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Sean_A

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Re: KINGTON: Its Not Just Pie In The Sky
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2011, 12:28:07 PM »
 Jason

There is no question that when I first played Kington some 10+ years ago I was perplexed.  It wasn't that I didn't enjoy and see Kington as quite unusual, only that I didn't know how to play the course.  There are still some shots I don't know how to play other than just get a 9 iron out or something of that nature and take my lumps (much like a fairway bunker I spose) - such as the cuppy lies you speak of.  These aren't as commonly encountered as you make it seem, but I do expect it once or twice a round.  The really difficult aspect of these areas is trying to hit through them when you know the aerial route will likely fail to garner a good result.  Many the time I hit what I thought was a good shot only to see my ball hit an upslope of one these cups and just die - making me look daft.  I have gotten better over the years of hitting these shots flatter than I normally would, but my best tool against them is merely to laugh.  

I am not sure I could take Kington on a weekly basis, but that has to do with the weather, not the course.  It is a very exposed spot which invites all sorts of seasons within a few holes.  Kington is most certainly not for everybody, but I would certainly recommend to anybody interested in architecture to see the course twice even if it meant a reasonable overnight detour - its that special.  

I have long wanted to organize a few days at Kington, but I never thought I could get enough people to give it a go.

Very fine Mark!

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 12:30:59 PM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Matt MacIver

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Re: KINGTON: Its Not Just Pie In The Sky
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2011, 12:43:41 PM »
Sean - this course looks wonderful, I thought so when i read this thread the first time a few years ago.  I had a few thoughts as I re-read it...

Since the course has been around so long I assume its "successful" in terms of making the owners a profit?  Have annual rounds played dwindled since your review and the economic downturn, or have they had to raise rates?  Do they rely on a large percentage of non-Member or non-local play to make up any losses? 

Lastly, if this was a brand new site would an owner have the guts to develop it?  Could any archie be gutsy enough to replicate it? 

Kington is now on my list of must-must-sees. 

Sean_A

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Re: KINGTON: Its Not Just Pie In The Sky
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2011, 01:03:19 PM »
Matt

I do think the club is down on members, but not too badly.  I seem to recall fees used to be about £275 when I first knew the club over 10 years ago and it had has probably gone up at least 50% in that time.  This is well above inflation, but many club fees have gone up 100% in the same period.  I am sure the club would like more visitor/society fees, but I don't have a clue as to how much they rely on visitors.  If I am anything to go by, I usually play Kington 3 or 4 times a year, yet the club probably only gets less than a £100 out me in total and that includes a very boozy society doo.

I doubt if this site would be developed today and if so, there is no way an archie would replicate it.  For one, I would be surprised if many reputable archies would even consider Kington a good course!  The shaping would put most of them off.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 01:06:48 PM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Kalen Braley

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Re: KINGTON: Its Not Just Pie In The Sky
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2011, 02:14:01 PM »
Sean,

Count me as another who loves this type of quirk on a golf course.  Conventional holes can be found almost everywhere, so I don't know why more folks don't love this out-of-the-box kind of stuff.  

Thanks for bringing this old thread back to life!!

P.S.  All those tiny micro-rumples in the fairways must lead to some equally awful and terrific kicks.  Perhaps an outing is in order to see if anyone gets consitently good kicks and/or bad kicks to test JK's theory!
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 02:16:50 PM by Kalen Braley »

Sean_A

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Re: KINGTON: Its Not Just Pie In The Sky
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2011, 02:44:59 PM »
I don't recall ever playing the white tees at Kington until yesterday.  Several of the holes play very differently.  More importantly, I played in an unusual wind coming from a southerly direction.  Despite the strength and direction of the wind, the course was very playable - a lesson many clubs owning championship courses could learn. For me, Kington belongs with Merion, St Enodoc, Lahinch & Prestwick.  There is no course I would rather play!  Check out some of the updated pix.

Previous Stops

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37526.0.html   Harborne

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49998.0.html   Worcester G&CC

Next Scheduled Stop: The New Course

Ciao

  
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 03:43:00 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Mark Pearce

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Re: KINGTON: Its Not Just Pie In The Sky
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2011, 03:04:58 PM »
I had been hovering on calling Kington a 2* and yesterday's game confirmed it for me.  For me, Kington belongs with Merion, St Enodoc, Lahinch & Prestwick.  There is no course I would rather play!  
Extraordinary praise.  The thing is, I don't think I can argue (though Prestwick is the only one of those particular 4 courses  have played, I have played many in their approximate peer group).  I mentioned this to my wife, who simply said "Well, don't you think so?"
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

John Mayhugh

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Re: KINGTON: Its Not Just Pie In The Sky
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2011, 01:17:21 PM »
I had been hovering on calling Kington a 2* and yesterday's game confirmed it for me.  For me, Kington belongs with Merion, St Enodoc, Lahinch & Prestwick.  There is no course I would rather play!  
Extraordinary praise.  The thing is, I don't think I can argue (though Prestwick is the only one of those particular 4 courses  have played, I have played many in their approximate peer group).  I mentioned this to my wife, who simply said "Well, don't you think so?"

Wow.  Though I haven't played any of the four that Sean mentioned, I can understand where he's coming from.  Many notable courses that I like less than Kington. 

Sean_A

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Re: KINGTON: 2011/12 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2011, 11:55:57 AM »
Mark & Tucky

Its taken me a long time to admit to myself that Kington really is that special.  I can't say it is architecturally as good as the others because it lacks that challenging aspect for the really good players, but golf is thankfully about more than pure architecture.  The course has an unbelievable reputation for the guys I know around Worcester and generally for the average guy who plays there.  Anyone who knows, smiles when the name Kington comes up. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Colin Macqueen

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Re: KINGTON: 2011/12 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2011, 07:27:56 AM »
Sean,

As you mentioned a couple of years ago there is nary a bunker on this course. There are however a goodly number of bunker-like impressions around the greens. Were these originally standard bunkers allowed to grow over in time or are they original grass bunkers as such? Terrific pictures by the way and a golf course which looks to be full of fun and surprises.  How much for a round on this sort of gem hidden away (on the Welsh borders is it?).

Cheers Colin
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

John Mayhugh

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Re: KINGTON: 2011/12 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2011, 07:57:48 AM »
Kington a sticky topic?  What next, a review by Ran?  I would like to see that.

In the summer, a weekend day ticket at Kington costs £40.  Down to £24 in the winter when Sean does his bargain shopping.   

Sean_A

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Re: KINGTON: 2011/12 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2011, 05:54:52 PM »
Sean,

As you mentioned a couple of years ago there is nary a bunker on this course. There are however a goodly number of bunker-like impressions around the greens. Were these originally standard bunkers allowed to grow over in time or are they original grass bunkers as such? Terrific pictures by the way and a golf course which looks to be full of fun and surprises.  How much for a round on this sort of gem hidden away (on the Welsh borders is it?).

Cheers Colin

Colin

I believe the club experimented with the odd bunker or two and it didn't work out - too much wind and sheep tend to bed down in the sand.  Its probably for the best as the club has only three green keepers - not enough to take care of bunkers.  To answer the question, no, Hutchison designed the hollows to be sand free. 

Tucky

Being stuck is like finding one's name in the telephone book for the first time! 

BTW - I try to adhere to the advice of a very sage acquaintance and do all my shopping in pubs.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Sean_A

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Re: KINGTON: 2011/12 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2014, 09:01:37 AM »
Bringing this thread up as requested by Bogey.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Paul Gray

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Bogey
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2014, 06:24:35 PM »
Quite right too. This is exactly the sort of thread which made me realise I was not the only one left that had an interest in talking about more than 300 yard drives.

Always worth bumping these for newbies.
In the places where golf cuts through pretension and elitism, it thrives and will continue to thrive because the simple virtues of the game and its attendant culture are allowed to be most apparent. - Tim Gavrich

Mike Hendren

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Bogey
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2014, 10:08:21 AM »
Thanks Sean - as advertised!

Once again evidence that there is no excuse to build a pedestrian golf course - anywhere.

Bogey
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Bogey
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2014, 04:10:01 PM »
A timely reminder.

I'm going to a 4 day 90th birthday party for a very (new) hip gal, from Friday the 15th to Monday 19th August. 

The golfing gods are once again shining on me as it is only 10 miles from the course!


So Tin Man and Potts will be put under a 3 line whip to show me round. Any other takers?
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Bogey
« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2014, 05:32:19 PM »
A timely reminder.

I'm going to a 4 day 90th birthday party for a very (new) hip gal, from Friday the 15th to Monday 19th August. 

The golfing gods are once again shining on me as it is only 10 miles from the course!


So Tin Man and Potts will be put under a 3 line whip to show me round. Any other takers?

Spangles

Very fine.  The Saturday is probably best as Sunday is Captains Day. Let me know.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Sean_A

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2014, 10:39:40 AM »
Well Spangles, you have been properly Kingtonized.  Lets hear the good, bad and ugly.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Neil White

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2014, 01:59:38 PM »
Sean,

There is no bad or ugly when discussing Kington.  ;D
Courses played 2020 - ................!

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2014, 11:11:24 AM »
Sean I was going to look for this threadÖ.thanks for finding it and for showing me roundÖ

Much to mull over, unfortunately I didnít manage a second round.   I  now know Iím too old to be chasing rounderís balls down hills.Ö  (Ďmericans can look it up!)

I have been thinking this over and in rereading this thread most of what Iím about to write has already been said, but itís just easy to be distracted by the visuals. The scenery misleads you in a way that I havenít encountered before. Heaven knows Iím easily distracted but here you are so impressed by scale itís easy to miss detail.

First impression was, this wasnít the course I was expecting!   Amongst some of the greatest backdrops and fall offs with views across at least two countries thereís a subtle Golf course to be encountered.  Although a few holes do play up and down itís not what you notice (and Iíll  Iíd bet you play down more feet than you do up with a few short walks to make up the difference.)

While being distracted by the views all along you stumble along the fairways because those micro undulations are everywhere and they really affect play.  ON the 14th my ball was sitting up on top and I creamed one of my most joyous shots of the year, pin high from 230 yards.  On 17 my ball was in a dip and despite only having to punch a 9 iron 80 yards I thinned it through the green and it was never seen again!  As others have said the turf and greens are a delight to play on and those micro dips are NOT like those elsewhere e.g. NOT links like at all.

I guess I was expecting a Ďbiggerí version of Cleeve Cloud with more elevation change and spectacular shots to try, but even though the surrounds are huge I canít stress how intimate the holes feel, especially considering how wide the fairways are.  The greens offer small targets and like others above the course it most reminded me of was Pennard Ė high praise indeed.  You were right to emphasize the greens. Deceptively devilish.

Next day I sat down with the card and I could recall all 18 holes easily, often that is not the case. There is only one so so shot on the course.  For the rest, even a blind tee shot leaves you wondering how your ball will sit and what the next shot will demand of you.

I realise that Iím vacillating here so Ö

Did I love it               Yes
Will I go again soon as possible       Yes
Doe it offer tons of fun                                Yes

Would I recommend friends travel miles out of their way to play it?                   ? Not sure.   

My visceral reaction on first acquaintance to Cleeve Cloud and Painswick were markedly stronger and if someone had only one round (with out the benefit of an excellent guide with them), I suspect they would likely feel the same. They do have some pretty special holes and Iím not so sure Kington can match their highs, and maybe thats because the architect was determined to avoid extremes. Itís a lovely walk. However there are no dud holes and thatís not true of the first two.  But with repeat plays IĎm pretty sure I could see how the Crown is anointed on the right course!

PS
Öand the so so shot?  Why itís standing on the tee at 18 waiting to have ago at Ďhit and hope golfí. Itís actually atypical of the course, almost an afterthought. Come on man, get over it.

PPS
If this doesnít get THE BUDA INVITATION INTERNATIONAL soon then Iím up for risking the cold in March.  At least 3 rounds should set me straight.

PPPS
Unique is an overused word on here, but itís well deserved in this case for reasons that are not immediately apparent and because it confounds expectations.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Mark Pearce

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2014, 11:38:52 AM »
Tony,

Risky in March.  We went there as a family at Easter last year and the course was under snow for most of our trip.  The tee shot on 18 so-so?  Nonsense, man.  You're right to highlight the intimacy of Kington, it is a small, intimate course in a massive setting.  You're also right about how easy it is to remember every hole on the course and how much fun almost every shot is.

A must for BUDA sometime - 2016?
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: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #45 on: August 22, 2014, 01:04:02 PM »
Spangles

I am glad you didn't think Kington a waste of time.  

It is interesting that you wanted to compare Kington with Painswick and Cleeve Cloud and it does strike me as a very reasonable approach to figuring out how you feel about Kington even though all three are very different. I know I told you that my over-riding impression of Kington is that its a proper course built on hill.  Its not really that odd or quirky once you get past how the green shaping/hill slopes dictate play - the net effect isn't all that different to bunkering except that I think it looks better than sand and most people have little experience with this sort of shaping.  As you say, the real unique thing about Kington is the micro-undulations.  One can count on having issues with lies a few times a round.  I think the micro-undulations increase the importance of gaining good angles of approach.  At least if one gets a "down" lie the ball can be scuttled toward the target, but you have to decide to drop the pride and play for the scuttle.  On 17, did you try to pull off some kind of floater?  

I would go almost opposite of your take with Kington, Cleeve Cloud and Painswick.  Painswick is easily the course I admire least of the three.  As you allude to with Kington's 18th (though I adamantly disagree with your example), there is too much luck and goofy stuff going on to really get behind Painswick 52 weeks a year even if the weather was stellar.  Plus, the conditioning and lack of width are very problematic.  In winter the course is mucky.  In summer the course is a rough fest.  I love Cleeve Cloud, but I don't think it uses its hills nearly as well as Kington does and this results in more up and down golf than I would like.  However, there are some super greens sites (at Painswick as well), but I can't ever help thinking that CC could use bunkering in big way - massive scale bunkers, but not that many.  Of course, the final kicker for me is Kington has superior turf and greens to either Painswick or CC.  This makes a big difference when one plays these courses as often as I do.  

Anyway, I am still not convinced Kington is suitable for Buda.  I don't know if a few rounds is enough for guys to come to grips with the micro-undulations.  It took me a about six rounds before I came to an understanding that above all else, if one wants to score well at Kington, keep the angles of approach in mind to the exclusion of all else.  Plus, there isn't much nearby for the Mercans to play once Kington is in the history books.  Somewhat like Norfolk, a much lower-income version of Norfolk that is, Herefordshire is a step back in time.  

Give me a shout when you want to play the 18th again - its a feature hole  :D

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 09:48:56 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2014, 05:00:00 PM »
Sean I would recomend the course to anyone really, it's just what they have to forgo.  It's a compliment to the course and at the same time frustrating that it is a long way from here and yet my curiousity about the course is now higher after having played it than it was before!



Mark I really enjoyed the fact that the boys got so much fun out of it. They don't have the same baggage we carry in terms of expectations. They just turned up and had a ball.


The best metaphor I can come up with is you meet a girl your friends have told you all about. When you meet  she's really not what you imagined at all, but she does have a certain quality you struggle to define.  You definitely want to meet her again...
Let's make GCA grate again!

Thomas Dai

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2014, 05:29:35 PM »

....Kington has superior turf and greens to either Painswick or CC. This makes a big difference when one plays these courses as often as I do.  


I believe this is a very important aspect. The more quirky courses - dare I use the term 'rustic'? - are often fine to play from tee to green but the greens are often not the most pleasant to putt on - 'scruffy' maybe a way to describe them, and I realise there will probably be perfectly valid reasons for this. Kington's greens however, are wonderfully smooth and fast and true rolling. Another reason to visit.

And the patio behind the very thick glass wall at the rear of the 18th green and watching shots hit from the 18th tee and observing how much they 'break' on the severely sloping fairway before coming to rest near, or not so near, the green, with it's narrow 'gate' entrance and humpy-bumpy-hollowy sides is a very pleasant spot to spend some time after a round.



Kington, a thoroughly lovely course to play, although perhaps more on an occasional rather than very regular basis.

Thank you for bumping the thread and for the additional comments.

atb

Sean_A

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2014, 06:48:18 PM »
atb

Thats an interesting take concerning occasional play.  I usually play Kington between 3 and 6 times a year and never feel like I have had enough.  But there is something about courses on hills.  I wouldn't want to play Kington every week only because I know what sort of shocking weather the place can get in any of the 12 months.  That said, there aren't many places I would want to play every week given all the realities of course quality, weather and course conditions - in fact, I struggle to think of more than a few candidates.  The moral of the story - no single course can do it all for me.  

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

J.D. Griffith

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Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2014, 09:02:49 PM »
Sean,

Can you compare and contrast Kington to Church Stretton?  Church Stretton has always piqued my interest, and is on my list of courses I must play if/when I finally make it across the pond. 
Also, just want to thank you for the excellent course descriptions and reviews you post here.

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