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Ran Morrissett

  • Karma: +0/-0
A revised Crystal Downs course profile...
« on: June 01, 2003, 09:18:42 AM »
...is posted, complete with 15 new photographs.

Given that the course has so many distinctive and memorable holes, given that Maxwell and MacKenzie had a special piece of property upon which to work, given that its set of short two shotters has to be unmatched in golf (save for Pine Valley), given its set of greens, little wonder that so many people worship this course.

And yet, there is a nagging voice that keeps querying if today's course could be even that much more fun to play. Having played The Kinsley Club the day before, how can one fail to appreciate the greater width at The Kingsley Club and all the short grass around its greens?

What if Crystal played wider off the tee and had more tightly mown areas around some of its greens (like the one that they just put in behind the 10th green)? Wouldn't options that aren't presently available to the golfer be introduced?

With relatively narrow fairways, thick rough, and blazingly quick greens, it just doesn't seem that Crystal Downs encourages the golfer to invent as many shots as one normally associates with a Mackenzie and/or a Maxwell course. In its present form, it might be their toughest and most challenging course, yet it isn't their most fun to play. With greater width and shorter grass around the greens, couldn't it be the best of the both worlds? Who also thinks that's how it played 70 years ago?

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

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: A revised Crystal Downs course profile...
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2003, 02:02:11 PM »
Ran:  I don't believe Crystal Downs ever had a lot of short grass around the greens.

I also don't understand why some people want to put "chipping areas" into every golf course regardless of whether or not that was the original intent.  I like chipping areas, but not every course has to be done in that style.  Crystal Downs is not lacking for short game interest.

As for the rough, I believe they went backwards a few years ago when they installed three rows of irrigation, and started watering the first cut on a regular basis.  Until then, the mowed rough was thin and manageable, and in essence you had a sixty-yard-wide fairway.  Now if you're in the rough it's hard to hit a long club, and hard to hold those greens.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

brad_miller

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: A revised Crystal Downs course profile...
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2003, 02:18:28 PM »
Tom, know doubt CD has lots of interest in and around the greens, but might there be even more with surrounds cut closer such as numbers 2, 6, and 15.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Chris_Clouser

Re: A revised Crystal Downs course profile...
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2003, 06:03:28 AM »
I tend to agree with Tom Doak on this idea on the chipping areas.  Though on some courses it really does add to the interest of the greens, I don't think at Crystal it would.  I was fortunate enough to play this weekend up there and I went in thinking about this very point for some reason to see if chipping areas would be beneficial.  Aside from 13 on the back right side, I don't know that they really would be.  99% of the time I would putt from these areas anyway so they would only help me (or hurt me depending on how I'm putting).  If there isn't a chipping area it forces me to decide how I'm going to attempt the shot if I'm just in the rough by a few feet.  Do I try a flop, chip or perhaps putt it out?  On those greens not only do you need to decide that but also where to hit it or you're either looking straight into a three putt or perhaps the ball comes back to your feet.  To me that is plenty to worry about as a golfer.  

Now I could really see where some additional width on the sixth might be nice on those days when the wind is blowing 30 mph into your face like it was on Saturday.  I crushed a 1 iron off the tee and the wind just killed it and tossed it around and put in the Scabs.   >:(  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

michael_j_fay

Re: A revised Crystal Downs course profile...
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2003, 07:16:20 AM »
I strongly believe that "chipping areas" are a modern day trend.

Every classic Architect ended the holes he designed at the back of the greens. Think through your walks on Ross, Tillinghast, Raynor, etc. designs. After the green is invariable hardship. Part of the game was always the risk reward of going over the green.

The USGA introduces some chipping areas behind a couple of greens at Salem. I thought that they lessened the course. in that they took out the risk of overshooting the target and curtailed a good deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

On courses like Crystal Downs, where the length is not overwhelming and the features from carpark to the nineteenth hole are near perfect, "chipping areas" are sacreligious. The best course in America can stand on its own without this tomfoolery.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

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