Golf Club Atlas

GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Scott Warren on August 26, 2012, 09:41:54 AM

Title: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Scott Warren on August 26, 2012, 09:41:54 AM
Pine Valley's 10-hole Short Course is a genius concept - take some of the best shots from the finest golf course in the world and replicate in a condensed series.

It's a perfect warm-up or warm-down to a round on the main course and gives you one more chance to tackle the approach shots to the 2nd, 13th ,16th, 17th, three of the par threes (3, 10, 14) and the final two-thirds of the most difficult hole I've ever come across: the par five 15th.

What's more, approaching the greens that replicate par four second shots is done from the same awkward lies you find on the big course and without the use of a tee.

As well as those facsimile holes, the 4th and 9th holes are originals by course creators Ernie Ransome and Tom Fazio.

According to a plaque at the 1st tee, the course opened for play in 1992. Unlike the main course, carts are allowed.

As a further benefit to the club, the Short Course provides an opportunity for new/different greenkeeping practices to be carried out on "in play" holes within the same environment without taking risks on Crump and Colt's masterpiece.

Here's the holes.

1st - 110-136 yards - recreates the 10th hole on the main course
(http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/9449/img0837am.jpg)
(http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/7250/img0841tp.jpg)

2nd - 152-182 yards - the 14th hole
(http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/9119/img0843l.jpg)
(http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/4286/img0845k.jpg)

3rd - 98-203 yards - the approach to the 16th hole
(http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/8208/img0847n.jpg)

4th - 140-175 yards - original hole
(http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/5004/img0848rl.jpg)
(http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/1852/img0849qu.jpg)

5th - 149-327 yards - the second shot and approach to the 15th hole
(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4971/img0850by.jpg)
(http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/1954/img0852ri.jpg)

6th - 154-181 yards - the 3rd hole
(http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/9881/img0853ie.jpg)
(http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/5818/img0856cf.jpg)

7th - 154-220 yards - the approach to the 13th hole
(http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/3129/img0857er.jpg)
(http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/2377/img0858rm.jpg)
(http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/5382/img0860es.jpg)

8th - 137-179 yards - the approach to the 17th hole
(http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/4739/img0861on.jpg)
(http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/6890/img0862ns.jpg)

9th - 108-163 yards - original hole
(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4274/img0863kl.jpg)
(http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/2462/img0866xj.jpg)

10th - 86-190 yards - the approach to the 2nd hole
(http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/4844/img0868u.jpg)
(http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/4325/img0871j.jpg)
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Tom Dunne on August 26, 2012, 11:30:22 AM
And to think that along with this course, the club also has one of the greatest practice facilities in golf. Just an embarrassment of riches at PV.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: mike_malone on August 26, 2012, 04:50:49 PM
Scott,
 Pine Valley is on a different planet compared to other golf courses.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on August 26, 2012, 07:55:12 PM
Scott,

I think the "short course" at Pine Valley is a golfing marvel.

How they were able to reproduce eight of the holes on the big course is amazing.
It's really fun to play a quick round, and, it's a darn good test.

Carts are also permitted on the big course.

I think the 2nd hole on the short course is significantly easier than the original # 14
There's something about # 14 that seems more confining, whereas, # 2 has a more generous feel.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Scott Warren on August 26, 2012, 08:05:42 PM
My point being that carts are permitted on the Short for all golfers, not merely the few permit holders who can use one on the main course.

Agree the 2nd is an easier task than its doppelganger.

What I did note that the greens of the 1st (recreating the 10th) and 10th (recreating the 2nd) holes were slightly bolder than their siblings on the main course.

Mayday and Tom,

Agreed 100%. I haven't been anywhere else that comes close to offering the suite of facilities (course, short course, practice facilities) that Pine Valley possesses, and that's before you factor in the clubhouse and lodging, staff and members. It's a unique and special place.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on August 26, 2012, 08:45:27 PM
Scott,

The 2nd green on the big course has been softened considerably recently.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Tommy Williamsen on August 26, 2012, 08:49:43 PM
The last time I was at PV I played the "big" course but because we had four my buddy played the short course.  He said he thinks he may have had more fun.  I have yet to play it. It sure is amazing.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Scott Warren on August 26, 2012, 09:02:49 PM
Patrick,

I am aware. The 5th green was also tamed somewhat.

The front section of the 2nd green is definitely less fearsome than it was previously. Though I am not sure I would have noticed were I not aware of the change, it was noticible when I looked for it.

Likewise, the 10th green has changed greatly over the years as I am sure you are aware.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Peter Pallotta on August 26, 2012, 09:03:51 PM
As always, Scott, top-flight work, thanks much.  Amazing that so many of the world's best courses are also so darn charming in their many 'extras'.

Peter

Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: David_Elvins on August 26, 2012, 10:35:19 PM
Thanks for the tour Scott.  Amazing concept and execution. 

One small question, there appears to be thick undergrowth around the perimeter of the holes.  Is that the same as on the big course?
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Pat Burke on August 26, 2012, 10:41:59 PM
What a great looking spot.
Was it designed in person, or from the RR tracks?
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Alex Lagowitz on August 26, 2012, 11:20:54 PM
Scott,

How similar are those shots to their corresponding holes on the big course?
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Scott Warren on August 26, 2012, 11:35:18 PM
Pat,

I'm told by a long-time member that Fazio noted the ability to replicate the approach to the 2nd on the land that now houses the 10th on the Short course and the "template" concept grew from there.

And the land that houses the Short course isn't far from the railway lines, so the Philly area conspiracy crew could extend their long-standing argument to these holes... ;D

Dave,

The holes on both courses blend into that thick sand and pine forest, on the main course with a fairly broad transition zone outside the wide fairways in most cases. One of the many great sensory pleasures of PV is how intense the pine smell is deep in the native areas. Not something we get too much of in Aus.

Surprisingly few golf balls are lost on dry land on the main course. Between 15 and 16 is probably the thickest area, along with right of 6 past the driving zone.

Alex,

In a couple of cases remarkably so. The 2nd (copy of 14) plays easier but looks very similar. The 10th (copy of 2) is the one that blew me away the most. You really could be standing on the same hole but for the surrounding views being different.

The 3rd (approach to the 16th) obviously hasn't got the water right of the green but the short left bunker is there and the pitch of the fairway you're hitting off is a great example of what you find on the original hole.

The others are more "templates" in the MacRaynor mold -- in that the shots and strategies are replicated and the visuals are extremely familiar, but it's not an absolute exact copy. But extremely close, really.

I took very few pictures on the main course this visit owing to being in a tournament and being more focused on actually playing, but I'd love to compare the Short course pics to those I took of the main course in 2010 when I get the time.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Mark Chaplin on August 27, 2012, 03:05:44 AM
Scott pleased you had a great time and got to stay on the property, I'm sure you had a great time with your host. Mr Kelly was over with his son and a couple of guest playing in the RStG member guest a couple of weeks ago so it was good to catch up with them.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Brett_Morrissy on August 27, 2012, 03:52:26 AM
Scott,

thank you, I am not sure I have seen a full set of pics of the short course on here - imagine having that to share with mates ? unbelievable.

My question was a little similar to Dave's - I noted in front of the trees, quite a lot of small pine trees, is that the case, do you know how they are dealt with? pruned, or transplanted or ripped out when they get too big?

...and with the cart policy for the short course (actually and for the big course), do they have designated cart tracks or paths, if so they seem to be well camouflaged, how do you think they have accomplished that?
BM
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Scott Warren on August 27, 2012, 04:54:30 AM
Not sure of the answer to your tree management question, Brett. I do see what you mean though and would be interested in the answer myself.

And yeah, for the fairly small number of local members who can pop down to the club any time, imagine having the short course or the incredible practice facilities at Pine Valley all to yourself late in the day, either alone or with a few mates...

On the main course there are dirt paths well off piste that carts are driven on (haven't seen anyone playing the main course in a cart, but a few older/injured players do, I'm told). On the short course there are some concrete paths and you can drive on the grass in some parts. I guess I did a good job keeping the cart paths out of my pics!
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Brett_Morrissy on August 27, 2012, 05:06:05 AM
thanks Scott, I like the way the holes all look quite separated from its surrounds, with lovely settings and also looks as though it gets heaps of traffic from the look of some of the tees.

With holes like #3 - the tees look like they are just set on the fairway, and can be moved around to the Super's whim offering varied lies - what a great idea for a family tee ;)
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Andrew Summerell on August 27, 2012, 08:04:47 AM
Nice pics, Scott. It's a lot of fun, isn't it.

It does look quite a bit wilder than when I was there.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Mark McKeever on August 27, 2012, 08:09:23 AM
Thanks for the pictures Scott.  The replicas would probably look pretty good to the untrained eye.

Mark
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Alan FitzGerald on August 27, 2012, 08:17:06 AM
Scott,

thank you, I am not sure I have seen a full set of pics of the short course on here - imagine having that to share with mates ? unbelievable.

My question was a little similar to Dave's - I noted in front of the trees, quite a lot of small pine trees, is that the case, do you know how they are dealt with? pruned, or transplanted or ripped out when they get too big?

...and with the cart policy for the short course (actually and for the big course), do they have designated cart tracks or paths, if so they seem to be well camouflaged, how do you think they have accomplished that?
BM


I can probably answer that for you having being the superintendent on the Short Course among other tasks during my time there. The edges were pretty overgrown when I took it over and we went in and cut everything back to re-reveal all the little features like the bunkers in the woods etc. After that 'maintaining' the natural areas became part of the routine just like the main course. Basically as they start getting out of hand - blocking shots etc and generally creating too much of a hazard they get cut back, usually every winter and as needed once or twice in the season.

They mow around the scrub pines, brooms etc they want to keep until they get too big and then they are cut out, so it is continuously evolving with big ones removed while the smaller ones remain. The scrub pines also have a great ability to come back so when they are cut low usually they bloom out again and restart the process.

The woodlines etc are brush-hogged a few times also just to make it more fun and keep it like the old course - where the wood undergrowth is generally stays pretty thin

I was there when they paved the cart paths also. The original paths were sand tracks just like the main course but the wanted to make it more user friendly and encourage more play (which worked). The old paths were pretty well hidden but we did regrade slopes and move the new ones to fit better where needed to ensure the black ribbon was camouflaged as much as possible while still ensuring they were as close as possible to the teeing areas and greens. It was nice to have the original paths there to see where we needed to move them to and still hide them as much as possible.

 

Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Alan FitzGerald on August 27, 2012, 08:21:57 AM
With holes like #3 - the tees look like they are just set on the fairway, and can be moved around to the Super's whim offering varied lies - what a great idea for a family tee ;)

They try (or at least used to try) and keep the yardages different on each of the holes so you can use every club during the round, so if the markers get moved up on one, they get pushed back on another of similar length.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Scott Warren on August 27, 2012, 08:34:53 AM
Alan, thanks for chiming in with your expertise.

Perfect example of my favourite thing about GCA.com - you never know who is going to pop their head up and provide expert input.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on August 27, 2012, 10:38:43 AM
Scott,

What's amazing is that they found the land forms, to replicate the holes from the big course in such close proximity to one another, such that the routing and play of the course flows so well.

And they were able to do this all because Ernie Ransome caught a glimpse of the land while riding in a train/car heading east alongside/on East Atlantic Ave.

It makes you wonder what kind of course would have been built had Crump lived and crafted a second course.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Mark McKeever on August 27, 2012, 10:46:09 AM
Had Crump ever mentioned the desire to build a second course?

Mark
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: SPDB on August 27, 2012, 11:50:56 AM
The interesting thing about the holes that replicate the par 4 approaches is that they have such flexibility in where they can put the markers that while it replicates the hole, it creates a whole new challenge that you wouldn't otherwise have on the corresponding holes on the big course. A perfect example of this is 8 and 10 (replicating approaches to 17 and 2, respectively). The most difficult hole on the Short Course (and, imo, by a significant margin) is the 8th when they have the drop marker all the way back, which creates a 180+ yard shot that you would likely never see on the big course. Same can be said for 10 (copy of 2).
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on August 27, 2012, 04:38:56 PM

Had Crump ever mentioned the desire to build a second course?

Mark, I believe that I had heard that he, or others did.\

SPDB,

That's a good point, but, remember, on the par 4's on the big course, not everybody hit's their drive or second shots to the same points, thus the variety afforded on the "short course" is interesting.

It's also nice that they indicate the yardage at the tee.

Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: David_Elvins on August 27, 2012, 06:37:03 PM
And they were able to do this all because Ernie Ransome caught a glimpse of the land while riding in a train/car heading east alongside/on East Atlantic Ave.

I heard he was on a hunting trip? 
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: ChipOat on August 29, 2012, 11:02:14 AM
Simply, the very, very best.
Title: Re: Pine Valley Short Course
Post by: Ed Brzezowski on August 29, 2012, 12:28:58 PM
And they were able to do this all because Ernie Ransome caught a glimpse of the land while riding in a train/car heading east alongside/on East Atlantic Ave.

I heard he was on a hunting trip? 
I thought it was first seen from the Grassy Knoll. Guess not.