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mark chalfant

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Royce Brook East (Smyers) n.j.
« on: December 18, 2007, 09:23:03 PM »
 I like the west  course, nice variey  of holes and some interesting greens, but  wild bunkering seems a bit  prolific at times.. Hows the east couse   at RB, are there a few stellar holes or  any interesting ground features ? generally  I found
Smyers  cooks up some  neat greens. Overall, any thoughts  on the east course's  strongest  plusses will be appreciated.

thanks

Doug Braunsdorf

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Re:Royce Brook East (Smyers) n.j.
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2007, 08:48:58 AM »
Royce Brook East is a good golf course overall.  Bunkering is more sparsely used than on West, and many greens feature some sort of chipping area.  
IIRC, it's maintained on the wet side, whereas it would probably be a lot of fun to play in drier conditions.  The nines were flipped a few years ago; I'm not certain why.  Current #9 is the hole that plays parallel to the road when looking at an aerial or passing by on Hamilton Rd.  
I recall most driving areas and approaches pretty generous.  
Some of the greens allow you to run the ball on or use angles of approach--it's not strictly an aerial shot course for par 4 and 5s.  
Par threes play in different directions, and although these all are more 'aerial shot' holes, they play over different terrain, requiring different yardages; I think one is uphill and long, two are flattish and  one is slightly downhill.  
IIRC, routing is pretty good--I think carts may be required here.  
I think the strongest features are the overall package--it's not a world-beater, but it's a good golf course for the price (a little expensive peak in-season) and location.   Local competition comes in the way of Neshanic Valley and Heron Glen.  Rutgers is probably a notch below.  The Morris County public courses are a little further away.  I haven't been to Heron Glen, but, from experience, I'd be inclined to play 50/50 or 60/40 RB over NV.  
« Last Edit: December 19, 2007, 08:53:25 AM by Doug Braunsdorf »
"Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction."

AndrewB

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Re:Royce Brook East (Smyers) n.j.
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2007, 11:22:54 AM »
Rutgers is probably a notch below.

Unless they've made significant improvements at Rutgers, I'm surprised to hear the comparison be so close.

I played Royce Brook East in 2001 during a US Amateur qualifier.  If I recall correctly they actually had two qualifiers going on at the same time: one on the West and one on the East.  Several people commented on how much more difficult the West course was and specifically mentioned the bunkering, but I don't remember the score differentials.  I do remember having generally positive thoughts about the East course but it's been so long I struggle to remember specifics.  The 16th (now I guess the seventh) was a dogleg par five that everyone could reach in two by carrying the bunkers; I think I hit seven iron for my approach.  The practice facilities were particularly nice, I thought.

I did also have the chance to play golf with Mr. Smyers this year and he was a very interesting person to talk to, as well as a nice guy.  I wish I'd known at the time that he had designed Royce Brook so I could have asked him about it.
"I think I have landed on something pretty fine."

JeffTodd

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Re:Royce Brook East (Smyers) n.j.
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2007, 08:32:15 PM »
I would echo Dougís sentiment that it is the totality of holes that makes the East Course (and the West, for that matter) a solid place to play. When I look back to both the East and West, Iím struck by the lack of stellar holes and I feel the absence of stand out holes is what keeps both courses from being a bit higher on the radar. Conversely, Iíd say that there are no bad holes on either course as well.

Oddly, holes that stand out on the most in my memory are #6 East and #12 West, both of which possess highly manufactured and elevated greens with some wild fall-offs and chipping areas. However, itís possible that they stand out because they are both very out of step with the rest of the greens on the course.

While the bunkering on the East is tamer, I still recall most greens being well bunkered and, for the most part, it was a course that primarily lent itself to the aerial game.

In general, the East is a good sister course to the West. They have a similar vibe about them, even though they have a distinctly different appearance. For me, both courses strengths lie in their unspectacularly solid consistency.

Matt_Ward

Re:Royce Brook East (Smyers) n.j.
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2007, 02:37:38 PM »
Gents:

Rutgers, is a good few steps behind RB IMHO.

RB is generally kept in solid shape through much of the playing season. I don't doubt the comments made concerning management's decision to keep the turf wet when playing there but the overall holes are entertaining and a good bit above the "average" public course one finds in Jersey.

The issue about RB -- especially on the east course -- is the lack of anything compelling from an architectural standpoint. Part of that deals with the lack of uniqueness with the overall site. There's a bit of roll -- but the emphasis is on the word "bit."

RB does have one of the best practice facilities in all of NJ. I like what Smyers did with the West Course and his work at the BHP / East was also well done but if anyone really sees RB / East as being among top tier public courses in all of the Garden State they truly need to widen their respective playing samples.


Michael Powers

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Re:Royce Brook East (Smyers) n.j.
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2007, 12:50:58 PM »
I played in the PGA Eastern CPC on the East course in 2003.  It was soaking wet but found the course a good test. Smyers was limited I feel due to the fairly flat terrain.  I felt like I was playing on a converted farm most of the time.  I think the 4th hole with the split fairway was my fav.  Nice risk reward there and one of my fellow competitors paid the price missing left.

Another Smyers course of note is Southern Dunes in Haines City Florida.  
HP

Doug Braunsdorf

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Re:Royce Brook East (Smyers) n.j.
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2007, 01:47:43 PM »
Gents:

Rutgers, is a good few steps behind RB IMHO.




Matt, Andrew-

  Not to get too far OT, but I'm saying [in regards to Rutgers Golf Course] in terms of public courses within the same, say, 10-mile radius, courses being reasonable alternatives to one another.  "Local competition" refers to whom I perceive the course's market is; public players who might go to Rutgers, Neshanic, Heron Glen.    That's just my opinion, though.  
"Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction."

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