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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Savvy SEAHOUSES GC Back 9 New
« on: February 12, 2019, 03:14:22 PM »
The large village of Seahouses is a few miles south of Bamburgh.  The name is actually a 20th century invention. The original inland settlement of Sunderland (later North Sunderland) was largely agricultural.  As the harbour developed, fisherman's sea houses were slowly built in the area.  This also spurred toursim connected with the Farne Islands a few miles off the coast.   Eventually the main road linked the harbour with the old village of Sunderland. Some time in the early 20th century the area became known as Seahouses, a change which helped resolve the confusion with the rapidly growing Sunderland south of Newcastle.
 


A course straddling both sides of King Street (B1340) near South Beach was built by 1913.  I suspect this course was probably built by the original greenkeeper and was no more than 9 holes.  By the 70s, 18 holes were in play, which meant there were and are three distinct sections of the course.  What are now holes 3-8 on the west side of King Street.  Holes 1, 2, 9, 17 & 18 in the area south of the clubhouse.  And 10-16 on the headland section of the property north and west of Sunderland Point.  Many of the features of these holes make me believe they are the new section of the course.  The 10th, which plays over Logan's Loch, was designed by club member George Logan.   Looking at old maps, it is unclear why the powers that be chose to use much of the least interesting land for the orginal design.  There used to be a quarry near Sunderland Point so maybe this is the reason.  In any case, the headland section of the course has many of Seahouses' best holes. 

One other aspect of the design bears mentioning because I have never come across this routing oddity before now.  The fairways for 2, 9, 17 & 18 in effect share a rather narrow strip of land which is more suitable for two holes.  The odd thing is, 9 & 18 share the road side of the fairway and 2 & 17 share the beach half of the fairway.  So yes, 9 and 18 head toward the house cheek by jowl except they cross over!  It seems to me this section of the course would admirably support two holes and indeed, the 17th is a very good hole even if it shares a fairway with the 2nd....heading in the same direction.  I think one can easily see where I am going....there is a terrific 9 hole course to be had completely on the east side of King Street.  Because there are nine hole green fee rates, this tour will focus on the back nine.



Seahouses doesn't offer a mild mannered handshake to open proceedings.  The opener is a full on par 3 over water. The terrific 16th is in the background.


An interesting aspect of the design is the entire right side of the water is lined with tees.  One has to walk this way to cross the water and given the wind I experienced, multiple tees is a sound idea.  Below is the shortest carry of just under 100 yards.


Left of the green.


The lovely uphill 11th is no letdown.


The bunkering compliments the ground movement.


Heading back down the hill, the 12th is obscured and the green is slightly sunken. Looking back up the fairway; the 13th is left. 


The only fairway bunkering on the back nine is on the 13th. Truth be told, it's dire. The hole is decidely uphill and what looks to be fairly recently built rudimentary bunkers flank the fairway at about 225 out. The approach is very tricky, especially with a strong tail wind.


Dead against the North Sea, the short 14th is the second of three par 3s.  With no three-shotters, the card is a tight par 33 against a tipped out 2726 yards.  The tee is in a stunning spot with views up and down the coast, but no view of the green.  I knew the green had to be fairly close to the cliff edge and I was right. I tried to replace the pin, but the wind was so strong it wouldn't stay.  It could be that the flag can normally be seen from the tee.


I thought it a strange place to locate a loo, but I soon discovered the hut, which can be seen from many parts of the course, is a hide for the North Northumberland Bird Club.  Other than listening to Charlie Parker on occasion I am not much of bird guy, but the club sounds cool in a geeky sort of way.

northnorthumberlandbirdclub.co.uk/



More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 02:40:05 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

Niall C

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Re: SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour - 10-14
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 02:44:21 PM »
Sean

Great stuff. I think you were right, I would love this course. BTW, is that a square green in the second last photo ?

Niall

John Mayhugh

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Re: SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour - 10-14
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 03:05:15 PM »
Would be great to get there during Buda if possible, but as always too many courses for the time we have. It is really close to home base in Bamburgh.

Mark Pearce

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Re: SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour - 10-14
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 05:44:19 PM »
Would be great to get there during Buda if possible, but as always too many courses for the time we have. It is really close to home base in Bamburgh.
But play Bamburgh before Seahouses.  There's a reason it was a Dumb Blonde...
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Sean_A

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Re: SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour - 10-14 New
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 04:34:02 AM »
Niall...no, the 14th doesn't have a square green.

Tucky...If staying in Bamburgh, the back nine of Seahouses is perfect for an evening 9.

SEAHOUSES TOUR CONT

It is back to high drama for the 15th.  On the day the hole was just about 100 yards...I hit 3 wood!  In normal conditions, the 124 yards would make for a wonderful water hole.




The great golf continues with a short par 4 called Totem Pole.  The 16th begs the golfer to whip out driver and have a go at the blind green.


The green runs sharply away from play and is deceptively close to water on the left.


Behind the green. 


We cross the water for another remarkable hole.  The 17th hugs the beach and shares a fairway with #2.  The split personality fairway is a bit concave and relatively smooth adjacent to the beach and rumbling further right.  That isn't all, the green is tucked close to the beach.  The tees ring around the beach.


Looking back toward the tees.


Yes, the wind does blow.


Not nearly of the same quality as the previous three holes, 18, however, is no pushover. 


That then is the back nine of unheralded Seahouses.  All I will say is folks should be running to experience this little gem.  2020

Ciao
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 02:43:31 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: Savvy SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2019, 05:39:58 AM »
Thanks for posting Sean. Certainly looks like some cool stuff on the back-9.
Atb


Richard Fisher

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Re: Savvy SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2019, 11:52:47 AM »
Sean, did you actually play the front nine? On my one game at Seahouses, we played the full 18 and I regret not playing the back nine twice, such was the disparity. I completely agree that (as at, say, Abersoch) there is a cracking nine-holer struggling to re-emerge here, but I guess that locally there is enough 9-hole competition from Warkworth and Alnmouth Village to render 18 holes quite an important distinguishing feature - even if the front 9 is very ordinary, by and large. As you say, the back nine is quite a different matter.

Seahouses is a proper neighbourhood club, with decent beer, although the sandwiches were sadly on a par with the front nine the day we played.

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour - 10-14
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2019, 12:16:01 PM »
Would be great to get there during Buda if possible, but as always too many courses for the time we have. It is really close to home base in Bamburgh.
But play Bamburgh before Seahouses.  There's a reason it was a Dumb Blonde...
I definitely will not miss Bamburgh. Thinking it may make sense the Thursday before Buda.

I am a bit disappointed that sunset is around 8pm during Buda, but still sure I can figure out a way to overcommit myself.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Savvy SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2019, 08:06:08 PM »
Sean, did you actually play the front nine? On my one game at Seahouses, we played the full 18 and I regret not playing the back nine twice, such was the disparity. I completely agree that (as at, say, Abersoch) there is a cracking nine-holer struggling to re-emerge here, but I guess that locally there is enough 9-hole competition from Warkworth and Alnmouth Village to render 18 holes quite an important distinguishing feature - even if the front 9 is very ordinary, by and large. As you say, the back nine is quite a different matter.

Seahouses is a proper neighbourhood club, with decent beer, although the sandwiches were sadly on a par with the front nine the day we played.

Richard

No, I didn't play holes 3-8.  I had already scoped out the course on a previous visit and knew they weren't worth much effort.  The opener is a decent short hole.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Savvy SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2020, 01:34:46 PM »
I played Seahouses again this week.  The conditions were totally different than a few years ago, but equally compelling.  Bottom line, this is my kinda place.  See the updated tour.

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 09:28:12 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

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Savvy SEAHOUSES GC: 2018-19 Winter Tour
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2020, 01:58:58 PM »
Sean,
Thanks for the update. I really regret missing it during last year's Buda trip.

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Savvy SEAHOUSES GC
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2020, 07:33:26 PM »
Fun looking course. Looks like a place I'd love to play.
Tom Williamsen
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Savvy SEAHOUSES GC Back 9
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2020, 05:33:30 AM »
I really enjoyed this despite it completely defeating me and wish I'd played better. Happy to return particularly for that 15,16 17 run you highlight. I also think you could big up the greens a bit more. For a basic layout there's variety and a lot of good stuff going on.


Just a word, it looks like links but it isn't really. A bit wet and the fairways offered little run, the semi grabbed my club and I couldn't make the switch in my mind on the day.




The Club is relaxed and form previous enquiries, if its Quiet they are equally happy for your green fee to allow you to play the back 9 twice.  I also think they miss a trick not offering a 12 hole rate. Never played a 12 holer and it really only the holes on the other side of the road that look without any inspiration. It's a tight routing and you can wizz round.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 05:37:04 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

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Savvy SEAHOUSES GC Back 9 New
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 03:26:47 AM »
Spangles

You are right. In a crude way, the greens are pretty good.

On an off note, I don't understand why clubs with more returning 9s or any decent number holes don't offer rates for a less than an 18 loop. Seems to me a no brainer to offer "some golf" that is less than 18. 9 holes has been incredibly popular in the US since I can remember.

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 02:25:32 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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