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Wyatt Halliday

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2008, 12:53:23 AM »
1. Pine Dunes -  Frankston, Tx (Morrish)
2. Sandia - Albuquerque, NM - Better than expected

Ed Oden

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2008, 12:57:15 AM »
I neglected to mention one other very notable surprise:  Deepdale.  Many know of Deepdale for its toney membership, the Calcutta scandal and the recent eminent domain fight.  But why doesn't Deepdale get any run for the quality of the course?  I thought it was absolutely terrific in every way. 

Sean_A

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2008, 05:01:10 AM »
Like Tommy, I didn't know to expect concerning Pennard.  The place literally blew me away on my first go and in many respects it still does. 

Somebody mentioned Shepherd's Hollow, I too was impressed after seeing more than a few of Hill's duds.

Brora knocked my socks off so much so that I may prefer it to Dornoch.  I distinctly recall somebody saying that Brora isn't the sort of course one travels across an ocean to see - how wrong is that?

Whittington Heath really surprised me.  I knew it would be decent, but its far better than that.  I think if I got to know the place more my appreciation would increase.

Delamere Forest was a pleasant surprise as well.  It has a wonderful feel of old fashioned golf mixed with newer style golf - though its all old.  Nobody, but nobody could make a course sit at ease with itself like Fowler could. 

Of course, I have to mention Kington.  This is the best little course I have played that hardly anybody talks about.  Its always in great nick and no matter how many times I have played the place there is always a surprise waiting somewhere.  They say Pennard is a links in the sky, that title should be reserved for Kington.

Littlestone was another of those courses that just clicked the first time around - far better than I expected it to be - same thing for Princes.  Both seem like they have been left behind somehow, but I have a lot of time for them. 

Now then, Castletown, it was really a throw of the dice when I took my group to the Isle of Man.  I really didn't know if it was a dud.  Not many people know the course so the word on the street is in short supply.  Like Littlestone & Princes, Castletown is a collection of good to very good holes with the added bonus of being in a lovely location.  There is nothing tricked up or fancy, just pay your fee and enjoy the day.  The hotel, well, thats a different matter!

Finally, Perranporth.  What a little gem.  I usually don't head out to play a course twice by myself on separate days, but my first go round Perranporth wasn't enough.  Its the sort of place that many would say is too short, but what a risk it would be to bring someone in for "improvements". 

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 06:13:11 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Mark Pearce

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2008, 05:36:20 AM »
Silloth.  It still seems to fly under the radar but deserves far more love than it gets.  It's comfortably top 50 in the UK and you can play for less than £40.  If it was in Fife, or near Liverpool or in Kent it would be far better known.

Wolf Run.  I'd readall the hype about how diificult it was and half expected some unplayable monster.  What I got was a challenge on every hole, some I was up to, some I wasn't but I loved the course.

Kington.  Just what golf should be about.  Nothing to break your back but a shot making test none the less and an intimacy with nature that so many better "manicured" courses simply miss.  A life enhancing round of golf.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Andrew Mitchell

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2008, 06:56:28 AM »
Muirfield - I'd read some fairly negative posts on here but was blown away by the incessant quality of the course and the ambience of the dining room at lunchtime.

I'd agree with Mark's comments re Silloth.  It gets very little publicity and I didn't know what to expect on my first visit.  I keep trying to arrange another trip but struggle to persuade people to go there as they've never heard of it!
2014 to date: not actually played anywhere yet!
Still to come: Hollins Hall; Ripon City; Shipley; Perranporth; St Enodoc

Dean Paolucci

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2008, 07:30:47 AM »
Know many members at Wilshire - but have not played it - thought it was designed by Norman Macbeth? please confirm!
Gerry

That is my understanding as well.  My comments were directed at the NJ courses.

DEAN
"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."  --  Mark Twain

Ken Moum

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2008, 07:59:48 AM »
Brora
Albuquerque CC
Osprey Ridge
Cottonwood Hills
Longbow
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2008, 08:04:36 AM »

Daryl

Regards Luffness New Course. The club whilst open for visitors, is of the old school and like to keep to themselves. The value the connection with Old Tom but have declined to join The Old Tom Morris Golfing association we are trying to set up, for that very reason.  As for the course, Old Tom attended many time and numerous modification to the course as was a very close friend of Mr Hope The Laird of Luffness, whose land the course was built on. It is worth the effort to play, but as I mentioned it is run by those from the old school.

Sean

Isle of Man

Castletown, interesting choice, but will not disagree, Did you get to play King Edward Bay at Douglas or Ramsey during your visit. Whilst I have not played either, a friend said he liked King Edward Bay? Of course all originally by Old Tom. Old Tomís fourth course on the island was at the south end of Douglas (King Edward Bay being North) at  Duchess Point. This course was closed and club moved inland for then moved back some years ago to within a mile of Old Tom original course Ė today itís called Douglas Golf Club.

When playing it depends exactly what you are looking for but in Scotland you may be surprised with Bridge of Allan, Cullen, Strathpeffer Spa and maybe Tarland. In North England a nice 9 hole course ideal to break the journey at Warkworth (Northumberland) or Kirby Muxloe (Leicester).

As I get older I seem to have mellowed, so when able I tend to enjoy the courses more. Away from Ďthe need for speedí (a Top Gun quote I believe, but perhaps even more appropriate than ever with todayís golfers aids) I have become more aware of the course, looking more at the lay of the land as I walk to my ball. I still like to have the odd gamble, dare I risk it shot, but I have always played golf as I was taught by my father, for enjoyment, one good shot always outweighs a dozen bad or poor shots. Still true to this day.       



Dan Boerger

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2008, 08:13:38 AM »
Plenty of courses have exceeded my expectation -- most notably Pine Valley and Merion -- but those for which I didn't have exceedingly high expectations and surprised me include:

Dooks
The Hideout
Tobacco Road
Commonwealth
"Man should practice moderation in all things, including moderation."  Mark Twain

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2008, 08:17:45 AM »
I like the term exceeded expectations too.  I thought that each of the following courses would be good, but each also managed to surprise me in some way.

Oakmont.  I knew that it was a great course, but I expected to be demoralized by it.  It's very difficult, but far more playable and fun than I thought it would be.

County Louth.  It doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves.  One great hole after another.  36 there was one my top golf days ever.

Mountain Lake.  Unlike any other Florida course that I have played.  GCA did have me somewhat prepared for it, but there's nothing like seeing it for the first time.

Long Shadow.  I didn't really know what to expect when I went down for the Dixie Cup.  The course is outstanding.  I wish I could play it every day.

Cory Lewis

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2008, 08:26:47 AM »
In the last two years:

Laurel Hill:  Played this newer course in Northern Virginia for the first time two weeks ago, very challenging, wonderful use of elevation changes.  Excellent variety in the par 3's.

Deerfield:  Very much a sleeper course in Delaware, shorter Gordon's design with excellent long par 4's.
Instagram: @2000golfcourses
http://2000golfcourses.blogspot.com

Sean_A

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2008, 08:31:52 AM »

Daryl

Regards Luffness New Course. The club whilst open for visitors, is of the old school and like to keep to themselves. The value the connection with Old Tom but have declined to join The Old Tom Morris Golfing association we are trying to set up, for that very reason.  As for the course, Old Tom attended many time and numerous modification to the course as was a very close friend of Mr Hope The Laird of Luffness, whose land the course was built on. It is worth the effort to play, but as I mentioned it is run by those from the old school.

Sean

Isle of Man

Castletown, interesting choice, but will not disagree, Did you get to play King Edward Bay at Douglas or Ramsey during your visit. Whilst I have not played either, a friend said he liked King Edward Bay? Of course all originally by Old Tom. Old Tomís fourth course on the island was at the south end of Douglas (King Edward Bay being North) at  Duchess Point. This course was closed and club moved inland for then moved back some years ago to within a mile of Old Tom original course Ė today itís called Douglas Golf Club.

When playing it depends exactly what you are looking for but in Scotland you may be surprised with Bridge of Allan, Cullen, Strathpeffer Spa and maybe Tarland. In North England a nice 9 hole course ideal to break the journey at Warkworth (Northumberland) or Kirby Muxloe (Leicester).

As I get older I seem to have mellowed, so when able I tend to enjoy the courses more. Away from Ďthe need for speedí (a Top Gun quote I believe, but perhaps even more appropriate than ever with todayís golfers aids) I have become more aware of the course, looking more at the lay of the land as I walk to my ball. I still like to have the odd gamble, dare I risk it shot, but I have always played golf as I was taught by my father, for enjoyment, one good shot always outweighs a dozen bad or poor shots. Still true to this day.       




Melvyn

No, we only played the links for a few days.  Some fancy dan company owns the place.  They want to modernize the course and build a 4/5 star hotel.  I think plans were put on the back burner for the course, but the hotel may be in the process of being updated or more likely knocked down and rebuilt.  What a place!  It was a classic seaside Faulty Towers, but the location is brilliant.  Paying the day rate made it so easy to hop on and off the course throughout the day as we pleased.  Assuming prices don't sky-rocket I would go back in a heartbeat.  I think its maybe £50 for a day ticket with prices dropped by £20 or so if you just want to play a twilight game. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Dan Boerger

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2008, 08:42:08 AM »
Cory - I'm with you on Deerfield, and almost mentioned it myself. I remember playing when it was a DuPont track. Some really fine holes there. -Dan
"Man should practice moderation in all things, including moderation."  Mark Twain

JESII

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2008, 09:00:09 AM »
Jay, you will like this...

Royal New Kent was a blow away surprise...

interestingly, Tobacco Road was a mild disappointment...but I blame that on Royal New Kent...

Tyler Kearns

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2008, 09:30:32 AM »
Peninsula County CC (North) in Melbourne, AUS
Portsea GC on the Mornington Peninsula, AUS

Both courses have undergone extensive renovation by Michael Clayton, and are, unfortunately, not on the radar screen of most overseas visitors to Australia. They are not Royal Melbourne or Barnbougle Dunes, but they should not be overlooked, or else, you're missing out on some fine golf.

TK

« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 09:32:15 AM by Tyler Kearns »

Mike_Cirba

Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2008, 09:31:21 AM »
Cory/Jim,

Glad to hear it from both of you.

Laurel Hill and Royal New Kent are on my "MUST PLAY" list for 2008.

Mike_Cirba

Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2008, 09:36:12 AM »
A few I played in 2008 that really jump to mind without looking at my notes;

Leatherstocking

Long Shadow

Valley (PA) Tillinghast

DuPont (DE) re-do by Lester

Five Farms


Jason Connor

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2008, 09:37:10 AM »
The Mackenzie Course at University of Michigan.  I just fell in love with it.  My favorite course I played for the first time in 2007.  You know how some places you visit for the first time and they feel like home?  That's how this felt.

Bethpage Black. Sure I heard it was great.  But I didn't realize how great.  I liked it better than Oakmont, the only other US Open venue I've played (until June when Torrey gets added to my list).   And I just love playing a walking only course.


A few vacation sort of courses that pleasantly surprised me:

King's North in Myrtle Beach was more fun than I expected

The Heritage (especially when I close my eyes and imagine no houses) is really fun, I love the oaks

The Links at Grand National on the RTJ Trail

SCGA Members Club was an unexpectedly fun few rounds for me, too, my one visit there.


We discovered that in good company there is no such thing as a bad golf course.  - James Dodson

John Foley

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2008, 09:40:07 AM »
The ones that we're much better than expected are all based upon they we're a blast to play. All had shots you want to try, did not beat you senseless

- Morgan Hill - how cool are the uphill & downhill holes!!
- Yahnandasis - great routing, great greens
- Old Kinderhook
- Marion - late summer evening chasing daylight - how cool is the 9th hole - 100 yards downhill to a blind green behind a stone wall & bunker!!
- Wildhorse
Integrity in the moment of choice

Kalen Braley

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2008, 11:39:41 AM »
I will 2nd the Hideout in Monticello, UT as well...a really neat course.

And even though I already had high expectations going in, Pacific Dunes exceeded them.


John Kavanaugh

Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2008, 11:42:32 AM »
The Mackenzie Course at University of Michigan.  I just fell in love with it.  My favorite course I played for the first time in 2007.  You know how some places you visit for the first time and they feel like home?  That's how this felt.

Bethpage Black. Sure I heard it was great.  But I didn't realize how great.  I liked it better than Oakmont, the only other US Open venue I've played (until June when Torrey gets added to my list).   And I just love playing a walking only course.


A few vacation sort of courses that pleasantly surprised me:

King's North in Myrtle Beach was more fun than I expected

The Heritage (especially when I close my eyes and imagine no houses) is really fun, I love the oaks

The Links at Grand National on the RTJ Trail

SCGA Members Club was an unexpectedly fun few rounds for me, too, my one visit there.




I would include Kings North and both courses at Grand National on my list.

Phil Benedict

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2008, 11:50:40 AM »
Fenway because its nearby breathren (Winged Foot and Quaker Ridge) get more ink.  Didn't realize how great it was because I had heard less about it going in.

Chip Gaskins

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2008, 12:12:37 PM »
Gullane #1
Western Gailes
Dooks

Baltimore Five Farms
Southern Pines (Elks)
Whiskey Creek
Mayacama

Stan Dodd

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Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2008, 12:22:35 PM »
Gullane #2
Fraserburgh
Dunbar
Montrose
Pajaro Valley

Jay Flemma

Re: Courses that pleasantly surprised you?!
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2008, 02:16:40 PM »

3.  Ballyneal and Bayonne


Jay,

Of all the newly built courses I have played, I was most impressed with Bayonne!

DEAN

Wasn't that wonderful?  I mean he pulled off the cross over!  The terracing effect was inspired!

I also would be remiss if I didn't mention Knoll Club, those greens swept me off my feet.  Becca may have my keeping, those greens have my heart ;D

A couple others:  Arcadia Bluffs, Crystal Downs, Baltimore CC (East), OAKMONT OAKMONT OAKMONT.

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