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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Wiley WHITTINGTON HEATH: Winter Tour 2022-23 New
« on: July 19, 2008, 07:15:48 PM »


Founded in 1886 near Lichfield, birthplace of Ben Johnson, Whittington Heath is one of the older clubs in England. In 1927 HS Colt redesigned Whittington Heath. All that remain are #s 12-17 and 10 & 11 greens & fairways. Before becoming a golf course the area was used for horse racing.  The road on the NLE 6th is evidence of the old track and the NLE clubhouse retained the shape of a racing stand. Being next door to Whittington Barracks, the course was originally for military personnel. After some time civilians were allowed access and eventually the Ministry of Defense sold the course to the members in 1994.

Given my high regard for the course, my apprehension concerning the redesign due to HS2 was understandable.  As seen by the map below, the rail line cut the course in two. Although the track hasn't been layed, the new course and house are now complete. Jonathon Gaunt secured the commission and radically altered the design. There are six completely new holes, including five sharing a little valley beyond the old 1st green. The 8th is also completely new. Gaunt managed to use the old green and fairways from the old 10th & 11th. He built new tees radically altering the shape of what are now the 9th & 16th. The other major changes include a new 17th using the old 18th green and the 18th using the old 1st corridor to a new green. New bunkers were also part of the redesign.

I had two questions in mind before playing Whittington Heath since the new work. First, how badly will the train effect the solitude of Whittington Heath. Well, HS2 has been cancelled. Regardless, it is clear HS2 has created some long transition walks which to be frank, have somewhat spoiled the intimacy of Whittington Heath.  Second, how well will the five (1-5) new treeless holes blend with the old holes.  Sadly, these new holes don't blend visually or architecturally. These new holes are big, modern concepts which is in contrast to the more subtle terrain and design of the older holes. The new 8th is the sole exception. That said, the club has removed a large number of trees on the older part of the property which is a positive step.  Still, heather is almost completely absent from the course. 


Card of the new course.


A warm hello.


After a long transition, we reach the par five second hole. Once being told the hole is a sweeping dogleg to the right, I immediately noticed an issue with the drive. What is there to stop longer club hitters playing down the 3rd fairway? The answer came quickly, internal OoB stakes. I don't know why the hole was designed this way, but given it is new and there was plenty of evidence to suggest club players are long enough to use the incorrect (and dangerous) fairway, somebody made a big mistake. That said, the hole is good for the likes of me.


On the second shot, if one happens to push the drive right, there is a cracking view of the green. In the fairway, its blind if one isn't fairly long. Its a strange setup.


The approach can be tough if one gets the layup wrong.


Heading back up the hill, the third is a demanding par 4. The fairway between the bunkers is criminally narrow.


A safe drive in the fairway leaves an exacting approach.


A pin point par 3 follows on the 4th.


The final hole of this new section of the property climbs the hill toward the house. The second shot on this par 5 is blind unless one is long.


Perhaps the most interesting of the seven new greens.



The opening five holes are good if lacking a bit of character or flair.  One of my biggest apprehensions was drainage, but this seems to have been dealt with very well. I didn't notice any serious issues unless one drifted off the ample fairways.

The 6th is an old friend; it was the old 5th. Trees have been removed on the left to allow mere mortals to carry the dip. While a good hole, I think an opportunity was lost. This could be a dramatic hole over the chasm with a bunker draping down the far face and perhaps one further up to catch out the flat bellies.




The 7th is another old friend. This used to be the 4th, an intimate high quality short hole.




Last of the completely new holes, the 8th is more in keeping with the older parts of the course.


The side ends with a long walk through the HS2 grounds to the 9th. This uses the old 11th approach area and green. The tee shot used to be played from well left and back of this photo. To my eye, this hole would be miles better with the six or so trees in front of the bunkers removed. In the summer these bunkers will be mostly buried behind trees. There could even be fairway either side of the bunkers to add a bit of flash.  Before and after.




A handsome hole, the 10th (old 12th) moves downhill. There is an illusion of a dogleg due to the angled green running away from play. There is loads of dead space between the mounds and the green.


Behind the green.


An excellent short hole, the 11th (old 13th) has a sunken, angled green which runs away from the tee. The flag is about 25 feet from the rear edge of the green.  The contouring off the backs of the bunkering is very good.  There are also some blind rear bunkers for the over aggressive players.






One of the best holes Whittington Heath has to offer, #12 (old 14th) tee fits snugly between 11 and 14 greens. YES, the green falls away from the fairway!


The green also moves against the grain of the dogleg by sloping right to left. 




13-15 are good holes which gradually take us back in the direction of the house.  All are tricky and challenge the best players not least because of some awkward elements.  The long one-shot 13th (old15th) is difficult to visualize from the tee, but the new bunkering helps. There is also serious tree encroachment on the right, but given there is a road on this side the trees make sense.


Reminiscent of the 10th, the 14th (old 16th) had a bit more radical treatment.  There was a line of bunkers well short of the green which mainly were removed.  Consequently, the view of the green has been opened up. 


The 15th  (old17th) too has been altered by placement of two bunkers.  Previously, the hole was bizarre with a very narrow fairway which turned left around a large swath of rough.  Visually, the hole was a mess.  The new bunkers are a great improvement.


Good green.


While downhill, the 16th used to be moreso when played from further right as the 10th. The front to back green is in my experience one of the most severe of this type. 


An older photo showing the old 8th in the background. The green is now a practice green.


Its a long walk over the HS2 to reach the very mediocre three-shot 17th. The old 18th green is used for this hole with altered bunkering. I am not sure why this forward 18th tee is directly in play for the approach to 17. Someone has a deathwish.


The final two holes add up to 900 yards and make for a bit of slog. That said, the approach to 18 (old 1st with new green) has a certain appeal.


Despite the rather staid finish, Whittington Heath remains good and certainly one of the better courses in the Birmingham area.  In fact, Whittington Heath is good enough to host Open Regional Qualifying now and again. Despite the ravages of HS2, if invited when in the area, Whittington shouldn't disappoint.   2023

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 05, 2023, 01:23:48 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mark Bourgeois

Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 07:39:33 PM »
Thanks for the pix, Sean.  I will say I've about had my fill of bunker fur.  Good times when this trend is put down like a rabid raccoon!

Reading your commentary regarding the first then scrolling down provided a happy moment.  Expecting to see a drive over a green, how funny to see a drive over a "red" -- a red brick clubhouse.

Man, they sure would have liability issues if that were over here.  Not only that, who in their right mind would practice putting or sit near the windows in the spike bar?!  Do you know if they've given that space over to the ladies?

Cheer up, Autumn is around the corner!

Mark

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2008, 07:57:46 PM »
Thanks Sean, as you might remember, I played WH right after we played Beau Desert.  I was disappointed.  After revisiting the course through your pictures, I'd like to see it again. 
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 02:25:44 AM »
Mark

I rather like the hair.  It blends the bunkering in with the rough very well.  Additionally, the club may have somethng going here because I only saw one bunker attacked by rabbits.  I imagine this must be a maintenance nightmare with the faces collapsing after not too many visits from the rabbits. 

Tommy

I think WH is every bit as good as Delamere Forest.  WH doesn't quite have the highs of DF, but it doesn't have the lows either.  The greens are certainly more entertaining at WH and I think if the rough was cut back WH would be my clear favourite.  Its a real pity about DF's greens.  They are so very similar to Stoneham's - another cracking course down in Southampton that would be awesome if the greens were more interesting.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 09:39:25 AM »
Thanks, again, for the trip down memory lane. WH was one of the courses I played as a teenager and, as at Deau Desert, it was one of those places where you could never play to your handicap. If you were playing in a competition there you were always advised to play a practice round there first because nothing was ever obvious. Do they still have the periscope?

Anent Delamere Forest I should know more about the greens ere long as i've been asked to help with their centenary book (2010).  What I hadn't known previously is that the present course is the second Fowler course on the site.  They have abundant archival material, so it should be a decent book.

Michael Wharton-Palmer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 03:13:24 PM »
Is this the same place as Whittington Barracks?

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2008, 03:22:57 PM »
Sean,

Thanks for the tour of WH. As its not far from me I had heard of it but couldn't find out enough information to get me excited enough to make the trip. However, your photos have certainly made up my mind that I will have to make the trip soon! I like the look of the short 4th hole and I actually quite like the long grass around the bunker edges also.

Cheers

James
2023 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Aberdovey, Royal St Davids, Woodhall Spa, Broadstone, Parkstone, Cleeve, Painswick, Minchinhampton, Hoylake

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2009, 06:13:21 AM »
Sean,

Thanks for the tour of WH. As its not far from me I had heard of it but couldn't find out enough information to get me excited enough to make the trip. However, your photos have certainly made up my mind that I will have to make the trip soon! I like the look of the short 4th hole and I actually quite like the long grass around the bunker edges also.

Cheers

James

Boony

I was sorry you are over-worked and couldn't make the trip on Friday.

All - take a look.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Retread: A Suprise Visit
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2009, 07:57:39 AM »
Sean,

Just glad to have the work to do at the moment, even if its getting in the way of golf  ::) Hopefully, I'll get to WH next year?

Cheers,

James
2023 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Aberdovey, Royal St Davids, Woodhall Spa, Broadstone, Parkstone, Cleeve, Painswick, Minchinhampton, Hoylake

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Retread: A Suprise Visit
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2009, 05:43:43 AM »
Somewhere at the back of my mind I seem to recall that Hawtrees put in a new green at the 5th or 6th maybe 20 years ago. I can still visualise it in its incomplete state, but I may be making it up!

Delamere Forest's greens were kept small in area by the club - it was felt that this was one of its main defences. You can see one or two spots where the putting surface may once have been greater, but one or two only. They have never had pop up sprinklers so it is not shrinkage due to her installation.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Retread: A Suprise Visit
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2009, 02:03:16 AM »
Somewhere at the back of my mind I seem to recall that Hawtrees put in a new green at the 5th or 6th maybe 20 years ago. I can still visualise it in its incomplete state, but I may be making it up!

Delamere Forest's greens were kept small in area by the club - it was felt that this was one of its main defences. You can see one or two spots where the putting surface may once have been greater, but one or two only. They have never had pop up sprinklers so it is not shrinkage due to her installation.

Mark

The 6th does have a green much more in keeping with Pennard than Colt.  Its a wild one with the rolls leading into it and is completely out of context with the rest of the course.  I just assumed it was a hang-over from the original course.  The 5th is much more conventional and looks like Hawtree or Colt would have built it. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Revisited
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 02:08:47 AM »
Thanks Sean, as you might remember, I played WH right after we played Beau Desert.  I was disappointed.  After revisiting the course through your pictures, I'd like to see it again. 

Tommy

WH is a quite a subtle design, the exact opposite of the in your face Beau Desert. 


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Whittington Heath Retread: A Suprise Visit
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 12:29:48 PM »
There are a whole host of courses that disappointed me the first time around, but found delightful the second time.  For whatever reason, I can miss the subtle qualities especially when I am playing well. 
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Wiley Whittington Heath: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2012, 04:59:34 AM »
Take a look at the update. Whittington Heath continues to impress me despite never getting a full day's worth of good weather there!  There are signs the rough is being dealt with a bit more sensibly, but its hard to tell because we have so little rain this winter.  Some trees have definitely come down here and there, but there are still more here and there which don't make sense.

Previous stops on the Tour:

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40029.0.html  Edgbaston

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50805.0.html  Sherwood Forest

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32655.0.html  Woking

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32228.0.html  Huntercombe

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50427.0.html  Berkhamsted

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,46538.0.html  Coxmoor

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37725.0.html  Temple

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,38973.0.html  Little Aston

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30965.0.html  Beau Desert

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,33988.0.html  Notts

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50088.0.html  The Old Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50086.0.html  The New Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50078.0.html  The Castle Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30926.0.html  Kington

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37526.0.html   Harborne

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49998.0.html   Worcester G&CC


Next scheduled stop: Huntercombe


Ciao

 
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 04:14:09 PM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mark Saltzman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Wiley Whittington Heath: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2012, 11:28:31 AM »
Sean,

Thank for yet another excellent tour -- I'm just over halfway through.   Somehow, the bunkering feels unusual to me.  On so many of the courses you profile, the bunkers are minimal in number, but placed to be used with maximum effect.  In the case of WH, however, they seem more penal in nature and quite numerous.  The 2nd hole, for example, seems over-bunkered to me.  A straight-away hole with cross-bunkering and then green side bunkers predictably placed at 5 and 7 o'clock.  Perhaps a shrinking of the leftmost cross-bunker to allow a bold driver to thread the needle and leave a shorter approach with an ideal line into the green.

The 4th is a perfect classic golf hole.  Located naturally at the bottom of two small ridges -- a golf hole apparently designed by nature.

Can you explain the 6th further? What am I looking at in that first picture?

I completely understand your comments re the trees on 8, and still, without leaves and the pin in view, the temptation is there.

The hole is awfully similar to the 5th at Old Town.  Would tree removal be a positive? I'm not sure... JC Jones is, though.


8 at WH
 

5 at Old Town
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 11:31:23 AM by Mark Saltzman »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2012, 04:26:53 PM »
Mark

I am not sure I would say Old Town's 5th is similar to WH's.  OT's is almost a knob to knob tee shot while WH's plays in a bit of a vallley.  The second too at OT is far better.  All, OTs 5th beats WH's to hell and back.

I do agree with the bunkering comments.  I think the scheme has been altered a bit, maybe by Hawtree.  #2 is a good example of ineffective cross bunkering, but I like the bunkering on 3.  In short, much or the fairway bunkering squeezes play, in a few cases very tightly.  This style reminds me of Copt Heath, but to a much lesser degree. I think some greenside bunkers could be filled in for a bit of variety.
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,44836.0.html

Yes, #4 is a typically very fine Colt par 3.  It may very well be that nobody designed short holes better than him. 

The 6th is an original hole with changes to the green and fairway by Hawtree(?).  The hole turns sharply right around the old track (pictured) with a blind landing zone.   All in all, a very awkward hole. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2012, 07:47:19 PM »
Sean,

Thanks for organising our recent trip to Whittington Heath. A very enjoyable course! And while I prefer Beau Desert in the area, I'll certainly head back to WH sometime soon.

Colt's holes are certainly the pick of the bunch, though I'd love to know if the rough hollow short and right of the 1st is original or his doing? 4 is a great little par 3 with a very deceptive green from the tee, but I think 14 was my favourite hole. An excellent green site to go into with a long iron and the back drop of the timber railway sleepered wall to the next tee just behind, just added to the character.

Cheers,

James
2023 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Aberdovey, Royal St Davids, Woodhall Spa, Broadstone, Parkstone, Cleeve, Painswick, Minchinhampton, Hoylake

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 08:51:52 AM »
Whttington Heath used to be as open as Walton Heath and the fairways about as wide as the current tree line with the heather beyond that.

The bunker scheme is pretty much the same with a few added by M Hawtree.  And several originals missing that would now be in the trees.  A couple of center line bunkers missing too.

Some of the bunkers were much larger and have been broken up e.g. the front bunker on the 7th was one large diagonal trench rather than three separate.

I can't work ouit what happened to the 6th. It wasn't originally without bunkers; there was a large diagional front bunker and the green looks a different shape.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 08:56:07 AM by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2012, 05:38:58 PM »
Sean,

Thanks again for the updated photos. Here are a few pics I took…

From just short of the 1st you can see the hollow short and right of the green, well positioned to catch anyone going for the green in two who doesn’t quite nail it. I wonder if it used to be a large bunker in the early days?


Here is a view from just short of the 4th. From the tee it looked to me like its was a big false front but in fact most of the green is on a lower tier with only a smaller shelf to the rear. But there is a big drop off long and right, which is part of the rough ground that you drive over on the 2nd hole’s tee shot


It was tricky to pick the line on the 5th but the aggressive line proved the best option. I would think clearing a few trees out would help tempt more players to get closer to the green?


From a little further back in the fairway, you can seethe rough ground that needs to be carried, along with the trees, if taking on the aggressive line


The 6th tee shot is from a crowded little area shared with the 3rd green and 4th tee. The old race track that needs to be carried on your tee shot can just be made out from the tee wit the fairway itself hidden by the rising ground, before it all falls away again


A periscope is provided to see if its all clear


The 9th isn’t a great hole, but I quite liked the setting of the green, with the distinctive clubhouse visible in the distance through the trees behind the green


The 14th was probably my favourite hole. Here is a view of the approach with the hollow short right, from which an up and down is really tricky as the green is sharply right to left


And from behind


Paul,

Thanks for the additional historical information. Have you an old plan or club history book?

The greens have quite a bit of interest, and when not full of internal contours, are often quite steeply pitched from one way to another. And restoring the more open heathland feel to some extent wouldn’t be a bad thing if they could, but the club has bigger concerns at present! Here is a link to a thread from early last year discussing the HS2 high speed train line, that if completed as currently proposed will bisect the course!
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,47090.0.html

Cheers,

James
2023 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Aberdovey, Royal St Davids, Woodhall Spa, Broadstone, Parkstone, Cleeve, Painswick, Minchinhampton, Hoylake

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2012, 06:10:59 PM »
James

Yes the HS2 is bad news for the club and us Colt fans!  I guess the only saving grace is that the tracks are routed down the 9th, imagine the devastation if the proposed route was rotated 90 degrees to that...then the course would be totally lost.

I thought the rippling greens were a great appeal of the course....extensions of the fairways with some natural contours developed.

I have an old aerial but don't have the rights to post.  And actually the 9th looked more interesting with a big center line bunker.

The 14th from 2003, firm and fast:

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,47133.0.html

PS I happen to think the 2nd is a very fine example of cross bunkering (although it used to be one bigun rather than two).  The fairway just needs to be opened up to the left a bit.  The right hand greenside bunker eats into the approach much more and is more penal, so the tiger line is definitely in the slot just left of the cross bunker.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 07:51:06 PM by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2012, 09:56:56 AM »
Paul

I wonder if the second (old third) was a bogey 5 in the old days.  I can't see how the bunkers ever caused troubles for the club players most of the time.  I too think the hole orients better from the left, but the double bunkering and straight fairway corridor doesn't give any hint of this.

Thanks for the pix.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Neil White

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 11:40:22 AM »
I managed a game around Whittington Heath a couple of days ago and saw this plan of a 9 hole layout dated from 1924.



The 1st is as existing but the 2nd on the plan puts the hole outside of the perimeter of the course.  The current 2nd, 3rd on the plan seems to be the same length as now so possibly not a par 5 as thought - agreed the bunkers would be out of range back in the day (240 yards from the tee).

The current 3rd is shown as the 4th on the plan with the wonderful par 3 4th coming back into the depression as shown on the plan and completing the triangle of holes we see nowadays. The 5th doglegs around the outside of this depression, the corner of which is still visible on the inside of the dogleg and presents a sizeable hazard from the tee.

Today's 6th, 7th and 8th are as on plan (5th thru' 7th) and the 9th on plan plays as the current 18th, although as to which green is in use today I'm not sure.

The 8th on the plan is the other hole lost to revisions completed by Colt, the 2nd being the other, however the current 17th green is located in a similar position and may explain why it doesn't sit that well with the hole as it stands today as noted by Sean in his original write-up.

Below is a plan outlining the changes - white is as existing - green is new - red is NLE.



As for the course - it played really well, fairly firm with no apparent wet areas.  The greens were in excellent condition and I would imagine them being a handful in the summer given the amount of internal slope found in many of them.

What did surprise me, and not in a good way, was the lack of width in the fairways.  It was evident that there had been efforts to reduce the bracken encroachment as many areas running alongside the fairways had been cut back leading into a second cut of rough about 6 or so yards wide with a similar width of first cut.  The fairways though narrowed down to less than 10 yards in many places with little or no options as suggested by Sean around the numerous centreline bunkers found on the fairways.  The space is there for the fairways to be widened to give more playing options it's just that the club is choosing not to use it.

Neil.





« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:11:19 PM by Neil White »
Courses played 2020 - ................!

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2012, 12:22:17 PM »
Neil

Good stuff.  I think the 7th on the plan is simiilar to the current 8th but plays to the current 10th green or just short of it.  Today's 8th hole turns more left to a Colt green, by the defunct 8th tee in the original plan?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:29:06 PM by Paul_Turner »
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Paul_Turner

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Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2012, 12:26:49 PM »
I also think Colt pushed the 1st green further on, just beyond that quarry area that was used for the defunct original 2nd? i.e the current 1st green is level with the quarry carried for the current 2nd tee shot.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:28:23 PM by Paul_Turner »
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Neil White

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Re: WILEY WHITTINGTON HEATH: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2012, 01:16:06 PM »
Neil

Good stuff.  I think the 7th on the plan is simiilar to the current 8th but plays to the current 10th green or just short of it.  Today's 8th hole turns more left to a Colt green, by the defunct 8th tee in the original plan?

Quote
I also think Colt pushed the 1st green further on, just beyond that quarry area that was used for the defunct original 2nd? i.e the current 1st green is level with the quarry carried for the current 2nd tee shot.

Paul,

Agree on both counts - what do you think to the old 8th green possibly being the current 17th?
Courses played 2020 - ................!

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