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Sean_A

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Wonky WINDERMERE GC New
« on: July 03, 2018, 08:28:05 AM »
There have been countless times while heading north on the M6 I would look to my left, see rain clouds over the Lake District and wonder if the sun ever shone on this part of the world.  Well, my first foray into the Lake District not only revealed sun, but 25 plus temperature; a very hot day to tackle the rocky slopes of Windermere GC.  The course is nestled in the Cleabarrow Fells, typical Lakeland terrain above the famous town of Bowness on Windermere and Lake Windermere. There are well earned views of the Cumbrians to the west and Pennines to the east.  The Lakes is a Unesco World Heritage site that features Lake Windermere, the largest and one of the deepest lakes in England which is some 10 miles long and among many mountains, Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. A walkers’ paradise, the Lake District National Park is the most visited in the UK....so be forewarned about a trip when the kids are out of school! 

With 18 holes being in place by 1892, Windermere is a fairly old course by English standards.  George Lowe of Lytham & St Annes designed the original 9 holes, but it is unclear which holes these are or who designed the other nine.  The course we play today is far longer than earlier versions, but at less than 5000 yards (in praise of daily tees) there are plenty of shortish, yet knotty pars 4s. 

The opener immediately confronts the golfer with a marker post high above the tee....well hello. 


I walked past this marker not far off the tee and wondered if this was the result of the Captain's  Drive In...lets hope not! 


Windermere is a bunkerless course due to national park restrictions, but perhaps this rock bunker is an attempt at something different.


While intimidating from the tee, a decent drive will afford the golfer a relatively easy par.


The long par 3 second ramps up the butt puckering level.
 

While there is deceptively more space than it seems, this remains a very difficult short hole.
 

The 3rd is nothing special, but we do walk past the 5th green and that looks more promising.
 

More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 25, 2022, 03:03:16 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

Sam Krume

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Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-3
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2018, 08:44:34 AM »
absolutely love Windermere...some of the best views in English golf without doubt. The view from the 10th tee is worth the green fee alone.

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-3
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2018, 10:38:37 AM »
Sean, Windermere is the longest lake, but I think Wastwater is the deepest.

Clyde Johnson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-3
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 11:37:08 AM »
I've seen some (very high) scores on that 3rd hole having said that Sean!!!

Thomas Dai

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Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-3
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2018, 03:10:14 PM »
I recall playing Windermere. Not long on the card, quirky, great fun. Very undulating. Would still be a hoot now, rather than probably be considered by ‘some’ less of a card challenge, if the ball were rolled-back by a decent element. Alas too many courses fall into such a category these days. Shame considering that if you’re not in the golf business the game is surely meant to be essentially a leisure activity so should be fun and golf fun can come in many a length.
Atb

PPallotta

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Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-3
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2018, 05:02:34 PM »
Golf.
Only in England, you say.
Pity.

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-3
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2018, 05:06:48 PM »
Thanks for doing this profile, Sean. I played Windermere when I went to Silloth for Buda, but we were late getting back from Seascale and missed the first few holes. After we finished, I did walk the first hole just because it was too audacious to miss.

Sean_A

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Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-3 New
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2018, 05:59:42 PM »
I've seen some (very high) scores on that 3rd hole having said that Sean!!!

Clyde

I wondered if the 3rd shouldn't be a par 3 from a tee very close to the current 6th.  The land is good leading up to the green and it isn't one for missing long.

Windermere Tour Cont

Stepping on the tee of the 4th, it is clear this is a special hole which will require an element of luck and a great deal of skill.  The hole looks very long up the hill, but at 354 yards it is anything but. 


The second is obviously blind.  What isn't totally obvious is that any shot leaked slightly right will continue unimpeded away from the green.


Looking back toward the tee from the 5th tee.


Despite being downhill, the tee shot for the 5th feels like the architect intended to bully golfers.


A few closer looks.




Hardball isn't quite finished as the 6th can also raise the anxiety level.


As with the 5th, most golfers will spend a bit of time choosing a lay-up club.  The approach to 6 isn't a piece of cake.  The green is basically the end of a ridge feeding from the right.


A much more convential hole, but that doesn't imply the 7th is any less frightening on the tee.


An approach similar to the 6th, but feeding from the opposite direction.


Below is an old photo of the 8th green with the 7th green in the background.  The rocky nature of the site is more evident without the vegetation!


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 04:31:54 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

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-7
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2018, 01:55:28 PM »
The photos bring to mind the rocky nature of the site. Makes me wonder in todays safety conscious, insurance claim fondness society if you should get a free drop from a rocky spot or if it's just tough luck, play it as it lies (or drop away under penalty)?
atb

Sean_A

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Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-7 New
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2018, 03:54:40 AM »
atb

Strangely enough, we didn't have any rock situations, but if in doubt I say the leather wedge is in order.

Windermere Tour Cont

The 8th signals the end of terrific run of holes and a far better than expected front nine.  The golf on the other side of the house is a mixed bag with a few highlights. From the 8th tee looking west toward the Old Man of Consiston.  There are bits of the course just in shot. 


The top to top short 8th.


The 8th green as seen from the 7th green.


A short par 4, the 9th is fairly straight forward. In hindsight, should I return I would likely walk from 9th green to the 1st tee...the front nine is that good. 


The next three holes are of the up and down variety.  Not bad, but perhaps a bit ott.  The drop shot 10th...one can work the ball in from the left.


Similar to the 9th, the 11th is straight up the hill.


With weary legs, we are asked to walk back downhill for the 12th with the knowledge that we must somehow get back to clubhouse level...eventually.  In truth, this is a very good hole calling for a layup, as is the case on many holes.  With the up and down nature of the course, I am suprised there isn't more water on the course....which is just around the corner.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 04:24:02 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

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC 1-12
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 05:30:01 PM »
This looks most fantastic with the browned out fairways

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC New
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2018, 05:07:17 AM »
Ally

The course played all of its 4881 yards  :D Seriously, I found a ton of tee shots incredibly intimidating. 

Windermere Tour Cont.

A wicked little two-shotter, the 13th must cause some grief for members. One needs to hit the tee shot far enough to get past the marker post, but then hold up on the downhill.  There is strife everywhere!  The effective width of the fairway can't be more than 7-8 yards wide.
 

 

Another point to point short hole, though not as pronounced as the 8th.
 

The short 15th is a dull par 3 heading to the corner of the suprisingly small 100 acre site.  A double dogleg par 5 follows. 
 

A low tech indication of where the hole is located.
 

Although, the sunken green isn't big enough to worry about a hole location.
 

I spose it had to be the case that on such wild land one hole doesn't work.  That hole would be the 17th.  The tee shot plays between a rocky outcrop right and hard on the left OOB.  The fairway tilts toward the left and the kicker is one needs to drive the ball a fair distance to get a look at the flag.  Even the two short hitting members lost their balls after laying up.  There is simply very little chance of getting past the neck if one can't hit a huge and high approach over the rock.  I guess the play is to poodle a few to the bend then have a go....or wait for wetter weather. I strongly suspect this isn't an original hole....it looks and plays all wrong to my eye.




The 18th is a bit of a let down, not because its a short hole, but because trees block out the proper play from the right.  Otherwise, this is a good hole. 


Windermere is a tale of two nines.  The front is a terrific set of holes even if I can't point to one which is a true great.  However, that is no great shame.  The back nine is much more hit and miss, but not at all bad.  The property is predictably very hilly, but wisely the short yardage goes a long way to mitigate the fatigue factor.  Both sides have a very high percentage of pressure tee shots!  For those looking for something a bit different, give Windermere a go.  2018

Paul Turner Tour
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,15182.0.html

Ed Tilley Tour
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,24494.0.html

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 11:47:31 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

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC New
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2018, 08:11:15 AM »
Another example of a course that can be fun, challenging and memorable without having much length on the card. Thanks for sharing.
atb


Later edit - old B&W photos of the 7th and 8th holes at WGC - you play over the 7th green to the par-3 8th


« Last Edit: December 24, 2019, 02:51:27 PM by Thomas Dai »

Clyde Johnson

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Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2018, 02:14:18 AM »
Sean,


The original 17th played to a green way right and near enough up a vertical grass/rocky hill, behind where the 18th tee is...they still, or they used to at least, play to that green today.


Still, the new 17th drive is a butt-twitcher with a decent score on the go.


The 12th used to be within reach with a driver, but they pushed that green back and above the artificial-ised pond.




Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Wonky WINDERMERE GC
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2018, 04:16:42 AM »
Clyde I'm guessing this is near where you grew up?  Can you think of ways this kind of course has influenced your thoughts on golf course design? 
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: Wonky WINDERMERE GC New
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2018, 04:05:44 AM »
Sean,

The original 17th played to a green way right and near enough up a vertical grass/rocky hill, behind where the 18th tee is...they still, or they used to at least, play to that green today.

Still, the new 17th drive is a butt-twitcher with a decent score on the go.

The 12th used to be within reach with a driver, but they pushed that green back and above the artificial-ised pond.

Clyde

Zowie, on the rock behind the 18th tee?  A walk up that slope would require switchbacks  8)

I rather like the water on 12 with the green squeezed between it and higher ground.  I am somewhat surprised there aren't more ponds in low areas because when it rains this must be a very wet course.

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 09:26:56 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

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