News:

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


Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
CAVENDISH GC: A Dr Mac Delight
« on: August 25, 2009, 05:34:34 AM »
Few courses have been born with the advantages of Cavendish GC.  Not only did the 9th Duke of Devonshire provide the land, he also paid for the construction of the course and the clubhouse!  Furthermore, when the Duke terminated the lease for the Burbage Ladies GC, a pack of members became newly available to sign on to the new club. Finally, for many years the Duke’s estate subsidized the club until 1954 when the members purchased the club and adjacent farm for the criminally low price of £5000! Such largesse is to be roundly applauded.

The singular purpose of Cavendish's design is outstanding.  The routing of the course is masterful with several clever changes of tempo and a flow which capitalizes on the terrain.  It is surprising very few birdie opportunities exist when we consider the yardage from the back tees is just over 5700 yards.  Most courses of this length would often be considered easy, but Cavendish has seven holes over 400 yards in length.  Depending on wind conditions, all could take driver/wood to reach and a few will always require some wood play through the green. Mixed in with these longer holes are a handful of short par 4s, a few of which are reachable. Additionally, where Dr Mac makes up a ton of ground in creating a course which plays longer than 5700, is with the five par 3s, three of which are very short drop-shotters.  I am personally not terribly keen on this sort of hole and playing three of them is certainly less than ideal, but in addition to the outstanding 13th which is decidedly an uphill one-shotter, they are critical transition holes which allowed Dr Mac to tackle some of the more challenging terrain without creating any uphill slog holes. I was especially impressed how Dr Mac got the most out of some of the prominent and not so prominent features.  Three examples are:

1. Use of the stone wall on #14 creating a wonderful hole out of dead flat land.

2. The use of old railway embankment to house tees for #s 6 and 15 and create backdrops for #s 5 and 14 greens.

3. The River Wye is used for holes 10-12, #10 being one of the best holes on the course.

The course rests in a valley and as such there is some up and down.  However, as mentioned above, Dr Mac cleverly avoided any arduous climbs, but Cavendish is a workout none the less.  In addition to the terrain being wild and wooley at times, because of its position in the Peak District, the course receives a lot of rain and therefore the soil is heavy, moorland-like. That said, Cavendish could not be allowed to get too firm or some of the shots would be akin to playing pinball!

Map of the course.


The first three holes, 16 & 18 occupy most of the the roller coaster land - 1st green.


The 2nd turns back on the opening hole and climbs steadily uphill.  Long drives offer a view of the tricky approach.  #3 is a very good reachable par 4.  The prominent centre-line bunkers are set well short of the green leaving an opening from the right.  While the bunkers catch our eye, the real defence of this hole is its downhill nature carrying through the green.  I note the club pushed the first cut of rough out on the right some 25 yards!  This change may well result in tee shots being too far right for a decent angle of approach.


The fairway/light rough has recently been widened.  The effect is to make these bunkers much more meaningful.  Interestingly, the course map shows the bunkering hard on the green which would dramatically alter how the hole plays.  The photo demonstrates how a drive can be worked wide right.


The first of three drop shot par 3s, the fourth recently had its strip bunker down the right removed.  This bunker was not original as Dr Mac had two bunkers higher up the hill.  After a four hole start which incredibly covers just over 1000 yards from the daily tees, the golfer is faced with one of the hardest holes on the course.  This uphill 411 yarder plays closer to 450 yards.  Due to a recent clearing, the hazard up the right can now be seen from the tee.  The long approach to a raised green is similar to #14.  Both of these greens are cleverly tied into the backing embankment.




Heading toward Horseshoe Plantation (a large wood in the middle of the course), the 6th features (rather pathetically) one of the few fairway bunkers on the course.  It would seem that for the most part, Dr Mac's fairway bunker scheme is nowhere near intact.  The green has two trees guarding either side. I know at least the concept of the tree on the left was original.  Like the 2nd, the 6th green really comes alive in firmish conditions because despite appearances, the surface flows away from the fairway.

The seventh cuts the woodland in two with a reachable green, though it requires a very long and shaped drive to do so. The hole is rather awkward looking from the tee and creates doubt as to how far the carry is over the creek which loops around the fairway. The ideal layup point is some 200 yards off  the tee.  The 8th is one of my favourite holes due to a red herring.  The tee shot is obscured and suggests a strong fade is the play.  However, staying left leaves the best angle of approach even if it is a bit more dangerous on that side. Many greens at Cavendish offer Sunday hole locations tucked away behind bunkers.  The far right bunker looks out of sorts, but the green swings all the way round to this corner.




The 9th is a bit of a let down because there are two other downhill short holes.  The fronting bunker used to be hard against the green and look far more menacing.  While the Raynor style flat bottom bunker is a more difficult hazard because of the steep face of the green pad, on a 130 yard drop shot par 3 with a pronounced tier I think the old bunker was visually much more effective.  All that said, the green is of great interest!

While the front nine is solid golf with a few stand-out holes, the back nine is of a higher standard starting with the tenth.  The player can take on the River Wye which plays diagonally across the fairway or play to the right, but not too far as oob lurks.  If one plays to the right the chances of reaching the green are greatly reduced.  One could also choose to lay-up, an option which takes oob out of the picture.


It isn't quite clear where the green starts and the fairway ends.  The forward bunkers help to obscure the approach even the though player knows they are somewhere short of the green.  The net effect is the player is more likely to take an extra club to avoid the trouble.


Like a few holes, the drive at #11 is obscured; enough so to mask the danger of hitting a driver.  The approach crosses the River Wye again.  Recent vegetation clearance along the river bank now allows for more choice of angles for the approach.


The 12th comes back on the 11th and is one of the least engaging holes on the course.  Though it does have an interesting trio of raised cross bunkers cutting in from the right which block a clear view of the green.  These can cause trouble if the flag is up front.  Why?  The green is heinously difficult to two putt from the rear! 

#13 is an outstanding one-shotter which works around low ground shy of the green.  What the player can't see very well from the tee is the relationship of the lone bunker to the green.  There is just enough space to play between sand and green and hope for a bit of a kick left.  The full frontal assault is a possibility made that much more enticing with the front bunker no longer in place.  At one time there was a rear bunker, which may have guarded against the play over the green hoping for kick back. 


It is often the case that I welcome flat holes mixed in with the more up and down golf.  The difficulty with designing on flatter terrain near more rollicking land is that many golfers switch off and think of them as weak or breathers.  A course such as Pyle and Kenfig is a case in point. There are a handful of very good holes on the relatively flat front side, yet many label them forgettable when compared to the back nine.  The same might be said of Cavendish's 14th.  From the tee the golfer is presented with a totally flat landscape bending around a stone wall - not terribly enticing.  Upon walking 150 yards up the fairway the hole starts to reveal itself.  The wall carries on left the full length of the hole and acts as a guide as to how far or near one wants to be from oob. 


It is quite clear the hole is reachable if the player challenges the wall off the tee and for the second, but it may not be the sensible play.  The small two tier green (nearly all of the greens on the course are smallish) is perched into the base of a ridge with bunkers protecting the flanks.  The ridge somewhat disguises the fact that Dr Mac raised this green from a completely flat fairway.  Dr Mac had two bunkers in that ridge for aesthetic effect, but also aided in guiding the approach.  This may not be the best hole on the course, but it is a wonderful concept that demonstrates how pre-existing features can be used to full impact.


We now climb the ridge (an old railroad embankment) for the second time.  The stellar 15th has a hint of the Eden about it.  The pitch of the green pushes balls back down the hill toward the front bunkers.  Any approach landing halfway up the slope of the green will do well to stay on the dance floor. 




The cracking run of holes continues on the 16th, which is more reminiscent of #s 1-3.  The severely downhill approach is a bit obscured unless one hits a very good drive.  Although, the elevation drop into the green is a bit too severe if conditions get anything close to firm.  There is a hump short left of the green which can be cruel or fruitful.




The only flatish par 3 on the course is a good one yet the elevation change uphill must be about a club despite appearances. Dr Mac once again uses fore bunkers to deceive and help suggest how a ground shot could be shaped.  It is unclear if the left rear bunker is protecting this green or the 6th until we approach the green.  The stunning finisher bends very hard right across a true elephant's graveyard. Perhaps 180 or so yards short of the green is a large dip; one wants to be either short or long, but never spot on in it.  At about 430 yards the 18th is quite a challenge especially when one considers the wonky lies. The green is meant for an aerial approach and probably played more like a par 5 when the course was built in 1925.


It is plainly obvious I think Cavendish is a remarkable course.  While some of the details such as lack of fairway bunkers,  narrowing of fairways and green area reduction have compromised part of Dr Mac's original vision, the single biggest issue with Cavendish is its conditioning.  The course usually plays a bit wet.  Be that as it may, with at least nine excellent holes, three (#s 10, 13 & 15) of which are All England candidates, Cavendish is indeed special.  Whereas many modern architects would have made Cavendish a longer, more testing course and likely a much tougher walk, Dr Mac kept the yardage very low, yet used the land brilliantly to make the course seem much harder than the scorecard would indicate.  The casual visitor is most welcome and can play this Dr Mac gem for a very reasonable green fee.  Can golf get any better than this for the price?  Does golf need to be any better than this at any price? Without reservation, Cavendish merits a 1* in my book.   2021

See Cavendish GC: A Trip Through Time
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,67384.0.html

Ciao
« Last Edit: April 13, 2022, 01:03:11 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2009, 04:47:37 AM »
Great pics Sean, I actually had a secret visit there back in April! It was the most enjoyable time I have had on a golf course this year! I actually started 3,5,3,2!! The greens are unbelievable and worth studying. I actually played 3 balls with 3 different clubs to the 15th to try and work out the best place to pitch the ball to get it close to the flag!! The 3rd ball was the closest of course!

The club recently put in a new drainage ditch on 7th which I think has ruined the hole a bit.

Mr Boon should bump this thread up as he is a Derby boy and Cavendish is in his territory and 1 of his favourites!

Ben

Neil_Crafter

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2009, 05:24:59 AM »
Sean
Excellent tour! As per usual.
Just thought I'd add two early plans of the course, the first of which is Mackenzie's own plan for the course, followed by what is the "as built" plan of the course after construction by the British Golf Course Construction Co, so it's kind of interesting to compare the two.

The other interesting fact is that Cavendish, built by Mackenzie for the Duke of Devonshire, is probably the best documented of any of Mackenzie's courses, as the archives of the estate hold a wealth of material including plans, invoices and letters from Mackenzie to the estate managers. A new cache has recently been unearthed in the archives by Richard Atherton of Cavendish GC and the Alister Mackenzie Society.
Neil





Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2009, 06:11:45 AM »
Sean
Excellent tour! As per usual.
Just thought I'd add two early plans of the course, the first of which is Mackenzie's own plan for the course, followed by what is the "as built" plan of the course after construction by the British Golf Course Construction Co, so it's kind of interesting to compare the two.

The other interesting fact is that Cavendish, built by Mackenzie for the Duke of Devonshire, is probably the best documented of any of Mackenzie's courses, as the archives of the estate hold a wealth of material including plans, invoices and letters from Mackenzie to the estate managers. A new cache has recently been unearthed in the archives by Richard Atherton of Cavendish GC and the Alister Mackenzie Society.
Neil

Neil

Thank you very much for the maps.  I must say the bunker schemes are wildly different from each other and from how the course looks today.  I am not sure a single fairway bunker from those maps survives. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 05:35:02 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

Emil Weber

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2009, 06:25:01 AM »
Thanks very much, Sean, another truly great photo tour. I had never heard of Cavendish before, but I really like what I see in those pics. WOW

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 09:04:30 AM »
Well, I knew it would happen! Sean Arble beat me to putting up photos of the gorgeous little Cavendish! I knew I should have got up there this summer...

But seriously Sean, great to see Cavendish on here (I think Tommy W put some photos up a couple of years ago?)

And thanks to Neil for the plans. Not sure everyone will have noticed but MacKenzie did design it to originally be 2 loops of 9 holes, and I thought it may have played like that for a while, but it looks from the as built plan that it never was? Another interesting point from the plan is that MacKenzie designed the first 3 holes to all be much longer but then it looks like they didnt develop beyond one of the stone walls (marked by the dashed red line on the attachement below) and the 4th green was originally on the other side of the stream at the bottom of the gully?

Here is a link from the website to some old photos of the course:
http://www.cavendishgolfclub.com/oldcavphotos/

Bit busy at work so I'll have to keep this brief but thanks again Sean,

Cheers,

James


2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"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: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2009, 09:41:55 AM »
Well, I knew it would happen! Sean Arble beat me to putting up photos of the gorgeous little Cavendish! I knew I should have got up there this summer...

But seriously Sean, great to see Cavendish on here (I think Tommy W put some photos up a couple of years ago?)

And thanks to Neil for the plans. Not sure everyone will have noticed but MacKenzie did design it to originally be 2 loops of 9 holes, and I thought it may have played like that for a while, but it looks from the as built plan that it never was? Another interesting point from the plan is that MacKenzie designed the first 3 holes to all be much longer but then it looks like they didnt develop beyond one of the stone walls (marked by the dashed red line on the attachement below) and the 4th green was originally on the other side of the stream at the bottom of the gully?

Here is a link from the website to some old photos of the course:
http://www.cavendishgolfclub.com/oldcavphotos/

Bit busy at work so I'll have to keep this brief but thanks again Sean,

Cheers,

James


James

I noticed the stone wall was in front of 1 and 3 greens on the '23 map because of the odd angle for the 4th which seems to have been located in what would likely have been a bowl like green. However, it doesn't look as though the routing for 5 or 16 are different from now. 

Ciao 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 08:09:32 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

Neil_Crafter

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2009, 03:41:52 PM »
Sean
The two plans were indeed done by different people. The first plan is clearly in Mackenzie's hand, while the second, was most likely drawn by a surveyor I think. I have the club's history book and will take a look in there and see why the course was modified to what it is today.
Neil

Michael Blake

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2009, 03:45:43 PM »
Oops.  I though this was a thread on bicycle sprinting young gun phenom Mark Cavendish.  Too bad.

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2009, 06:24:07 PM »
Thanks again Sean for the photos and Neil for the maps.

Looking through your photos Sean is the first time I’ve seen the course for a couple of years so a nice refresher.

The 2nd is a very narrow green, with a very severe left to right slope, with a stone wall hard behind and OOB behind that. Just to ease you into the round…

The 3rd is a great driveable par 4, but being a drop shot, if you have a lash its very easy to be very wild from the fairway or green. However, its short enough that even  modest hitter stands a chance.

I’ve always loved the ridge that acts as a backdrop for the 5th and 14th greens. The 5th is over more meadow like ground but I think it’s a great par 4.

Your photo of the 7th with a stream running across the fairway threw me for a minute. Unless I’m cracking up that’s a fairly new feature, and it certainly doesn’t show on either of Neil’s plans. Looked at the Google aerial and there appears to be a shallow ditch running across the fairway which was cut as fairway. I assume that’s where the ditch is now?

The 9th green was recently rebuilt by Steven Marnoch, though it had apparently been rebuilt in the 60s? (I think when he was still at Gaunt & Marnoch)
http://www.golfmarnoch.com/golf-course-country-cavendish.html
Could be a great little hole but just doesn’t work for me?

Now to the tenth hole. This has always been a favourite of mine, now as some of you on here would say “Callng Tom Doak”. I believe this is a favourite hole of his as he lists it as the 10th hole in his 18 best MacKenzie holes, in his Confidential Guide. He also gives the hole a short paragraph and a nice picture in the “Life and Works…” he co-authored.

I agree Sean that 12 is probably one of the lesser holes, but I’m sure its still a pretty fun green. 13 is a great uphill par 3, which when I was younger and just getting interested in golf architecture I always assumed to be a bit Redan like, and though it is clearly missing some of the key features, a drawn approach taking on the little bunker short right can run all the way to a back left hole position, when a high shot would struggle to hold the green. And 14 is a great par 5. It may be quite flat which makes it out of character with a lot of Derbyshire golf, but the dry stone wall is very much of the area! I have to admit I don’t recall 15 being that much of a drop shot, but what a green!

Lastly, the 18th with its rumpled fairway, certainly leaves some interesting stances if you happen to have a long club in your hands.

Growing up in Derbyshire, Cavendish always had a reputation of small, and very fast, slick greens. There were many stories of people putting off the 14th green that is raised up and having a 50 yard pitch back, though I don’t think they are so fast these days?

In “the life and works…” Tom Doak mentions that this is one of MacKenzies more polished courses from that period of his work, so, what are you all waiting for?

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"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: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2009, 07:28:52 PM »
Thanks again Sean for the photos and Neil for the maps.

Looking through your photos Sean is the first time I’ve seen the course for a couple of years so a nice refresher.

The 2nd is a very narrow green, with a very severe left to right slope, with a stone wall hard behind and OOB behind that. Just to ease you into the round…

The 3rd is a great driveable par 4, but being a drop shot, if you have a lash its very easy to be very wild from the fairway or green. However, its short enough that even  modest hitter stands a chance.

I’ve always loved the ridge that acts as a backdrop for the 5th and 14th greens. The 5th is over more meadow like ground but I think it’s a great par 4.

Your photo of the 7th with a stream running across the fairway threw me for a minute. Unless I’m cracking up that’s a fairly new feature, and it certainly doesn’t show on either of Neil’s plans. Looked at the Google aerial and there appears to be a shallow ditch running across the fairway which was cut as fairway. I assume that’s where the ditch is now?

The 9th green was recently rebuilt by Steven Marnoch, though it had apparently been rebuilt in the 60s? (I think when he was still at Gaunt & Marnoch)
http://www.golfmarnoch.com/golf-course-country-cavendish.html
Could be a great little hole but just doesn’t work for me?

Now to the tenth hole. This has always been a favourite of mine, now as some of you on here would say “Callng Tom Doak”. I believe this is a favourite hole of his as he lists it as the 10th hole in his 18 best MacKenzie holes, in his Confidential Guide. He also gives the hole a short paragraph and a nice picture in the “Life and Works…” he co-authored.

I agree Sean that 12 is probably one of the lesser holes, but I’m sure its still a pretty fun green. 13 is a great uphill par 3, which when I was younger and just getting interested in golf architecture I always assumed to be a bit Redan like, and though it is clearly missing some of the key features, a drawn approach taking on the little bunker short right can run all the way to a back left hole position, when a high shot would struggle to hold the green. And 14 is a great par 5. It may be quite flat which makes it out of character with a lot of Derbyshire golf, but the dry stone wall is very much of the area! I have to admit I don’t recall 15 being that much of a drop shot, but what a green!

Lastly, the 18th with its rumpled fairway, certainly leaves some interesting stances if you happen to have a long club in your hands.

Growing up in Derbyshire, Cavendish always had a reputation of small, and very fast, slick greens. There were many stories of people putting off the 14th green that is raised up and having a 50 yard pitch back, though I don’t think they are so fast these days?

In “the life and works…” Tom Doak mentions that this is one of MacKenzies more polished courses from that period of his work, so, what are you all waiting for?

Cheers,

James


James

The 9th green doesn't appear to be anything like the work up done for the restoration.  Do you know what happened?

Your comments prompted me to get out Doak's Life and Times.  He states that hugging the left on the 10th is the best play (if one can pull it off) because then the carry over the mini cliff face is shorter.  I reckon its best to be in the middle of the fairway with an up the gut approach which doesn't need to cover the left or right bunkers.  BTW, there is so much rough on the left of the carry plateau in the landing zone that it doesn't really pay to cut the corner.  I found out to my detriment after what I thought was a superb drive to the 150 marker.  Heavy sigh. What are your thoughts?

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 06:44:21 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2009, 06:53:33 PM »
Sean,

I was suprised to see how lush sme of the photos looked and some of the thickish rough. Last time I played 10 it certainly was the case that the tighter you are with the drive the better. I played conservative and had about a 5 iron in while my brother took on as much as he could and only had a sandwedge to the green. I'm sure the fairway must have been wider.

I also noticed the rough short and left of the 3rd, when I remeber that being cut to fairway length? Maybe someone is trying to toghen things up? Perhaps they are getting worried that the length of the course is a problem when they should leave it as it is...

Sorry, not sure what happened to the 9th, but I remeber liking the previous version better?

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

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

Andrew Mitchell

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2009, 01:29:17 PM »
Excellent pics as usual Sean. Thanks for posting.

I've been meaning to get down to Cavendish for some time now but events keep conspiring against me.  I actually entered a open day recently but had to pull out due to work commitments.

Your photo tour will make me try harder!
2014 to date: not actually played anywhere yet!
Still to come: Hollins Hall; Ripon City; Shipley; Perranporth; St Enodoc

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2009, 06:02:29 PM »
Sean, I played Cavendish a few years ago with Mark Rowlinson.  I was a delight.  Here is alink to some pictures I posted of the course.

http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,34493.0/
Tom Williamsen
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2009, 06:05:17 PM »
Sean, I played Cavendish a few years ago with Mark Rowlinson.  I was a delight.  Here is alink to some pictures I posted of the course.

http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,34493.0/

Tommy

Thanks for the link.  Its good to see the course in the sun.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2010, 05:17:45 PM »
I played at Cavendish last Thursday with the architect Jonathan Gaunt, who is a member there. Six greens were out of play, as the club is doing drainage work on them (six others were done at this time last year), but it was still a great pleasure. Just a few comments to add to the remarks made in this and other threads on the course:

* The ridge behind the fifth and fourteenth greens is actually a railway embankment. Apparently, before the course was built, the Duke of Devonshire had been planning to build a railway into Buxton from that side. You can see, if you stand on the embankment, the cutting through the moors that had also been started. The way the fourteenth green is banked into the ridge is very, very clever. Not only does it means that the green, which would otherwise stand terribly proud of the flat fairway, is less jarring, that's also quite clearly where MacKenzie got the fill to build it - a lot of fill for 1925! I love the use of the dry stone wall - you need to hug the inside to maximise your chances of getting home in two.

* 9 green was indeed rebuilt by Steve Marnoch, Jonathan's former business partner. It's the only USGA green on the course. I like the contours of the green, but I agree with others that the front bunker looks out of place. It could use a higher sandline. Or one might question whether it needs to be there at all?

* MacKenzie's original plan (on display in the clubhouse) calls for the third green to be built in the field behind where it actually is, which would, I guess, have added forty or fifty yards to the hole. But for some reason, the club was unable to use that field. I think the second tee was in the field too.

* I wasn't as taken with the tenth as some others. Partly this was just not liking that part of the property as much as the rest - more meadow, less moor, and coarser turf, but also I felt the long driver was unduly rewarded.

* It's a case study in routing - using par threes to get across the severe ground, getting an amazing amount of challenge from 5700 yards and making a fairly steep property into a very comfortable walk.

* 15 green is wonderful, but it'd be terrifying in summer with a dry, fast green.

* and the 18th hole is superb, among the best finishers I've come across.

Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Jim Eder

Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2010, 05:22:57 PM »
Thank you very much for the wonderful pics and the great deal of additional information about the course. I did not know this course before today and now will be adding this course on my next visit.  Thank you for opening my eyes to what looks like an absolute gem!!!

Neil_Crafter

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2010, 05:26:01 PM »
Adam
Well said. Did not know about the railway embankment but it makes sense. Shame you had 6 greens out of play.
Really enjoyed my visit there in April and I got to play with the aforesaid Jonathon Gaunt as my partner and his chip-ins proved very handy!

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2010, 03:38:42 AM »
Adam,

I never knew about the proposed railway embankment that became the embankment for the 5gr/6t and 14gr/15t so thank you for that. I'll have a closer look next time I get up there.

And yes, the 15 green is terrifying in the summer when its playing very fast!

I was planning to be there recently with a few fellow GCAers, but when we found out that 6 greens were out of action we decided to postpone till the spring. Perhaps we could turn that into a mini get together as this delightful course always seems to peak peoples interest.

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

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

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2010, 02:49:18 PM »
James


From your earlier post with the link to the club website and the old photos was fantastic. The greens look as though they have shrunk over the years and what is now fringe looks like putting surface back then. In one of the pics, the green (don't know which one) is raised and the golfer is putting to a hole which is front of the raised area and what would most certainly not be green now.

Certainly looks a great course and worth a play.

Niall

Neil_Crafter

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2010, 06:52:48 PM »
Niall
It is lots of fun and well worth a trip south from sunny Scotland  ;D
Perhaps head through Leeds and visit with Nick at Alwoodley?
Neil

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2010, 06:36:18 AM »
If you do arrange a get together at Cavendish please count me in as interested. You could easily add Reddish Vale to it for a 36-hole MacKenzie day for very reasonable money - for those of you who are fit! Count me out for 36 in the day. RVGC is early Mac, Cavendish late. They make an interesting comparison.

I played Cavendish with a good low handicapper a few years ago in a good dry summer (rare in this part) and, with a running fairway and faster greens, it played significantly harder than usual in my experience. The slopes took many seemingly good drives off into less than ideal territory. My friend - low handicap, remember - 5-putted the 8th. Its slopes can be confounding.

Remember also to seek out the relics of MacKenzie's putting course in the park beside the opera house - there is a thread and some photos somewhere in GCA if anyone has the time to find it.

Andrew Mitchell

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2010, 05:27:47 AM »
I'd definitely be interested in a get together at Cavendish as I've been meaning to get there for two or three years now.

Mark's suggestion of a 36 hole MacKenzie day by adding Reddish Vale also appeals!
2014 to date: not actually played anywhere yet!
Still to come: Hollins Hall; Ripon City; Shipley; Perranporth; St Enodoc

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2010, 07:25:17 AM »
If the opportunity presents itself, play Reddish Vale, the earlier course, first.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: CAVENDISH: A Dr Mac Delight Redux
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2012, 03:22:24 PM »
I was fortunate to play Cavendish once again this past weekend.  While the course was unquestionably wet, I thought it held up remarkably well. Of course, the bunkers were flooded and the greens were bumpy, but that was to be expected given the rain the course received.  Anyway, my high opinion of the course was slightly raised.  I can't wait to actually see it in good nick some day!

Take a look at the updated pix.

Ciao  
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 04:05:47 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back