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Brent Hutto

Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2015, 09:40:42 AM »
I wonder if there's anyone who has played the Sacred Nine and also the new Sweeten's Cove course here in USA. A hole-by-hole "match play" type comparo would be cool.

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php?topic=58527.0



Adam Lawrence

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2015, 09:46:00 AM »
I have but it's too long since I was at Worlington to do a hole by hole. I need a revisit. Sweetens' greens are more dramatic, but it's a good comparison, as both properties are very gentle.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
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Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Brent Hutto

Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2015, 09:48:16 AM »
Adam,

That was my impression from photos, not (yet) having played either. A lot more movement in the Sweetens greens seems a plus for my taste. The climate and grasses at "Worly" seem a big positive. But the land looks remarkably similar.

Jaeger Kovich

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2015, 09:36:20 PM »
I am planning on seeing Sweetens Cove by the end of June on my way in/out of Mississippi... I have seen The Sacred 9, along with Whitensville, and The Dunes... Sweetens would be a massive underdog v Royal Worlington and Newmarket.

Sean_A

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #54 on: April 23, 2015, 06:01:33 PM »
What helps set the Sacred 9 apart is its connection with the orgins of the heathland revolution.  While my point is not architectural, but I would argue it is just as important for the touring golfer.  For golfers who love the historical aspect of the game, this connection is very powerful and helps to boost the general opinion of Worly.  I know people think this sort of thinking is misguided, but I would counter that nobody is completely objective in these matters...so why not err on the cool side  :D


I love this diagram of the 3rd...mostly for how it depicts the 2nd green as a sombrero...anybody who has played the hole will understand the picture.  BTW - anybody who has not yet picked up a copy of Dickinson's A Round of Golf Courses should do so NOW (right NOW).  If you don't like the book, don't bother visiting the Sacred 9.


Ciao
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 06:10:36 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Josh Stevens

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #55 on: April 24, 2015, 05:20:08 AM »
Is Mildenhall the most un-photogenic good course in the world?

Phil McDade

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #56 on: April 24, 2015, 07:56:02 AM »
Is Mildenhall the most un-photogenic good course in the world?

It's perhaps one reason that this course may be undeserving of a Doak 9 and its status (held by many) as the best 9-hole course in the world.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #57 on: April 24, 2015, 08:32:19 AM »
Is Mildenhall the most un-photogenic good course in the world?

It's perhaps one reason that this course may be undeserving of a Doak 9 and its status (held by many) as the best 9-hole course in the world.

A 9 always seemed very high to me.  Although, if Doak was boosting the rating based on how well used the site is then I can see it.  I suspect Doak thinks he couldn't really improve on the design given the machinery limitations of the day.  I know he rarely talks about design "faults", reading between the lines it could be that Doak thinks the Sacred 9 is about as well designed a course as can be.  To me though, well designed is different than the quality in the ground...still, no matter how I shake it, Worly is a great course.

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

Josh Stevens

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #58 on: April 24, 2015, 08:45:46 AM »
I have only played it twice, and while I loved it, I confess I think I might tire of it over time.  Its extremely intricate, but lacks a bit of grandeur that I think I need to keep my attention.  Perhaps that's just me.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #59 on: April 24, 2015, 09:05:08 AM »
Josh

That is interesting because the lack of grandeur isn't an issue for me.  I guess for daily play, like a new car, once you played it enough (driven the car for a month)...its just your home course.  Grandeur usually requires extra buck to support and maintain...I can do without that extra outlay.

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

Carl Rogers

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #60 on: April 24, 2015, 03:35:17 PM »
there are so many other threads that are moaning and groaning about the cost structure of their courses ... it would seem to me that the Sacred 9 cost structure would be exceedingly modest.
how can this model be applied to the North American golf?
I decline to accept the end of man. ... William Faulkner

Brent Hutto

Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #61 on: April 24, 2015, 06:28:46 PM »
Go back in time 100 years and pay for the land.

Build it in an ideal cool climate for low maintenance grasses.

Stick to nine holes.

Avoid getting carried away with eye-catching design features.

Voila! Good cost structure.

Josh Stevens

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #62 on: April 24, 2015, 08:02:20 PM »
But how many Australians or Americans would be satisfied with a  9 hole course in reasonable but not great condition with a clubhouse that has all the luxurious trimmings of a motorway gas station?

IT is very much a trimmed down golf experience and that is to be applauded, but I fear that I for one have become too accustomed to my plump country club

Jaeger Kovich

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #63 on: April 24, 2015, 08:40:15 PM »
Royal Worlington considered expanding to 18 holes. I believe they even purchased the property to do so, but they are clearly better off with just the most outstanding 9. I don't think the other 9 would have measured up to the holes they have.

Jon Wiggett

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #64 on: April 25, 2015, 03:20:16 AM »
But how many Australians or Americans would be satisfied with a  9 hole course in reasonable but not great condition with a clubhouse that has all the luxurious trimmings of a motorway gas station?

IT is very much a trimmed down golf experience and that is to be applauded, but I fear that I for one have become too accustomed to my plump country club

Can you explain what your 'plump country club' offers that is better from a PURELY golfing aspect?

Jon

Brent Hutto

Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #65 on: April 25, 2015, 07:02:41 AM »
But how many Australians or Americans would be satisfied with a  9 hole course in reasonable but not great condition with a clubhouse that has all the luxurious trimmings of a motorway gas station?

IT is very much a trimmed down golf experience and that is to be applauded, but I fear that I for one have become too accustomed to my plump country club

Can you explain what your 'plump country club' offers that is better from a PURELY golfing aspect?

Jon

It does absolutely nothing for me, personally, but there has to be some sort of constituency for 3,000 square foot locker rooms, servants greeting cars in the parking lot, three meals a day served on white tablecloths, poolside drinks service, weight rooms, shoe-shine service and all the other (ridiculous IMO) features of the typical "plump" USA country club.

None of which has anything to do with playing golf but lord knows tens of thousands of USA golfers are willing to pay for all that jazz. Very recently I took the decision to put my money where my mouth is and find a club that's closer to the "purely golfing aspect". So far I'm quite happy with the change. FWIW, the impact on my bottom-line cost has been around 40%. I know it's a sample of just two clubs but it gives a general idea of the proportion of cost that comes from golf vs. other stuff (although even my current club is probably more country-club-ish than many smaller UK clubs).

Josh Stevens

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2015, 08:07:35 AM »
Personal taste, but I see no shame in saying that there is more to life than playing a course that someone has decided is a 9 on some arbitrary scale.  Golf is not a contest of how many Doak points you have accumulated
Golf is an experience. Do I like my nice clubhouse, the grill, the pool, the amazing wine list, the good fellowship, the more amazing course vanishing over the hills in the distance.  Shit yeh

Its good to be the king.

Niall C

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #67 on: April 25, 2015, 09:19:19 AM »
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff114/seanrobertarble/Royal%20Worlington%20and%20Newmarket%20GC/3Sacred9Sketch_zps6f4d5dd3.jpg

The sketch of the hole above looks very like a design MacKenzie used at Pitreavie and indeed I think that Tom D described a similar hole at Cavendish (?). Can anyone who has played RW&N and either of the other two comment whether there are any similarities ?

Niall

Phil McDade

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #68 on: April 25, 2015, 12:43:23 PM »
there are so many other threads that are moaning and groaning about the cost structure of their courses ... it would seem to me that the Sacred 9 cost structure would be exceedingly modest.
how can this model be applied to the North American golf?

Carl:

Well, one could reasonably argue it is at this course: http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,39987.0.html

It's a 9-hole course with a modest clubhouse, limited practice facilities, extremely modest green fees, and conditioning that's good but not great -- certainly playable for all but the snobbiest of conditioning snobs.

It's also a course hardly anyone knows about, compared to the Sacred Nine. I see little about the latter that makes it worth playing more -- or more worthy of its distinguished ranking --  than this little 9-hole gem tucked into a corner of Wisconsin.

Jon Wiggett

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #69 on: April 25, 2015, 04:06:51 PM »
Personal taste, but I see no shame in saying that there is more to life than playing a course that someone has decided is a 9 on some arbitrary scale.  Golf is not a contest of how many Doak points you have accumulated
Golf is an experience. Do I like my nice clubhouse, the grill, the pool, the amazing wine list, the good fellowship, the more amazing course vanishing over the hills in the distance.  Shit yeh

Its good to be the king.

Josh,

I understand what you are saying in the most though what you prefer has NOTHING to do with golf in the main. For me it is being able to play a fun game over an interesting course with good company is more than enough. If at the end of the round there is a cosy clubhouse with decent pint overlooking the course that's great but if not there will be a decent pub just down the road. I certainly don't need the pool or tennis courts or the ego trip of thinking I am king.

Jon

Sean_A

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #70 on: April 26, 2015, 07:14:30 AM »
It surprises me that guys looking for good architecture can't find it at Worly.  It proves to me that eye candy has a major impact on how architecture is perceived and therefore presented.  I still think there is room in the world for thoughtful low key designs.

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

Jon Wiggett

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Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #71 on: April 26, 2015, 07:46:14 AM »
It surprises me that guys looking for good architecture can't find it at Worly.  It proves to me that eye candy has a major impact on how architecture is perceived and therefore presented.  I still think there is room in the world for thoughtful low key designs.

Ciao

Sean,

unfortunately many people are all about the aesthetics and do not appreciate subtlety but rather worship the bombastic. Fortunately there are still many, many super low key courses in the UK with much to recommend them. I can think of a couple of dozen such courses within 1 hour's drive that would fit this bill with quite a few being 9 holers. I suspect the same can be said for clubhouses as well.

Jon

Brent Hutto

Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #72 on: April 26, 2015, 08:00:10 AM »
Once you get past conditioning (i.e. firm, dry, fast) the biggest single factor in my perception of a good golf course is the way various ground contours tie together to create the actual play of the ball on each hole. I think that sort of thing is extremely difficult to capture in pictures and even written descriptions often don't do justice.

So it's natural that a forum on the internet, especially one that describes courses all over the world, will end up creating an emphasis on thing you can see. Frilly edged bunkers, rough lines, trees, macro contours of the green complexes, tee boxes. Some of the most important elements of a course like RW&N we almost have to take on faith when someone who has played there tells us it plays wonderfully.

But any armchair critic (or supporter) of a course can bang on about whether the bunkers ought to be faced differently or if some tree or another ought to be cut down.

Phil McDade

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #73 on: April 26, 2015, 08:34:41 AM »
It surprises me that guys looking for good architecture can't find it at Worly.  It proves to me that eye candy has a major impact on how architecture is perceived and therefore presented.  I still think there is room in the world for thoughtful low key designs.

Ciao

Sean:

The standards for Worly are different -- no one here that I've seen (including myself) has claimed that the course isn't good. But it's viewed as great -- perhaps the best 9-hole course in the world, and a Doak 9 (lacking a 10 only because it's 9 holes, as Tom himself has said). Subtle or not (and I'm a huge fan of subtle, and a known critic of the too-bold and over-the-top design -- see my comments on Wild Horse, Flossmoor, Blackwolf Run River, and a few others), I see little at Worly that distinguishes it from any number of other 9-hole courses I regularly play.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: THE SACRED 9
« Reply #74 on: April 26, 2015, 09:16:13 AM »
Phil

I agree 9 is very high and as I said before, I think that is the archie in Tom speaking...which I can understand in terms of what the course accomplishes given the site and how little land was moved...The Sacred 9 is off the charts creative and punches at least two classes above its weight.  For me, its a 7...in great company with nearly all of the very best courses in GB&I.  I don't have a clue how Worly stacks up with other 9 holers...I don't play that many.  But I will say you are very fortunate if you routinely play courses which are the equal of Worly. 

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

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