Colt designed the rugged Canterbury GC over the Scotland Hills section of the city on land leased from the War Office. Frank Harris, as was the case for many Colt designs, was responsible for the construction of the course. Itís a small world, for the first Captain of the club was none other than Californian Douglas Grant; who collaborated with Jack Neville on the original Pebble Beach design.
Unfortunately, several aspects of Canterbury combine to effectively mitigate any positives of a Colt design. Trees crowd the fairways and in many cases block sight and playing lines. It is clear that originally many of the greens were enhanced by bold bunkering. Today, barely one such bunker remains. Finally, the terrain is a bit too rambunctious to allow for very good golf, though Colt did create some fine holes. Not surprisingly a few par 3s are stand-out holes.
The first hole is a subdued up n' oer par 5. Things become more interesting on the short 2nd, a par 3 with a knob green.
The blind drive 3rd is interesting for its fallway green.
Unfortunately, the course goes AWOL for much of the next seven holes. There are a few highs, but not not enough to satify. The back nine is the much better of the two nines. #11 continues the theme of hitting from a high spot over low ground to a high spot...a design theme which could not be avoided on this property.
The 12th is very narrow, but still interesting.
The 13th is one of several examples of trees unnecessarily blocking views...and this is still winter.
14 is probably the hole which best demonstrates Colt's orginal vision of wide open golf played over bold terrain and enhanced by bunkering. All the bunkers have been removed, but one still gets a sense of the plan.
We now make run for the house. 15 is slightly off course due to the drive being played to plateau, but it flows left while the fairway moves right.
The green site is very attractive.
There is a lull in the action with #16, but the penultimate hole is perhaps the best yet. Uphill and some 180 yards in length...this hole is not only a looker, but challenging as well.
The home hole is unexceptional, but not bad at all and not unlike Canterbury itself. I am not convinced even a world class architect such as Colt could have created a course of note on this hilly and heavy terrain. The abundance of trees and complete disregard for Colt's bunker scheme only make matters worse. I won't be seeking a return engagement.
Previous 2014-15 Tour Stops:http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40029.0.html
Little Aston http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32146.0.html
Formby Ladies http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,60660.0.html
Stinchcombe Hill http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32228.0.html
Walton Heath New http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,59831.0.html
Cumberwell Park Orange http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30926.0.html
Future Scheduled Stops: Sandwich