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Paul_Turner

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Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« on: November 28, 2011, 09:32:15 PM »
I recently had a look at the Broadstone website and the 11th stood out as being almost unrecognisable.  And after doing a bit of digging online... this great COLT hole got spoiled about 5 years ago.  It has been pancaked/flattened!

The 11th was a celebrated hole highlighted by many golf writers (DARWIN, ALLEN, DOAK...) through the years and I have fond memories of judging the curvy putts on this green; it was a great green with many subtle breaks within the large contours.  It's sad that anyone playing it now won't get the same challenge.  

Here's an only OK quality pic of how it was about 10 years ago:

Cropped


How it is now (from Mark Rowlinson's thread):



On the website:




And from the architects who did the work:

http://sparksandmyers.co.uk/pages/golfcourserenovations.html


The main issue with the hole was the green surface which had slopes as severe as 1:4 in places.  The whole front section was severely sloped and four-putting was a common problem in the summer when the greens were at their fastest.  The green was lifted and reshaped raising the lowest area by 0.8 of a metre (just under 3 feet).  A compatible rootzone was sourced and the original turf, having been stored, was reinstated, this helped to speed up the recovery time and the hole was back in play by the following spring.  The bunker on the left of the green was rebuilt closer to the green to tighten the left hand approach and the front bunker was lifted by over a metre as it felt it would be too severe now the green immediately in front of it was nearly a metre higher; also it was virtually a blind hazard in its lower position.  The right hand bunker was split into two smaller ones.

One of the members at Broadstone commented afterwards; “That it didn’t seem any different after we had completed the work”.  That is a great compliment to how well it fits in with the rest of the course, but you only have to look at the photos to see how wrong he was!


The green which served beautifully for 90 odd years looks to have been completely "bowdlerized" to a nondescript tiered green that can be found anywhere.  The insipid bunker work just adds to the downer.  And all because of a 4 putt now and again!  Poor show from an established course that should have valued its architecture more highly





« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 09:52:09 PM by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Neil White

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 01:04:25 AM »
Hi Paul,

Would sacrilege be too strong a term?

Not knowing the course personally, and from looking at the photos, the alterations seem harsh to say the least - the quote "green had slopes as severe as 1:4 in places" seems almost like a justification for making the changes - well at least it sounds more plausible than "4-putting was a common problem" which says more of the golfers than of the green.

Surely the answer for this particular green would have been to adjust the green speed down?

The changes to the bunkers appear unfortunate especially the front bunker which has lost its teeth and revetted face.

I find the comment from a member quite amusing that "...it didn't seem any different..." which again, probably says more about that member than the success of the alterations.

It would be interesting to find out who sanctioned the work? And how many of said group who regularly 4-putted..........?

Neil.
Courses played 2020 - ................!

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 08:26:29 AM »
Paul:

The two web site pictures look like they're taken from a completely different angle ... did they move the tee?

Otherwise, the work doesn't look so bad, apart from the bunker added on the left.  Can't tell what they've done with the green contours from the pictures, though.  It's pretty common for architects who are "softening" a green to go too far and make it pretty flat ... you just can't take the chance of not going far enough and spending thousands of dollars to not fix the problem!  That's the mechanism by which great courses get watered down.

P.S.  I'm honored to be mentioned in the same parentheses with Bernard Darwin and Sir Peter Allen.

PCCraig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 08:30:09 AM »
Thanks for the pictures. I can't tell what happened to the slopes from the pictures posted, but the updated bunkering doesn't make a whole lot of sense. What purpose does the bunker on the left serve and why would they change the face of the front bunker?
H.P.S.

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 08:31:07 AM »
Paul,

I agree the new green has seemed to have lost some charm.  I think it was an ongoing process as that back right bunker in your "before" shots appears to have already gone through some sofening for the ease of maintenance.  It doesn't really have old Colt character either, it appears to be a "typical" 1960's era bunker.

The total rebuild just completed the process from the looks of it.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 01:15:58 PM »
Jeff

If you mean old Colt character bunkers as being ragged edge with heather, I'm not sure that Broadstone had that when it was built so the look might actually have been in keeping as it were.

Niall

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 01:51:43 PM »
Paul,

There are quite a number of tees for this hole, so it will be played (and possibly photographed) from different approach angles. What worried me more was the disappearance of the drive bunker on the 14th, once one of the most renowned features of the course. It may no longer trouble the good player but it certainly would have affected me today.

Hope you flourish,

Mark.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 02:34:54 PM »
Paul

Check your email.

Niall

Paul_Turner

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Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2011, 12:49:31 PM »
Niall found this GREAT 1919 photo of Broadstone's 11th, so it's a very early one.  Did the green go all the way up that bank on the left?

 I have a 1934 photo that is similar..

I've added the other modern photos so you can see the deterioration of the hole.  

I actually think if you look closely at the two modern photos, you can see how the front of the green has been flattened substantially.

Jeff

As you can see, that back right bunker always had that flat base and wasn't really much different until the recent work.

Tom and Mark

Yes I remember that a number of tees had been added to the 11th...hence the unusual photography angles from the website.  Mark, I did notice on Google Earth that they'd filled that great central bunker on the 14th.  Another discarded feature that's almost a century old.  



« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 12:55:27 PM by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2011, 01:29:33 PM »
!!

It's amazing how dramatic some of the old holes were.

Of course, I'm sure Jeff will follow to tell us they've changed because they were not practical ... but they were a lot more exciting to look at, weren't they?

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2011, 02:12:44 PM »
Jeff

If you mean old Colt character bunkers as being ragged edge with heather, I'm not sure that Broadstone had that when it was built so the look might actually have been in keeping as it were.

Niall

Jeff

Apologies. Clearly I was talking nonsense as usual.

Niall

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2011, 02:39:42 PM »
!!

It's amazing how dramatic some of the old holes were.

Of course, I'm sure Jeff will follow to tell us they've changed because they were not practical ... but they were a lot more exciting to look at, weren't they?

Yes.

Maybe that could be Bandon's next course: dramatic as hell, with the greens "impractical" at any speed.

Forgive me if Bandon has plenty of such holes already. I haven't been there, yet.
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2011, 03:59:24 PM »
It certainly looks to me like the front of the green has been dropped to make a flatter apron leading up to it.  I rather like the lip effect of the old green. 

I am not certain the squiggly bunker or the large front bunker is any great loss.  What is a shame is the horrible left bunker - the old one looks better positioned and better looking. 

All in all though, the old hole looked much better if a bit odd. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2011, 05:19:07 PM »
Yes, all very well, but I think you'll find the 150' 8 1/4" contour means you cannot see the 5th fairway or the railway line from here.

Yahboosucks.

F.

PS lovely hole.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2011, 04:33:08 AM »
Ah, look how gorgeous that old photo is!....

We absolutely NEED to restore some of these courses....

Michael Goldstein

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2011, 05:26:53 AM »
wow!!!  That old picture made me gasp out loud (GCA geek).

Get the chainsaw out.  Restore restore restore. 

 
@Pure_Golf

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Great Colt Par 3 Spoiled: Broadstone's 11th
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2011, 09:56:57 AM »
Bunkers like that large front one in the 1919 photo are usually filled in because they come to be regarded as "not in play" for the better players.  But of the course they are and even better players sclaff shots into bunkers like these

Plus if there aren't any bunkers 40 yds short of greens then how can you have one of the toughest shots in golf (although in this case hacking out of the heather may be tougher)?

The strong prevailing wind on his hole is left to right...so the original green favoured a run and bounce with the terrain.
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

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