News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2018, 12:38:16 PM »
Thanks for the update. I don't think I had seen this previously. As good as the course looks in your recent pictures, hard not to be enamored by the ones from way back. I've played about 35 courses in England. Neither of the Sunningdales is one of them and this reminds me how much I need to rectify that.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2018, 03:28:43 AM »
Interesting to see the updated photos particularly in relation to conditioning at what is regarded as a premier UK course. This is not a criticism of Sunningdale though, far, far from it, but when members at average courses criticise the condition of their course during and after a period of unusual weather it's not a bad idea to see how the premier courses look.
Super course Sunny New. Still haven't played the Old. One day though.
Here are some Nov time photos I posted a couple of years ago, some from different angles to the norm -

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,63818.msg1519473.html#msg1519473
atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2018, 04:03:50 AM »
Interesting to see the updated photos particularly in relation to conditioning at what is regarded as a premier UK course. This is not a criticism of Sunningdale though, far, far from it, but when members at average courses criticise the condition of their course during and after a period of unusual weather it's not a bad idea to see how the premier courses look.
Super course Sunny New. Still haven't played the Old. One day though.
Here are some Nov time photos I posted a couple of years ago, some from different angles to the norm -

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,63818.msg1519473.html#msg1519473
atb

ATB

The New only opened on the day I played after a period of maintenance work.  The greens were a bit slow, but true...so no worries.  There are dry patches, but that is to be expected given the summer we had. The course was actually in very good nick considering the maintenance shutdown.  This is evidenced on the 18th by the use of the putter!

Tucky

I am surprised you haven't called into Sunningdale yet.  Get on it my man.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Clyne

Peter Flory

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2018, 11:39:21 PM »
Wow- those old pics are incredible.  What a great style. 

Ryan Coles

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2018, 08:50:09 AM »
Interesting to see the updated photos particularly in relation to conditioning at what is regarded as a premier UK course. This is not a criticism of Sunningdale though, far, far from it, but when members at average courses criticise the condition of their course during and after a period of unusual weather it's not a bad idea to see how the premier courses look.
Super course Sunny New. Still haven't played the Old. One day though.
Here are some Nov time photos I posted a couple of years ago, some from different angles to the norm -

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,63818.msg1519473.html#msg1519473
atb


I actually think the gap in terms of conditioning between high end UK Clubs and run of the mill average ones is narrower than it's ever been.


Why that is I don't know - probably law of diminishing returns as there is no way Sunningdale, in terms of playing surfaces, is 4 times better than the average Club, despite having four times the staff and in excess of four times the budget.


Outside of maintenance windows, you don't really see bad greens or poorly maintained courses anywhere these days above the £25 per round price point.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2018, 12:28:51 PM »
Ryan

Is the gap getting narrower because the high end courses have dropped their standards or is it because the courses below have upped theirs ? And if they have upped theirs, how have they managed it ? Is it better equipment, more greenkeepers or what ?

Interested to hear and industry insiders view.

Niall

Ryan Coles

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2018, 12:53:13 PM »
Ryan

Is the gap getting narrower because the high end courses have dropped their standards or is it because the courses below have upped theirs ? And if they have upped theirs, how have they managed it ? Is it better equipment, more greenkeepers or what ?

Interested to hear and industry insiders view.

Niall


I think the lower end courses have got better, generally speaking of course.


Reasons:


Education better than it was. Younger course managers and less feed and water merchants.


PGRís and wetting agents more widely used and affordable.


Ability to carry out regular non disruptive aeration due to pedestrian ProCore light but regular top dressings.


Turf iron more widely used meaning Clubs not so reliant on low height of cut.


Courses willing to tackle organic matter.


Clubs more switched on about finance options, leasing etc.


The fact that no matter how high end, all UK Clubs, like Sunningdale still have a long winter.


Things may well now regress with recent legislative changes and the high end Clubs who can afford expensive and unproven trials etc  may again achieve levels the lower end cannot match.


Where the lower end clubs are way behind is in tree management. Most are too far gone that even if enlightened of the benefits, cost are too big a barrier.



« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 12:55:36 PM by Ryan Coles »

Ryan Coles

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2018, 01:02:30 PM »
Ps the decline / wane of greens committees. Many Clubs struggle to attract volunteers for committees these days. The upside being less interference.


In lower ranking Clubs, those on Committees can tend to be stifling due to not really having much skill or experience in management and / or not being smart enough to know what they donít know.


The less involved they are, the better a result the Greenkeeper can usually deliver.


PPS lower Clubs now need to compete harder to survive as the market has shrunk. Standards on the course and in terms of welcome and service have risen  as well.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 01:05:26 PM by Ryan Coles »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2018, 07:04:06 PM »
Interesting to see the updated photos particularly in relation to conditioning at what is regarded as a premier UK course. This is not a criticism of Sunningdale though, far, far from it, but when members at average courses criticise the condition of their course during and after a period of unusual weather it's not a bad idea to see how the premier courses look.
Super course Sunny New. Still haven't played the Old. One day though.
Here are some Nov time photos I posted a couple of years ago, some from different angles to the norm -

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,63818.msg1519473.html#msg1519473
atb

I actually think the gap in terms of conditioning between high end UK Clubs and run of the mill average ones is narrower than it's ever been.

Why that is I don't know - probably law of diminishing returns as there is no way Sunningdale, in terms of playing surfaces, is 4 times better than the average Club, despite having four times the staff and in excess of four times the budget.

Outside of maintenance windows, you don't really see bad greens or poorly maintained courses anywhere these days above the £25 per round price point.

I am not completely sold on this.  The one aspect which most of the better clubs have is courses with superior turf and thus better drainage.  This is a huge advantage in the conditioning sweepstakes...especially for year round golf.  It also isn't any secret that the better clubs are leading the push for tree clearance, which provides for better turf. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Clyne

Peter Pallotta

Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2018, 07:39:39 PM »
I love your course tours, Sean. I missed this the first time around. Pictures are worth a thousand words - so evidently an example of excellent golf course architecture. (Inside joke, that.) A question: if Sunningdale is Colt at his peak, is it also *quintessentially* Colt?
P

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2018, 08:08:44 PM »
I love your course tours, Sean. I missed this the first time around. Pictures are worth a thousand words - so evidently an example of excellent golf course architecture. (Inside joke, that.) A question: if Sunningdale is Colt at his peak, is it also *quintessentially* Colt?
P

Pietro

Cheers.

Perhaps Sunny New is quintessentially Colt, but St Georges Hill or possibly Swinley Forest may be better high profile examples of the ultimate Colt course....if only because what I think of as Sunny New's best hole, #6, isn't Colt's.   I can't say SGH or Swinley is demonstrably better then Sunny New, but it seems to me the flow and variety of holes at SGH is a bit more polished, perhaps because Colt's Sunny New routing was broken up.  One of the striking weaknesses of Sunny New for me is the three short par 4s all turn hard right...one hole, the 7th, isn't Colt's.  In fact, the way the course now flows, there isn't a legger left until the 11th...following several leggers right and few more after. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Clyne

Ryan Coles

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2018, 09:37:57 PM »
Interesting to see the updated photos particularly in relation to conditioning at what is regarded as a premier UK course. This is not a criticism of Sunningdale though, far, far from it, but when members at average courses criticise the condition of their course during and after a period of unusual weather it's not a bad idea to see how the premier courses look.
Super course Sunny New. Still haven't played the Old. One day though.
Here are some Nov time photos I posted a couple of years ago, some from different angles to the norm -

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,63818.msg1519473.html#msg1519473
atb

I actually think the gap in terms of conditioning between high end UK Clubs and run of the mill average ones is narrower than it's ever been.

Why that is I don't know - probably law of diminishing returns as there is no way Sunningdale, in terms of playing surfaces, is 4 times better than the average Club, despite having four times the staff and in excess of four times the budget.

Outside of maintenance windows, you don't really see bad greens or poorly maintained courses anywhere these days above the £25 per round price point.

I am not completely sold on this.  The one aspect which most of the better clubs have is courses with superior turf and thus better drainage.  This is a huge advantage in the conditioning sweepstakes...especially for year round golf.   It also isn't any secret that the better clubs are leading the push for tree clearance, which provides for better turf. 

Ciao


Links courses you may be right. However youve said yourself repeatedly how wet the London heaths play in autumn and winter. Itís a bit of a myth that these courses on so say better turf play markedly better in winter.


Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2018, 02:15:58 AM »

Ryan,


where Sean has got it wrong (or mistyped) is in his assertion better turf leads to better drainage where as it is off course the opposite. He is correct about the tree clearing though but really they should be clear felling to return to a true heathland.


Jon

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2018, 04:23:53 AM »
Interesting to see the updated photos particularly in relation to conditioning at what is regarded as a premier UK course. This is not a criticism of Sunningdale though, far, far from it, but when members at average courses criticise the condition of their course during and after a period of unusual weather it's not a bad idea to see how the premier courses look.
Super course Sunny New. Still haven't played the Old. One day though.
Here are some Nov time photos I posted a couple of years ago, some from different angles to the norm -

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,63818.msg1519473.html#msg1519473
atb

I actually think the gap in terms of conditioning between high end UK Clubs and run of the mill average ones is narrower than it's ever been.

Why that is I don't know - probably law of diminishing returns as there is no way Sunningdale, in terms of playing surfaces, is 4 times better than the average Club, despite having four times the staff and in excess of four times the budget.

Outside of maintenance windows, you don't really see bad greens or poorly maintained courses anywhere these days above the £25 per round price point.

I am not completely sold on this.  The one aspect which most of the better clubs have is courses with superior turf and thus better drainage.  This is a huge advantage in the conditioning sweepstakes...especially for year round golf.   It also isn't any secret that the better clubs are leading the push for tree clearance, which provides for better turf. 

Ciao

Links courses you may be right. However youve said yourself repeatedly how wet the London heaths play in autumn and winter. Itís a bit of a myth that these courses on so say better turf play markedly better in winter.

For sure its a myth that heathlands play bone dry in the winter because heathlands are hybrid courses these days...somewhat compromised by ill advised course management.  That said, heathlands are still much more likely to play drier in the winter compared to parkland courses.  I can only hope clubs see the advantage of good drainage and start to spend money on it rather than on bunker jobs etc.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Clyne

Tom Birkert

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2018, 03:26:44 PM »
Lovely photos and comments.


There are some changes I would make and some opportunities that I think have been missed with recent works that have been done (specifically I think there was an possibility to extend the 2nd tee further to the right, and also made this a proper back tee for the 18th).


There has been a lot of tree clearance undertaken, but there still could be more. The new bunker on the 1st is a good addition in my opinion, makes it a slightly trickier drive but frames the shot a bit better.


5 has been improved by clearing but would love to see it how it was in the old days. It looks incredible.


6 is easily the best par 5 on either course, and maybe one of the best in the UK. It's a brilliant hole.


8 has seen the tree removed from the front right of the green and mishit shots can now really run off a fair distance.


9 is a hole I love. It plays totally different in summer to winter. The approach shot is usually off a hanging lie which wants to force you to go right, and right is actually a better miss than left, because if you are left you will be right after your 3rd shot...


11 is such a narrow target with the approach shot. Short is always a good leave there.


15 has really benefitted from tree clearing opening up sight lines.


17 I would have lowered the tee and moved it right to try and turn it sort of into a reverse redan. Could be done.


18 needs a back tee. The trees to the left won't go as they protect golfers on the 17th / 18th of The Old and the trees on the right of the fairway guard a speed slot that can add a good 25 yards to your drive. The ones to the left of the fairway should probably go.

BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Will the New Outclass the Old in Years to Come? Pix Added
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2018, 05:12:18 PM »
In his initial post, Sean wrote:

"The 170ish par 3 5th is another lovely hole with what should be a world famous bunker to carry.  In the old days this must have been a daunting tee shot.  I think this pic and the previous one demonstrate what I mean about greens flowing into fairways creating false fronts and making it difficult to distinguish yardage."

I have read Colt's explanations of creating plateau greens and "hummocky" ground.  The purpose was to challenge the "artist in approach."  From my reading, Colt used the features to present a physical test, a test of touch, such as negotiating a ball over rolling ground to its final position very near the pin -- not as a deception!

Also, he writes of seeing better players challenged by such plateaus on links courses.

I can't recall mention of depth perception or visual trickery / deception.

Perhaps Paul can supply us with further information.

The reason I find the thought expressed in the sentence so interesting is that's how many of us would think of it, but at least in 1912 Colt didn't think of it that way. Would club golfers?

Today two relevant things have changed:
1. Equipment defeating Colt's intent of challenging the "artist in approach" -- just fling it right onto the green -- must figure depth perception right, whereas with ground game the challenge perceived is more of, "How hard do I have to hit it to get it up that hill?" And / or....
2. How golfers perceive design elements -- more likely to see intent of visual deception.  Perhaps it's just a function of change #1, but there's a larger idea here of designers designing not simply for the physical or even "mental" challenges but also for the emotional challenges, the notion of including an element for purposes of deception, joy, surprise, etc.  Standing with club in hand and not being sure where the ball needs to go, despite having the flag and green in full view -- that's deflating, isn't it?

(I suppose there is a "physical" challenge here: how good one's eyesight is.  But that's not what I meant by the word...)

This is something I tend to associate with MacKenzie, this idea of creating a course, a hole, a bunker, a feature, not only using an understanding of how the golfer will play / avoid / conquer it, but also how the golfer subjectively will see it (versus how it really is) and how it will affect him.  For example: bunkers that look bigger than they really are, to give the golfer who negotiates it the feeling of satisfaction, of achievement -- as Mac writes, "to give the player thrills."

Or in this case the mental and emotional affect of a plateau green.
Mark

Well said by Mark many, many moons ago. We talk a lot about the strategy or lack of strategy on a hole, but isn't there another dimension we talk about much less often? We don't talk much about how sometimes good holes can be mysterious and unpredictable. Or as Mark says, holes that are "emotional challenges, [that have an element]... of deception, joy, surprise, etc.  Standing with club in hand and not being sure where the ball needs to go, despite having the flag and green in full view -- that's deflating, isn't it? "

I'm not sure such holes are "deflating" as much as litmus tests. Some people will find a hole with hard to predict outcomes to be maddening and enough alone to dismiss it as a a bungled design. Others will find such holes fascinating and, if done well, the mark of good design. I suspect that dynamic hasn't changed much since Colt and Simpson worked on Sunnie about a century ago.

Some of the holes there still evoke for us moderns that "other" design dimension, as Mark noted. Avoiding the discomfort (anxiety?) they instill is maybe why so many modern designers stick so closely to the tried and true rules of strategic golf architecture. They want each hole to tell a clear, coherent story. (I mean, you gotta say something about the hole in the sales brochure. Right?) 

Surely part of the greatness of Colt, Simpson and MacK, however, is that they had the courage to step outside that framework from time to time and go to a different place.   

Bob

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: SUNNINGDALE GC: NEW COURSE Reprised
« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2018, 06:43:11 AM »
Tom

Thanks for your comments. 

I agree 6 is a superb hole and certainly one of the best par 5s in the country.

It is always interesting to play courses again.  While I recall 11ths awkward tee shot, I didn't remember the great shaping short of the green.

Wouldn't it require the green to be reshaped and probably made bigger to create a Redan?

I am not convinced by 18...it looks wrong and out of character with the course.  If it weren't for that lovely tree down the right, I would be tempted to say the hole should be opened up to the right to create a double fairway with 1.  I spose the fairways could still be combined and keep that tree, but a main reason to open the hole up is to take attention away from the awful protection trees on the left.  Maybe...

Bob

One aspect about Marks comments strikes me as not completely spot on.  Speaking of the 5th, sure its easier these days to fly a shot to the green, but if the hole is up front on the edge of the false front, putting downhill can be quite scary.  I can conceive of times when it is better to be short of the green rather than past the hole. 

Though I generally agree that Simpson and Dr Mac were more likely to use visual deception than was Colt and in that way Colt's design were and are more predictable.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Clyne

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back