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Cracking stuff Sean. The heather looks healthy that's for sure and the course looks far better, lets hope for even more tree removal and heath restoration and it leaks over to the Old course. I think you're right about the challenge of the New, it's probably only second to Walton Old in difficulty (Wentworth West doesn't count as heath anymore).I think the 3rd had cross bunkers, in that depression/ridge in the fairway. And the right/central bunker was added in the last few years. The 5th has been amazingly transformed from how it was a few years back, when it had way too many trees and bland bunkers. Although it'll probably never be as spectacular as it was originally, it's in the spirit of the original. I don't like that bunker on the green's right hand side; it's not original, doesn't fit and I think unnecessary.The 6th is the best long hole on the London heaths. Even better that 14 and 16 on Walton Heath Old, Addington 16...The New has a convoluted evolution. It basically boils down to Colt original...a few holes were unpopular because they were too hilly, Simpson redesigns and replaces those holes...Colt and Morrison return, change Simpson's holes. For example, the 12th green: Colt had it where it currently is, Simpson put it low and to the left, Colt and Morrison put it back. A similar sequence occurred on the 4th too. Simpson moved the green low/right and built a highly contoured one....Colt and Morrison move it back to the plateau a few years later. (The 8th green is Pennink).14th is a great Colt par 3 that is often forgotten, such beautiful lines in that green complex.The 15th: instead of that pond, it used to have a ditch on a diagonal up the hill. You can still make out the depression. I think that might have been a great strategic drive given, with the width to the left and it would be an interesting but probably controversial feature to restore.You are correct about the 10th, it was originally played from much further to the left because Colt's abandoned holes (6-9) went way up onto that ridge which you descend on the Old 10th tee shot.I'd like to see all the trees go between 1 and 18. The course used to be completely open there and its the one part of the course that feels parkland. The Hawtree & Co bunker work looks quite interesting, I suspect they will add heather to the bunker faces.Any more pics? 2, 17?
Sean:Great tour thanks. I agree with you on the smooth and subtle transitions between putting surface and fairway...it does make you think and that's precisely what we want.I was surprised though and the narrowness of so many holes when cut through trees. I would have expected to see much more width with more options. From looking at pictures of The Renaissance Club, it seems Tom Doak and crew gave their effort more width inspite of trees. Your thoughts in this regard?Finally, though no one else commented, the difference in bunkering within the first few pictures was obvious. I find it odd and not at all fitting for the site given the influence of adjacent courses.
Off the top of my head I can't think of another par 5 in the heathlands which can rival these two. Ciao
Colt at his peak, the 5th as it was originally. Note 2 front bunkers, stretching over a wider area, and without bunker eating into the green. Looks like the green extends further to the bunkers too:
SeanThat's all part of rub of the green. Nothing too wrong with that. There hillock on the right isn't there because it's fill for the 6th tee. And the current 6th hole wasn't added until the 1930s (Colt/Morrison) a decade or so after the black and white photo. (The original 6th was routed similarly to the current 9th). I don't know when that specific tee was added and the 5th bunker scheme was changed.Regarding the trees, I think a load could be chopped in the central areas and some beautiful views would be opened up. The 9th still looks pretty claustrophobic.
SeanI'd like to know when that tee was added. I'd be surprised if it was added by Colt/Morrison because of the impact to the 5th and because there's loads of room to the right.So if they now have a back 6th tee in that area way right, the original 5th green complex could be restored by removing that 6th tee and rebuilding that huge bunker on the right side.
Sean:Thanks, and I will certainly take your word on clearing and blindness/width issues, since you have played the course and I haven't. The explanation helps.I appreciate and respect your view on bunkers, but it still seems to me that when doing a course with so much influence around you that the least that can be done is to get details right like bunkers to all follow a similar theme onto themselves and to the surrounding landscape.