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paul cowley

  • Karma: +0/-0
courses that challenge all.....
« on: June 01, 2003, 04:53:55 AM »
.....what course [or courses] does one feel most adequately tests all the golfers skills for all levels of play ? [length,accuracy,iron play and putting etc. for both low and high handicaps]

.....and which architect succeeds at this the most ?.....
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
paul cowley...golf course architect/asgca

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2003, 05:07:39 AM »
The first one I would put in there is Muirfield.  For championships it can certainly be set up too narrow and too penal ... but if not, it's pretty balanced.  You have to drive it reasonably well; you have to hit good iron shots; you have to plan your attack; you have to be able to play a frightening bunker shot; and the greens contours are more interesting than at most links.

Royal Dornoch is another.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

FORTSONATOR

Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2003, 05:56:44 AM »
Shinnecock
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Bruce Katona

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2003, 09:12:03 AM »
Paul: I followed your post and wanted to respond. I took your question to imply "What aspects of a course challenge all skill sets ?"

My peers and I on the business side of the golf business believe the following to be the message for success: "Look hard and play fair". Here in the Northeast we have a highly rated public venue named Ballyowen, an inland "links course" ( it was constructed mostly on an old quarry, this no trees). Their recipe to sucess is just what I stated above, plus providing a good level of service before, during and after the round. The holes most challenging on the course are the par 3 holes, which  involve carry over water; a difficult shot for the average golfer. The better player, from the rear tees can shape their shots and score well but still feel challenged.

Two other courses asociated with Ballyowen are Black Bear and Wild Turkey, both of which offer interesting holes. The signature hole on both courses is a par 3 over water; Wild Turkey's is over an old quarry and Black Bear's is across a sculpted curving pond. Neither course is designed for PGA Tour play, but both are successful (ie making money) and are being enjoyed by a broad spectrum of golfer's of varying abilities. The "average golfer", a 20 handicaper, feels good at the end of the round because his/her score was ok and he/she enjoyed the day.

Another course fitting this bill is Pine Barrens, in Jackson, NJ. It allows the better player to challenge the course by taking agressive lines of play (#4 Par 4 - fade off tee and long iron in - aggressive play  or drive/lay up and chip on for a par putt for the shorter hitter) or the average player the chance to chip and putt for par. The corridors are wide to allow for finding an errant shot and the greens have some slight movement but a generally flay (with the exception of the par 3 12th). The last five holes are a good test for players of all ability - #14 par 3 over water(signature hole) #15 good 2 or 3 shot par 5, #16 sculpted do leg par 4, #17 long par 4 intot he prevailing wind and #18 good 3 shot par 5.

Testing the abilities of golfers at all levels on the same course was successfully done by many of the old masters. They allowed for multiple lines and angles of play on each hole to allow players of different skill and power the same opportunity to be successful. Par is par on the scorecard, whether it takes 2 to get on and 2 putts or three to get on (the third being a chip shot close) and 1 putt for par.

A successful way to challenge all players on current courses is the design of the chipping/collection areas on green surrounds and approaches. By reintroducing the ground game here in the US (where most of us have learned to fly the ball onto the green, you add the element of uncertainy to the ball path (inconsistant bounces). The average player can get the ball up onto the green as can the skilled player. If the ball were being played from a sand bunker, the better player will get out and ontot he green while the avereage player willtake two strokes to get out of the trap about half the time.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Patrick_Mucci

Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2003, 10:06:51 AM »
Paul Cowley,

NGLA
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Steve Lapper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2003, 04:19:40 AM »
I'd have to add a few to this list.

For Certain, Abroad:

Royal Melbourne West
Kingston Heath
(Both test every fact of the game without becoming overly penal nor ridiculous in rewarding/punishing the spectrum of playing talent)

I'd submit Royal Portrush and to a lesser degree, Royal County Down to Tom's list as well as I found every facet tested at each and although RCD can get a bit brutal it still fits the bill.

Domestic:

Do the Shinnecocks, WFW's, and PVGC's test every facet of every game: absolutely and throughly. However, this group can and will wear down a lesser golfer and lead to near score fatal collapse sooner or later.

I'd submit instead, that the courses of charm with significant spine would be the best fit. Those include, IMHO,:

Friars Head
NGLA for sure as others have seconded
Plainfield
Sand Hills
Pacific Dunes
Prairie Dunes
Crystal Downs
Seminole
SFGC

All of the above are neither too long, too short, too easy/too hard, etc.. yet are stellar tests of all the skills necessary to make ANY golfer challenge every skill they possess.

Well, you get the message
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."--John Kenneth Galbraith

corey miller

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2003, 06:51:01 AM »
Thats a great list Slapper.  After closely watching the US womens open and US womens amatuer last year i have reached the conclusion that the answer to the "courses that challenge all" is "what are the best courses the women could play the open on today from back tees without any special changes made from regular member conditions"?

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

paul cowley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2003, 04:14:42 AM »
....thanks slapper for adding some to my must play list....these are the types of courses i personally find most enjoyable.....
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
paul cowley...golf course architect/asgca

BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2003, 08:03:58 AM »
ANGC

I know of no other course on the majors rota that is so much fun for the handicap player. If they play from the correct tees, ANGC is pure fun for a bogey golfer.

TOC would be my second pick.

Bob
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Steve Lapper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2003, 12:28:45 PM »
Thought I'd add a few more to the charm with spine list (in case you can't get to Augusta!)

Fenway
Garden City Mens
Somerset Hills
Riveria
Taconic
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."--John Kenneth Galbraith

Dan Herrmann

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2003, 05:51:19 PM »
Highlands Links in Ingonish, Nova Scotia
Belgrade Lakes just north of Augusta, Maine
Beechtree, Aberdeen, MD (fun for my wife but a great test from the tips)
And, of course, the Dunes Twins in Bandon

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:06 PM by -1 »

ian

Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2003, 06:04:18 PM »
slapper,

I've played Seminole and it is very tough on the average player. With the fast greens and the crown shape sliding every slightly mis-hit shot into a bunker, I have to disagree.
Great course, very tough to play.

Best I HAD seen was PInehurst in the 80's. I think it fails for the same reason I commented on above.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:06 PM by -1 »

larry_munger

Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2003, 03:08:30 AM »
Have to add Merion and Cypress Point to Slapper's fine list. Corey Miller's point about the Womens' open is spot on, I might also add that the same could be said for the Champions Tour. I suspect if the Womens Open where held at Merion, they would not play all holes back, the Senior Men would probably play a slightly longer course but probably not all the way back on all holes (6,18 others?)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Rick_Noyes

Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2003, 04:20:41 AM »
Well, since it's right next door, I'll have to say Pinehurst #2.  
While length is not really a must, proper postion off the tee is a must to have the best approach into the green.  the premium is then placed on putting.  Particularly if you're on the wrong side of the green from the hole.  Which brings in a finely tuned short game if you happen to miss a green or roll off from a poorly struck putt.  If it's a challenge to the low handicap player, it's a challenge to the high one.

Rick
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Steve Lapper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2003, 06:29:56 AM »
Quote
slapper,

I've played Seminole and it is very tough on the average player. With the fast greens and the crown shape sliding every slightly mis-hit shot into a bunker, I have to disagree.
Great course, very tough to play.

Best I HAD seen was PInehurst in the 80's. I think it fails for the same reason I commented on above.

Ian,

    I respectfully disagree as my last round there was with a Scratch, a 24, a 3 and myself a 6hcp. We all faced fast greens and some steady winds. The forced carries didn't faze the 24, the greens confounded the scratch,  and the 3hcp managed to  make a 2-3-4-5 on the par 3's. The 24hcp made one birdie and several pars so the green speed and slopes didn't prohibit it. Everyone in my foursome loved the course and none felt it too tough or too easy..just my opinion.

    I purposefully left out Cypress Point as most very low hcp'ers do not face too much trouble, barring beatuifulcourseitis..a common disease, putting up a low score. It does belong on that list, as it does provide extreme charm and stellar beauty.
   Merion belongs as well...oops me stupid :o
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:06 PM by -1 »
The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."--John Kenneth Galbraith

Mike_Cirba

Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2003, 07:07:28 AM »
Huntingdon Valley.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

jim_lewis

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2003, 07:41:23 AM »
Merion and Pinehurst #2
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"Crusty"  Jim
Freelance Curmudgeon

Jim_H

Re: courses that challenge all.....
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2003, 07:52:40 AM »
I think that the great courses of Ireland and Scotland do a better job of challenging all levels of golfers (and making for a thoroughly enjoyable round) than do our great courses in the US.  A 6500 yard course in the US would play too easy (most of the time) for a scratch player; while many of the great courses in Ireland and UK are no more than that--and yet challenging to all.  Maybe it's because we groom our courses too well; the more ragged look overseas makes the course play tougher (while maintaining a natural beauty), without having to add length to challenge the better players.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

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