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Simon Holt

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What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« on: December 09, 2010, 10:29:26 AM »
I was thinking about my highlights of the year and it struck me that many of my most enjoyable rounds, both first inspections and revisits, were what people would call the 2nd course, or the wee course. 

I feel some people may be missing out on some great GCA, especially when planning trips to the UK, on the second courses.  Some are well known- others maybe not so.

My personal favourites from this year.

The New Course, St. Andrews

absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Many a round as a student but returned after 5 years and remembered why in places I think it better than the Auld Lady herself!  You can also play it off the medal tees now which is great.

 Gullane No. 2

Played this for the first time since high school a month ago and absolutely loved it.  The back 9 is better than No. 1's in my book- awesome elevation changes and really clever bunker placement.  Lots of new tees and some new bunkers have made a big improvement IMO.

  The Valley Course, Portrush

Out of my 3 I think this one has the biggest difference in interest from the 'big' course for me but still a cracker and well worth your money.

So- lets be having you!  Either side of the Atlantic/ROW but lets hear why you think they deserve our attention! 
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.

jeffwarne

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2010, 10:41:45 AM »
You mentioned the Valley, a great choice

Tom Morris course at Rosapenna which is marketed and priced as the second course(although in my opinion the better course at Rosapenna)
I haven't played the new nine

Rolling Oaks at World Woods

Old Course at Ballyliffin (not quite marketed as second course but close)

New course at Ballybunion

The Glen at North Berwick

Portland Course at Troon

Even the second course at RCD had a marvelous stretch through the Dunes-RCD Light (this would be the only one I would call the Wee course)

At Saunton, I preferred the shorter course which had more interest and variety
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Jim Hoak

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2010, 10:59:00 AM »
This isn't exactly what you had in mind as a "second course," but in the US I'd mention Spyglass in Pebble Beach.  I think that Spyglass is a terrific course, and while not ignored, it is downgraded by being next to the Pebble Beach course.  I'm sure if it were standing alone, it would be more respected.
I only think of it in the second course sense, because the story is (which I can't verify) that Spyglass was being talked about as a PGA Tournament course, and the PGA said (reportedly), "We're not going to take the second course, when you give your number one course to the USGA."
In terms of difficulty, variety and playability, it is the equal of Pebble Beach--lacking only in beauty (a bit) and prestige.

PCCraig

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2010, 11:02:31 AM »
Can't Miss:
Blackwolf Run at the Kohler Resort
Winged Foot East
South Course at OFCC
The Cassique and River Courses on Kiawah Island (after TOC)
The Primrose Course at TCC Brookline

Ones to avoid:
The Woodlands Course at Lawsonia
H.P.S.

Ted Cahill

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2010, 11:13:42 AM »
Simon- this is a topic I think about alot.  Value is a big variable in how much I enjoy a course- therefor I always have an eye on the "second" courses at golf destinations.  Plus, pace of play is a important to me and these "other" courses tend to be less crowded- a big plus to me.  Three that come to mind are: the Irish and Meadow Valley courses in Kohler and Dye's Valley at Sawgrass. 
“Bandon Dunes is like Chamonix for skiers or the
North Shore of Oahu for surfers,” Rogers said. “It is
where those who really care end up.”

Simon Holt

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2010, 11:28:06 AM »
Nice work guys!

I suppose there will be a few that are technicalities like The Glen (which is a standalone course, worth the visit for the views alone, very cheap and deemed by quite a few as the small course in town) and Spyglass (again, very good course and the first course I played on the Peninsula)

The real second courses are the ones that are often looked over though.  The Valley course at Sawgrass is a good call- I had not heard of that I am ashamed to say.  My boss is a member at TPC so I will have to butter him up for a round!

What about Jack Rabbit at Champions?  I didn't get to play it but heard it was really fun.

I suppose the Winged Foot debate could become the most hotly contested....but its not a contest- I want great second courses and don't care which one is the best!

Kintyre?  Portland?  Burnside? The Struie up at Dornoch? All second courses at Open Championship venues but we don't hear a huge amount about them.  I have not played any of those so would be keen to hear from others.
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.

Mark Pearce

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2010, 11:42:45 AM »
Crail Craighead

I prefer Gullane 2 to Gullane 1.

Which course at Gleneagles is the "2nd" course?

The Priestman at Slaley Hall isn't great but it's better than the Hunting.

The worst must be the Bracken at Woodhall Spa.
In June I will be riding the first three stages of this year's Tour de France route for charity.  630km (394 miles) in three days, with 7800m (25,600 feet) of climbing for the William Wates Memorial Trust (https://rideleloop.org/the-charity/) which supports underprivileged young people.

Sean_A

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2010, 11:52:18 AM »
I have a lot of time for Saunton West, Burnham & Berrow Channel and Portrush Valley.  Burnside and Gullane 3 are two others I enjoy though I am not sure I would suggest skipping a high profile game for these two.  I spose its harsh to call Sunny New the second course so I won't.  Same goes for Walton New.   

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

David_Tepper

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010, 11:52:52 AM »
The New Course at Sunningdale is very, very good.

Not sure which is really the "2nd course" at the Berkshire, but both are very good.

Agree that the Valley Course at Portrush is very good.  

Simon Holt

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2010, 12:27:16 PM »
No shared love for the New at St. Andrews yet?  I think the 10th hole is arguably the best par 4 in St. Andrews...randomly probably one with the least bunkering too.  I absolutely love the contours from around 100 yards in once it funnels between the gorse on the left on the rough hollows on the right.
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.

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2010, 12:46:16 PM »
The New course at Walton Heath, the Upper Course at  Baltusrol ( I actually prefer it), the Short courses at Pine Valley and The Colorado Club, The Fazio Course at Red Sky Ranch.
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

Mike Nuzzo

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2010, 12:57:45 PM »
Playing The Old Course backwards
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil, Dr. Childs, & Tiger.

Ash Towe

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2010, 12:58:38 PM »
Lost Farm at Barnbougle Dunes :)

Kyle Harris

Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2010, 01:02:06 PM »
Bethpage Red
Penn State White
Merion West
Saucon Weyhill

Jim Eder

Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2010, 01:23:41 PM »
Mark, totally agree on your Gleneagles call.  I LOVE the Queens course.

And David nailed the New at Sunningdale, it really is fantastic.

And the Valley at Portrush another great call.

And the New Course at St. Andrews which if alone would be considered a truly great course but it sadly is in the shadow (understandably).

Brad Tufts

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2010, 01:35:38 PM »
I can endorse the New Course...but I think the Eden more fits the topic as the New is highly ranked.  I will check out the Eden next June.

I will also second Saucon Valley-Weyhill.

The only other one that I have played that is a clear "secondary" course is Oak Hill West...which is definately fantastic and ranked in its own right.
So I jump ship in Hong Kong....

Bill_McBride

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2010, 01:46:21 PM »
No shared love for the New at St. Andrews yet?  I think the 10th hole is arguably the best par 4 in St. Andrews...randomly probably one with the least bunkering too.  I absolutely love the contours from around 100 yards in once it funnels between the gorse on the left on the rough hollows on the right.

Good call, Simon, but I actually prefer the 6th on the New, which is a slightly shorter par 4 that turns back toward the town after the first 5 march out toward the Eden estuary.

The hole narrows with a gorse-clad hill to the right, and there's a good sized bump out in front to hinder running shots.  What I like most about the hole is the skyline of St Andrews above the wall of gorse that backs the green, it's quite dramatic.

Pete Lavallee

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2010, 02:28:30 PM »
I prefer the North course at Torrey to the South; The South is just a slog, but the North has great green contours and more dogleg holes.
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

Jim Eder

Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2010, 02:40:24 PM »
Pete,

The North at Torrey is more fun and scenic, I agree with you. I do actually like the South as well though. Good call, I forgot about TP North.

Colin Macqueen

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2010, 02:49:27 PM »
Simon,
When you mention Burnside are you referring to Burnside at Carnoustie?  Yes that is a very neat small course. The first course I ever played in my life. Another wee gem is Ashludie at Monifieth, short but great fun and finally for a more solid game there is Panmure just before you reach Carnoustie.  Three neat courses all within 5 miles of one another which could be played in one long, languid summer's day for under 140 pounds TOTAL!!

Cheers Colin
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

Tyler Kearns

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2010, 03:00:10 PM »
Royal Melbourne East. Despite a little lull in the front nine (6-8), an absolute gem that is likely overlooked by many overseas travellers.

TK

Ash Towe

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2010, 03:02:08 PM »
From what I have seen and heard here, Winged Foot East.

Peninsula North/South hard to know which is number 1 from what I have read.  I know the South is terrific.

Moortown, Alwoodley is so close and number 1.

Castle Stuart with Royal Dornoch number 1 ( Stretching the distance a bit )


Jeff Taylor

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2010, 03:15:09 PM »
I agree with Simon. The 9th and 10th at the New Course are all world golf holes.

Daryl David

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2010, 03:35:17 PM »
The Yellow nine at Portmarnock.   The perfect "emergency nine" after lunch.

Tim Martin

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Re: What are the so called "2nd courses" that we cant miss?
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2010, 03:44:31 PM »
The "South" course at Westchester CC is not as tough as its sister course the "West" but is a great 2nd course.

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