering little more than Vin Ordinaire?  The way it and Seacroft play out of town is oddly similar and for my money there's a clear winner in that section. The Norfolk course may finish stronger but not by enough to chalenge for the cup.


Brancaster, Seacroft & Hunstanton is the order for me. All good though.

Spangles

Read my final post on Seacroft and there is a link to a Hunstanton tour.  

I would disagree about Hunstanton.  #s 1 & 2 are a wonderful contrast of holes; one being a drivable, but dangerous par 4 and two being a reachable but dangerous par 5 with great use of blind water.    

#s 3 & 5 are nothing special, but no worse than anything at Seacroft.  #4 is a very good par 3 going back against the grain of the first five holes.  

Where Hunstanton struggles is with its par 5s.  #2 is good, but all the others have something odd about them which is off-putting to me.  


Based on preference:

Brancaster/Hunstanton both 1* - highly recommend everybody play at least once
Woodhall Spa R - recommend with some qualifications/Seacroft r - recommend if in immediate area - good add on with Woodhall

BTW - David (or Hey You), are you giving me grief for being your partner?  All I can say is I was lucky quite a few times off the tee with half smothered pulls.  That shot at Burnham would see me shooting 8-10 shots higher on the day.  While it was cold, the course didn't play hard. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 07:19:53 PM by El Gringo »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

James Boon

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2013, 02:56:25 PM »
I hope the Nottingham reference isn't to do with the "less than salubrious" nature of Skegness?! If not why Nottingham-by-the-sea?

Seacroft is a course I've heard many golfers in the midlands speak highly of but I have never got over there myself, its looks like another one to add to the ever increasing list of courses to see.  

I think Sean checked out the Website.
http://www.seacroft-golfclub.co.uk/seacroft-history.html 

Thanks Tony, finally got the reference, though I'd never heard that before. I know my Grandad used to go Skegness all the time, as most workers in this area did (and hence the name I suspect) but I dont remember him ever mentioning it.

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

James Boon

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2013, 03:00:24 PM »
Is there a tour coming because I recall the first 5 holes at Hunst'on as offering little more than Vin Ordinaire? 

Tony,

Check out Patric Dickinson's description of the first 4 or 5 holes at Hunstanton. Just wonderful stuff...

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

James Boon

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2013, 03:01:59 PM »
Finally got my photos arranged, but first here is the old cigarette card of the course:


Another view of the 2nd green, certainly my favourite greensite on the course, and there are quite a few decent ones!


The 3rd hole really gets you thinking of the fun and challenge of some of the links like Pennard or Brora, with a tee shot to a blind fairway and a green positioned just on the edge of a dune, with a big fall off to the right



The view from the 6th tee with the 5th fairway on the left. Though the flatter part of the course, this small dune ridge does separate the  two holes.


I thought 7 through 10 was an excellent stretch of holes. 7 requiring an accurate long approach to a green tucked behind a large dune and requiring a long approach. I was glad I was approaching from the far left as though longer and approach from the right seems almost impossible. 8 has already been well documented and was the best hole on the course for me. The 9th required a good drive up the left to get a decent view of the second shot. However a drive up the far right (possible with the rough down as it was when we played) actually left a shorter second shot even if it was a more dangerous shot over the large dune. Here is the drive


The view for the second shot with the large dune on the right


View from the top of the dune, showing how the dune itself needs to be taken on to get near the green. Once at the green it all falls away to the back meaning even if hit in two, a birdie is no certainty.


The 10th is a great little par 3 with the green sitting deceptively on top of the ridge, hiding its angle and a deep pot just right of the green. 11 and 12 are both what I think of as typical links Championship golf, long tough holes, requiring solid execution. Nothing wrong with that but the fun has gone for a couple of holes, that is until we get to 13. After a decent drive the temptation is certainly there to go for the green in two but the nest of bunkers set into the dune ridge certainly catch your attention and there is certainly a hint that anything missing right will be trouble. But the shot isn't quite on today so you may just want to lay up, if only you know where the fairway was?


The fairway is actually beyond the ridge to the left, but hitting a blind layup is certainly a rarity as far as I can think of. If you fire a mid iron out to the left you then climb the ridge and all is revealed.


From this angle, its certainly more of a skyline green but an awkward pitch nonetheless


After the blind drive on 15, here is the bell so synonymous with some of our courses often called "quirky" ;)


I think Sean is a little harsh on the finish. From the 16th tee it appears that the left side, to give a clear view of the green is best, but a tee shot up the right leaves a better angle in even if its semi blind over the mound. A slight miss up the right does fall away into a small rough valley, but Tony seemed to do okay from down there... So maybe its not too punishing if you miss, but the strategic options off the tee are sound.


The 17th may seem a bit of a ho hum hole, but the green all falls away to the back right and falls off the back so its certainly no push over


The 18th when we played gave the option of driving down the left valley or up to the top of the right ridge, and position can certainly be helpful depending upon the pin position.


As on several holes (7 and 9 as mentioned previously) there is plenty of options from the point of view of width, but I would like to return mid summer to see how the fairways are cut and what the rough is like. I do hope they keep it wide on a few of those holes.

The club was keen to stress they have put some new back tees in to lengthen the hole to circa 6,800 or perhaps a little more, keeping up its Championship credentials. But I think the course has more to offer than just that and is great fun as well. The conditioning of the greens is a little bit of a concern but I'm sure the club can get that sorted (calling Gordon Irvine!).

So I thoroughly enjoyed Seacroft. Its probably the closest links to my house but the Lincolnshire roads arent always the best so its not easy to get to, but its such great value for money I will try and head back later in the year.

Cheers,

James
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 05:09:38 AM by James Boon »
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

Thomas Dai

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Re: Nottingham by the Sea: SEACROFT GC (2012/13 Winter Tour)
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2013, 08:31:11 AM »
Although I was aware of its existance, Seacroft wasn't a course I'd thought of visiting if in that area. Now it is. So thanks for posting your photos and thoughts.

All the best

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