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Sean_A

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A warm greeting at the house door.


A typical Minch Old scene.  The 18th as seen from the 1st fairway.


Minchinhampton Old is an open grassland course 700 feet above sea level on a spur of the Cotswolds. Stroud is some three miles distant, Nailsworth Valley is to the west and Frome Valley the north.  Opened in 1889, the course is situated on the magnificent Minchinhampton Common.  RB Wilson of St Andrews is credited with the original design, though there have been many alterations over the years. There may be as few as six original greens and likely no complete holes in play. I should mention there are two newer courses, one built in the 70s and one in the 90s.  The Old Course is part of the same club, but about three miles away.  The bunker free Old Course has very little fairway shaping and is punctuated with iron age fortifications, quarries, Kingtonesque earthworks around some of the greens and the ever present wind.  Despite the lack of fairway shaping, there is no question the designers knew what they were doing as the angles presented bear the hallmarks of strategic golf.  It should be noted that Horace Hutchinson thought enough of Minch Old to include it in his British Golf Links, a highly recommended book.

Despite the clever subtleties of the design, my favourite aspect of Minchinhampton is it's true common nature.  Minch Old generally circles in a wide clockwise arc around the 580 acre common and through the remains of an iron age fort. There is a long tradition of golf on common land in England, but Minchinhampton feels unique to me.  The course crosses several roads while sharing the land with walkers, horse riders, children at play, cows and horses. Minch Old was the first time I have had the pleasure to experience a true common golf scene as one might have found 120 years ago.

There are open views in every direction, but many of the holes have a strangely semi-blind nature from the tee. Usually this is due to a slight rise in the fairway, but there is also a lack of elements such as shaping, bunkers or trees to act as a guide or help with estimating distance.  Below is a view of the Windmill Hole not long after the course opened.


Modern Routing


1947 Routing


Card of the course.


The opening hole is a short par 5 which turns slightly around a turf wall slashing into the right side of the fairway.  Below is a look at the green and the lovely simplistic shaping of which I have grown very fond.




The narrow green is quite evident in this photo from right of the green.


A bruiser par 4, the second turns back on the opener. Heading back up the hill at a slightly diagonal angle, a turf dyke cuts off the approach from the right.  The shaping for this incredibly small and relatively new green (mid 90s?) is obviously modern, however, it works.


The third is another somewhat blind tee shot which requires one to gain the far right side of the fairway or be left facing the very awkward approach pictured below. In reality there is plenty of room.


Nevertheless, going long especially in keen conditions is the likely result of approaching from the wrong side of the fairway, but it is no great hardship.


The simple beauty of Minchinhampton is most apparent on these open grassland holes.  It is clear the fairways are much too narrow given the wind, but in conditions such as this with the rough down (or in winter) it doesn't much matter.




#5 features another obscured tee shot heading for a squared off green hanging on the edge of a creek valley.  Due to regulations, I believe only six greens can be fenced at the same time and only for repair work.


We now cross a road to play a curious two-shotter.  Originally the tee was on the near side of the road necessitating a drive over a quarry.  The modern driving line isn't obvious and it may pay to lay up as this par 4 isn't long.  That said,  once spotting a flag through the trees it may be a strong temptation to have at it.  It is easy to get caught up with the aesthetics of the site...and rightfully so.


The 7th is another hole where one hits into an open fairway with only waves of grass to kill the aggressive instinct.  Livestock can obscure the view!


The quarry on the left can't be seen until hitting the approach.  To top it off the green is raised from that angle and runs away.  It isn't great golf, but one must certainly think their away around the course.


Keeping well right off the tee makes life easier.  The modern mounding gives this green away as fairly new (mid 90s).  The original green was located on the far side of the quarry to left.


Minchinhampton's first par 3 is a hum dinger and may be the best hole on the course.  Humps block out the approach from the right so one must hit in the direction of the treeline.  These photos are forward of the tee.




There is perhaps 20 yards of open ground between the humps and the green.


We now cross another road and head away from the attractive stone's-throw-away village of Amberley to play the 9th.  We finally encounter a hole which is reminiscent of modern golf with all there is to see!  However, all is not what it seems.  Playing safely right of the quarry (evidenced by trees on the left) leaves a dreadful angle in which one will do well to hit the green let alone flag hunt.




The infectious nature of Minch Old compels some to do cartwheels.


The home nine starts with a deceptively difficult wee hole which was built in the 90s.  Practically all changes were due to road safety.




The purple patch continues with Tom Longs.  The hole celebrates (it is the club logo) the post which is the road sign behind the green.  The use of trees on this hole is one of the best I have encountered when the back tee is in play.  Take aim just right of the trees then fire away at Tom Longs Post.  Stroud Brewery brews an ale called Tom Long, named after a mythical highwayman hung and buried at the post.




The green is quite surprising as it is located in an old quarry!  For some odd reason the orginal green was just in front of the quarry.  The 12th is in the background.  Consider how many holes could fit into that space and it gives an inkling of Minch Old's scale.




A little guitar work entitled Tom Long's Post: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyjjbE3jhWU

Yes, the golfer must cross another road for the lone par 5 on the back nine; a grassland hole.  I find these open spaces extremely pleasant places to play the game.  The greensite is rather listless these days.  The green used to be located to the right between a dry ditch and the road...again, this may have been changed in the mid 90s.  More road crossing for the very odd 13th for which I am gaining a real appreciation over time.


The fairway ends at a ditch (part of iron age fort) running diagonally across the fairway.  There is a flag out right, but one cannot see what lies between the tee and the green.  As it turns out, if the rough is light and if one doesn't mind taking on the road, the up the gut approach is much easier.  The further left one goes the worse the angle and the fairway runs out.  Below is a look at the approach from atop the dyke.  One can readily see that approaching from left of this position is problematic.


Looking back to the tee.  The old fairway is plagued by the road, but this tee shot is still on!


The next two holes are nothing special.  14 is a newish and tough, but somewhat dull short hole.  15 too is a bit boring, a longish blind two-shotter.  Although, there are some great features near the green which were oddly not used.  However, the one shot 16th is a lovely looking and an excellent hole.  It looks much further than its 150 yards - not quite sure why.  In some ways, this is the perfect par 3. There is a strong element of do or die, but should one fail to hit the target, there are recovery shots. Going over the road is easily done given the carry element of the hole. Its a tragedy that all the quarries aren't as well kept of trees etc as this.


Left of the green.


The strongly tilted back to front green is punctuated with contour.


A painting which appeared in a 1890 edition of the London Illustrated News. This may be the original 14th, currently in the area of the 16th & 17th...not much has changed!


A very fine drivable par 4, the 17th fairway slopes in a quartering angle left to right and toward the green.  I believe the tee used to be on the far side of the road, creating a much more intriguing angle for the drive.


A drive in the left rough can leave a struggle for par.  The expertly placed hollow shy of the green can just be seen.


A look at the green from near the road. 


Our last road crossing takes place for the final hole.  Once again, I think the tee used to be on the other side of the road making for a far more demanding tee shot.  A tee near the 17th green would also make more sense for the earth works near the green. The hole is now otherwise straightforward except for when the grazing cattle and horses become stubborn.  The cows are released every year on 13 May; called Marking Day because prior to release the cows are held in a pen near The Old Lodge for marking.   


The horses are on hand to say good bye.


While the modern clubhouse is directly behind the 18th, the Old Lodge at one time had a club room for members.  Its a shame this still isn't the case as this is a terrific pub.  I had a look at one of the six rooms upstairs and it looked to be comfortable.  One could do a lot worse than stay on the common when touring around!   


Back in the day.


Surprisingly, much of Minch Old isn't terribly old and little of the orginal 1890 design remains as the course underwent drastic alterations during and after WWI.  It could well be that some holes from the orginal Ladies course are now part of the Old Course.  The general post WWI routing is fairly well in place and regardless of age the course displays remarkably competent and compelling architecture which can be overlooked given the beautiful site.  On the other hand, because Minch Old is visually alluring, it may be easy to disregard the short-comings of the course such as several road crossings, road noise, lack of movement in fairways, rather one dimensional shaping and green conditions which can be politely called wanting.  I suspect as the course is on common land maintenance restrictions are fairly rigorous....which is a shame as there are bones of what could potentially be an outstanding course.  Even so, if approached in the right spirit, Minch Old is a lot of fun and doesn't require the equivalent purchase of an acre of land to be tempted by its delights.  I am not yet convinced there are any All-England candidate holes, but with so many wonderful holes such as 1, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16 & 17, Minch Old provides more than enough interest.  Like Painswick, it is difficult to award a star because of the maintenance au naturel, but I shall continue to return if only to experience playing proper common land golf.  I might also add that Minch Old seems to play very differently on each visit and I suspect this is largely because it is common land. 2022

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/minchinhampton-and-rodborough-commons
A special thank you is due to Col Kurtz, the secret agent of Oxford, for recommending I see Minch Old.  Cheers CK!   

Ciao   
« Last Edit: May 05, 2022, 05:31:52 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Důnal ” Ceallaigh

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2011, 07:46:15 PM »
Sean,

Thanks for another great photo tour of a hidden gem. It looks like a really nice course.

It may not be top flight, but some of the land looks perfect for golf, and as you wrote, there are some great looking holes there, especially the 8th, 16th and 17th and the Tom Longs hole. From the pictures alone, I'd definitely recommend it.

Some of the greens are not fenced, for example the 8th. Did you notice any hoof marks after what looks like a mini-stampeed? I would have though cattle would cause terrible damage to greens, especially when they run.

Phil McDade

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 09:06:18 AM »
Sean:

You may have found your Shangri La -- a course with no bunkers, no apparent water hazards, wide playing corridors, and greens surrounded by plenty of mounding. What more could you ask for?

Fun-looking course -- the greens look tiny in some instances. But love the punchbowl green of Tom Longs!

Anthony Gray

Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 12:24:39 PM »


  Nice thread.That just looks like a very special day.

 AG


Robin_Hiseman

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 09:05:33 AM »
Sean:

The Minchinhampton Common course is one that I have very fond memories of.  My Mum lived just outside of Minchinhampton for a few years and whilst working with Hawtree, the new Cherington Course for Minchinhampton Golf Club was the first design work I ever did that got constructed.  Many happy times spent here.  Can there be as small a village to have three golf courses?

I'm delighted that you've got to see this course, as it is one of a select grouping of Cotswold limestone common courses that could best be described as 'rustic'.  I'd put Painswick and Cleeve Hill in the same bracket, with Cleeve Hill being the most formal of the three, which isn't saying much given how basic it is.  Minch Old is probably the most natural course I've ever played, and your photos demonstrate this.  The cattle and horses are permanent features and for large parts of the summer the fairways are barely distinguishable amongst the wild flowers. 

The course used to be even more interesting than it is now, for until the mid 1990's the layout played to different greens at the 2nd, 7th and 12th.  These greens were axed as part of a safety audit compiled by old Fred Hawtree and I believe it was possibly the last consultancy work he did. 

The old 2nd green was much further down the hill to the left of the current green.  It sat on a narrow shelf with a precipitous drop to the left.  It was moved to save the houses below from bombardment.


Old 2nd green to the left, highlighted in green.

The old 7th green was a brilliant target.  It clung to the edge of the quarry on the right and there was a steep drop off behind down to the road.  Any sliced drive had to play over the quarry to reach the green.  From memory I don't think the visiblity of the green was too good either.  It was moved away from the road to the current location, which is not a patch on the former.



Finally, the old 12th green was sited amongst the old iron age earthworks, in a sunken green reminiscent of the 5th at Painswick.  The green was entirely blind, set beyond the humps in Sean's photo.  It was literally on the verge of the road and so was moved.  It was very dangerous but a thrilling approach.



I enjoyed the course more in the old configuration, which had lasted a century or more unchanged, but the course is certainly worth a detour if you are looking for the ultimate in pastoral golf. 

You should also take a look at their website, where there are some fabulous photos of the course.  £18 to £22 for a green fee so you can't argue at the value.

http://old.minchinhamptongolfclub.co.uk/index.php
2022: Al Mouj; Cleeve Hill, Painswick, Minch Old, Weybrook Park, The Astbury, Silloth, Royal Balfron, Strathendrick, Archerfield (Fidra), Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn (Marquess), JCB, Pyrford, Hayling, Clandon, Wentworth (East), Ashbourne, East Sussex National (West)

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 11:53:20 AM »
Thanks Sean (and Robin)...

First I've heard of the course but look at those open grassland holes with the fairways bleeding in to the wispy rough... Heaven...

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 02:33:44 PM »
I concurr with Robin, the course was better in older days, though its still lovely. The 10th got moved as well in the shake up and 17 is played from a different direction, you used to walk behind the road then play across it. 13 and 14 are also victims of the H&S changes and are not for the better and I think 15 is now an easy 4 where it used to be a very long 450 yarder. The 5th green might have got moved out as well (I am not sure). The second was a great 5, strangely a ball would only be trickling and pose no real threat. You are best playing Minch Old in the Spring or in the Winter....it could form part of a great quirky weekend as Painswick, Minch Old and Cleeve Hill are all pretty close. The Open golf championship (Yes, THE OPEN) was nearly played here in the 1890s, Minchinhampton has always been close to the R&A and 100 years ago it was a great strong course much along the lines of Westward Ho!
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Tiger_Bernhardt

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 02:49:51 PM »
It is funny. When you were describing the course it sounded like Painswick.

Sean_A

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 02:00:05 AM »
Donal

For the most part the greens are firm and if it stays dry the cows don't do much damage, however, there were a few greens which showed signs of marks.  Even so, the greens rolled better than they look or ought to. 

Doc

I knew the 7th green had to be located closer to the quarry, but I would have guessed it was further up, not on the other side. 

Yes, the 2nd is odd and I suspected wasn't original because of the 75 yard walk to the 3rd tee.  Still, the turf dyke adds a bit of spice to balance out the dreadful mounding on the left.  Whichever archie did that work should have been far more bold and alpinization like to remain in keeping with the course.  There are a few greens like this which jar the eye, but still work well.

The old 12th green sounds quite good and would make reaching the green in two much more difficult.

Adrian

Could you explain the other changes that Robin hasn't. Also, please relate the Open story. 

It does sound weird to cross the road for 17 tee only to play back over the road!  I like the hole.  I also like 13, but its a weird looking hole.  14 is a bit of a mess and doesn't use the natural features to the left of the green very well, but it is tough. 

I was quite surprised at how very different Minch Old is to Painswick.  There is a far more expansive feel (and much flatter) at Minch Old which I much prefer even though Painswick has most of the better holes between the two.  That said, the turf (and greens) at Minch Old strikes me as superior to Painswick and in most places looks like it would drain well in the winter.

Ciao 
« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 03:35:12 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

James Boon

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2011, 04:07:04 AM »
Sean,

Great stuff! I love the look of Michinhampton Old and will have to give it a try some time. Let me know when you are heading to Cleeve Hill, and If I can make it I'd love to join you?

I can certainly see the Painswick comparison but with Painswick being on a hill, that has quite an impact upon the routing and architecture!

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

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

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2011, 08:39:30 AM »
Adrian

I'd totally forgotten about the old 10th and the other changes, but fortunately I kept my card from my first round there back in early 1992, which reminded me of what the course used to be.  Here it is below.  A pretty grotty score, but given it was March it was almost certainly my first game of the year!  The card gives a clue to the hole yardages you mentioned, though this suggests that 17 is the same today.  The hole graphics have helped me key up a few of the photos that follow.



The 2nd used to be a par 5.  The current back tee used to be the forward tee.  Here is the old line of play.


Here is the old 10th, a short par 3 played directly over the quarry.  The green site is still very much in evidence.  It was VERY close to the road, which is often quite busy, especially at weekends.


The old 14th used to play OVER the main road and I can remember now waiting for a gap in the traffic!  I've guessed at where the tee used to be to give a yardage consistent with the old card.  The old line in white, the current in yellow.


I think 15 played back over the road, as Adrian suggested.  Old line in white and current line in yellow again.


I never knew that story about the Open championship, but a century ago this would have been quite a beefy golf course.  It is great fun and extremely basic.

Finally, James, here is a an aerial of Cleeve Hill, near Cheltenham.  Very much of the same genre but much wilder, more undulating terrain.  You might struggle to even pick out a course from this picture, but there are some really thrilling shots to be played, coupled with spectacular views.  i'd love to join you and Sean down there for a knock.   

2022: Al Mouj; Cleeve Hill, Painswick, Minch Old, Weybrook Park, The Astbury, Silloth, Royal Balfron, Strathendrick, Archerfield (Fidra), Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn (Marquess), JCB, Pyrford, Hayling, Clandon, Wentworth (East), Ashbourne, East Sussex National (West)

James Boon

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2011, 08:53:15 AM »
Robin,

Excellent stuff! I imagine if the roads around Painswick were busier some similar changes would also have been made by now.

These discussions about changes to courses over time are fascinating and when they are kept civil  ;D are one of the great assets of this site! As golf course history and historians often seem more interested in who was Captain in 1957 or whatever, perhaps these discussions are more golf course archaeology?

Thanks also for the aerial of Cleeve Hill. On a closer look, you can see the holes, but fathoming out the routing is tricky.

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

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

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2011, 09:18:35 AM »
James

No time for photoshop but how does this work for you?


« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 09:30:53 AM by Robin_Hiseman »
2022: Al Mouj; Cleeve Hill, Painswick, Minch Old, Weybrook Park, The Astbury, Silloth, Royal Balfron, Strathendrick, Archerfield (Fidra), Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn (Marquess), JCB, Pyrford, Hayling, Clandon, Wentworth (East), Ashbourne, East Sussex National (West)

Giles Payne

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 09:36:50 AM »
Sean

Great tour, thanks for this.

The other course that I have played that might be similar is Beverley in Yorkshire - a great fun course.

John Mayhugh

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2011, 12:35:08 PM »
Sean,
Nice tour.

Were the cattle walking on the 8th green?  Seems that some greens had fencing and some did not.  

I like the look of a number of the holes.  Worth filing away for another time I'm in the area.

The photo of the horses on the 18th made me wonder if those are an underused hazard.  I guess positioning can be a bit tough to control.


Robin,
Thanks for pointing out the link to the club's website.  Some incredible photos.  Makes me want to see the course even more.


Giles,
I was near Beverley a week or so ago, but opted to go see Flamborough Head instead for my Ganton warm-up. Wish I had time for both of them, but the prospect of some sea air won me over.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 12:37:32 PM by John Mayhugh »

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2011, 01:49:07 PM »
Sean & Robin - I dont remember the Hole 17 date change. Its a great hole now and certainly no worse, it crosses 16 now of course and it did not before, the green sits beautifully from the new angle. This hole may have changed before the safety audit, that road at 17 is pretty busy and it seems an obvious thing to do. 270 yards or so would have been the distance from the old tees across the road, it was certainly driveable, I think it was very slightly downhill, but Robin might remember probably had he played from those tees. This is one of those great courses for finding the old features and theres lot to be had. I think hole 6 was played across the road too, google earth might show up some tees adjacent to the 5th green. I seem to remember the 6th as a drive and short iron hole. The 9th tee has crept back as the club lost distance at other holes and the first used to be a long 4, not a short 5. I vaguely remember some talk of playing 2 holes to the left of 11 to replace the problem 12-14 area. It would appear that 15 from Robins scorecard that has not lost length, merely an angle change. It certainly makes me want to go and play this course again.

Robin- I am not 100% sure your diagrams and numbering are right unless its changed recently at Cleeve Cloud, it used to be different than that. I think 3 and 8 are similar uphill holes and the 7th is a downhiller to the clubhouse. It would make some sense if they ommitted 7 and 8 as they create an unesscary tough walk back up to 8. I think 9 to 14 used to follow a big sweepy loop and there was a green set at the edge of the escarpment semi blind as I remember. Certainly room for extra holes here to make way any front nine losses. The 2nd has been altered over the years too, though I seem to recall its back where it was pre 1976. I only played it twice, I must pop up and see Dave Finch the pro, we were assistants at the same time back in the 1.62 days!

In the late 1880s, golf was branching out and the Open looked for new homes and it was looking for English homes, Westward Ho! and Minchinhampton were the strong contenders in the SW, Minch was a strong club with good players and allied strongly with the R&A as it is today. Hoylake and Sandwich became the added two courses to the early rota and in the end the Open never came West, Lytham did not feature until 1926, Birkdale was going to be 1940. Several times Deal has got the Open, 1909, 1920, 1938, 1949 but its been unlucky. Minch is featured in Darwins book and he speaks fondly of it.

Stinchcombe Hill is another course that you would enjoy if you are in the area. It has similar charms but now cows and is more manicured, its a little under 5800 yards though I have just suggested some changes to the club that would see the course just go past the 6000 yard mark and at par 68 would be a very good test. They recently played the county championship here and +7 or something won for 72 holes, thats a dozen strokes more than normal.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Bill Brightly

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2011, 08:40:08 PM »
Sean,

What a charming course. Thanks for another fantastic photo tour.

JNC Lyon

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2011, 08:50:01 PM »

Minchinhampton's first par 3 is a hum dinger and maybe the best hole on the course.  Humps block out the approach from the right so one must hit near the treeline.  





This is what golf is all about.
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2011, 04:09:15 AM »
Adrian is right about the 17th.  One can just make out the old tee platforms on Google Earth.  Don't remember this angle...it was a long time ago!



Can't see any evidence for a tee near the 5th green but it is quite possible that it was there.

My Cleeve Hill annotated layout is correct as of my last visit there in 2004.  The club website doesn't help with any information on the current layout.  The 13th hole has the green set amongst the old hill fort embankment.  You can see it on the following photo, which gives a good impression of the nature of the course.

 


And this is the green of the par 3 16th hole, which is played from a tee on the escarpment in the distance.




« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 04:11:46 AM by Robin_Hiseman »
2022: Al Mouj; Cleeve Hill, Painswick, Minch Old, Weybrook Park, The Astbury, Silloth, Royal Balfron, Strathendrick, Archerfield (Fidra), Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn (Marquess), JCB, Pyrford, Hayling, Clandon, Wentworth (East), Ashbourne, East Sussex National (West)

Sean_A

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2011, 01:20:15 PM »
Sean,
Nice tour.

Were the cattle walking on the 8th green?  Seems that some greens had fencing and some did not. 

I like the look of a number of the holes.  Worth filing away for another time I'm in the area.

The photo of the horses on the 18th made me wonder if those are an underused hazard.  I guess positioning can be a bit tough to control.


Robin,
Thanks for pointing out the link to the club's website.  Some incredible photos.  Makes me want to see the course even more.


Giles,
I was near Beverley a week or so ago, but opted to go see Flamborough Head instead for my Ganton warm-up. Wish I had time for both of them, but the prospect of some sea air won me over.

Tucky

For some reason the cows made a beeline straight across the 8th green and one even sniffed the flag.  There were only a few greens fenced off and they seemed to be the most beaten up ones.  I think of Minch Old as a course which deserves a significant day trip...so well worth going out of your way if heading to/from the West Country or London environs.   

Robin & Adrian

Thanks for the comments and images.  Does it strike you as odd that the 17th crossed the road when there was an obvious place for the tee where it currently is?  I would think a cross-over (especially concerning a par 3) is much preferable to crossing a road - twice no less. 

Ciao   
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 04:54:06 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2011, 03:59:07 PM »
I spoke to one of our members today and he is a member at Minch also and lives very near the common.

The 17th was changed quite a long time ago and at that same time the 15th got shunted to the left to avoid the road cross. This road is quite busy I suspect traffic has doubled in the UK in 20 years, sadly the Safety measures were essential. I asked him about 6 and it did play across the road and was quite a meaty hole, I vaguely do remember playing it, but struggle to remember the next one which was once quite tough. My friend also told me that the club are only allowed to fence a green off in order to repair the damage and that only a maximum of 6 at any one time can be fenced.

The old 17th tee position was just over a less used road I suppose and so it made less difference. It was a good hole from there, you could drive the green and you needed to take on the grass quarry, great architecture really in biting off as much as you dare, with old fashioned sticks I guess it needed a good blowy wind to make it and at other times it was not possible. The tee elevation was a fair bit higher than the green and old 17 was very much a stand out hole, possibly the signature hole (lol). Fortunately with the new tee its a good hole, overall it might have been a tad better in its former, but not lots in it.

As a further point I think crossing holes in routings is often taboo in some minds. You will see one Sunday Sean.
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Paul_Turner

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2011, 08:49:36 PM »
Nice thread Sean,

This resurrects some fond memories of playing Minch several times when I lived in nearby Horsley in 1995.  Re the changes I definitely remember some of those greens in transition.:  2nd, 7th, 10th.  Perhaps the 13th too but I don't remember the 15th change.

The original 10th was amazing but the 16th was always the favourite there.  It was the first hole I spotted on my first drive up from Nailsworth and left a strong impression....a course that was unique and demanded a second look.

But I did once get chased of the course by a swarm of horse flies (presumably attracted to the cows),  had to leg it from the 14th to the car park!
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2012, 07:12:07 AM »
Just bumping for now. For some reason the Search facility won't work on my home computer.

More later.
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Niall C

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2012, 07:44:37 AM »
Sean

Great to compare your photos to the tour of the course yesterday where the course was a lot bearer and no livestock wondering about. Not sure which look I prefer but I do know that I preferred Minch to Cleeve Cloud. Possibly because at Cleeve I was getting anxiety attacks every time I looked at the views. Not a course to play if you're scared of heights and wide open spaces ! Mind you I've never played a course with more space than Minch which makes its somewhat ironic they had to move some of the greens for safety reasons.

It was great fun also playing as a fiveball and with no one behind or in front.

Robin

There was an old black and white aerial in the clubhouse which showed the old 13th and 14th with the old 14th green clearly visible. I'm sure the old tee can be identified but unfortunately can't remember where it was and didn't take a photo either, mores the pity.

Re the old tenth, I had a look at the raised area immediately back of the 9th green to see if it was maybe an old tee for the current 11th on the basis that the current tenth was a later addition and what is now the 11th was once the 10th. Knowing now that the old tenth was over to the right makes me wonder if at some point that area was used as a tee for the 10th. It certainly would have been a great shot and simnilar to the 16th.

Niall


Tony_Muldoon

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Re: THE TIMELESS MINCHINHAMPTON OLD COURSE
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2012, 04:39:04 PM »
Letís not forget Minchampton.  Initially I thought it might provide a gentle let down back to more usual  golf after the other two, but like Niall I really enjoyed it. 

The course looks beautiful in your pictures Sean but for us there was virtually no difference between the fairways and rough.  With the course spread over a huge area this was the purest form of golf Iíve ever seen.  A  tee and a green.  Perhaps Iíd learned from the previous day but I did carefully choose a spot to hit it too and it worked.  The greens are great fun and there are several cracking holes.


Iím back in the area in September and if my brother in law brings his clubs along for their annual  airing, it will be the perfect place to take him. Fun for both of us.
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

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