Golf Club Atlas

GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Thomas Dai on March 23, 2013, 05:11:43 PM

Title: Royal Jersey - a wee photo tour
Post by: Thomas Dai on March 23, 2013, 05:11:43 PM
This is my first attempt at something like this so please have patience as I'll probably screw-up somewhere. The photos are all mine so no hassle over copyright (he, he, he!).

The following concerns Royal Jersey GC, which after using the search function I notice doesn't receive many mentions in GCA posts. I though, think it's a really nice traditional British style links with truly spectacular views. It's located on the eastern side of the little island of Jersey, an island closer to France than to the UK and which operates on a semi-autonomous governmental basis.

The course is on common land so you'll find people out for a stroll and dog walkers on the course, but not excessively so. The course plays very firm and fast. It's not massively long on the card although nicely over 6,000 yards and is nicely laid out in a general out-and-back manner although it's not on the biggest area of land so towards the end it becomes a little overly congested in places (ie 17th and 18th holes).

This is the scene at the entrance road to the club. The green you can see is the par-3 15th hole. The statute is of multiple Open and once US Open Champion Harry Vardon, who was born here. As was Ted Ray, another winner of the US Open.

(http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/8708/dsc00020mz.jpg)

This is the view from the putting green with the 18th green in the foreground and the par-5 1st hole stretching away into the distance.

(http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/4615/img1130kd.jpg)

This is what you drive between from the first tee. At left is a historic fort built as defence against invaders centuries ago and later added to by the occupying German forces during the early 1940's when they also built the low level gun bunkers that can be seen above the shoreline at right.

The prevailing wind is off the left so it's a daunting tee shot, although the beach at right is classified not as OB, merely as a compulsory penalty drop hazard.

(http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/2568/img1155gr.jpg)

Here is another view this time looking back from behind the 1st green

(http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/305/img1141em.jpg)

Here with the flag removed by me is the 2nd green, a very nice par-3. In the background is Mont Ogrueil, a fortified castle centuries old. You'll see a few shots of it as you scroll through this post. It's an extremely dominating feature.

(http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6857/img1136ge.jpg)

We now skip a few holes as I forgot to use the camera!

Here is the green at the par-3 4th hole, another nice par-3. As you see, proper riveted links bunkers. Small and deep with good quality consistant sand.

(http://img802.imageshack.us/img802/853/img1140sj.jpg)

We now skip a few more holes. My apologies but I was happy snapping while playing not thinking about the possibility of a GCA post in years to come!

Here's the par-3 8th hole. A really delightfully located house at the rear. Bet it's worth a few .

(http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/8983/dsc00019ac.jpg)

Here is the 11th hole playing to the yellow flag, a mid-length par-4 doglegging slightly left. There is quite a bit of gorse, not yellow as out of blooming season, on the course which is most attractive and does focus your attention when playing both tee and approach shots.

(http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/9642/img1145ja.jpg)

To be honest I'm not sure which hole this is, one of the holes in the middle of the round, and all very pleasant they are, some more challenging than others, and some with blind or semi-blind approaches to the greens, but this photo gives a good general impression looking inland across the course from the beachside raised dune line.  

(http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/1579/img1133c.jpg)

This is the par-3 16th hole. A much harder hole than it at first appears, a very tight landing area and a steep roll-off at the rear of the green. A shame the gorse is out of blooming season. You can just make out the coast of France in the far distance above the beach/dune line.

(http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/3191/img1147ws.jpg)

Here is the par-4 17th hole with a rather unique driving challenge, the same challenge you are confronted with on the left side of the 1st hole. I believe the greenkeepers now use the compound to hold their equipment.

(http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/1961/img1148qi.jpg)

Here are two balls at rest on the par-4 18th green with yet another fortified defensive tower in the far background. Over the green is on the beach.

(http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/6843/img1153ek.jpg)

This is where the course is when looking down on it from the top of Mont Ogrueil castle.

(http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/3945/img1213xm.jpg)

The course has I believe recently been upgraded and these upgrades are not reflected in the above photos.

I hope these photos give you at least a general impression of the course and the place. There are many challenging and interesting holes and also a few perhaps less challenging holes at Royal Jersey and you a certainly unlikely to ever forget the tee shot on the 1st hole. It is worth a flight or a ferry to play it and it's fellow Jersey course La Moye at the opposite end of the island? Maybe not, unless you've got some serious $$$ in your wallet. But is it worth taking your clubs if you're going on holiday or business to Jersey, very much so, as the course at Royal Jersey (I didn't get the opportunity to play La Moye) is a thorough delight to visit and play.

All the best




Title: Re: Royal Jersey - a kinda photo tour
Post by: Adam Lawrence on March 23, 2013, 06:21:06 PM
Yes, the fort is now the greenkeepers' compound. You have to hit a rotten shot off 17 to tangle with it, but it's much closer to the line of play on the first.

Tim Lobb is engaged in a multi-year programme of bunker renovations - I believe the 18th was done this winter, the eighth and eleventh last.

Generally quite a tight course - the property is small. Not a place you can blast away with impunity, especially when the rough's up.

Club is very welcoming and busy, with excellent catering.

Vardon was born in a house (no longer there) on the right of the twelfth hole. There's a plaque on the hole marking the fact.
Title: Re: Royal Jersey - a kinda photo tour
Post by: David Harshbarger on March 23, 2013, 06:26:53 PM
Thomas,

Great little tour. I like your composition and subject matter, as well as your commentary.  It's a fresh style.  I hope you continue to share.

Best, Dave
Title: Re: Royal Jersey - a kinda photo tour
Post by: Mark_Rowlinson on March 23, 2013, 08:25:40 PM
I enjoy all course tours on GCA. Thank you for this contribution. Let's hope more will follow.
Title: Re: Royal Jersey - a wee photo tour
Post by: Jason Topp on March 25, 2013, 11:06:21 AM
Thanks Thomas!  This course has always seemed a bit magic for me - a place I would love to see but likely never will.  I am not sure I have seen pictures before.
Title: Re: Royal Jersey - a wee photo tour
Post by: Bob_Huntley on March 25, 2013, 12:01:23 PM
Thomas,

Thank you for posting those wonderful shots.

Some years ago I posted a piece on Royal Guernsey, which is such a delight. Their fortifications, the Martello Towers, can certainly affect your play if hit in the wrong places.

The Channel Islands are a wonderful place for vacationing but a bit of nightmare for driving around, very narrow roads and driving on the right.

Bob