Chris - RMW is a victim of technology, tees are pretty tight to the boundaries and there is very little opportunity to lengthen. IMO each of the par 5s are good holes and approaches to holes such as the 12th would have been very different 50 years ago, where as a modest rabbit such as myself managed to get home with driver, 6 iron in one round. Likewise 15 with the second shot carry.
Mark, I agree that RMW is a victim of technology...but why does it get a free pass for the inability to lengthen? Most of the sandbelt courses were built in a similar era, yet they haven't suffered this problem to anywhere near the same extent.
Wasn't it Mackenzie who emphasised the importance of the ability to lengthen by saying that the ideal routing should have a forward walk from tee to green to allow for lengthening down the track? Its a real shame that, in what is otherwise one of the great routings, he didn't provide the flexibility for his par-fives to play anything like he intended 80 years later.
When wind is a factor I'm not too fussed on variety in length as much as variety in challenge and in shot requirements.
The four holes appeared to me to require different shots and pose different challenges - mental and physical.
Does it matter that there is only one hole over 500 yards? Not to me. It didn't matter to me at West Sussex, Rye, Swinley, Royal Dornoch, North Berwick (almost qualifies) or Fishers Island either. 500 yards takes three shots for most golfers.
Perhaps it's an issue for tournament golf and tournament players, but I'm not all that fussed about them.
Scott, don't get me wrong, they are four great second shots. However, I've had several rounds there where I hit the same club for my second shot into all four greens. I can't think of another serious course I've played where that club was the longest I hit all day.
For me, its the perfect demonstration about how a course can have a set of par-threes or par-fives which individually are all terrific (I accept Kevin Pallier's point that 15 isn't at the same level), but as a set aren't ideal.
Compare the set of par-threes on RMW - they are 161, 135, 134 and 202 metres, and three of the four are truly great holes (in fact, you could mount a sound argument that 7, 5 and 16 are the best short, medium and long par-threes in Australia). That is what I consider a great set - there is variety in the length
as well as type of shot required.
Regarding the six courses you listed where it 'didn't matter to me', as with all issues, we will have to agree to disagree.