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I agree that is a very nicely argued case by John Green and I had planned to include it in my last issue of Golf Architecture magazine but sadly could not fit it in. I think its worthy of sharing though and that's why I posted it. Chris has not commented on it which either means he has not read it or that it blows his thesis out of the water. I suspect the latter!
Given that even 17E can be reached with a short iron second these days, does it matter if a course doesn't have a long par five?
C) b - A discussion of whether Woodlands or KH has the better routing is a far more valuable use of web space than on how many times out of ten you would split a shag between Megan Gale or Jennifer Hawkins.
Quote from: Mark Ferguson on December 11, 2007, 06:47:11 PMGiven that even 17E can be reached with a short iron second these days, does it matter if a course doesn't have a long par five?Yes. That is an illustration of Green's contention on irrelevance of the elite player. It is still a superb hole three shot hole for nearly everybody and its inclusion is a significant factor in why the composite course is head and shoulders above the individual courses (as good as they are).
C) b - A discussion of whether Woodlands or KH has the better routing is a far more valuable use of web space than on how many times out of ten you would split a shag between Megan Gale or Jennifer Hawkins. Quote from: Justin Ryan on December 12, 2007, 12:44:37 AMThankfully there are none of those smut obssessed, misogynistic bogans here Mark.
I find it hard to accept when you say the main point of your thread is RMW's fairway bunkers and their relevance to the tee shots. Please re-read your thread opener and while you mention this aspect it could hardly be considered your thread's main point. Surely your main point was that RMW is too short and that Mackenzie's routing did not build in enough flexibility to allow for future lengthening. I think this thesis has been disproven.
I agree with Mr Clayton's assessment of the bunkering and he has played these holes far more in tournament and other conditions than the rest of us put together I would expect.
Maybe I've been reading Pat Mucci's threads for too long, and aren't capable of writing as clearly as I used to![/quoteYou is right, Chris!
All the routings that were done by Mackenzie and Russell from day one allowed for an additional nine hole course, eventually becoming the seven holes that the East course took up on the main block. So there never were unlimited land opportunities and both Mackenzie and Russell would have to juggle fitting in those extra holes as best they could. Could they have routed the course differently so that those carries could have been stretched in later years. Perhaps, but at what cost in terms of other holes? And would the course be as good as the course is today? Who can say.
Why Chris, do you think that Tom Crow's course record on the West course has stood until now? If the course plays that much easier than it would have in 1956 given the advances in clubs and balls in those 50 years, why has the course record not been broken? Please don't suggest that RM has no decent players as surely the best amateurs in Vic get to play on it competitively.
With respect, John Green's article does answer your point - you premise suggests that RMW is poorly routed as it has no elasticity and is woefully short. I believe he does address this by saying that length is not a magic criterion by which you can judge a course like RMW alone.
Its not so much the point of the quality of the RM membership playing in their championship each year as thats a relative thing when you compare scoring over a number of years.
I think you have missed the point of John's article. John has played the course for over 50 years as a single figure marker and is very well placed to judge these issues. He is strongly against lengthening the course just for the sake of it or because you can on some holes.
I was going to respond to Mike's earlier contention in this thread about how many world class holes does a course have to have before it is considered poorly routed, by querying why many people consider a course is poorer for not having a great little short par three and four, but not a very good par five.
If the course was as closed to pro tournaments as Cypress Point, would we be having this discussion?
Well, I did detect a stirring... And by the way - what is your split?
If you fail to see how there can be any serious argument with Chris' premise that is fine, but I'm not proposing that RMW is a par 68 and I'm sure Mike is not either. Plenty of ways to run up five or six or worse on all the par fives there. Its par is what it is and it is a challenge to break it. While time may not have allowed some of the fairway bunkers (your argument cannot be that it is "much of the fairway bunkering" surely? Mike has clearly dispensed with this line of thinking) to influence play directly they still have some impact, albeit visual and intimidatory as Mike and Andrew have both suggested. There is usually more than one role a bunker can play.
Perhaps if you titled the thread differently to reflect what actually is your main point then us golf course architect simpletons would be able to get it a little easier.
The West Course now is only 6589 yards now. The composite course is about 400 yards longer at around 7000 yards. The length of both courses has not changed very much in the past 25 years. The 2nd (4W) was lengthed by 23 metres (but often played a par four in pro events before being lengthened), the 4th (6W) by about 10 metres, the 13th (11W) by 14 metres and the 18th (18E) by 10 metres, but I can't recall any other significant changes.
2. To Chris - how do the issues as Royal Melbourne compare with, say, Swinley Forest (another course which you rate highly)?
Definitely Australia is soon to see in play the finest championship layout in the land. That lay-out is The West Course of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club at Sandringham.
...would the course have been better if it had been routed so these dramatic bunkers had a much greater impact on the decision to be made from the tee.
I'd suggest that a designer today would be flayed by the posters on this board for creating so many largely visual ground hazards.
That must mean Woodlands is poorly routed, then. Or the bunkers are poorly placed.
That would say more about the posters than the designer. Assuming that a designer cares one iota for what anyone posting on the Internet has to say, anyway.
At least these thread got to 65 posts but you ran it off the rails taking stupid cheap shots. Congratulations.
If you start a thread can you criticise posters for not following the direction you think they should? Interesting notion.
I hope you are not using scoring (number of page views) as a criteria to judge the quality of your thread? Shame on you!
It just seemed curious that both Mike and I, who do this for a living, apparently did not get Chris' main point.
No sign of Chris though.
JustinI am pleased you can see my point that these bunkers were always meant as carry bunkers - the historical visual evidence can't be wrong.
It is only a stupid cheap shot if you have an overly sensitive disposition and wish to deny any discussion by immediately labelling any point raised a stupid cheap shot.Which I guess is pretty much your standard M.O.
We both know the tee on 2 is going back, but the fairway bunkers on 4,10,13,14 and 16 aren't really in play, with little to no room to expand. 6,7,9,15 and 18 of course don't rely on fairway bunkers to challenge from the tee, so it would appear Woodlands doesn't ask much of players from the tee? Maybe you could provide an intelligent answer, instead of a mindless snipe. I await your considered reply with great interest.
And if you have ever driven it into gorse -or the horrendous blackberries, old TV sets, rusted-out cars, burnt goats and other assorted crap sprouting off many links' dunes - you wouldn't be saying that bunkering is the only true means of challenging a tee shot. Isn't the use of tea-tree and scrub as a driving or tee shot hazard rather widespread on National Old? (2,3,7,16 at least).