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Ran Morrissett

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When brother John and I started GolfClubAtlas.com, we did so by writing positive course profiles. The purpose was to highlight what is good and important in architecture in optimistic hopes of showing a way forward. That ideal has never changed. One of our earliest influences was Nick Edmund and his wonderful UK profiles that appeared in both Links Magazine for a while as well as Following the Fairways, which he edited (my marked up edition is from 1996).

Roll the clock forward and the person whose writing and photos best capture the pure, unfiltered joy of the game - to me - is Sean Arble. We have now assembled a majority of his tours under Course Tours in the Best of Golf section.

Many of them are of hidden country gems scattered around England where the game remains simple and untouched by the junk that plagues so many modern courses. Such uncluttered 'walks in the countryside' are the stuff of dreams, at least to me, especially when your dog tags along for the exercise too.

Sean's tours alternate between historical facts and what makes the courses/holes fun. Honestly, what else matters?!  You can read about 7,000 yard plus, water strewn, expensive, slow playing, over-maintained, bland tournament courses elsewhere. 

Sean has produced 50+ tours over the years, each different from the others. Now they are collected in one spot for ease of enjoyment. My apologies (!) for taking so long as Sean's body of work is exemplary; truly the Best in Golf.

As Chris Buie likes to remark, "Keep calm and read Sean Arble!"
 
Best,

David Davis

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2015, 04:27:30 PM »
This is great news and very deserved. Happy you guys did this.
Next up: open to ideas!

IG: @top100golftraveler
www.top100golfcourses.com

MCirba

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2015, 04:37:58 PM »
What a splendid idea!

Thanks Ran and Sean for putting these terrific essays in a single, easy-to-find digestible resource.   
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Benjamin Litman

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 04:53:42 PM »
A well-deserved honor for Sean, whose tours--even well before I joined this site--have always captivated me.
"One will perform in large part according to the circumstances."
-Director of Recruitment at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda on why it selects orphaned children without regard to past academic performance. Refreshing situationism in a country where strict dispositionism might be expected.

Jason Way

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2015, 04:55:15 PM »
Fantastic Ran (and Sean).  Thank you both for your efforts.


Obviously, from the comments and photo additions to Sean's tours, his perspective is inspiring.  I certainly feel that sense of joy and inspiration when scrolling through the photos and reading the commentary.



For me, this exemplifies what this site and community do best.
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

Jeff Bergeron

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2015, 05:11:22 PM »
Very good call!

Colin Macqueen

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2015, 05:32:39 PM »
Sean and Ran,


This will be an inspirational resource for all who seek the true allure of the gowf!


To have this repository to hand should ensure that generations of golfers to come will be led down an enlightened path!


Well done to both of you. Sean for the exquisite descriptions and images and Ran for the foresight to archive them in such an accessible manner.


Bravo!


Colin
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

Michael Whitaker

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2015, 06:44:30 PM »
Sean,

I'm proud for you, my friend. Your presentations are the stuff of dreams for most golfers on this site. Looking forward to seeing you in Nottingham!
"Solving the paradox of proportionality is the heart of golf architecture."  - Tom Doak (11/20/05)

Jon Cavalier

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 08:09:48 PM »
Outstanding. Congrats to Sean on this richly deserved raise in profile.

I've never played a single course Sean has profiled, but as a result of his wonderful tours, I feel like I have.
Golf Photos via
Twitter: @linksgems
Instagram: @linksgems

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 10:18:44 PM »
Outstanding. Congrats to Sean on this richly deserved raise in profile.

I've never played a single course Sean has profiled, but as a result of his wonderful tours, I feel like I have.


I feel the same way about Jon Cavalier's profiles. We are fortunate to have both chaps making such contributions.
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

Ed Tilley

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2015, 04:39:01 AM »
Excellent stuff - very useful for planning golf trips.

A couple of tours that I've just been looking at - thinking of playing these on the twilight rate in the next few weeks - that were excellent and not on the list.

West Hill
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,57487.msg1342844.html#msg1342844

Woking
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32655.0.html

RJ_Daley

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2015, 10:08:44 AM »
Oh to be a young man again...  As a golfer, I'd love to have an opportunity to live and work for a year or more in GB and use a resource like this smart compilation to carve a path through mostly jolly old England, in order to take in the authentic experience of the pure game. 

Now this resource it there for the many who yearn to sample this variety of simple country golf thanks to Sean's dedicated and passionate efforts, and Ran's foresight to feature Sean's work. 
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2015, 01:01:32 PM »
I too am, of course, very pleased at Sean's well deserved recognition, and very appreciative of the wonderful resource that is now permanently in place.
 
I would add this: Ran writes that "you can read about 7,000 yard plus, water strewn, expensive, slow-playing, over-maintained, bland tournament courses elsewhere".  True enough. But you can now also read about "retail-priced, high-profiled, top-ranked, leading-edge architectured, far-flunged, resort-based, once-in-a-lifetimed, main-lined exclusive" courses elsewhere (and here, and there, and everywhere).
 
The average, English course - the 4s, and 5s, and 6s that for decades have with modesty and restraint and simplicity and affordability served their purpose exceedingly well as ideal venues for the game of golf and all of its pleasures: about those, the lifeblood of the game, we can only read (or at least read most satisfyingly) in the works of Mr. Arble.
 
I may never get there to the UK, and I may never play any of the courses profiled. But that doesn't matter. These courses exist, and Sean highlights and promotes them, which helps keep them healthy and vibrant for others to enjoy for many many years.
 
Peter
 

 

Thomas Dai

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2015, 03:46:33 PM »
To paraphrase Oliver Twist, "please Sean, can we have some more"!
Atb

Greg Taylor

Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2015, 12:57:13 AM »
Sutton Coldfield's profile didn't make the list either....!


Well done Sean. They are part of what makes this sight great.

Jason Topp

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2015, 01:36:24 PM »
Fantastic addition to the site and well deserved recognition for Sean!

Paul Gray

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2015, 05:16:28 PM »
I've long hoped for this day. Great stuff.
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

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2015, 01:45:13 AM »
Sutton Coldfield's profile didn't make the list either....!

Or Reddish Vale...   :(


John Mayhugh

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2015, 01:03:25 PM »
Organizing Sean's course profiles in one place was a great idea.  Thanks for doing that.

Last month, I had a short business trip to England.  In that, I managed to play five courses that Sean has profiled: Cleeve Hill, Blackwell, Church Stretton, Reddish Vale, and Cavendish.  I'm confident in saying no one else has ever played the same lineup in a single trip, though I'm not sure that's something to brag about!  I did more driving than Sean would approve of, but wanted to take advantage of the chance to play a few course that have intrigued me for some time.

Without Sean's posts, I might never have heard of any of these courses, and certainly not all.  He's doing us all a great service by showcasing the variety of quality golf that is in the UK.  If every trip overseas included just one of these lesser known courses, people could both save money and get a fuller experience in both golf architecture and culture. 

I may not get a chance to play every course he's profiled, but if it's one he likes, I'm going to try.

Ryan Coles

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2015, 06:11:45 PM »
Having read many of Sean's profiles of the so called lesser lights, I enjoyed his take on the big guns such as Sunningdale, Castle Stuart, Dornoch. I would be interested in his reviews of Kingsbarns, Turnberry Ballybunion etc. He should be paid for this stuff.


I do think his rating system is bonkers though.

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2015, 09:55:10 AM »
Having read many of Sean's profiles of the so called lesser lights, I enjoyed his take on the big guns such as Sunningdale, Castle Stuart, Dornoch. I would be interested in his reviews of Kingsbarns, Turnberry Ballybunion etc. He should be paid for this stuff.


I do think his rating system is bonkers though.

Ryan if you are keen you can use Google to search within the site to find his reviews of Turnberry and Ballybunion (not sure about Kingsbarns.)

Congratulations Sean. Do my troozers now get repeat fees?
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2015, 06:01:47 AM »
Thanks all for your kind and encouraging words.  Thanks especially to Ran for coming up with the idea and Chris for what I suspect was the grunt work  :)

The project was a bit rushed so many tours were excluded.  I will slowly troll for decent tours and request they be included on the master list. So far I found

Sutton Coldfield Winter Course
Handsworth
Sandwell Park
Woking
TNC

If folks know of other tours mention them on this thread. 

As an aside, I tried to pursuade Ran to include tours from other contributors, but that idea was nixed. I would still like a section for other GB&I tours and if you would too then lobby Ran.

Once again, thanks all. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 06:07:49 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood & Ladybank

MCirba

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2015, 12:29:26 PM »
I recall Mark Rowlinson's wonderful Fairhaven tour so I'll second that emotion Sean. 

What's your take on Lytham which I'm visiting in October?
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sean_A

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2015, 01:49:22 PM »
Mike


Any course which requires some 200 bunkers is imo dubious.  For sure Lytham is good, not great and not really my bag. I place it #57 in GB&I behind inglorious haunts such as Kington  :D


Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood & Ladybank

MCirba

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Re: Sean Arble's Course Tours now assembled together in Best of Golf
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2015, 10:54:17 AM »
Understood, and I appreciate your perspective Sean.   Indeed, Lytham and the considerable number of bunkers is something I wrestle with in evaluating similar courses such as Oakmont, or even Merion.

Tough to be a card-carrying minimalist and yet rationalize the need for scores of bunkers dotting the landscape, but somehow it doesn't bother me quite so much if they fit the landscape in my mind's eye, if that makes sense.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 10:56:16 AM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

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