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Sean_A

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First up was Pennard.  I won't post photos.  If you haven't seen enough by now to convince you of Pennard's Pleasures, another 20 photos won't matter.  Before this visit I decided to spend more time checking out the greens.  In certain corners this has been a reason for critical comments. All I can say is these folks don't know Pennard very well.  The greens have great variety and are full of interest, but they rarely cause anxiety.  After playing Pennard for the unknown umpteenth time, I have come to agree much more with James Finegan than any other reviewer of Pennard.  "I see no reason to back away from an unflinching conclusion: Pennard is a very great course,....And if this is the least heralded great course, it is also the least visited.  Even the Welsh rarely bother...The design can strike us a couple of times as too sporty (what, where  :D), even a shade unfair.  The demands on our swing may be strict.  The hills and the winds may beleaguer us.  But this is a golf course, towering above the sea, that embodies, hole after hole and to the highest degree, the pleasurable excitement that is the one indispensable ingredient of truly satisfying golf...."

Unfortunately (heavy sigh  :P), Pennard was in the worst nick I have ever experienced.  Last year's drought combined with incessant winter rain and yellowjackets have decimated the fairways.  The greens too were awful. There isn't much more I can say about this - it is what it is.  But remember, beyond the conditioning problems is an awsome course that should be seen more than once.  1*

The conditioning problems didn't end with Pennard....

Ciao
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 03:01:20 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

PPallotta

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 12:57:39 PM »
Ah, but the Spring Tour now begins!!

I can't imagine a more lovely setting for golf than the rolling English countryside as Spring dawns softly yet again on the people and places and fields of that historic land, a gentle rain bringing Life renewed!!

Rich Goodale

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 01:48:42 PM »
Peter

Ah, England's OK, but Pennard is in Wales....

I'll be there for a tunamint in May and report back.

Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

jeffwarne

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 01:53:57 PM »
Pennard, on my third play, moved up to perhaps my favorite course anywhere.(up from top 5 designation)
the greens were fine, in fact better condition than on my last visit which was in the height of the season.
The fairways were fine as well(thin and super linksy ;))-imagine my dismay/horror when I found out on the 10th hole that we were playing "winter" rules.
(OK I guess that's an indictment of how few few fairways I had hit to that point ;D ;D)

The real story is perhaps the design of the greens themselves-which are full of interest.
I really noticed them when Sean commented that the green's design there was often criticized.
As we walked off each fascinating, interesting green I would say to Sean "Yep another boring green with no interest"
(It didn't hurt that the pins were placed in multiple difficult, thought provoking places)

an incredible spot and the course that I look forward most to sharing with my son in July.

and a great welcome to boot!


« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 07:49:29 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

PPallotta

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 03:23:40 PM »
Hi Rich - I know that Pennard is in Wales (and all the best at that tournament), but Sean's Spring Tour will likely comprise many an English inland course, which as I've noted before are for me -- more than the links courses or the courses of Wales or Ireland -- the ideal setting for golf. Maybe it's some past life thing...

Peter

Mark Bourgeois

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 03:26:08 PM »
First up was Pennard.  I won't post photos.  If you haven't seen enough by now to convince you of Pennard's Pleasures, another 20 photos won't matter. 

You're right, more pics won't do it. How about a hole by hole v RCP?  ;D
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David Davis

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 06:26:18 PM »
I'd have to agree with you guys on this one. Pennard is a great course on a fantastic piece of property. I do imagine that it would receive some bashing here on GCA because it's really quite a tough course and I image the wind is always blowing there. I didn't mind the conditioning myself, although I admit it's a very serious issue for them and really a shame that it's something they struggle with so much.

I too think they have a great set of green complexes and indeed we were treated to some seriously challenging pin positions. I guess they knew we were coming and appreciate our love of very difficult golf courses.  8)

For the record, I'm sure Sean and Jeff, hardly missed any fairways and I know Jeff realized we were playing preferred lies, he simply wanted more of a challenge.

Cudos to Tony for again organizing another brilliant trip. Thanks again for your hard work Tony!
Next up: open to ideas!

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Bill_McBride

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 07:39:14 PM »
First up was Pennard.  I won't post photos.  If you haven't seen enough by now to convince you of Pennard's Pleasures, another 20 photos won't matter. 

You're right, more pics won't do it. How about a hole by hole v RCP?  ;D

Apples and oranges.  IMHO. 

Tom_Doak

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2014, 08:17:04 PM »
I'm not sure I understand about the conditioning ... Sean says it was bad, Jeff says it was good, and you were playing it TOGETHER?

jeffwarne

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2014, 08:44:51 PM »
I'm not sure I understand about the conditioning ... Sean says it was bad, Jeff says it was good, and you were playing it TOGETHER?

Tom,
It was March, they've had the wettest winter on record, and grass is barely growing.(though we did have great weather ;D-looked better than Chatanooga and I came home sunburned)
I have no issues at all hitting off super tight ,thin turf.
I will say i noticed on the 10th when I elected to play a runup shot to the massively uphill elevated green due to my super tight lie, then saw a player improve their lie, which made  a difference in shot choice to that particular pin.
the complaints about Pennard seemed to be thin/bare fairways, but I expect that at natural links courses, and don't think Pennard is a whole lot different in the summer.

Sean knows Pennard a lot better, and for him to make the comment on conditioning, it must be better in season.
The rest of the group seemed to share Sean's opinion so as usual I was in the minority ;) ;D

I am confident most would have a problem with Goat Hill though as all five courses I played in Wales were in way better shape than the Goat ever is (fairways at least) and we would never move the ball in the fairways there.

Southerndown's fairway turf was lovely, the greens not there yet.
Ashburnham showed badly of cart and trolly compaction esp. around greens and tees.
Royal Porthcawl was in good links condition.
Pyle and Kenfig was pretty good as well, though there's a bit less less linksy golf/turf there.


"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

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2014, 04:06:33 AM »
Thanks for coming guys, we got lucky with the weather and the company.


Sean joined the tour late.  Playing Royal Porthcawl day one and Pennard day two was instructive. When I read the term “links Golf” on here, I wonder if people realise its such a catch all term? More so than “Heathland”, “Downland”, “Parkland” or  “Dessert Course”?  I can’t be sure as I haven’t played all those types but many photo tours on here seem to fall into one type or another. Consider the following.

What they have in common.

Firm sandy soil, very exposed to the wind. Considerable elevation change over the routing (not true of all links courses). Neither is 'out and back', both change direction frequently.  Great sea views on 35 holes! (all world views in one case).  Both are lovely clubs to visit, very happy in the own skin. Both deserve to be called great.

What separates them.

One is of Championship Pedigree with all that means in terms of history and conditioning. It’s expansive and you feel like you are in a “big country”.   The fairways mostly offer level lies and the ball bounces true.  Blind shots are at a minimum, what you see is what you get.  The greens are on the whole generous and the bunkering is well placed in a ‘conventional’ championship manner.


The other is a ‘soul course’ with no fairway irrigation and until 2006(?) animals roamed the course with all that means in terms of conditioning.  The routing feels tight and even after 8 plays I never know where I am.  It feels like you are playing on the green side of the moon. It’s right up there in terms of courses that offer uneven lies and blindness real, and sometimes imagined, is everywhere. Finding where the ball finishes is just part of the fun. The greens are not large and there are only 36 well chosen bunkers.

What a contrast and yet both are ‘true links’. The two courses could easily be played in the same day (45 mins apart) but better to play a day at each.  If I wanted to show someone what links golf was all about then these two courses would be an ideal introduction.
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Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2014, 04:18:19 AM »
More on Porthcawl.

I had played there before on the first day of Buda 2010.  Despite great company and playing well, I walked off thinking nice course but not really that excited. Perhaps it was tiredness – I had hardly slept the night before and had driven down from London- but I didn’t really ‘get it’.  It may have had something to do with the level lies (see post above) but that’s equally true of e.g. Hoylake and Turnberry and I loved them.


So with lower expectations this time, I came away wondering what had I been thinking? This time we played with a stiff wind from the east (behind us on the first few holes) and I loved it to a surprising degree.  It may lack the all world type holes that stand out in your memory when you’ve walked 6 rounds in 4 days, but is that because all the holes are strong?

-   18 really solid holes where every shot interests you.   One of the most enjoyable moment was on the 12th hole. Par 5, in the afternoon.  As we stood over his ball on the fairway I suggested to Jeff that the second shot on this hole was the only uninteresting shot on the course, being a case of “Just move it forward”.  Jeff smiled at me and pulled out his driver….
-   Some holes ARE surprising.  Doglegs seem more frequent on this links than many others.   Fairways are cut in half (yes I know some people hate this but they’re…wrong). And for a Championship course there’s a couple of downhill shots into green running away from you that are the equal of those at Elie. There’s a lot more variety than I remembered.


I only went back to Portcawl as I had an extra day to add to the trip.   In future I will look forward to a Porthcawl/Pennard trip as one of the great doubles in golf.  Recommended.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 04:23:58 AM by Tony_Muldoon »
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
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Sean_A

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard New
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2014, 04:23:16 AM »
Tom

Jeff obviously has a higher threshold of tolerance than myself. I defintely draw the line at balls going underground in cracks in the earth.  Twice I had to play from this sort of lie just off a fairway.  Golf is hard enough without having to purchase a spade iron.  Its not merely a growth issue, there is something going on because there was a lot of moss and brown patches (the start of ferns?) mixed in with bare earth. The greens too were easily the worst I have seen so I obviously disagree with Jeff's memory of several years ago.  But I think the greens will be fine...eventually.  I am, though, very concerned about the fairways. 

Moving forward, Tenby was in worse nick than Pennard  :P .  There are obvious residual flooding issues.  The greens were terrible.  There were several holes with standing water.  Again with the moss and brown stuff in the fairways.  Most folks cite the 15-17 as a weak link.  I noticed the club has cleared the trees in this area of the course over the tracks.  Still, the long walk is not rewarded.  At best I think we can say there is one terrible hole (16), one okay hole (15 - though this was the scene of my only lost ball of the weekend - a plugged ball lost 20 yards right of the flag  :'( ) and one good hole (17). 

Tenby is a town of great charm sitting on high ground, with two beaches, city walls, a lovely working harbour, Giltar Point off the beach, St Catherines Island and a bit further afield, holy Caldy Island.  It is a town which is wholly turned over to tourism in the summer, but in the winter Tenby retains a locals atmsophere. 

The course is one of the oldest in Wales, being founded in 1888.  Not surprisingly Braid had a hand in the design, as did Ken Cotton (I suspect the newer three holes are to his design).  The terrain is absolutely wonderful, tumbling dunes mixed with level areas and all manner of interesting greens; a feature of Tenby I appreciated far more than previously.  I spose most would call Tenby a classic holiday course, but the club has taken steps to be taken more seriously.  Those measures begin on the 1st.  Not only is there a conspicuously placed driving range hard left of the fairway, but some 35 yards have been added and the hole is now designated as a par 5.  This is the first of four par changes which have altered the course par from 68 to 72 while adding some 400 yards to the daily tees.  In any case, the opener is a good welcome to Tenby. 


The second is a good hole moving through milder terrain in the middle of the property.  The third is named in honour of Dai Rees.  Three times bridesmaid at The Open ('53, '54 & '61).  Rees played in nine Ryder Cups and such was his reputation that he captained the side on five occassions.  At the 1957 Lindrick matches he famously led Great Britain (as the side was known then) to victory and its first win since 1933.  The hole takes us about face for a very long 381 yards.  The drive is tight and the approach is tighter - excellent hole!


Commissioner Spangles and The Bandit negotiating their way toward safety.


Tough plateau green.


The Bell too is an excellent hole if of a more forgiving nature than Dai Rees.   



With the South Beach at our rear, the fifth heads straight for the tracks.  Placement on the blind drive is of importance. 


The green is very good, as is the green for the short 6th.


6th.


#s 7 & 8 run along the railway line; both are good holes. #7.


The eighth is a fierce hole with the longest 150 yard shot I know.  The approach inclines steadily upward to a large green wrapped around a dune.  I guess my 150 yarder was really about 190 plus. 

On the 9th tee we are at the furthest point from the house.  This hole is radically different from my last visit.  Where a par 3 previously existed we now have an intense if modest length par 4 with its championship tee hard on the beach.  The fairway is quite narrow with large hollows and bunkers left and right.


The uphill green nestled between dunes runs diagonal to the line of play.  Its a very difficult approach even with wedge in hand.  The balls below are failed approaches. The other is to the rear of the green.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: February 09, 2016, 04:35:53 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2014, 05:04:18 AM »
More on Porthcawl.

I had played there before on the first day of Buda 2010.  Despite great company and playing well, I walked off thinking nice course but not really that excited. Perhaps it was tiredness – I had hardly slept the night before and had driven down from London- but I didn’t really ‘get it’.  It may have had something to do with the level lies (see post above) but that’s equally true of e.g. Hoylake and Turnberry and I loved them.


So with lower expectations this time, I came away wondering what had I been thinking? This time we played with a stiff wind from the east (behind us on the first few holes) and I loved it to a surprising degree.  It may lack the all world type holes that stand out in your memory when you’ve walked 6 rounds in 4 days, but is that because all the holes are strong?

-   18 really solid holes where every shot interests you.   One of the most enjoyable moment was on the 12th hole. Par 5, in the afternoon.  As we stood over his ball on the fairway I suggested to Jeff that the second shot on this hole was the only uninteresting shot on the course, being a case of “Just move it forward”.  Jeff smiled at me and pulled out his driver….
-   Some holes ARE surprising.  Doglegs seem more frequent on this links than many others.   Fairways are cut in half (yes I know some people hate this but they’re…wrong). And for a Championship course there’s a couple of downhill shots into green running away from you that are the equal of those at Elie. There’s a lot more variety than I remembered.


I only went back to Portcawl as I had an extra day to add to the trip.   In future I will look forward to a Porthcawl/Pennard trip as one of the great doubles in golf.  Recommended.


Good to hear, Tony...

...An opinion well changed.

As you know, on that very same day with you at BUDA, I was mightily impressed...

Thomas Dai

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Pennard
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2014, 05:12:21 AM »
The third is named in honour of Dai Rees.  The hole takes us about face for a very long 381 yards.  The drive is tight and the approach is tighter - excellent hole!




Terrific photos of the 3rd hole at Tenby. A great hole IMO, and one that is indicative that difficulty doesn't have come via extreme length.

Looking forward to hearing more about this trip.

atb

John Mayhugh

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2014, 12:52:27 PM »
Sorry I had to miss this.  Tony does put together a fine collection of courses, doesn't he?

Sean, I wouldn't be reluctant to post more pics of Pennard. It's surprising sometimes to run across an older tour of a course and realize I had never seen it before.  We have plenty of new viewers as well, and Pennard is one worth reminding everyone of.  Sorry to hear about the conditions, but I still wish I had gone.


Tony,
That's a really good point about using Pennard and Porthcawl to demonstrate variety in links courses.  I tend to favor wild over mild, but both are excellent places to spend a day or two.


Sean_A

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby New
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2014, 02:26:22 PM »
Tucky, yes, Spangles has his act together  :D

TENBY CONT.

Tenby's routing is interesting in that it is essentially of the out n' back variety, but there are never more than 3 consecutive holes in any direction. The next four holes run back and forth between the beach and the tracks at a slight angle.  For the 10th, named James Braid, the old railway cottage is a good line.  The green lies partially behind a dune in open country.  The 11th runs over more turbulent ground to a green in a quasi bowl. 

Perhaps Tenby's best short hole, the 12th is very much of the full frontal attack type.  The tee shot from the back tee is very formidable.   


A closer look at the perils of a miss.


The 13th must be very drivable in the summer months, but a hidden green and rubbish not far off line down the right are strong deterrants to the flat belly.


Ciao

More to follow.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 04:58:49 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Thomas Dai

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2014, 02:37:13 PM »

Amazing how the camera can foreshorten things. Looks like a flick with a wedge, but as you say Sean, the tee shot is pretty formidable, just under 200 yds from the back I recall and all carry. A hole that's indicative that you don't need bunkers to have a tough par-3.



Looking forward to seeing more of Tenby.

atb

PS - Pennard photos very welcome!

Sean_A

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby New
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2014, 05:09:37 PM »
TENBY CONT.

The final par change occured at 14. The hole from the daily tee used to be a brutal par 4, now its a soft par 5 with an addition of perhaps 10 yards.  From the back tee the hole remains a sub 500 yard three-shotter.  I suspect the club was desperate to get over the 6000 yard mark and increase the SSS from its previous 68 (although I do not know what the SSS is now - but probably 70).  Anyway, I  am not convinced all the changes are for the better as I usually prefer more par 3s than 5s.  More importantly, none of the three-shotters (two are new) are compelling holes.   Although, like many of Tenby's greensites, the 14th is excellent; making great use of a wee fold.



We now cross the tracks for mixed bag of holes which as mentioned previously are often slammed.  Such a broad stroke doesn't do the holes justice, but there is definitely a feeling of being removed from the prime land.  Be that as it may, with the trees cleared around the 17th, it makes for a good par 3. 


The home hole is not nearly as good as its name suggests, Charlie's Whiskers. The flat green sits in a flat area.  Oh well, Tenby finishes rather meekly, but there are far too many fine holes to let that disappoint us too much.  I don't like Tenby as much as previously mainly because I am not sure the changes have made the course any better.  Still, I have time for Tenby yet wonder if its worth folks going much out of their way to play it.  I spose Tenby is best thought of as a good filler course when on a S Wales trip. 

Next up - P&K.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 04:59:51 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

jeffwarne

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2014, 10:28:35 AM »
I must say I missed not playing Tenby this trip.

I opted to play Southerndown that day, and the weather was far brighter and warmer(though quite windy) than what it appears you got to the west in Tenby.
Southerndown, which had wonderful crisp turf on the fairways, starts off quite good with some terrific rollicking terrain on the front nine, but the back nine becomes a little bit of a repetitive slog playing back and forth on top of the hill between areas of gorse.
From what I understandTenby  was in pretty rough condition, but it is a fine town, and the course is well worth a play-sorry I missed it.
"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

Garland Bayley

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2014, 12:03:45 PM »
The image of Tenby that comes up by default on Google Earth is from 2006, which clearly shows 8 and 9 under development with the old 8 green in the middle of the new 8 fairway. Anyone know why they did not use the old 8 tees for the new 8 and make it a par 5? The other picture in Google Earth is from 2009, and is poorly lit. So it seems Google Earth has an algorithm for choosing which picture to show, not necessarily the latest.


"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Sean_A

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby New
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2014, 02:22:14 PM »
Just a few miles down the road from Royal Porthcawl is Pyle & Kenfig GC.  Its remarkable that a links (downland?) front nine designed by HS Colt could go so unnoticed in this world of chasing the work of famous architects.  Yet, this is certainly the case.  The course is split by a busy road and most golfers look forward to the handful of links holes on the back nine; #s 12-15.  Much of this part of the course was designed by Philip Mackenzie Ross.  Ross was not a terribly well known architect despite apprenticing with one of the greats, Tom Simpson.  Ross is mostly known for breathing life back into Turnberry soon after WWII and designing the well respected Southerness. 

It is clear the front nine is more than competent golf, everything seems to be in the right place and the greens have some interest, particularly with the wee fall offs working in tandem with canted greens; perhaps the second is the best example.  It does, however, seem as though these holes are lacking a sense of adventure.  If this is the case, it could well be down to the lack of adventurous land.  That said, the short 7th is a hole of particular merit.  The small green flows smoothly into a slight incline and offers interesting contours.  Despite the pleasant surroundings and much better than average golf, the front nine is not what golfers travel serious distances to play, but I can easily see why members would enjoy themselves on a weekly basis.

More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 07:24:38 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2014, 01:46:31 AM »
The image of Tenby that comes up by default on Google Earth is from 2006, which clearly shows 8 and 9 under development with the old 8 green in the middle of the new 8 fairway. Anyone know why they did not use the old 8 tees for the new 8 and make it a par 5?





The alterations were presumably made to avoid hitting accross the path that runs just behind the new 8th tee.  That one was busy, much more so than the one further down the fairway.


What to make of Tenby?  With my prior knowledge of the weakness of 15,16 &17 I came with lowered expectations. And really enjoyed myself. Holes 3-14 are geat and maybe one should feel sad they can't find a to move 3 holes back to linksland but oplay the course as it lies (matchplay) and you too can have great day out at Tenby (for an exceedingly modest Winter price).
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

Thomas Dai

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2014, 03:55:53 AM »
Just a few miles down the road from Royal Porthcawl is Pyle & Kenfig GC.  Its remarkable that a links (downland?) front nine designed by HS Colt could go so unnoticed in this world of chasing the work of famous architects.  Yet, this is certainly the case.  The course is split by a busy road and most golfers look forward to the handful of links holes on the back nine; #s 12-15.  Much of this part of the course was designed by Philip Mackenzie Ross.  Ross was not a terribly well known architect despite apprenticing with one of the greats, Tom Simpson, breathing life back into Turnberry soon after WWII and designing the well respected Southerness. 
It is clear the front nine is more than competent golf, everything seems to be in the right place and the greens have some interest, particularly
with the wee fall offs working in tandem with canted greens; perhaps the second is the best example.  It does, however, seem as though these holes are lacking a sense of adventure.  If this is the case, it could well be down to the lack of adventurous land.  That said, the short 7th is a hole of particular merit.  The small green flows smoothly into a slight incline and offers interesting contours.  Despite the pleasant surroundings and much better than average golf, the front nine is not what golfers travel serious distances to play, but I can easily see why members would enjoy themselves on a weekly basis.
More to follow.
Ciao

I like the front-9 at Pyle and Kenfig. Sure it doesn't have the visual 'wow' factor of some of the holes on the back-9, but then again the back-9 at P&K is top tier when it comes to dunes/sea and visual 'wow', and it's a very strong test too, but the front-9 has a bunch of green complexes where lag putting and up-n-downs are not easy. A few other courses also have split personality 9's, Hillside and Portstewart being two come to mind.
atb

jeffwarne

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Re: Wandering in Wales: The Winter Tour Comes To A Close - Tenby
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2014, 07:20:09 AM »
I had been told Pyle and Kenfig had the best second best backside in Wales (to Kathryn Zeta Jones ;))
Holes 11-15 were really good holes leading up to through, and out of the dunes.
Holes 10,16,17,18 were all reasonably decent (long) holes themselves, 16 and 17 in particular, but I'd be hard pressed to call it the best 9 holes in Wales.
I'd say the back nine at Pennard is far better, and that the front nine would be pretty close if they ever opened the second hole.
"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

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