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Patrick Kiser

  • Karma: +0/-0
What an awesome looking ball buster  :D

I like that bump and run option into the front slope.  Looks like it would be receptive.
“One natural hazard, however, which is more
or less of a nuisance, is water. Water hazards
absolutely prohibit the recovery shot, perhaps
the best shot in the game.” —William Flynn, golf
course architect

ed_getka

  • Karma: +0/-0
Tim,
    This is another of the excellent semi-blind driving holes at Kingsley. I have to disagree with your assessment of the difficulty of the drive though. At least 2 out of 3 tee shots I have played there (a dozen rounds or so) have been in the fairway, generally leaving the ball in 8I to PW range with a relatively level lie. I do not mess with missing right because of the thick grass, bunkers and horrible angle from over there.  As you know I am not particularly long off the tee, so I don't think the tee shot is as tough as seems to you. I think the tee shot may have gotten in your head. I know the tee shot on #7 has gotten into mine. :-[
"Perimeter-weighted fairways", The best euphemism for containment mounding I've ever heard.

Buck Wolter

  • Karma: +0/-0
This is posted in Ran's interview with Josh Smith.

Dear Santa:

Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience -- CS Lewis

Ken Fry

  • Karma: +0/-0
One of my fondest memories of Kingsley occured on the 6th.

I was playing with a group of guys from the middle tees.  They all teed off then it was my turn.  I had pulled out a fairway wood but our forecaddy stopped me.  "Bust your driver right at the green."  The opening is pretty small and it's not like the hole is a typical "driveable" par 4.  I gave it a try.

We were downwind and I hit what felt like a good shot.  It was flying in the direction of the green so I thought it might catch the hill and roll left ending about 50 yards short of the green.  I'd be happy with that.

After searching for a minute of two, caddy calls me over BEHIND the green.  There sits my ball about 40 yards over the green.  That's a shot and a result I would have never expected.

So what did I make?  Curled in a knee knocking five footer for PAR.  I love this place.

Ken

Joe Hancock

  • Karma: +0/-0
From behind the green, looking back. I always liked the bunker facing the "apparent" wrong way....

(Trixie is walking up the approach to the green)


" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

Brian Joines

  • Karma: +0/-0
I have to agree that the tee shot was LESS intimidating the second time around. Cutting it back in the hill is the safest play here. The first time around I played a draw up towards the right middle of the landing area and ended up in a bunker on the left.

Scariest pin placement: Back left.  (I'll see if I have a good picture of this pin placement to illustrate just how scary it can be.)

ed_getka

  • Karma: +0/-0
Brian,
   Good call on that nasty little shelf in the back left. There are no short chips to recover from missing that shelf.
"Perimeter-weighted fairways", The best euphemism for containment mounding I've ever heard.

Nick_Christopher

  • Karma: +0/-0
The middle tee (current blue tee) is a relatively recent addition to the course.  As metnioned, the blue tee used to be in front of the large bowl behind the first green.  It is a completely different feel from up there and does not make it any less of a hole. 

I suspect that originally Mike intended it to be a risk/reward hole, where if you wanted to smoke one down the middle you would have a pitch back to the green or maybe a 2 putt left for birdie. 

I would encourage anyone visiting to try the front tee as well.  It may sound short, but I can guarantee that nobody will come away thinking that the sixth is too easy!

Nick

ed_getka

  • Karma: +0/-0
One other feature of this hole that I like is there is some sort of optical illusion (at least for me) that more often than not causes me to be fooled and come up short with my approach. It is particularly perplexing because I usually have a fairly short iron in hand.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 08:38:29 PM by ed_getka »
"Perimeter-weighted fairways", The best euphemism for containment mounding I've ever heard.

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
The tee shot on this hole was really difficult for me to commit to.  I was not able to start the ball far enough right and ended up looking for a ball in the left rough both times.  That's not a good angle to approach from and the lies weren't real friendly either.  For me I think this hole would take a LONG time to figure out.  Another great match play hole.

Joe,
Great observation on the bunker viewed from behind the green.  I remember noticing that but I had forgotten about it.

Michael Wharton-Palmer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Wonderful short par 4.
Certainly plays shorter than its yardage, the tee shot is visually intimidating but actually has plenty of room.
It is the second shot and beyond that makes this hole so great.
If you are on the left side of the fairway you have the best approach, from the right side...ouch!! very difficult to hold the green.
The undulations on the greens are wonderful, and perfectly appropriate for a hole of this length.
If it is  back pin attcck at your peril...and you had better have alot of spin on the ball...it is a tough shot from the back of the green back up to the pin.

This is one of those hole sthat you can spend hours chipping around the green for fun, so mnay shots to try and so little time!

Mike_Cirba

Coming in late with a pic of 5, and also one of 6

Great discussion..


Tim Bert

  • Karma: +0/-0
#7 is a par 5
569 from the gold tee
512 from the blue tee

We haven't had any partially blind or somewhat confusing tee shots on the front nine yet, have we?  Chalk up one more, and then repeat exercise on #8.

This is a wild hole, starting with the view on the tee.  Visually, the hole appears to be even longer than it really is thanks to the way that #8 fairway appears to be part of the playing surface unless you really focus.  The hole winds back and forth, both left and right as well as up and down, on its way from the tee to the green.

For my game, this is nothing but a pure 3-shotter and each shot should be played with anticipation for the next.  I suppose this could be a 2-shotter for the big hitters, but I'll let them chime in because I'm not even sure where you'd position your tee shot to have a good go at the green in two.

For me, the play was left off the tee and then right with the second shot.  I didn't want to hang my drive out to the right in the scrubby rough and from the back tees didn't feel like going a little left would cut me off.  In the afternoon round, when we played the blue tees, you had to watch going left a little closer as you could definitely bunch yourself behind some trees cutting off your angle of attack for the second shot. 

The first time you walk down to the landing area in the fairway, this hole gets even more confusing.  The second shot is likely blind, and both distance and left/right are important.  Hit it too far and you might end up down in the valley with yet another blind shot up to the green.  Lay back just enough and you should have a wedge or short iron in hand with a nice view of the putting surface.

The front left of the green is a bowl, and this is the pin we faced.  As long as your distance control is good on the approach, the ball should funnel in to this position.  Hit it long and you are faced with a nasty downhill putt.  Leave it just a little short and left and the bunker is your reward.  Miss short and right and you will likely tumble back further short and right.  There are additional bunkers guarding the right and rear of the green.

I walked off this hole feeling like it might be one of the more criticized holes on the front nine, but I rather enjoyed it.  It's a par 5 that may result in three consecutive blind shots, which is a bit quirky, but there is enough room for error out there that I think it works, especially for repeated play.

Another adventurous tee shot on the front nine


A view from a slightly more forward tee


A look at the fairway (sort of) walking off the tee.  Here you can also really see the 8th hole and the visual deception.  The 7th green is on the far right of this photo.  Everything toward the top left of the picture is part of the 8th.


A view from the fairway near the landing area


The approach from the left side


Approaching from the middle - a couple more peaks and valleys to go before the green


One more view from the fairway, only one valley left


A view of the bunker guarding the front of the green


A ground level view of the green from the front - you can really see the contour that divides the front bowl from the back here


Another shot of the green


Looking back on the hole from behind the green


A view of the green from up on the 8th tee


A view of the 7th green (with the 8th fairway and green behind) taken from the 6th



Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Tim

Thanks for the series.  I have been checking in often and all it has done is to confuse me more.  Kingsley looks the sort of place one has to see to understand.  I don't know if this is accurate or not, but it seems that thus far, many of the holes seem to have very wild fairways that mellow a tad around the green area.  If this is true, do you think this helps with the playability issue (the course does seem as if its riding a knife edge of playability much of the time)?

In any case, Kingsley has moved into my Next Dozen.

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

Andy Troeger

Tim

I don't know if this is accurate or not, but it seems that thus far, many of the holes seem to have very wild fairways that mellow a tad around the green area. 
Ciao

Sean,
The holes don't mellow much anywhere and certainly not near the greens--the course as a whole is very a wild ride. That's the one criticism I've heard, usually from people not on GCA. Its not a ball-eating course, but there are some slopes that carry shots well away from the greens if you hit it in the wrong place. Find enough of them, and I imagine it gets frustrating.

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
The spirit surely has an adventure on this GC. Those that criticize any course for their failings to adeptly play it, aren't the sort of golfer whose opinion should be heeded.
 Overcoming adversity is what gets the spirit's juices flowing.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Andy Troeger

Adam,
So anybody who complains about playability should be discounted?  I disagree with the folks I mentioned on this golf course, but I disagree with your premise as well. They find the course too severe. Considering the one fellow has been all around the world and arguably knows more about architecture than I do (maybe not saying much), I for one an entitled to give him the right to his opinion even if I disagree with it.

FWIW, his point was not that slopes carry balls away from greens, its that its overused and overly severe (balls going 30-40 yards or more) away from greens. I enjoy the features myself, but there are many severe slopes--#2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 13, 17 just off the top of my head.

Brian_Sleeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
The first time I stood on the 7th tee it was beginning to get dark, and the hill on the right looked like it could be cut off with a good tee shot.  It seemed to be the play at the time as it looked like the pines to the left were very close and nothing but trouble.  Needless to say I did *not* make it over...

I've probably played this hole a dozen times and have hit a fairway wood off the tee at least half the time.  I'm convinced that's the safest play off the tee as it takes care of that giant hillside and the trees on the left (for the most part).  I've had a couple cracks at this green in two when I have hit a little cut driver up the center, but it's a risky play and the payoff isn't that great.  The second shot has to be on a laser right at the green, and if it's not, as has been mentioned, trouble awaits.  Short leaves you most likely plugged in one of the fronting bunkers, and both left and right leave very difficult up-and-downs.  If you *can* hit it straight and long, the green's back to front tilt gives you a good chance of stopping it.  So I suppose it's possible, and I know I'll try it again if I'm given the chance - it's just too damn fun not to try.

With all the tumbles and rolls in this fairway and all the decisions to be made, it's one of my favorite par fives, and certainly one of the most unique I've ever played.  The third shot is almost always played from some kind of slope, and that crazy green requires some excellent touch.  Tons of fun and another example of the blast that is a round at Kingsley.

Michael Wharton-Palmer

  • Karma: +0/-0
I believe the severity of the slopes are what protects the golf course...much like those at St Andrews.
The Old Course without its green and fairway contours would be nothing more than ho hum....Kingsley is the contour and what Devries ws ablt to do with them
As such he created a countoured masterpiece that draws upon all of the golfers resolve and talents.
The clver part is to make the course playable for all levels, whilst allowing the better player show hi supririty...thsi I believe was achieved.
Certainlt certain holes are more playable for the skilled player, but that is surely the definition of what a golf course should be like.
Almost every hole gives the player options...#2,#9 being the only clear exceptions in my memory.
Those are the only two that require total carry..everything else can be played along the ground, and even those two are shortish par 3's.


Anyway to #7:
Wonderful startegic par 5.
Typical of Devries' desire to give the player options on how to play the hole.
Reachable in two for the long hitter, but quite a penalty for missing on the wrong side of the green.

The green is exceedingly tricky and getting the ball close with your approach shot quite a challenge.
When the pin is short left..ouch...almost impossible.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
The spirit surely has an adventure on this GC. Those that criticize any course for their failings to adeptly play it, aren't the sort of golfer whose opinion should be heeded.
 Overcoming adversity is what gets the spirit's juices flowing.

Adam

What a load of rubbish.  Overcoming adversity has nothing to do with the matter.  Nearly every golfer out there overcomes adversity (which is a bit of a heavy way to describe it - golf is afterall only a game) just by finding his ball and hitting it.  One of the best measures of great design is walking that fine line between rambunctious and ott.  Most everybody has their own definition of what ott is, but to ignore those whose opinions don't measure up to your philosophy hints of arrogance. 

Ciao

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

Michael Wharton-Palmer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sean..
A little harsh there aren't we..
I believe overcoming adversity is an integral part of the game, and if you fail to agree, perhaps that is becuase you have not played at a level where that is the case....not a judgemnet just a statement...
I will go along with " it is only a game" to a certain extent...but to those who compete on a regular basis it does indeed go beyond that.
A well designed golf course in my opinion is one that can test all players of all levels and that would include throwing in some shots that will create differing levels of adversity/difficulty that have to be overcome in order to play to ones desired level.
I think that is all Adam was trying to say.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sean..
A little harsh there aren't we..
I believe overcoming adversity is an integral part of the game, and if you fail to agree, perhaps that is becuase you have not played at a level where that is the case....not a judgemnet just a statement...
I will go along with " it is only a game" to a certain extent...but to those who compete on a regular basis it does indeed go beyond that.
A well designed golf course in my opinion is one that can test all players of all levels and that would include throwing in some shots that will create differing levels of adversity/difficulty that have to be overcome in order to play to ones desired level.
I think that is all Adam was trying to say.

Michael & Adam

It wasn't my intention to be harsh, its just the finality of the way Adam stated his claim that struck me.  Adam, I apologize. 

Yes, I too think meeting (or at least attempting to) the challenge is a key reason why the game is so appealing.  But to say that no course should be criticized as ott because a player can't get the ball around is terribly short sighted.  Is there a more apt reason to criticize a course?  Sure, all of the reasons folks criticize are down to opinion and that is the point entirely.  Of course there must be balance between challenge and fun and there is nothing easier to do than to create a course which is too challenging or not challenging enough.  The very best of the great courses strike a  balance.   

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

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Kingsley is indeed a wild ride and photos can only do so much to explain the course.  I believe it would only get better the more you are able to play it.  More play would help you better understand the places to hit and get an advantage or to play safer.  I'm not a good player, but did not find Kingsley overly difficult.  It's definitely a place you would want an experienced "guide" along with you. 

The 7th is yet another good example of a Kingsley hole with visual deception off the tee.  As Brian mentioned, the pines look very close from the tee.  Here's a photo from just before you start down the hill to the fairway.  It gives a little better sense of the width available for your tee shot.  You can see some more fairway showing through the gaps in the trees left. 


And here we are looking back up towards the tee. 


This photo from the right rough shows the landing area for the second shot.  You can see there is more room than perceived from the other photos.


A wild, quirky hole with another cool green. 

Tim Bert

  • Karma: +0/-0
Tim

Thanks for the series.  I have been checking in often and all it has done is to confuse me more.  Kingsley looks the sort of place one has to see to understand.  I don't know if this is accurate or not, but it seems that thus far, many of the holes seem to have very wild fairways that mellow a tad around the green area.  If this is true, do you think this helps with the playability issue (the course does seem as if its riding a knife edge of playability much of the time)?

In any case, Kingsley has moved into my Next Dozen.

Ciao

I would agree with the comments that the greens are as wild as the rest of the course (just on a smaller scale in terms of elevation changes!)

I honsetly don't think the course rides on the edge of playability, particularly if you choose the right tee.  For every one of these holes where there is a semi-blind tee shot with a carry, there is a more appropriate tee if you aren't comfortable taking on the full challenge.

For the record, we played two rounds - one mostly from the tips and one mostly from the blues (thought we did switch up here or there.)  I played all 36 holes with 1 ball, and I'm not a straight and narrow kind of hitter.  I'm usually all over the place.  I shot 91 from the tips and 89 from the blues.  I was a 10-12 handicap at the time.  A little higher than my index on an adjusted basis (but only by a couple of strokes due to the slope and rating) and it was the first time I had ever seen the course.  I think on a good ball-striking day, I could make a run at a lower 80s number, though it would require constant focus and attention on each shot.

This course was fun, fun, fun throughout.  And I'm one that doesn't relish in overly difficult courses.  I don't have fun when I'm getting beat up constantly.  Kinsgley didn't do that, and if it did I had the option to move up a set of tees. 

Overall, I thought the course teetered the line of playability less than the nearby world class offering and Doak 10 that is often discussed here. 

Jon Heise

  • Karma: +0/-0
7 is one of the best holes out there.  So many ways to play it and so many ways it can bite you in the butt.  A well placed, controlled driver, 7 iron, wedge set me up for a couple (relatively!) easy 2-putts.  My buddy went driver, 3/4 iron both times and wound up with bogeys.  Up, down, left, right, the hole has it all.  Mix that with the visual of the 8th hole, those trees on the left, and even more scary: the gunk on the right.

6 thru 8, what a great stretch of holes...
I still like Greywalls better.

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