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Scott Warren

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #50 on: June 28, 2011, 08:02:02 PM »
Sean:

Here's what you've had to say about Silloth over the course of two pages:

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The 2nd: Perhaps this is the one weakness of the par 4s in general, many were driver wedge to eight iron.

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The 11th: The hole turns hard right in a similar fashion to Wallasey's 8th and for the first time in the round requires something more than an 8 iron approach.

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On the par five 5th: Yes, I hit a huge drive and an all time 8 iron on 5.  Piece of piss that hole.

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Yes, Silloth has terrific greensites, but average greens.  Rye's are far more interesting once on them

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I think the variety of 4s at Silloth is lacking a bit because there isn't a killer par 4 or two in the bunch.  There are a ton of shorties

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#14 is just a whack it over the hill jobbie and there is an very good chance for birdie.  #17 is a feeder hole to the green making it fairly easy to reach in two without any real risk of penalty.

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I wasn't striking the ball well and the front still played short

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I like Silloth's 6th, but it too doesn't pose a real problem in having a very good chance at an up n' down so long as one stays left.

Those words are all yours, so forgive me for thinking you thought the course:

1. was too short - particularly on the fours,
2. was on the easy side, and
3. had bland green contours.

But of course we have established you played it from about 15 yards per hole behind the Ladies plates, so it's probably not surprising it was a bit short from there for a group of blokes, not to mention Tony, who is bloody long off the tee.

In your mind Silloth is a bit of a red-headed stepson like Brora and Co - a bit of a mongrel that has enough charm to win folks over, but not among the "purebred" links. For me it is a similar course in character to Deal, Baltray, North Berwick, Rye and Burnham. Certainly I believe it to be as great a test as any of them, as interesting as any of them and boasting as much variety as any of them. I hope that if you go back one day and play it from the men's tees you will agree. Certainly if you have it as 1* from just back of the Ladies' markers that's a promising start!

I can't say I found Silloth to be particularly narrow or the rough to be all that harsh, but looking at your pics it has been wetter of late than it was in the lead-up to my game late last April. GoogleMaps has the mown corridors at 48-55 yards for most of the course, which isn't narrow by British links standards.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 08:12:34 PM by Scott Warren »

Mark Pearce

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #51 on: June 29, 2011, 01:02:41 AM »
James,

If your mates thought the fairways were too narrow they could do with some lessons with the driver.  In a decent wind Silloth is as hard as nails but I don't think any reasonable player who has played much links golf would criticise the width of its fairways.  Good Lord, not even Sean and Tony have criticised that!
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Sean_A

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #52 on: June 29, 2011, 02:09:32 AM »
Scott

Below is the line I commented on. 

"So on one hand it's too short and too easy with boring greens..."

I didn't write these words in any of the posts you quoted.  I certainly don't think the course is too easy.  Scott, you played Silloth in April.  That is quite a difference to stepping on the tee in June  The fairly narrow fairways (talking about #s 4, 5, 7 and 8) which given the prevailing cross wind that if blew at 20mph would wreak havoc (Mark, there are several fairways which are narrow by any reasonable golfer's opnion) and this issue is worsened by what can only be described as very harsh rough; Silloth is anywhere near too easy.  I don't think the overall length of the course is too short either.  I wrote many of the par 4s played to similar short irons on the front nine and that there isn't a killer par 4 in the bunch.  While the course does not have anything like a killer par 4 (which I believe to be a weakness), my observation concerning the short 4s points to a shortcoming in the flow of the course.  Of course, with a few killer par 4s there would be less short par 4s.  Finally, the greens sites are varied and very interesting, particularly on the front nine and particlarly involving many of the short par 4s, but one couldn't say Silloth's greens are anything remotely exceptional.  There is minimal contour and slope for the most part so I guess thats about average.  This does not equate to boring, but it does mean they are less exciting than they could be.  I understand the issues of wind on links greens, but you must admit Silloth's are not a set to be particularly pointed out as a strength of the design.

I don't think of Brora as anything like a red-stepson.  I enjoy playing there practically as much as anywhere and for Silloth to be compared to Brora is no slap in the face.  I don't know what "test" means to you, but certainly I think Deal and Burnham overwhelm Silloth in terms of difficulty, but that isn't necessarily a positive charactersitic unless a course wants to swing both ways and be a members' course and a championship course - a feat very difficult to pull off which Deal does better than most championship links.  No for mine, Burnham, Rye and Deal top Silloth in terms of quality, but not in terms of where I would want to return to.   

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 05:28:22 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Scott Warren

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2011, 02:51:33 AM »
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I wrote many of the par 4s played to similar short irons on the front nine and that there isn't a killer par 4 in the bunch.

No killer par four? What do you call 415/398 uphill (7th), 411 (11th), 428/417 (15th) and 438/433 (18th)?

Played from the appropriate tees, the main complaint you have about Silloth is not a factor.

Did the club force you to play from the forward tees, or did you choose to play from there due to the higher handicappers in the group?

Sean_A

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2011, 03:04:22 AM »
"On the par five 5th: Yes, I hit a huge drive and an all time 8 iron on 5.  Piece of piss that hole."

Scott, didn't you think this an odd statement.  Of all the things I wrote which you decided to quote, didn't the above strike you as incredulous and a probable downright lie - or perhaps even a joke?  I would like to see anybody hit driver 8 iron to #5. 

Maybe you are right that we played the wrong tees.  I am a big fan of forward tees and think courses should be primarily designed from this perspective.  I rarely have a problem identifying killer 4s from the yellows on courses of distinction.  Just down the road in Seascale they have two killer par 4s from the yellow tees at just over 6000 yards. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 05:29:07 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Scott Warren

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2011, 03:11:25 AM »
So you weren't forced to play the front trees, you chose to?

The 13th and 14th are 450 and 462 from the yellows, but they call them par fives. There's your "killer fours from the front tees", if you'd only disregard par and just appraise the holes for what they present and not what's written on the scorecard.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 03:13:20 AM by Scott Warren »

Sean_A

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #56 on: June 29, 2011, 03:33:07 AM »
Scott

This is true and to boot the holes head in different directions which helps to mitigate the slog like feel of back to back par 5s.  However, "killer" not only refers to length, but quality.  For sure 13 is a hole of the highest order, but as I have said before 14 and 17 are wanting.  They aren't bad holes, but they don't really add anything to the design in how they fall on the card.  The issue is of flow and rhythm is for me further exposed as the front nine is loaded with shorty 4s and the back nine with par 5s.  I would like to see a better balance in how the holes flow.  Most of the character holes are on the front with the much of the distance (an extra 300-400 yards over the front) of the course coming on the back. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022:

Scott Warren

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2011, 04:00:33 AM »
I have to say mate, it seems you're just reaching for things to pick issue with.

The front nine has two par fours under 370 yards from the middle tees, and just one under 350. Your oft repeated claim that the front is "filled with shortie par fours" just doesn't stack up. Not at all.

What's your problem with 17? A borderline two/three shotter with a green that welcomes the ball, but angles front to back meaning it's hard to hold - must the same as the 1st at Woking in calling for a delicate touch on a brawny strike.

The back is par 37 and the front is 35, so it stands to reason that it is longer.

Deal is also much longer on the back nine. So what?

Sean_A

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2011, 04:47:48 AM »
Scott

Your "reaching for things" is my objective criticism of a course I like very much and are the reasons I wouldn't place Silloth in my top 25 best courses.  There is nothing unusual in this opinion because I believe a great many folks who know more about architecture than myself don't place Silloth in their top 25 or we would see Silloth as a shoe in top 100 in the world.  Given this reality, what reasons do you think folks might have for not voting Silloth top 100 in the world?  Even on the Unofficial GCA Top 100 Silloth comes in at 116 and this is quite a forgiving group for the oddities of golf.  Interestingly,Pennard and Silloth have two of the highest SDs of the 225ish courses that had a shot at top 100 status!

"Middle tees" is a bit misleading.  Traditionally, there are championship tees, medal tees and daily tees if a course has three sets of men's tees.  The yellows are the daily tees no?  So, by my count there are six par 4s under 375 yards on the front nine from the daily tees which play at 6100+ yards.  That in and of itself isn't a problem except that many play to a similar yardage for the approach because the course generally heads out on the front.  You write its purely an issue of tee choice.  I say a course which hopes to claim distinction needs better yardage distribution from the daily tees (the main tees of the course).  If not, it points to an issue with the rhythm of the course.  As is well known, yes, I think Deal has an issue with its rhythm as well because there is so much bark coming late in the game.  However, Deal is much more of a championship course than Silloth and while not ideal, the hard graft has to come somewhere if it is to retain championship status.  

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 04:57:26 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2022:

Scott Warren

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #59 on: June 29, 2011, 05:09:40 AM »
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"Middle tees" is a bit misleading.  Traditionally, there are championship tees, medal tees and daily tees if a course has three sets of men's tees.  The yellows are the daily tees no?

No. They are not. Given you continue to dodge the question of whether you chose to play the yellow tees, I have to assume you did so as a matter of choice.

As I stated previously, we played the course at the tail of a major competition and the club was more than happy for us to play the same tees as the members, the whites.

You could have played the whites if you'd liked and you would have experienced the full course as well. You chose not to and that's your loss.

I just feel you're critiquing the course from a front tee when you had every opportunity to play further back where grown men with decent handicaps ought to be playing from.

Quote
You write its purely an issue of tee choice.  I say a course which hopes to claim distinction needs better yardage distribution from the daily tees (the main tees of the course).

It does. You'll note the yardages in the white column of the scorecard I posted on page 1.

Sean_A

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #60 on: June 29, 2011, 05:37:38 AM »
Scott

To be honest, I don't recall any instructions from the kid behind the counter.  I know I didn't ask if we could move back, but then I also knew we had two guys with 40+ "handicaps" and plenty of others who find 6100 yards enough challenge (count me as one of those folks) given the rough.   

Set me straight.  Are the yellow or white tees the main tees of the course?  It sounds like white is the competition tees - is this not the case?  Perhaps the yellows are senior/junior tees?  However, I did see a well forward set (black?) which I assumed were the senior/junior tees.

Question, why are the white tees the full course, but not the back tees?  Did you lose anything by not going all the way back?  Its all relative my friend. 

There is no need for feelings, yes, I did critique the course from what I thought were the daily tees, as I do all courses with very few exceptions..."in praise of yellow tees". 

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 05:31:14 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Niall C

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #61 on: June 29, 2011, 12:43:43 PM »
So you weren't forced to play the front trees, you chose to?

The 13th and 14th are 450 and 462 from the yellows, but they call them par fives. There's your "killer fours from the front tees", if you'd only disregard par and just appraise the holes for what they present and not what's written on the scorecard.

Scott

Forget yardage, its a links after all. On 13, you only go for the green if you are in position A with your drive and even then you think twice about that even in a bounce match. In other words it takes two top notch shots to get on. I can tell you that in all the years I played it I maybe managed it couple of times.

The 14th on the other hand is eminently reachable provided you get a half decent drive away which is easier said than done on a roller coaster fairway. Provided your sitting nicely you can have a go as a miss isn't badly punished. A true great blind shot where you climb the hill to seehow close you are.

Niall

James Boon

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2011, 04:05:37 AM »
James,

If your mates thought the fairways were too narrow they could do with some lessons with the driver.  In a decent wind Silloth is as hard as nails but I don't think any reasonable player who has played much links golf would criticise the width of its fairways.  Good Lord, not even Sean and Tony have criticised that!

Mark,

On further digging when I met him this year, it turns out most of the group haven't played links before and are all high teens upwards handicaps. It remains to be seen if I've turned them off the glory of links golf totally, but I know many inland lovers who aren't fans of links golf who've probably had a similar one off experience...  Philistines!  ;D

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay, Ganton, Burnham & Berrow, Royal Dornoch, Woodhall Spa

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Martin Toal

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #63 on: June 30, 2011, 12:03:48 PM »
Interesting discussion between the protagonists above.

I was a member at Silloth for a few years while living in Carlisle. Needless to say the course varies a great deal with the changing weather but I always considered it to have a coherent identity and character. That was one of quirkiness and charm, with a few whimsical features thrown in, but always playable and enjoyable. I don't remember the fairways being especially narrow. 

I have played the par 3 9th with a hands and arms wedge one day and with a 4 iron another. Likewise the back to back par 5s 13 and 14, have played as driver, 3 wood and 4 iron one way and 3 wood, 7 iron the other way.

Great course, friendly members and worth every penny.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #64 on: August 18, 2018, 03:58:09 PM »
Sean, have you returned to Silloth since 2011? If so, has your opinion changed at all?


Itís remarkable how much effect wind can have on oneís thoughts on the course. I cannot fathom playing the 5th with a driver, 8 iron. Today I hit driver, 3 wood, 3 hybrid to the back edge.


I would love to have hit 8 iron several times on the front 9, but even the 300 yard 2nd played as a driver and 6 iron (from 110 yards)... for reference, my typical 6 iron is from 170 yards.


I absolutely loved the golf course. It is certainly among my favourite I have ever played and I think a candidate for world top 100. While it doesnít have the history of Prestwick, I think it the better course.

Mark Pearce

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #65 on: August 19, 2018, 04:25:02 AM »
I absolutely loved the golf course. It is certainly among my favourite I have ever played and I think a candidate for world top 100. While it doesnít have the history of Prestwick, I think it the better course.
Wow, that's a brave call.  But I can see arguments in favour of that position.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Sean_A

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #66 on: August 19, 2018, 04:45:12 AM »
Sean, have you returned to Silloth since 2011? If so, has your opinion changed at all?

I absolutely loved the golf course. It is certainly among my favourite I have ever played and I think a candidate for world top 100. While it doesnít have the history of Prestwick, I think it the better course.

I like Silloth a load as well...it comfortably makes my favourite 50, but I didn't fall in love with the place.  Though I am not convinced it is a great course.  I need to return, but can't bear to without at least a few other chaps in tow.  Its a long way with such a dire town as a greeting!  It would be great if Silloth was a hit and runner, but thats difficult given the location.

Ciao   
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 04:52:16 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #67 on: August 19, 2018, 05:25:52 AM »
My one experience of Silloth last year was enough to place it in my mind at least the equal of the likes of Formby, Alwoodley, Ganton, and Notts.


I too would love to return - let me know Sean, and you can pick me up on the way!
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 05:32:07 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Scott Warren

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #68 on: August 19, 2018, 05:36:10 AM »
Mark,


It seems a big call, and probably is, but not that far-fetched when so many people on this site happily proclaim St Enodoc as World Top 100 without much opposition to the claim.


Sean,


When youíre planning that return visit, be sure to call ahead and make sure theyíll let you play the menís tees this time! 😁

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #69 on: August 19, 2018, 06:14:53 AM »


Sean,


When youíre planning that return visit, be sure to call ahead and make sure theyíll let you play the menís tees this time! 😁


I'm with Sean on this one. Niall, FBD, and myself played Silloth off the yellows in the company of a +5 handicapper, who has previously played the course off the very back tees in Open qualifying and other events.


He certainly didn't feel the course was minimised in any way by playing the regular tees.


His driver, driver to 10ft on the 13th into the wind will linger in the memory...  ;)

Thomas Dai

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #70 on: August 19, 2018, 06:17:52 AM »
It seems a big call, and probably is, but not that far-fetched when so many people on this site happily proclaim St Enodoc as World Top 100 without much opposition to the claim.


I for one would oppose the claim. Great 12-hole course though and exceptionally photogenic. As to the remaining holes there's one hole that could be great but in the prevailing circumstances is dangerous, a couple of others that are okay, one that's a repeat of a hole that already exists on the front-9, one with an unusual green and one that's a real duffer.
There I've said it!
May I suggest the next time your at St E go and play the first-3 and last-6 holes on their other course, the High Course, and see the terrain that could be used instead (and once apparently was).
There, the blue touch paper has been lit. Time now to retire to the place where children watch Dr Who, ie behind the sofa! :)
atb


PS - Silloth is nice. Think I prefer Southernness though! :) :)

Niall C

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #71 on: August 19, 2018, 07:44:33 AM »
Dai

Go and sit in the corner and write out "Silloth is much better than Southerness and Prestwick" one hundred times. Once you've done that I'll let you graduate to the big boys class  ;D

Mark

I really don't see it being that big a call to say Silloth is better than Prestwick. The best bits of Prestwick are very very good, as are Silloths but at Prestwick the far end of the course over the burn the holes are pedestrian in comparison, whereas at Silloth you don't really have that drop in standard.

Sean

I'd also be up for a Silloth visit. If you want to couple it with another course I'd suggest Carlisle and then you can spend the night in Carlisle sampling the delights of Botchergate ! I can't recall off hand the history of Carlisle GC but I think it has a touch of Penink in it. Even though you would probably call it parkland it has a touch of moorland/heathland feel to it. Well worth a play.

Mark S

Back in my days as a member I played the 5th with a driver 9 iron/8 iron a number of times, it just depends on the run and the wind and getting the right line off the tee. Mind you that was to the old green which was slightly shorter and to the left side. I've only played the new green a couple of times and I'm not sure I'd be going for the green in two even if it was reachable.

Niall

Niall C

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #72 on: August 19, 2018, 07:54:02 AM »
Re Carlisle - just checked the website, the initial layout was by Dr MacK's brother Charles, followed by Theodore Moon and MacKenzie Ross redesign in 1940's. No mention of Pennink.

Niall

Keith Phillips

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #73 on: August 19, 2018, 09:26:02 AM »
My group of 15 played Silloth last week on a trip which also included Formby, Wallasey, S&A, West Lancs and the three Royals in the area.  I enjoyed Silloth but my view was very much in the minority.  Ours was a group of 8-22 handicappers and, unfortunately, the worst weather of our trip was at Silloth.  4-club wind and driving rain on the first tee...after seeing the first two tee shots the Pro ran out of the shop to insist we move from the whites to the yellows...a very wise decision!  The rain let up but the strong wind remained.  With our (in)abilities and the conditions, only one of us hit the fairway on 1 and the rough was indeed long and punishing.  There were no caddies available (members/artisans carried at all the others) so it was a struggle to discern direction off the tee and it was doubly difficult to find wayward balls.  An additional drawback for our group was the long drive from our Southport base vs. all the other courses.  To me it was obvious that Silloth has great bones but it wasn't a very pleasant day given the conditions.  Given the remote location (vs. say Prestwick and North Berwick) I'm not sure I'll make a return trip.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: A CUMBRIAN COUPLET: SILLOTH ON SOLWAY GC
« Reply #74 on: August 19, 2018, 10:56:07 AM »
I canít see Southerness ahead of Silloth, not a chance. Only if one does not enjoy the quirk and uniqueness of Silloth and prefers the more traditional golf of Southerness.

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