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Sean - Reviewing this thread makes me once again wish more golfers and architects were familiar with Huntercombe. It is an excellent model for how an outstanding course can be constructed on an average piece of property. I can think of dozens of local courses that could use a dose of "Huntercombe-ization."
TonySupposedly Huntercombe in general was heavily influenced by Musselbourgh. Does anyone familiar with both courses see any similarities? The greens maybe?
Quote from: Michael Whitaker on August 17, 2009, 09:58:04 PMSean - Reviewing this thread makes me once again wish more golfers and architects were familiar with Huntercombe. It is an excellent model for how an outstanding course can be constructed on an average piece of property. I can think of dozens of local courses that could use a dose of "Huntercombe-ization."WhittyYes, like the idea of alpinization, I wonder if folks could handle a course looking like Huntercombe. I fear the subtleties of the course would be lost on many who o wouldn't give it a second/third shot. Of course, I am not convinced that what people want is subtle design either. Like Ace's comments about Portstewart's back 9 being boring, golfers just don't have patience or are not willing to look beyond the idea of bunker road maps. Ciao
As an undergraduate at Oxford I got to play at Huntercombe and Frilford only occasionally - you had to know someone who had a car to get to either. I was a much better player then than I am now, but I never had a decent medal score at Huntercombe. The slightest slip around the greens and lots of strokes would be lost. Frilford Red and Green courses didn't seem to have that cruel streak and I probably prefered them for that reason, and I liked the open nature of the land. I played Huntercombe for the first time for many years earlier this year. It really showed up how poor my golf has become! But I enjoyed the course so much despite its brutality.Southfield (Colt) in Oxford itself was our home course. It is very urban and not very pretty, but when I revisited it about twenty years ago I was reminded what a good test of golf it is. As at Huntercombe, the flat holes make good use of man-made mounds and hollows. I must go back before I finally give up.
Thanks Sean. This course was truly one of my favorites from my trip to London, mainly because of the way it uses land and contours as hazards and determinants of play. One of my favorite holes there is the 17th. After 16 greens that are mostly low-profile, the 17th green sticks up out of the ground to create a ticklish approach on a very short par four. Somehow, though, the hole retains the spirit of the rest of the course, and it is a very cool penultimate hole. Why don't more architects build holes like the 17th and courses like Huntercombe today?
Even though I have never seen either Sunningdale or Huntercombe, it has long been my certain sense that those two courses are far more the watershed event in the history and evolution of INLAND golf architecture than many to most realize. I do not believe for a moment that that fact escaped any of the early American architects who went abroad to study golf architecture in preparation for their projects over here, particularly inland.
Sean,Great pics and comments on Huntercombe. My God man, they need to get the chain saws going on that property! Choked is a word that comes to mind viewing a few of those holes. Are trees that sacred there, or is it thrift that prevents the course from seeing a better presentation? The bones look great. As others have alluded to, the subtle nature of the course features is intriguing.Does the course get heavy play? Thanks again for a stimulating thread. Others seem to rate it highly, just as you do!Cheers ,Kris
5 is a bit tight and that stupid tree in the middle of the fairway should go. 18 feels tight too, with my "strong draw" but the rest of the course doesn't feel unduly tight to me. That's not to say I wouldn't get rid of some trees, though.