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Ian Andrew

Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2010, 07:35:52 PM »
I had the great fortune of playing Delamere Forest just a few days ago.

The course turned out to be a huge surprise and a perfect finish to my trip to Wales and England. The golf course is a beautiful heathland course built over very open and undulating open land. The sub-soil is sandy and the property plays fast and firm under these conditions. The golf course has it all from sweeping panoramas, accents of heather, wonderful long undulations in the fairways, elevated tee shots, greens on grade, plateau greens and the most beautiful clubhouse clearly in view from half the course.

The golf course is friendly with ample room off the tee, some holes were lined with trees while most others are framed in by long fescue, but always there were openings out to the surrounding landscape beyond. The rolling land, views into the surrounding hill and copses of spruce, pine and oak made this a beautiful English Landscape that Capability Brown would have been impressed by.

The opening set of long par fours is absolutely brilliant. As Mark illustrated, they were part of the changes made by Fowler when he returned to expand the course in the 1920ís. In fact all the fours on the front are challenging, interesting, make perfect use of the terrain and ask for a completely different approach from the previous one. The threes are also top notch with the uphill 4th into a bowl and the downhill 6th into a crown being a tough set of threes. Itís only the breather of a par five that prevents this from being one of the best nines in golf. As far as Iím concerned the front is that good!

The nines turned out to be real contrast. The front is big and strong whereas the back nine is much shorter and more quirky. There were some really cool shorter holes like the cross-sloped 13th, which reminded me of the brilliant 15th at Garden City. The downhill 14th may be the prettiest with its feeder slope in the fairway and slightly elevated green back dropped by the forest, but the quirkiest and perhaps coolest hole of all was the short 15th played to a very Mackenzie like 15th elevated green. My favourite three is the16th where the wind complicates the tee shot to this long par three, but the player can either fly or feed the ball into the green using the surroundings slopes. The back nine has more options and more opportunity than the front and is where a player looks to score.

The golf course was full of excellent lessons in design. Iím quite interested in all the greens that are set ďintoĒ the land rather than placed ďontoĒ a promontory. Fowler used this at a number of the courses we saw over the week. Itís not as flashy an approach, but does lend a certain subtle charm that is rare in golf there days.

Contour played a major role off the tee, and rather than supplement a bunker into the roll in the land for emphasis, he often took the bunkering to the outside. I found it made you take on the terrain rather than the bunkering, which was an interesting idea that I rarely see in other places. We are so conditioned to bunker the upslope that an opposite approach was refreshing.

Delamere is exactly the course I would like to join. They have a friendly membership that plays fast. The golf course is a pleasure to play, whether your on or struggling. Itís simply a beautiful place that has everything you could possibly want and great golf too. I feel very fortunate to have played there.

Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2010, 08:26:33 PM »
Ian, a group of us played Delamere Forest several years ago and had the same reaction you had, terrific course!

What other Fowler courses did you play?

Jim Eder

Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2012, 02:44:12 PM »
Mark,

Thank you for this tour and enlightening me about this gem of a course. Because of this post I ventured over to Delamere to play and had an absolutely wonderful time. You did an amazing job on this post with great pictures and even though I came in with high expectations Delamere exceeded them. There is so much movement in the land, there is a lot of strategy, and it is in great condition currently. The people at the club and the Pro are just terrific, wonderful people. Just a fantastic place and one in which I look forward to going back to again and again. If anyone is in the Hoylake/Southport/West Manchester area this is a terrific place to play and enjoy. Thanks for everything Mark!!

Duncan Cheslett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2012, 05:12:54 AM »
I finally made the 30 minute trip over to Delamere this week on a gloriously sunny autumn day. My expectations were high but the course and the experience supassed them with ease. Like Bill, we were asked to tee off on the tenth, and this was perhaps the only disappointment, as I now have a fixed memory of the course in back-to-front order!

The over-riding feeling is one of solitude; we did not see another group in the entire front nine, and strangely this contributed to our extremely slow play. We were enjoying ourselves so much that we dawdled round nine holes in 3 hours!! We picked up the pace on our back nine as a couple of groups of members starting at the first caught us up. To our delight they all sounded and looked exactly like stereotypical retired colonels - in a couple of cases complete with plus twos and tweed caps!

What a delight it was after our appallingly wet summer to play a course with firm fast fairways and bone dry greens in immaculate condition. We had all arived with well-practiced lob wedge shots in our armoury which had to be forgotton completely!

I absolutely loved the place and plan on returning regularly. Anyone who fancies putting Delamere Forest on their schedule and wants a playing partner pleas just let me know. The green fee of £46 is a steal. Even better, county cards are accepted on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 05:17:35 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Richard Fisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2016, 07:16:32 AM »
I went to Delamere on a bright, blustery, showery Thursday afternoon last week, and it was an utter joy. I played 27 holes on my own, paying a very reasonable 'shoulder' rate, and can only endorse everything that other GCA posters have said about DFGC, both as a course and as a club. Further clearance work only emphasises the merits of the design, and the new tee at the 18th, through and over a cleared area amidst the trees, will finish an exhilarating round of driving on a real high. The greens were distinctly swift for early April, and the course seemed to have survived a very wet and tough winter pretty well. The other great thing about Delamere, again GCA-friendly, is that it is a strategic course of width: there is plenty of room to spray off most tees, but the next shot, or the one after that, can become exceptionally tricky. It's very handy for Manchester Airport, but (far) more than just a convenient stop-off for those heading to the Wirral or Lancashire coast: in sum DFGC is a quiet, civilised, challenging and thoroughly enticing place for a game of golf.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2023, 02:01:25 PM »
Best terrain on any inland course Iíve seen in GB&I. Absolutely brilliant.

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2023, 04:19:21 PM »
I played the course with Mark, who had something to say about every hole as we played them. As Ally said, the site has some extravagant terrain. Number 15 is one of the most fun holes on the course. I'd join in a heartbeat if I lived anywhere in the area.

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

Darragh Garrahy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2024, 07:33:59 AM »
Having played brilliant Delamere for the first time last week, I wonder why they dont start on the current 10th, right beside the clubhouse, and finish on current 9th, right beside the clubhouse?


David Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2024, 12:19:15 AM »
When I was there last year a member we were playing with pointed out a few places where there are huge mounds in the fairway and mentioned how they were made to challenge the good players but now the good players hit the ball over them and the average players have to deal with the mounds now so he said they're thinking of taking out the mounds.


I asked 1) Don't the average players want a challenge? and 2) Why not just move up the tees on those holes if you don't want players to encounter Fowler's features? I mentioned that they are very proud - as they should be - of the course's Fowler lineage so why would you remove his features, especially when you can't put them back?   I thought it was a very good course.
"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2024, 02:13:40 AM »
David,


By mounds, I assume you mean natural topography? I canít remember any (or many) large, built features at driving distance?


In which case, it seems a ludicrous statement from the member.

David Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Delamere Forest course tour
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2024, 02:16:01 PM »
One of the features he talked about was the landing area on the 18th where there is a big bulge in the fairway that long hitters just blast over but it is something that deflects balls into the rough to the right or stops balls from rolling out.
Also discussed was shaving the ridge on 10 so that the second shot isn't blind (the best part of the holes, actually).
Typical of the mindset that says, look at the great architect who built this club, now here is what we should change.
"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

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