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Simon Holt

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #75 on: May 30, 2010, 06:52:41 PM »
You can see from the pictures why I found it surprising that Gary (i think??) said earlier that he didnt find 11 and 12 memorable. I think it must have been the bad weather at the Renaissance Cup.

There are so many cool shots here.  Lots of people say the green is a bit too funky for a long par 4 and perhaps unfair.  I think quite the opposite.  If you are going to miss a green it is likely a short par 5 or long par 4 where you are hitting a shot possibly just outside the limits of ones accuracy given the length. 

So- you miss the green.  Do you want a boring flat green to chip onto or a fun green with lots of undulation allowing creativity and imagination?  I am firmly in the camp with the latter. 

Great tee shot, awesome green site, cool bunkering, totally memorable with the broken wall and tree.  One of the best holes on the East coast of the ones I have played. 
2011 highlights- Royal Aberdeen, Loch Lomond, Moray Old, NGLA (always a pleasure), Muirfield Village, Saucon Valley, watching the new holes coming along at The Renaissance Club.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #76 on: May 30, 2010, 07:46:11 PM »
Scott:

The story you heard is fairly accurate.  I was away when this green site and #12 fairway were cleared, and both holes shifted well to the left once we could see what we were doing.  Don Placek actually called me about #12 from over there and said he was going to go ahead and move #12 fairway to the left, he was sure I would like it.

The most difficult part of this hole was that after we had built the green site, the client told me he thought they would have to "fix up" the broken-down wall behind the green and connect it all back together at full height ... because the Health & Safety authority there would disallow the broken-down wall as potentially dangerous.  Making the wall solid again would have been hideous!  I had to stamp my feet several times before they finally agreed that we could just cement the wall in pieces as it now stands ... but it was even cooler when it was just rubble.

JNC Lyon

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #77 on: May 31, 2010, 08:03:05 PM »
Renaissance picks up at the end of the front nine, and it hits its peak on 10 and 11.  Why? These two holes have the coolest land forms on the property.  The 10th is probably my favorite hole on the course because it uses short grass as a phenomenal defense around the green.  It is an unconventional green site that recalls the quirk and whimsy of the UK's finest links courses.  As a bunkerless green, it reminded me of several of my favorite holes at my home course in Britain, Deal.

11 is a brawny par four, but the cool green saves it from being a long slog.  The green complex might be a bit extreme for a hole of its length.  However, the hole is eminently fair because it rewards the golfer who keeps to the correct side of the hole.  Once he sees the layout of the green, the golfer will realize that a miss to the right of the green will leave a straightforward up and down, while a miss to the left will leave an awkward recovery at best.  The green also allows the golfer to hit all sorts of fun recovery shots, including bank shots off the hillside on the left.  Like the 17th at Deal, the 17th at Royal Dornoch, the 13th at North Berwick, or the 15th at Prestwick, the golfer can spend 15 minutes around this green hitting different types of chip shots and have a ton of fun.  To me, there is no higher priase for a greensite.

10 and 11 represent everything that is great about Renaissance.  If a golfer does not appreciate these holes, I think he will have a tough time appreciating Renaissance as a whole.
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Gary Slatter

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #78 on: June 01, 2010, 12:56:37 PM »
You can see from the pictures why I found it surprising that Gary (i think??) said earlier that he didnt find 11 and 12 memorable. I think it must have been the bad weather at the Renaissance Cup.

There are so many cool shots here.  Lots of people say the green is a bit too funky for a long par 4 and perhaps unfair.  I think quite the opposite.  If you are going to miss a green it is likely a short par 5 or long par 4 where you are hitting a shot possibly just outside the limits of ones accuracy given the length. 

So- you miss the green.  Do you want a boring flat green to chip onto or a fun green with lots of undulation allowing creativity and imagination?  I am firmly in the camp with the latter. 

Great tee shot, awesome green site, cool bunkering, totally memorable with the broken wall and tree.  One of the best holes on the East coast of the ones I have played. 
Can you imagine how memorable RC would be if some of the Old MacDonald holes were to be found on it ?   Simon, after reading all this I am now finding my games and the course much more memorable!   The damn umbrella was blocking my perception! I think my only problem is it didn't feel authentically enhancing for it's location, but that is probably entirely because of my own personal expectations.
Gary Slatter
gary.slatter@raffles.com

Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #79 on: June 01, 2010, 01:14:52 PM »
12th hole - par 4 - 462/399/355

The 12th climbs a steady slope to a skyline green, with a centreline bunker visable from the tee that sits 140 yards out from the green and is 300/237/193 from the tee. Again, a good example of why choosing the right tees at TRC is crucial to appreciating the course.

Over the hill are bunkers either side of the fairway that stretch from 94-52 yards short of the green on the left and 74-64 yards short on the right. Played into a strong wind, these bunkers are likely to be a factor on your second shot.

One of the things that stood out at TRC was that the bunkering seemed remarkably relevant regardless of the wind I imagined as I stood on the tee, without there simply being sand all over the place to allow for any eventuality. Perhaps that is a benefit it has as a modern layout: the bunkering and tees were designed from scratch for the technology of the current day.

The second shot is probably one of the most memorable on the course. Not much room for error, but the green is 40 yards long, so it's easier to hit than it seems, but obviously that length could lead to some very long putts!

The undulation on much of TRC is as good as I have seen on any links, as the pics of this hole thankfully managed to capture.

The drive:


In the fairway about 170 yards out:


Short right of the green:
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 01:18:06 PM by Scott Warren »

Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #80 on: June 01, 2010, 04:12:29 PM »
13th - par 3 - 192/172/153

A really natural slightly uphill hole that falls - to my recollection - more from left to right on the hillside than the picture suggests.

Two bunkers guard the left-hand-side of the green visually from the tee, though making your way up to the green you find one is about 50 yards short and the other is about 5-10 yards short.

More in play is the bunker short right, which is fed by the fairway short of the green. If you get your tee shot going right, the ground will be only too happy to help it along!

The green itself has some serious slope, with pin high and right of the flag looking like a pretty good leave regardless where the hole is cut. A ridge that runs middle left to middle right also means distance control is essential to avoid a tough putt.

tee shot:


Green from short right:


Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #81 on: June 03, 2010, 08:31:39 AM »
14th - par 5 - 551/539/498

Probably the hole I enjoyed playing the least. I likely missed something major, but both the drive and second didn't appeal to me or make me feel I had any real decisions to make.

Of course not every hole needs to be a Rubik's Cube

Plays downhill tee to green, with a steep increase in the downslope about 60 yards short that makes the green blind until you're playing your third shot.

The tree in the fairway gives you your aiming point for the second shot.

Six bunkers line the left half of the fairway from 246/234/193 from the tee to 160 yards out, the first and last more centreline than LHS.

From 150 yards and closer, I loved it.

The green is the major redemption that made the hole still really fun to play, and to watch the others play. Not just the surface, which has some great slopes that create variable bad angles depending on the pin, but the contouring short, that allows you to try to be on in two if you have the length to put your drive within 250 yards of the green.

The drive:


The land 100 yards or so short still hides a major surprise...


... that is revealed as you crest the hill.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 10:41:36 AM by Scott Warren »

Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #82 on: June 03, 2010, 11:08:10 AM »
15th - par 4 - 448/418/394

Yet another hole that just sits on the land so effortlessly and comfortably.

Another centreline bunker, too. At Renaissance I count centreline bunkers at 1, 6, 8, 11, 12, 15, 16 and 18. I love them and I didn't feel they got repetitive.

Funnily, though, I was waxing lyrical about the abundance of centreline hazards at Huntercombe in March and Tom D, upon reading me applaud the fact 10 holes had centreline hazards, wrote: "And by the definition you gave, Huntercombe really has TEN holes with centerline hazards?  I would think that at some point, short of that, the idea would start to get repetitive."

So my question for Tom, if he is happy answering, is whether he might talk a little about how he approached the placement, size and shaping surrounding the centeline hazards at Renaissance and what slight of hand and mastery of design might be at play that it doesn't become repetitive?

Also, seeing I am not familiar with your other designs, is it more centreline hazards than you tend to use? If so, what was it about the site or design brief you had to work with at Renaissance Club that led to so many centreline bunkers being built?

But back to the hole.

The 15th climbs uphill on land that slopes hard right to a domed green with a particularly severe slope long left running the ball in all likelihood 20 yards off the green in the height of summer when the ground is hard and grass mown tight.

It also continues a trend on the back nine of greens you cannot see the surface of from the approach area.

The drive:


Approach from LHS about 130 yards out:


The greensite:

Jason McNamara

Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #83 on: June 03, 2010, 06:34:07 PM »
Scott, these are great.  Thanks.

Seems like there could be quite a lot in #14, depending on what the wind does.  I guess I am just looking at that flag you had and thinking, Geez, how do you get close to that from a downhill lie 60 yards away?

If it's typically a lay-up hole (due to the wind) and the lay-up is fairly tricky, there's something to that, right?

Obviously I haven't played, so maybe I am missing something. 

Though I'd rather see the hole on a resort course, so that all the "I Didn't Come Here To Lay Up" folks can make 7 on a hole without a penalty stroke.  :-)

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #84 on: June 04, 2010, 04:07:37 AM »
I'm kind of a fan of the next hole, the 16th... which tends to usually be mentioned as one of the weaker ones on the course...

The 14th green complex looks much more interesting than I remember...

Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #85 on: June 04, 2010, 05:17:52 AM »
Does it really?! Wow. I thought 16 was arguably the best hole on the course.

Great drive, great approach, great green, great views... Four out of four ain't bad!

Last three holes will be up today.

Simon Holt

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #86 on: June 08, 2010, 08:58:58 AM »
16 did use to be seen as a weaker hole and I never understood why.  Tee shots could scuttle trhough the fairway bunkers which maybe meant the drive wasnt too intimidating.  Niow the bunkers have been revetted it is a whole different story.  Scott is right- the view from 16 fairway back towards 14 and 11 is one of the best views on the course...especially considering you cant see the Firth from there.
2011 highlights- Royal Aberdeen, Loch Lomond, Moray Old, NGLA (always a pleasure), Muirfield Village, Saucon Valley, watching the new holes coming along at The Renaissance Club.

Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #87 on: June 10, 2010, 01:31:36 PM »
Alrighty then. Apologies for leaving the thread hanging, I've been travelling around a bit for work so not able to get enough time online to post some pics. here comes the final stretch!

16th - par 4 - 434/419/371
The drive climbs over the crest of a hill and downhill, flattening out as it reaches the green. There is a general L-to-R camber on the fairway in the DZ which then flattens, before leaning R-to-L at the green.

The drive features three fantastic bunkers: RHS but in the fairway at 220/205/157 from the tee, then a centreline bunker - and a deep one as Simon said - at 256/241/193, followed by a RHS bunker at 292/275/227.

The easier play is to hit a fade down the LHS next to or around around the centreline bunker, but that leaves you having to encounter the front left bunkers, some of the deepest on the course, for your approach.

The braver choice is to try to run a drive through the avenue of bunkers on the right, which gives you a great angle in, with a helping slope if it suits you to land the ball short and let it release.

From the left you can also use that slope as a way of avoiding the bunkers, but they really bear down on you.

What else was cool is that the land sloping R-to-L short of the green gives you the impression the green also leans that way and a ball landing front right will move left. Wrong. It's a great little optical illusion.

Also kind of hidden by visible if you look for ity is a little funnel in the left centre of the green that will collect the ball and run it down into the trouble that flanks the left of the green.

The putting surface has some of the longer undulation on the course, which makes it a tough one to read.

All in all, I think it's a brilliant hole, offering width, strategy/heroism, visual deception and a choice of air or ground to attack the green.

The drive:


Approach from right of the centreline bunker (about 180 from the green)


Approach from the left, about 150 out - look how the land leaning left short of the green makes the putting surface appear to do the same.


Looking out towards the firth from right of the green (funnel in left centre of green kind of visible).

Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #88 on: June 10, 2010, 01:35:54 PM »

17 - par 3 - 204/193/167
A great one-shotter, its green benched atop a steep fronting slope that stops you seeing the surface of the green.

A green sits front left, next to a central basin that caollects tee shots without the strength to run up the front slope.

At the back of the green is a large centre upslope that helps tee shots and recoveries alike find their way onto the green if hit too hard, and can also be used as a backboard if you're faced with a tricky angle to the flag.

Tee shot:


Backboard at rear of green:

Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #89 on: June 10, 2010, 01:47:24 PM »
18 - par 4 - 485/461/397
A really bloody tough one to finish and wraps up in a nice conclusion all the things I liked about The Renaissance Club.

The tee shot is dominated by two very deep bunkers in the centreline 258/234/170 from the tee, with the best line gained by hitting between those two pots and the string of bunkers flanking the left from 224 to 144 yards out.

Played downwind and finding the fairway, the stone wall - crossing the hole 100 yards out - is a moot point and just some window dressing en route to the tough push-up green. But into a decent wind or if your second is played from the sand, it becomes a massive consideration in placing your lay-up or considering the repercussions of a thinned hybrid, long iron or fairway wood!

The slightly pushed-up green is a hard one to hit and hold from distance, shrugging the ball off in every direction and sand awaits right where the weak player is likely to err on the final shot of the day: short right.

tee shot:


Centreline bunkers:


Looking to the green from 100 yards out:


JNC Lyon

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #90 on: June 10, 2010, 02:03:14 PM »
Great pics all the way around Scott.  I love the finish stretch.  I think 13 and 14 are two of the weakest holes on the golf courses (though I did enjoy the green at 14).  However, 15 through 18 are just solid gold.  The green at 17 is one of the wildest and very best on the golf course.  I feel like par threes can get a little one-dimensional, especially near the end of the round, but this one is highly original and tons of fun. 

Looking at 18 again, I just noticed that the centerline bunkers line up perfectly with the gap in the stone wall crossing the fairway.  That hole was a great way to finish an awesome golf course.

Overall, Renaissance is just a phenomenal layout from beginning to end.  Much of the greatness and challenge at RC is very subtle, although the in-your-face stuff is very successful as well.  I cannot wait to see what happens with the new three holes. I think they will make a great new layout into an even better one.

An aside on the American atmosphere of the club: yes, Renaissance is more sophisticated and expensive than most UK clubs due to its high level of service.  However, I recall that I really liked this aspect of the club, and I missed the great service of an American club after four months in the UK.  If not overdone, the Renaissance model is ideal and makes the club as relaxing as humanly possible.
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #91 on: June 10, 2010, 02:33:56 PM »
Hi John,

I thought 13 was a cracker of a par-3...

I too am very interested to see if and when the new holes are built, especially now that Tom has indicated that the plans I knew quite well have been changed...

Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #92 on: June 10, 2010, 02:51:38 PM »
I have some pics of the land for the new holes, but will hold off posting/discussing them until Tom D gives the all-clear. There is still much to be done until it's in stone and I know he has some reservations.

But it's really f**king cool land. I don't often swear on this board, but on this occasion I must. Really. F**king. Cool.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #93 on: June 10, 2010, 02:55:49 PM »
Scott - I can't thank gents like you and Sean Arble enough for the great combination of good pictures and thoughtful commentary.  It continues to amaze me that Tom D and his crew can build new courses that look like they've been around for decades, and that fit in so well not only with their physical suroundings but with their psychic/spiritual ones too. (And, while it doesn't exactly remind me of Walton Heath, I get the same feeling -- i.e. a place/club one could proudly call home and enjoy for a long long time.  More and more - maybe it's age -- that's the main thing I want in a golf course, whether I'm a member there or not, whether it's my first play or my hundredth).  It is of one-piece; cut from whole cloth.

Peter

Simon Holt

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #94 on: June 10, 2010, 06:24:57 PM »
Great pics all the way around Scott.  I love the finish stretch.  I think 13 and 14 are two of the weakest holes on the golf courses (though I did enjoy the green at 14).  However, 15 through 18 are just solid gold.  The green at 17 is one of the wildest and very best on the golf course.  I feel like par threes can get a little one-dimensional, especially near the end of the round, but this one is highly original and tons of fun. 

Looking at 18 again, I just noticed that the centerline bunkers line up perfectly with the gap in the stone wall crossing the fairway.  That hole was a great way to finish an awesome golf course.

Overall, Renaissance is just a phenomenal layout from beginning to end.  Much of the greatness and challenge at RC is very subtle, although the in-your-face stuff is very successful as well.  I cannot wait to see what happens with the new three holes. I think they will make a great new layout into an even better one.

An aside on the American atmosphere of the club: yes, Renaissance is more sophisticated and expensive than most UK clubs due to its high level of service.  However, I recall that I really liked this aspect of the club, and I missed the great service of an American club after four months in the UK.  If not overdone, the Renaissance model is ideal and makes the club as relaxing as humanly possible.

John,

That last part is music to my ears.  I am very proud along with the rest of the staff here with the feel of the place.  Yes, its pricey, but the members we have are wonderful and each to a man (and woman!) appreciate what a gem of a course we have.  The Sarvadi family are a privilege to work for and I can only hope I am involved as long as possible.  It is very exciting to be here in the early stages and from a selfish point of view it has been great to learn so much about GCA.  You could spend all day wandering around the land between us and Muirfield creating holes- the land is phenominal and as a place I grew up it is very close to my heart.  It is the same land Bamberger raved about in 'To the Linksland'.

Opinions on courses and the way they are run will always divide opinion.  What cant be overlooked is the skill of Paul Seago and his staff at the way they maintain the golf course.  They are awesome.  In terms of conditioning the course is as good a shape as anywhere I have played this year, and that is totally down to them.  The new bunkering is an art form and they are simply the best at it.

I am glad all of you that have managed to play enjoyed it!  It is only going to get better.

Simon
2011 highlights- Royal Aberdeen, Loch Lomond, Moray Old, NGLA (always a pleasure), Muirfield Village, Saucon Valley, watching the new holes coming along at The Renaissance Club.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #95 on: June 10, 2010, 06:59:14 PM »
Simon:

I will be the first to second everything you had to say about Paul Seago and his crew.  The day Paul asked if we were looking for a greenkeeper, I became confident that whatever we were going to build would turn out to look and play Scottish, and not American.

I also wanted to comment on holes 17 and 18.

I am surprised and pleased #17 has received as much praise as it has, because it was always in doubt.  There is a lot of 13th-century archaeology under the ground there which had to be signed off on before we could build the hole, and for a while it looked like we might just have to walk past that area entirely.  Eventually we got the okay, but we had to build the green site entirely out of fill over the top of some ruins ... including an old wall just short of the green which we mimicked in the form of the ridge that fronts the green on the left.  It is a pretty severe green site and I was never sure how it would go over, especially as we were rushing to complete it at the end.

As for the 18th, I just wanted to give a shout out to Kye Goalby, whose feature interview with Ran is current on this thread.  The site for that green was just dead flat to start with so we had to plop a load of fill there to shape, and I had no particular design in mind.  Kye volunteered that he had an idea of what to do there, based on [I think] the 18th green on the Langford course he grew up playing in Illinois.  So I told him to go ahead and give it a shot ... and I don't think I made any real modifications to the green he built.  Missing that green on the short side (whether the flag is left or right or even at the back) presents a VERY difficult up and down.

Sean_A

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #96 on: June 11, 2010, 03:32:09 AM »
Scott

Thank you for the tour.  The course looks a treat to me with all sorts of stuff going on, but still in the spirit of Scottish golf.  Its always nice to see some flat holes mixed in with the rumblers - this helps the course have an old feel to it.  Is the course open to visitors?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Portpatrick & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Simon Holt

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #97 on: June 11, 2010, 04:02:39 AM »
Sean,

We took the decision at the start of the year to allow outside play of sorts on a once only pay and play basis.  If I am being honest are pedantic and donít call it pay and play!  They are potential member rounds and I nearly always accompany them as our one man, very casual vetting process. (no stiffs, no rock stars- just golfers who love the game, respect others and appreciate a great environment to play)

Basically the only outside play we ever are suppose to have is potential members.  You can tell when this got around a bit every Tom, Dick and Harry was sending an email alerting me to their interest and asking when they can schedule a round to 'see if they want to join'.  In a very short period of time you can work out just by someoneís opening gambit whether they are serious or not.

My thoughts on the matter as a local and a 'golf for one and all' kind of guy, thought there must be a compromise to get as many golf lovers as possible to play the course while still maintaining the exclusivity for our members who clearly pay a large amount of money to have a course that they can wonder out on at anytime. 

£200 a man was seen as a figure that works.  This deters most people who are 'chancers' and at the same time it is not a lot of money to someone who can afford to join. (it is also refunded against first yearís fee if someone joins)  I convinced the people that matter that this would work and it has.  An ulterior motive of mine was that others can enjoy a once only pay and play if they save their pennies up.  A good compromise in my eyes but easy for me to say that.

Hopefully that has come across the way I intended it too.  We donít shout it from the roof tops as we donít advertise in any capacity anyway but that is the state of play.  Anyone wanting to know the steps involved can PM me if they like or use my email at the club which can be found on the website   www.trcaa.com

Goals of the club?

Best conditioned course we can possibly have
No tee times
Great service
As friendly an atmosphere as you will find anywhere

The first 3 (not always but mostly) demand the private model in Scotland unfortunately.  The last one is down to us as staff and the continued acquisition of the great membership we already have.

Hopefully we are well on the way with all of these.

I would like stick to the GCA rather than debate this particular point on here- posting that last bit just saves me telling the same story to multiple keen golfers like your good self!

Simon

2011 highlights- Royal Aberdeen, Loch Lomond, Moray Old, NGLA (always a pleasure), Muirfield Village, Saucon Valley, watching the new holes coming along at The Renaissance Club.

James Boon

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #98 on: June 11, 2010, 04:59:18 AM »
I haven't missed anyone mentioning the dry stone walls yet have I?

I really like them, especially as they are also fairly prominant features at nearby North Berwick and the boundary walls at Muirfield (from what I've seen in pictures and on TV). The one I'm not sure about though is on 12? Why not restore the wall rather than leave it in its current slightly derelict state? The one on 15 looks fine in that state as it blends into the surrounding rough, but on 12 its sitting there right in front of you, and something makes me think it would look better restored? More like the carry over the walls on 3, 13 and 16 at NB say?

Thanks again for the tour Scott!

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

Scott Warren

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Re: Renaissance Club
« Reply #99 on: June 11, 2010, 05:46:49 AM »
Cheers guys. It was really fun to relive my day at TRC as I posted each hole. The pics also reminded me how much Simon was peppering the pins on the back nine! Most of the balls you can see sitting right next to the pin are his kick-in birdies.

I think, just as one punter, that you guys are on the right track, Simon. The atmosphere of the club is perfect for its type, IMO. It was high-end without being over the top, and there was a relaxed friendliness in the staff's approach, from caddie to pro shop guys to dining/bar staff, as opposed to the "I'm not worthy" brownnosing you see at similar institutions elsewhere, which always makes me feel a bit uncomfortable (probably because more often than not they don't realise it's actually me who is not worthy! ;D).

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