News:

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


Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2011, 07:51:02 PM »
#10 is crying out for a principal's nose bunker pimple...to heck with the side bunkering on this hole; what it needs is what no hole on the course has-a centerline bunker.
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

JNC Lyon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2011, 07:57:21 PM »
#10 is crying out for a principal's nose bunker pimple...to heck with the side bunkering on this hole; what it needs is what no hole on the course has-a centerline bunker.

Ron,

I like that for the 10th at Crag Burn.  I have a problem with that fairway bunker being well outside the line of play.  Centerline or not, the bunker needs to be directly in the line of play.

JNCL
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Mark Saltzman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2011, 07:17:58 PM »
Hole 16: Par 5, 510 Yards.

This hole may be 510 on the card, but with some aggressive angles it plays a fair bit less.  Yet again, the pin is in full view from the tee and the player is tempted to try to carry the bunkers on the left for a chance to reach the green in two.  One must be very careful, however, as there are some 10-20 yards of rough over the bunkers before the fairway is reached.  The prudent play is again down the middle, as a conservative, well-struck tee shot leaves the green within reach for many.

The green is best approached from the right.  The player must choose to either lay-up to the small creek or challenge it.  Little advantage is gained by playing further up the left, short of the creek.













Hole 17: Par 3, 187 Yards.

A pretty darn tiny fade green given the length of the hole and how exposed it is to the wind.  With bunkers virtually everywhere, I bet few 3s are made on this hole.







Hole 18: Par 4, 415 Yards.

Off the tee, it is not entirely clear where the fairway is.  The large tree serves somewhat as a centerline obstacle (a surprise to me) and the rough actually juts in from the right.

The approach to the peninsula 18th green felt kind of predictable to me, but still a reasonable finish to an excellent golf course.








Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2011, 11:49:47 PM »
And on we go...the three-hole stretch from 13-15 features two half-par holes, followed by a solid two-shotter, under normal conditions.

Hole 13
Doesn't matter that your tee deck is elevated, this is one tough drive. You will find the fairway unless you do what most people do their first two times through: try to kill it far, which you won't do anyway, as no one can increase his/her distance with a power swing. Accept the fact that you'll be coming in from a nice fairway lie with a metal or a hybrid, to a green that offers no resistance up the fall line. As Mark shows, bunkers nearly surround the green left, rear and right. The only fairway bunker is on the high side (right) and is a fool's resting place. The play off the tee is toward the left. Mark, I have never seen those bunkers looking like that!!! I have no idea what is going on there...I'll try to find out.

By the way, this is an upper half-par hole...it plays to a 4.5, despite being a 4 on the card.

Hole 14
The first hole I ever saw at Crag Burn. Driving around aimlessly with a friend, we blew past the entrance and mistakenly went into the development. Came around a bend and saw ... that green!! More on that later.

14 offers a drive past a large stand of trees on the left. Get it up past them (don't pull or push) and you can go for the green on this par five. There is water in front of the green and you can lay up, but the green then becomes a wide, shallow affair, versus an angled, deep target when coming in with metal or hybrid. The play coming in, which I find really cool, is a fade for righties. I find this brilliant, as RTJ said to the average slicer, "Your time to be heroic." Aim at the left bunkers and slide it in. If you hit it straight, the sand isn't so bad; hit the fade and you are putting for eagle. The green has enough cant and waver to beseech a second or third reading o' the putt.

This one is a lower half-par, being a par 5 on the card but leaning toward a 4.5 hole, despite the water.

Hole 15
Solid par four. Goes about 420, but I still won't hit driver. Overcook it left and you hit the stand of arbor that came up on the previous hole. Hit it right and you have a good angle in ... from knee-high fescue. The play is up the gut and 3-metal does the trice. Once again, his Royal Trentness left the front of the green open for the runner or the running pitch. Sure, there is a hidden pin position (or perhaps, two) behind the bunker, but why mess with them? Bang i on the right portion of the green and trust your flat stick to do the work on a putting surface that slopes fairly heavily from front to back.
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2011, 06:41:50 AM »
Thanks for the tour Mark.  I am not quite sure what to make of the course (usually the case for me with RTJ).  It seems almost a dead split between stuff that looks good and stuff that looks bland.  Probably too much water for my tastes and probably too much pop-up bunker work.  I would rather he found a way to work better within a flat site rather than try to create a less flat look.  I wonder what Dye would have done with this site? 

JNC

I am no expert on lines of charm, but I thought they were not the direct route to the green.  In breaking up the direct route with menacing features then the lines of charm can be explored and exploited.  Does that sound right?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2011, 03:09:18 PM »
Sean,

There is not much of the pop-up stuff that you describe anywhere beyond the perimeter. You are correct to question what Dye would have done...I wonder who else the committee considered back then, before selecting Trent.

What is missing from Crag Burn is the same thing that escaped Trent throughout his long career: wide fairways made necessary by strategic, centerline hazards. Trent seemed content to toss in parallel bunkers along the fairways and crinkle the short grass turf a bit (no cascading swales to be found at this course.)  What he also failed to do was make the course truly penal-there are no front-center of green bunkers, with the exception of the 11th hole, where you will have short iron in, and the 17th hole, a one-shotter.

You will certainly miss the rumpled, rambling fairways of a Pennard to hold your attention here. You won't have excessively uphill or downhill lies for your approach shots. Crag Burn is not an unfair course in any way. It is up front about its challenges and relies on zero trickery to achieve its purpose.

I can think of a few holes on which I might add some bunkering to the middle of the fairway...#2 and #3 could use a bit...#6 perhaps could avail itself of a fairway pot bunker, as the holes runs downhill from tee to target zone. #8 could also use one. On the back, #10 and #13 for sure. I would also take out the trees on #18 and put some grass or sand bunkers in that fairway. Too many fairways have zero threat up the gut, perhaps due to the fact that they are not extraordinarily wide. I'll chime in with my take on #16-18 soon.
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

Bill Hyde

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2011, 04:34:20 PM »
Sean, this course does not photograph well because it is relatively (almost totally) flat. I agree with you regarding the lack of bunkering that is more lay of the land. However, this was 1969. I think you have to keep that in context...I think this course was in many ways ahead of its time in how it embraced the natural state of the last 11 holes or so. Lots of gorgeous fescue, not much gimmickry, a straight ahead test of golf that was 7000 yards when that meant something. These photographs, while capturing the basic elements, do not get at the essence of this course or club which is pure golf. This is a course a better player enjoys playing every day. If I owned it and had ample budget, I would put 2 mil into the hands of a good architect to enhance the details of the course (new greens, bunker work, and some tree work). But in its current state, if you played there for a week, you would not tire of Crag Burn - it is a really great course to be a member of.

JNC Lyon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2011, 04:53:32 PM »
Bill,

I think Crag Burn is much more than just a straight ahead test of golf.  If it was just that, I definitely would not give it the praise that I give it.  Crag Burn has a very strong routing that meanders between woodlands and open horse farm.  It has three interesting par fours on the short side (3, 9, and 11) that fit in well on any solid strategic course.  It is plenty of width, giving golfers ample options off the tee.  The bunkering fits together well, but it has a rugged appearance that is far preferable to a molded, sterile look of a modern Fazio bunker.  The hazard placement shuttles between penal and strategic, and varies between bunkers, water, trees, short grass, and long grass throughout the course.  The greens, as I expect, sometimes with disappointment, from RTJ are varied and definitely interesting.

I agree that it needs tree work in spots, and I believe the club has undertaken some in the past.  However, it would be a shame to re-bunker and change the greens at Crag Burn.  CB, more than anything, demonstrates that the big, bold style of the 1960s has some merit today, especially when Trent Jones give it more thought than his usual mail-in job.

Sean,

I would guess you are correct, and what you describe is exactly what many holes at Crag Burn do.  Trent Jones, when he did his best work, built hazards to break up the direct line.  The play is sometimes close to these hazards, and sometimes it is away from the hazards.  As for the "pop-up bunkering," there is some of that at Crag Burn, but it is not nearly as invasive as you might think.  The bunkering doesn't hug the land, but it does not look out of place either (except in a couple spots, like the tee shots on 10 and 14).  Overall, Trent Jones did a great job of creating an interesting, engaging golf course on a flat site.
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Bill Hyde

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2011, 05:36:06 PM »
JNC, my use of "straight ahead" was a compliment on the lack of trickery, but I can see how it may have come off as a simple observation. I think I waxed a bit more poetically about the course in an earlier post. I love the place. In terms of my opinion that the course needs work, I feel that there are areas that could be improved - largely related to maintenance. The greens a pure poa and have been pretty good to pretty awful when I've played there recently. I think rebuilding with bent and restoring the contours and green area lost to 40 years of topdressing and mowing would be beneficial. I also feel the bunkers have lost the "look" they had when I was a member. A rebuild of the bunkers and restoration of the "wildness" of them would be an improvement I feel. I know they did some tree removal awhile back because I remember my father-in-law complaining about it, but I still think 4, 6 and 15 could use some work in that area. I also have always been bothered by the tree on 18...it seems out of character. This is not a deep-pocket club, so I cannot see this happening in the forseeable future, but they did put about a million into the range/short game area in the late 90s so who knows. Regardless, if they want guys to come in from out of town and stay in cabins, they need to dial up the "tweaking" a few notches. It's well-maintained...but it's not at the highest level.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2011, 06:03:22 PM »
Bill & R.....

I don't mind flat sites in the least.  I actually think they are a great opportunity for an architect to show what he is all about.  My comments about the pop-up bunkers were mostly centered around the greens; perhaps RTJ went a bit overboard.  So far as the placement of bunkers around fairways, there is an argument to be made that on flat sites the placement of bunkers becomes paramount, in which case I would have thought centreline bunkers could serve the site better bith in terms of efficiency and getting in the golfer's face.  There seems to be an awful lot of sand employed...So far as the greens go, it seems like RTJ was embracing of the flat terrain.  I like the low profile look of the surfaces and I know more is going on than the photos show.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Mark Saltzman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - Front 9 Posted
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2011, 11:16:35 PM »
Aah, Crag Burn.  Back in my UB days, Crag Burn was this legendary course that schmucks (oops - starving college students :) ) could only long to play.  (Just having fun!)

I'm really happy to see the pictures.  Any chance other Buffalo area courses could be added in the future?  I'd love to see Country Club of Buffalo and Park.  And Niagara Falls CC has a special place in my heart from my Porter Cup days (as a gallery member!).  It was the first course I ever saw that made me think "whoa - this is different than the munis I've been playing, and it's GOOOOD!"

Dan,

Here are a few photos of CCB, sorry I took a while to get around to putting them up.  Enjoy!
Hole 5



Hole 6













Hole 11



Hole 12



Hole 18








Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2011, 06:53:03 AM »
I will see what I can do about a CCB thread...it might be tricky...NFCC I think I can do...Park is another good one.
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2011, 08:32:41 PM »
Here are some photos I shot this week...an absolutely magical place in the Fall, with the colors, the heavy sun, etc.

http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f140/buffalogolfer/Crag%20Burn%20October%202011/
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Crag Burn GC Photo Tour (RTJ, 1969 - NY) - All 18 Posted
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2011, 09:13:53 AM »
Thanks to Mike V. at BlueGolf for putting together this course tour of Crag Burn.

http://course.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/course/course/cragburngcinc/aerial.htm

My #1 New Year's Resolution, already made, is to get KLynch out there...the dude lives ten minutes from the course and hasn't seen it. Not that I'm a member or anything, but I'll find a way!
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back