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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON: For Spangles
« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2014, 07:30:56 PM »
JD

While too hilly for ideal golf, Kington's routing deals with the elevation change very well.  Church Stretton takes the hills to a whole new level.  Its way too hilly to really be considered very good golf and that elevation change rears its ugly head on a few really bad holes.  I said this earlier, but Kington is a proper course on a hill and I think the use of angles and well placed man-made elements bear this out.  Church Stretton is more akin to novelty golf.  That said, CS has a lot of good holes and is a beautiful site.  Like Herefordshire, Shropshire has a dearth of good golf so its not like golfers will often be in the area.  I happen to like CS quite a bit so I am willing to make a 2+ hour drive once a year, but I think in terms of recommending CS, generally speaking, give it a go if you are closer than two hours away  :D - CS is a fair diversion from the normal golf haunts.  

Ciao  
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 04:34:19 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2014, 06:11:41 AM »
The Wings are in action so it must be winter.  What better way to kick off the 2014-15 Winter Tour than at Kington.  See the updated tour on page 1.

Next scheduled stop, Little Aston.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Paul Gray

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #52 on: October 19, 2014, 06:51:20 AM »
I'm beginning to like winter, if only for Arble Tours!

As ever, a pleasure to see Kington. Must actually get there one of these days.
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

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2014, 04:35:17 AM »
I'm beginning to like winter, if only for Arble Tours!

As ever, a pleasure to see Kington. Must actually get there one of these days.

Paul

Kington is very amenable to weekend golfers  :D  Give us a shout if you decide to exit the Home Counties.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #54 on: November 08, 2014, 11:51:54 AM »
Knowing the love herein for Kington I thought I'd mention that on Sun 30th Nov they are hosting a 4-person Team Open Comp, 12/ea for visitors.

Any hardy folk brave enough for Kington hill at the end of Nov (not me, previous commitment....unfortunately!)?

Atb
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 02:26:29 PM by Thomas Dai »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2015, 12:40:37 PM »
I played Kington yesterday in quite fiery conditions.  I also learned that the club has worked out a deal with local farmers who have grazing rights.  Sheep are to be kept to restricted areas to reduce the waste and the club is now cutting the fairways about twice a month in summer.  I am not convinced by this approach and fear fairways will become more defined  :'(   


Anyway, see the updated tour.


Ciao
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 05:34:19 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Mark Saltzman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2015, 04:00:08 AM »

When initially planning my trip to England, I had in my head a short (and odd) list of courses I really wanted to play.  Swinley, Sunningdale, The Sacred Nine, Painswick and Kington (I'm 3/5, not bad).  The problem is that I really had no idea where any of these courses are and quickly figured out that you're never just going to find yourself in Kington's area.  It's a 2 hour drive from Stratford and 90 minutes back to Cheltenham but I wasn't going to miss it.


What an odd choice to start a discussion of Kington with rankings, but here we go.  I scored the course a Doak 7, and I believe Tom gave the same score, while Sean gives it a 6, all of this must be seen as a compliment as such scores put this unknown, inexpensive and out of the way country course in rather esteemed company.  But in re-thinking, why is Kington not an 8? Why isn't it a World Top 100 contender?


It's easy to make the argument that Kington offers a truly world-class set of par-3s.  There are, quite obviously, several standout holes through the course: 1, 5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18.


Kington does not suffer from weak holes.  Seemingly simply holes such as the nearly featureless, uphill 6th still hold the golfer's interest by building an angled shelf green into the left-to-right slope, forcing the golfer to play to the fairway's high side or risk a far more challenging pitch.


Kington is unique.  Not to be mistaken with an anything I've seen before, from the micro hollows through the fairways, to the routing taking advantage of broad movements up and down Bradnor Hill, to the lack of bunkers, to the built-up mounding...


So, where is Kington's weakness? Unlike, say, Cleeve Hill or Painswick, the land never got so difficult or the quirk so extreme as to become goofy for a great course.  So is it really conditioning and difficulty that hold Kington back from top-100 status? I thought that sort of thing doesn't matter to us?



Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2015, 04:44:42 AM »
Mark

For me, Kington is always one of the best conditioned courses I play each year.  The fairways are beautiful turf and the greens always roll true. 

Some possible reasons for not offering up Kington as an 8.

1. The greens are almost without exception rely on slope for interest...lack of variety. 

2. The greens have thatch so can turn soft in winter. 

3. There are four holes over 420 yards...not bad for a course whose daily tee length is just over 5600 yards, but perhaps one or two more to balance out the shorter 4s is a bit better. 

4. This ties into #3, perhaps a few too many 4s in the short to modest range. 

5. Lack of bunkers for variety.  While Kington doesn't need sand per se, the design would benefit from some bunkers.

6.  On a personal note, the change to #8 is awful.  They turned a very interesting sub 300 yarder into a dull driving hole of 360 yards...and created a dreadful green to tee walk which is completely out of sorts for Kington.   

7. I usually would tick a course down for a 3 shot differential between par and SSS (in either direction), but Kington's hills and wind erase that argument...still others will be dubious about this. 

For me, #1 alone would exclude Kington from 8 company, but not being an 8 is not a weakness.  Kington more than makes up its lack of quality with its joy to be alive character. I would rather play Kington than the other courses I give an 8.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 04:15:01 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #58 on: September 24, 2015, 04:33:19 PM »
The opportunity recently presented itself for another game at charming Kington.


After making sure that our cars handbrake was well secured we ventured up the 1st hole into a 3-4 club against wind. Fortunately it was dry. As usual the course was pretty quiet whilst the clubhouse and pro-shop were as friendly and obliging as you could wish for.


The course? Well, fun as always. The greens were quick and extremely true rolling. The last few weeks have been pretty wet this year and the fairway turf was pretty lush so as a consequence shots were unusually holding there line on the side sloping fairways. This relative lushness when combined with the ever present micro-bumps all over the fairways meant it was rather unpredictable to play the ground game - should a shot land on the upslope of a micro-bump then the ball would stop immediately, land a shot on the far side though and it would speed on. Great fun playing on a hill top in such a high wind, watching high flighted shots reach an apex and then being blown backwards.


One of the best aspects about Kington is the routing. First hole very uphill and a bit of a steep walk from the 3rd green to the 4th tee, 14th, 16th and 18th severely downhill but the rest of the holes relatively pretty level as they circle around the hill, sometimes with ball above feet stances, sometimes ball below feet stances.


Big time fun factor playing here as usual, especially for one of my playing partners who knocked his tee shot onto the 18th green with a 6-iron!


Oh, and there was a huge star shaped 'splat' mark right in the middle of one of the thick glass safety screen panels located on the patio to the rear of the 18th green!


Atb
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 04:36:59 PM by Thomas Dai »

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2015, 03:41:10 AM »
Now we have Buda 2016 location sorted it's time to reignite the debate for 2017.

I think this group is ready for Kington and it continues with the pattern of Links/Inland.

Does anyone doubt it would be suitable?  Accommodation is relevant.

Anyone up for organising?
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2015, 11:40:26 AM »
atb

The 18th is very special as are many holes at Kington.

I sure wish the club had the money to attack the thatch in the greens.  Every time prolonged rainy weather hits the greens soften up and lose their interest.

Spangles

Kington is a course for which I would be willing to organize a Buda.  Its a long way off though.  If there is sufficient interest when the time comes I will raise my hand as the sucker of the year.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 04:16:11 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #61 on: September 27, 2015, 02:24:12 PM »
You've been to Kington many more times than me Sean so I can't disagree with your thoughts on the thatch, but jeez the greens were quick and beautifully true when I was there recently, although curiously the 18th was noticeably slower than the others. Less wind to dry it out maybe?


Cracking course though. One of those courses it's difficult to play or later think about without a smile on the face. And the more I think about Kington the more I appreciate the cleverness of the routing.


A nice wee trip around the English-Welsh border would combine Kington with Llandrindod Wells and Welshpool and maybe a few others to like Church Stretton, Newtown, Builth Wells and even Knighton and even inside the racecourse at free draining Ludlow. Messrs Braid and Vardon in particular seem to have been pretty active this way in the early 20th century.


Atb




Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #62 on: September 29, 2015, 05:49:37 AM »
atb

Thatchy greens can be very quick and true, but its difficult to keep them firm.  I think eventually if the thatch isn't dealt with the harder it is to make the greens true because they hold more water. 

Thatch in greens is a common issue among the "lesser" GB&I clubs. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 05:39:55 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Rich Goodale

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kinks of KINGTON
« Reply #63 on: September 29, 2015, 06:25:58 AM »
I must admit that the only golf course in the world that reminds me of The Kinks is Carnoustie, as per:

"You really got me!" (Ray Davies) and "Working on the Chain Gang" (Chrissy Hynde).

Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #64 on: July 02, 2016, 06:03:19 PM »
Kington is on the move with its conditioning.  The club has decided to cut the grass much more often and the results are stunning. I don't expect to see a course in better nick all year.  The greens are quick enough to cause some grief and the fairways, while always a great surface for the game are now simply awesome.  I guess Doak was right...Kington is a 7 all day.  See the updated tour.


Ciao 
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #65 on: July 02, 2016, 07:09:32 PM »
I don't expect to see a course in better nick all year.   


Sean:


That's pretty amazing!


Do you think that the course's newfound notoriety [here and in The Confidential Guide] has had anything to do with them making the move to spend a bit more?  Are there signs of more visitors?

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #66 on: July 02, 2016, 08:38:34 PM »
Tom

There are signs of more visitors, even of the foreign type.  However, there are still only two green keepers.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 05:40:43 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #67 on: July 02, 2016, 10:37:18 PM »

There are signs of more visitors, even of the foreign type.



Yikes!  I hope they don't sue us if someone has a collision on the way up or down the driveway!

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #68 on: July 03, 2016, 08:50:34 AM »
The course looks great. I really like the use of grass bunkers and the type of modelling around the green. It is a shame that no modern day architects are using this style if only occasionally. As to the improved conditioning, though it is to be applauded I hope it is not accompanied with any significant increase in fees as this just negates any apparent net gain.


Jon

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #69 on: July 03, 2016, 02:37:06 PM »
Sean,
Always nice to get an update on Kington, thank you, but which are the updated photos?
Atb

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #70 on: July 03, 2016, 04:50:45 PM »
It is worth noting that this is currently the only proposal for BUDA 2017, it already has my vote. :)
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #71 on: July 03, 2016, 06:28:43 PM »
Jon

Its hard to imagine Kington becoming too expensive to play, but I don't begrudge the club raising fees a bit if the product is better. I have long said golf is too cheap in the UK...at the expense of the long term health of courses.   

ATB...there are about 9 new pix. 

Spangles

I am already on record as saying that I will happily organize a Kington BUDA, but I will on no account sell the idea.  The PESTS will have to come to me before I organize as my days of organize it and they will come are long gone. 

I was shocked by the green speeds of Kington after the disappointingly slow greens in Fife. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 05:41:40 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #72 on: July 04, 2016, 04:38:46 AM »
It is worth noting that this is currently the only proposal for BUDA 2017, it already has my vote. :)


In combination with the annual Kington Town Festival - http://www.kingtonfestival.co.uk - and participate in the wheelbarrow racing!
Atb

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #73 on: July 04, 2016, 05:28:33 AM »
Jon

Its hard to imagine Kington becoming too expensive to play, but I don't begrudge the club raising fees a bit if the product is better. I have long said golf is too cheap in the UK...at the expense of the long term health of courses.   




Sean,


I suspect we will never agree on the cost of golf as I believe that there should be a healthy spectrum of costs from cheap and cheerful to elite high. I agree that if the product is improved in quality then a higher price can be asked but this should not necessarily be the motivation behind any improvement. I do however strongly disagree with any apparent desire to peg the lower end of the market above a certain price and so pricing out a whole section of society. This has never been part of British golfing culture and is nothing short of snobbery.


Jon

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Kharacter of KINGTON
« Reply #74 on: July 07, 2016, 11:10:37 AM »
Jon

No price pegging or any need to worry about the lower end of the market.  I am talking about good courses, the sort people would travel a bit to play.  The cheap end of the market is a meat grinder of never-ending competition in trying to drag people in off the streets.  These places never had the opportunity to put money into the course...its hand to mouth type stuff and there is a big market for this sort of thing...though I think there are too many courses to feed this sector.   

Kington's pricing is about right...20 visitor fees equals the cost of full membership. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 05:31:50 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

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