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I don't think Royal Melbourne West necessarily gets a free pass. I think it is more of an exposure issue. Not that many people get down to RM to ever see it.
The quality of a course is not how it holds up against 0.1% of the golfers in the world. From what I saw on my one visit is a course that has enough defense on the green end (under optimum maintenance conditions) that the vast majority of golfers have all they can handle there.
I would say the routing isn't the issue. I doubt anyone would have wanted to walk an extra 500 meters back when the course was first built.
If I recall, Tom Doak was extremely impressed in his Mackenzie book on how the good doctor routed the course among some of the landforms there taking advantage of them for tees and greens. He likened it to how Cypress Point and the huge dune that is the backdrop behind #3 and is home to the green on #6, tee for #7 and also backdrop behind #11..
It is generally acknowledged within the Australian golfing community as our #1 course, and the routing considered to be top notch. That seems like a free pass to me.
The fairway bunkers on 2, 4, 9, 12, 15 and 18 are out of play for anyone who can hit it over a jam tin.
Quote from: ed_getka on December 10, 2007, 10:44:26 AMI don't think Royal Melbourne West necessarily gets a free pass. I think it is more of an exposure issue. Not that many people get down to RM to ever see it.C'mon Ed, it gets plenty of exposure and discussion amongst Australians who have seen it (overseas visitors who post on GCA.com aren't the only ones who look at the course in terms of its architecture!). It is generally acknowledged within the Australian golfing community as our #1 course, and the routing considered to be top notch. That seems like a free pass to me.
Geez, lighten up Chris, where did I ever say that GCA guys are the only ones visiting RM and studying the architecture.
We had a foursome, playing from appropriate tees for our game, and everyone had some shots in bunkers in the course of the round. Handicaps varied from 5-14 I would estimate. So who exactly needs more bunkers in your estimation? We're still talking a small percentage from what I saw out there. If you are so good, then tee off with a 5 wood, I'm sure the bunkers will be in play. Otherwise go join the pro tour, they have plenty of courses that can punish golfers.
I don't think RM gets a free pass, but you do. C'est la vie.
Try changing the scorecard so the par 5's are par 4's, then let me know how weak the course is. None of this has anything to do with Mackenzie's design, it is the technology advances.
Every golf course architect I have ever heard talk about the course thinks its brilliant.
You think Mackenzie gets a free pass. Interesting. Be sure to let us know when you design a superior course.
The best run of holes I think at RM are 4,5,6 and the genius of the routing to make them work - and he set that up with the big blind tee shot with the great looking bunkers - that are not really in play - into the hill.Surely is an architect comes up with three of the best holes in a row in golf be gets the adulation he deserves.The 2nd and 3rd are fantastic holes as are 7,10,11,12,13,16 17 and 18.Its an unbelievable routing and it misses the point to criticise the holes that join it all together - 8,9,14,15.They are holes that would mark amongst the best on some pretty decent golf courses- and I have never got the criticism of 15 because the second shot there is one any architect would be happy to conceive.It is too short to test the best players because there is not a par five on the West - but if 68 was an accepted par would we be saying it was too easy?How many world class holes does a course need before the routing is beyond criticism?I think any course that has 10 or 12 passes the test of a great routing - especially if the rest are really good - and they are.
How would you build in the ability to lengthen the course? Do you start out with moderate walks forward, so eventually you will have short green to tee walks, and later moderate walks back to the tee?
That brings land acquisition costs into consideration? What membership is going to want to spend so much money for advances in technology they can't envision.