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Garland Bayley

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I had the pleasure of playing Bude and North Cornwall during my visit to England for Buda Cup this year. I played it the day after I played Saunton, and I found it to be much more pleasurable than playing Saunton East in particular, but also than playing Saunton West.

In evaluating a course, I have found that Alister MacKenzie's preferences from The Spirit of St. Andrews match my preferences to a high degree, some more than others. I have made a synopsis of his preferences and assigned a rough relative weight to them below.

1 Two loops of nine holes
3 Large proportion of good two shot holes and 1 at least four one-shot holes
1 Short green to tee walks
3 Greens and fairways should be sufficiently undulating.
3 Every hole different in character.
1 Minimum of blindness in approach shots.
2 Artificial features should be indistinguishable from natural features.
2 Sufficient number of heroic carries from the tee, but always with alternative route for the high handicapper.
3 Variety of strokes to play various holes, i.e., every club.
3 Complete absence of the need to search for balls.
2 So interesting the best will be motivated to develop shots not previously capable of.
2 Should allow wide detours for high handicappers to avoid hazards.
2 Consistent presentation throughout year with approaches having the same consistency as the greens.

As viewed from Google Earth, one can see there will be a problem with some green to tee walks. What cannot be seen from such a view is the positive brought by the undulations present in the course, and the negative from some blind approaches.


« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:41:48 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall links
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 07:00:52 PM »


The tee shot on the first shows that there will be natural undulations in the fairway. The bunkers left and right are hard to see, but for me are placed to keep me honest with my three wood, whereas there are another pair that are hidden behind the rise in the fairway that would serve to keep me honest with my driver. The other thing that can be seen is how light the rough is that can inhibit recovery shots, but does not inhibit finding your ball much.



This view of the green helps to demonstrate that the first hole plays downhill. This was one of the lighter wind days I had on the links, but it was blowing out to sea as it was most of the time I spent on England's southwest coast.



The second hole heads back up the slope that was descended by the first hole. Sorry the picture is difficult viewing with the morning sun in the background.



I kept my drive away from the bunkers in the right side of the fairway (not hard for a lefty frequently turning the ball to the left), but probably would have an easier approach coming in from the right short of the bunkers.


« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:10:40 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall links
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 08:06:34 PM »


When I reached the third hole, I began to suspect I was into something better than the overrated Saunton. Here we have a dogleg not only guarded by a bunker at the corner, but a hillside of rough that is to be avoided, thereby inhibiting any thoughts of cutting the dogleg. One might choose to bite off as much as one can, but the course may bite back. From the tee, you are presented with a bit of a heroic carry on the line of instinct/charm (being the same in this case), while playing out to the right offers an easier option for the tee shot, but adds distance to the approach.



On the approach, you are presented with the challenge of an uphill shot, much more uphill than one would have expected from the gentler terrain of the opening five holes west of the road.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:12:35 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Bill_McBride

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 08:17:54 PM »
Where is the obligatory caravan park?

Garland Bayley

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 08:23:20 PM »
I'm wondering if the town of Bude hasn't been discovered yet by the holiday takers. No caravan park!
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Tom_Doak

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 08:26:06 PM »
GJ:  You and several other participants here must all come from Lake Wobegon, where all the golf courses are above average.

I did mention Bude's cool setting, which you have done well to illustrate.

Garland Bayley

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 08:29:48 PM »
GJ:  You and several other participants here must all come from Lake Wobegon, where all the golf courses are above average.

I did mention Bude's cool setting, which you have done well to illustrate.

Either that or the courses I play are crap so that everything away from home looks above average to me. ;D
Of course, I could suggest you are from Lake Wobegon for giving Saunton East the score you did, as I found it to be quite average.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

jeffwarne

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2014, 08:31:25 PM »
Many courses in the UK are enhanced by the dwellings around them.
North Berwick, St. Andrews,St George's Hill being the prime examples.

When I researched this course it was mentioned that it had a bit of a St. Andrews feel playing into the town.
I didn't get that feeling and had a hard time appreciating the course due to the setting (which unlike Tom I found to be a slight negative).
Quite a few good holes, a few mundane ones as well
Certainly a mundane setting though the topography of the course was compelling.
3's about right.

Preferred Saunton West (I'd go 5)
Saunton East 4 maybe?
though I appreciate GJ's perspective as his is more objective than mine
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Garland Bayley

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 12:51:18 AM »


Four is a short par three with a green surrounded by bunkers. A unique idea if there ever was one. Unfortunately given the division of the course by roads into three parcels, the three green to four tee walk is a bit lengthy.




« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:14:08 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 01:39:37 AM »
I've not played the course but my sensibilities are offended a little by that awkward triangle of land used for the short 4th hole requiring a walk the full length of the hole to get to the tee.

A similar sized piece of land appears to be unused to the right of the 3rd hole. Would it not improve the routing and flow of the course to utilise this land instead?  The 'awkward triangle' looks like it could accommodate quite a few houses!

Sean_A

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;) New
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2014, 04:14:06 AM »
Thanks GJ

I played B&NC this summer.  Some nice land with a handful of very good holes.  My over-riding impression is there are one hell of load of driver-wedge/9 iron/8 iron holes.  For me, there is not enough variety to really be considered among the best of the West Country nor to forego a game on several of the big guns.  The setting too is disappointing compared to the best of the West Country.  Still, its a cheap and cheerful day out....I suggest folks looking for adventure should give it a go. 

Duncan, the 4th hole would cross a road if routed for golfer convenience.  I am pretty sure this is a fairly new hole.  I bet a hole along the road may have been the star of B&NC.

Ciao 
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 12:07:55 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2014, 04:37:28 AM »
Very comprehensive Garland.

I suspect the 3rd would once-upon-a-time have been much longer (or maybe even been two holes), even gone over the road towards the now 4th tee. Indeed I also wonder if the 2nd didn't once route more out to the left (as a l-r dogleg) and the 3rd tee off further to the right and play over those open sand blow-outs? If there were no houses about and you were a kid playing basic throw the ball down and hit it golf on open terrain that might be how you'd play.

I wonder if there's a yee-olde course routing?

Looking forward to the rest of your tour.

atb

Jon Earl

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2014, 09:40:53 AM »
Garland

Played Bude a few years ago as the last course in a weekend that included Trevose and St Enodoc. I have to say I enjoyed it. As Sean says it's cheap and there is enough to keep you interested.

I have a few pictures to complement yours as you go along.

The 1st fairway



From the left of the 1st green



Approach to the 3rd



Closer view of the 4th green


« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 09:51:24 AM by Jon Earl »
Splosh! One of the finest sights in the world: the other man's ball dropping in the water - preferably so that he can see it but cannot quite reach it and has therefore to leave it there, thus rendering himself so mad that he loses the next hole as well.

Garland Bayley

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2014, 02:08:11 PM »
Thanks GJ

I played B&NC this summer.  Some nice land with a few very good holes.  My over-riding impression is there are one hell of load of driver-wedge/9 iron/8 iron holes.  For me, there is not enough variety to really be considered among the best of the West Country nor to forego a game on several of the big guns.  The setting too is disappointing compared to the best of the West Country.  Still, its a cheap and cheerful day out. 

Duncan, the 4th hole would cross a road if routed for golfer convenience.  I am pretty sure this is a fairly new hole.  I bet an hole along the road may have been the star of B&NC.

Ciao 

How far do you hit your 8 and 9 irons?
One shot holes at 180 and 202 are 8 or 9 iron?
Two shot holes at 446, 482 (slightly uphill), 423 significantly uphill, and 457 uphill are 8 or 9 iron approaches?

I certainly would forgo all games at Saunton East for games at Bude.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2014, 02:37:49 PM »


Five heads back uphill towards with bunkers out of reach for most I would imagine on a day like I had playing uphill into the wind.



As usual, I find myself trudging up the left, where taking it up the right side nearer the OB would have given me a better position for the approach.


« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:16:03 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2014, 03:58:44 PM »


The sixth hole offers a blind drive, which of course I hit up the left edge again. Not knowing the course I did not know how much additional width was available on the right.



Although the fairway widened enough beyond what I could see from the tee to leave me in its very left edge, I had a daunting shot for the six iron I had chosen. I was surprised by the view of the soft ground in the depression between me and the green, as everything had been fast firm and bouncy up to this time. Such wet conditions were more in line with what I had seen at Saunton the day before. Although I had spent over two weeks bouncing in approaches to links courses, that was not possible from this position. Although on paper it seems the green is more receptive coming in from the right, I have no experience with that in my one play of the course. Stressing to hit that perfect six iron, I of course duffed it.  ::)



At least it got me closer, where I hit a wedge that barely held the green.


« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:17:13 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2014, 04:33:22 PM »


The seventh hole presents the dilemma of how much do you challenge the narrowing driving area so that you avoid the literal hazard on the right, and the rough on the hill to the left. In essence you are asked to drive into the point of a quickly narrowing triangle.



I managed to put it near the end of the available flat fairway and keep it out of the hazard left and rough right. Then I was faced with a choice of how far I wanted to hit it over the hill to the blind green. I chose to play cautiously to avoid a possibility of running down the back side of the hill.



I was pleased to see that the green was very generous and deep at the top of the hill, so my ball finishing at the crest was just short of the green, but quite a distance from the hole. A more aggressive approach would be in order next time.



« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:19:09 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2014, 07:39:41 PM »


The eight is a relatively long one shot hole, with just a glimpse of the green surface.



As the hole sits on about the highest point on the golf course, you can still get a glimpse of the ocean.



As we get closer to the hole, one can see the bunker guarding the left side and a hazard on the right. Also, one can see that the green has good movement in it like most of the greens, and much better than Royal North Devon and Perranporth.


« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:20:29 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2014, 03:51:28 PM »
Garland

Played Bude a few years ago as the last course in a weekend that included Trevose and St Enodoc. I have to say I enjoyed it. As Sean says it's cheap and there is enough to keep you interested.

I have a few pictures to complement yours as you go along.

The 1st fairway



From the left of the 1st green



Approach to the 3rd



Closer view of the 4th green




Thanks for adding the pictures Jon. You must be much more than a point and shoot, I'm not quite sure what I'm doing, photographer like me.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bude and North Cornwall (No Tom, it's not a 3) IMO ;)
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2014, 04:05:14 PM »


The ninth is a par five on the card, but since the approach plays significantly downhill, for many it will be a two shot hole.



As the previous picture shows, the drive is blind and you cannot see the bunkers on the left of the fairway that can be seen in this picture. The ideal position for coming into the green in two would be to be near the two fairway bunkers on the left.



The ninth green is one of the lower parts of the course. It may be that they have piped a stream underground to prevent balls from rolling down the hill before the green and going right into the water. Although the stream first appear to my recollection on the tenth hole, I cannot identify it on Google Earth, which suggests that it should appear somewhere near the base of the hill on nine.

If your tee shot left you on the right, your approach may be caught by the bunker short right of the green.



EDIT: I just noticed that the stream must indeed be piped under the fairway as you can see where it must enter its piping marked by the hazard stake on the right of the above picture.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:22:32 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bude and North Cornwall (Front nine complete)
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2014, 04:38:46 PM »


The tenth plays downhill some, and I decided to bounce one in with a knockdown six iron, which you can see worked out quite well for me as my yellow SEVE ball is right there at the base of the flag. What I didn't realize, as I couldn't see it, was that the creek ran in front of the green. Obviously, the bounciness of the turf allowed the ball to easily bounce over it.



« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:24:00 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Paul Gray

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (Front nine complete)
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2014, 05:04:16 PM »
Garland,

Are you aware of any logic to the approach to the 9th. Looks as if the wizard team decided a few trees would look lovely on the links.  ::)
In the places where golf cuts through pretension and elitism, it thrives and will continue to thrive because the simple virtues of the game and its attendant culture are allowed to be most apparent. - Tim Gavrich

Garland Bayley

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Re: Bude and North Cornwall (Front nine complete)
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2014, 05:38:26 PM »
Garland,

Are you aware of any logic to the approach to the 9th. Looks as if the wizard team decided a few trees would look lovely on the links.  ::)

If you follow the course of the stream, you will find it surrounded by trees when off course. The logic I would find in the trees on the ninth is that they either did not clear the natural growth of trees in the area, or they have failed to keep up with clearing as they came back. When the stream reappears on the course on the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th the trees remain cleared with the exception of out of play to the right of 18. But in those instances it is only a tee or green that is across the stream, whereas on the ninth the front edge of the green is 40 yards beyond the stream.

"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bude and North Cornwall (Front nine complete)
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2014, 05:47:06 PM »


The 11th is another two shotter for those with reasonable length. The drive is blind as can be seen below.



The hole has a slight dogleg first left then right. As can be seen below, it is necessary to turn the ball right to reach the green in two with a reasonable chance at a three if the pin is to the right.



« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:26:20 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bude and North Cornwall (Front nine complete)
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2014, 05:59:30 PM »


The 12th has a hill to the right off the tee, which can send balls bonding to the left.



And it has a hillock to the left of the green making it best to come in from the right. So it is best if you can turn the tee ball right and the approach left, which in concert with the last hole makes one think of Pete Dye.



« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:27:36 AM by Garland Bayley »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

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