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Jon Wiggett

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #100 on: August 10, 2015, 04:08:29 AM »

you can only judge what is in front of you. What you do is flawed in my opinion because you automatically assume that another nine would be of lesser quality


Jon:


On the contrary, if another nine would have been as good or better than the current nine, I assume nearly any architect would have built it.


Our disagreement in a nutshell is about whether judging courses is strictly an additive effort. 

Tom,

I am saying that you should judge what is there whether 9 holes or 12 or even 18. You seem to go with the assumption that 18 is a fixed requirement and that anything less than this number must be judged as of lesser value. There are many reasons for just building 9 holes but I guess the main one would be lack of land. I guess you might see judging as an additive effort but I must disagree.

Jon

Sean_A

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #101 on: August 10, 2015, 04:56:14 AM »
Jon


While I have sympathy for your position, I think Tom is speaking in terms of recommendations via the CG (well I hope he is now going back to recos for his guide ratehr than using the numbers as way to rank). It is undoubtably true that most would not favour travelling to see a 9 holer so its natural to be conservative with a recommendation.  In any case, Doak gave TS9 a 9...so you can't take him to task too much over this issue. 


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #102 on: August 10, 2015, 08:40:00 AM »
Sean,

whilst I can see what you mean I do not think Tom is saying this. It might look as though he might be correct that making 18 good holes is harder than just nine at first glance. However, there are so many variables such as amount of land, budget and time spent that in the end I believe you can only judge what is actually there in front of you. I am not saying he is wrong, only that I do not entirely agree with his viewpoint.

Jon

Jim_Kennedy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #103 on: August 10, 2015, 09:16:58 AM »
Nine hole courses are just that, nine holes. It's futile to try and compare, or rate them against, eighteen hole courses.


They aren't 'half' an 18 hole course, and there were more of them in America until the construction boom in the late '50s/'60s.


 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 09:21:37 AM by Jim_Kennedy »
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

BCrosby

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #104 on: August 10, 2015, 09:41:32 AM »

They aren't 'half' an 18 hole course, and there were more of them in America until the construction boom in the late '50s/'60s.



I did not know that. Interesting. So circa 1930, there were more 9 holers than full courses?


Bob

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #105 on: August 10, 2015, 10:36:12 AM »
Bob,


The GSR for Feb. 1959 says 3,308 nine hole'rs vs. 2,437 eighteens.   


ed: avg. acreage per course -  9=61, 18=143
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 10:43:43 AM by Jim_Kennedy »
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

BCrosby

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #106 on: August 10, 2015, 10:46:46 AM »
Jim -


Given the dearth of new course construction from the onset of the Great Depression through the decade after WWII (say 1930 to 1955), would it be a stretch to say there was a similar ratio of nine-holers to full courses at the end of the Golden Age?




Bob

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #107 on: August 10, 2015, 12:11:00 PM »
Bob,


I'd say it's possible that the ratio may have even been slightly higher in '30. The number of courses in '59 (5,745) was nearly the same as in '30 (5,856), but the low came in '46 (4,800).  The 1,000 or so new courses built between '46 and '59 could very well have favored 18 holes .
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 12:21:21 PM by Jim_Kennedy »
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

BCrosby

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #108 on: August 10, 2015, 12:20:15 PM »
Jim -


It really is striking how many courses were lost in the Great Depression. Equally striking is how long it took to rebuild to 1930 levels after WWII.


In just the places I am familiar with, Athens GA had three courses in 1930. By 1935 only one remained. Augusta CC lost its Raynor 18 in 1935. Atlanta lost a Tillie course.


Bob 

Rich Goodale

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #109 on: August 10, 2015, 01:33:15 PM »
I was up in Dornoch last weekend and played two very enticing 9 holers, Portmahamock and Brahan.  Neither are anywhere near "great" in strict GCA terms, but both must be played by any lover of the quirks of golf.

The latter is oor Jon Wiggett's labor of love, and I can only describe it as a course which must be match played (I guessed that the course record with a card in one's hand was 118 or so, and Jon did not disagree).  It is a course which eschews any use of unnatural fertilizers, and schedules its development/maintenance in harmony with the breeding habits of the skylarks.  The tees are 5'x10' slivers of occasionally mowed bits of mostly un-levelled pieces of ground.  The fairways are well maintained (within the context of a very wet spring/summer) and mostly well defined vis a vis the deep fescue surrounds.   On the tee, Jon advised me of the possible confusion of finding the 2nd green, but both Josie and I forgot what he said and hit our 2nd shots towards what was in fact the 3rd green.  Good result, as we could never have made the carry to the real 2nd green.  After that, the routing was fairly obvious, but the seocnd shots had to be played to greens that had two flags embedded in them.  We wisely chose to play most holes aiming between the two, and putting/chipping out depending on which hole we wer closer to.  The greens themselves could only be compared to the Himalayas putting green at St. Andrews.  They putted smooth and well, but the micro-undulations made any putt problematic/WTF!.  We loved that!  As for the course:  1 is relatively short, but requires a wedge approach to a green split by two flags with a buried VW Beetle between them.  I'd call it a par 6.  2 confuses you given that it is not clear at the tee whether or not to play the fairway to the right or the one to the left.  As the one to the right is the 4th fairway, a drive there seduces you into aiming at what is in fact the 3rd green, but once you get there you see that a ptich to the real 2nd green is fine, as you could never have made the carry from the 2nd fairway to the 2nd green.  The real 3 is a good short hole and the 4th a somewhat confusing but decenbt decent 4.  The 5th is a 3/4 which played into the wind was a driver and a wedge.  I lost my ball in a waterloggeed bunker, but Josie pitched to 20 feet and sunk a 7-time r/l/r/l/r/lr/l putt for a birdie.  I'll never live that down...  6 is a brute of a hole, 440 up hill which, into a 20mph wind, meant driver, rescue, recuse for me.  7 is 475 and goes further up hill, which I think I hit with driver/rescue, but never found the ball.  8 goes slightly downhill to ~180.  I hit a good driver 10 yards short, chili dipped a 7 iron and then sunk a 40 foot chip#2 going l/r/l/r/l/for a par.  18 is a relief, being downhill and downwind, and only 560 yards.  I think if I ever played it into the wind with a card in my hand, I would still be playing it today.  I highly recommend the course to anybody on this site who has a sense of adventure and wants to play a course to which he or she does not have to bring his or her A game, but rather some ganja or malt whisky and a love of nature.

Portmahamock, on the other hand is an oldie but goodie.  Laid out ~100+ years ago by the (should be) legendary John Sutherland, and probably relatively untouched over the past century.  Where it seems to have been touched is the 1st and 2nd holes, which are agricultural rather than Sutherlandish, and an attempt to make the course larger rather than better.  After that, however, you are on a roller coaster ride through rough linksland, with heaving fairways and more heavingly seemingly unhittable/unstayable greens.  Throughout these 7 holes you can see where old holes might have been, and as a bonus, you find that this is not at all a 9-holer but a 10- holer!  The 5th/14th plays from a differnet green from a different tee.  Locals play the course using both 5th tees on both tours and then ending on 7/16, which is conveniently by the clubhouse.  With a little bit more money and a little bit more understanding of its history and TLC, this could be one of the greatest 9-holers in the world.

Rich

PS--this was the first time I have played Portmahamock in the 38 years I have been to Dornoch, and I will play this course again and again until I die.

rfg
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #110 on: August 11, 2015, 04:02:28 AM »
I've not played Royal Worlington yet, but I don't think I've played a better 9-holer than Reigate Heath, though St. Olaf runs it close.

Here are a few pics to whet your appetite. It's hard to advocate nipping in to Reigate in preference to some of the established classics in the south of England, but you'll be glad you did, especially if you pick a warm, smoky summer evening like we did.

Green 1, with the clubhouse and windmill atop the hill.


Par 3 6th with the obligatory black Labrador


Short par 4 7th tees over the 6th green
2023: Aberdovey, Liphook, Mill Ride (x9), Hillside, Lytham, Delamere Forest, Formby, Birkdale, Carya, Maxx Royal, Cleeve Hill, Sunny (Old & New), West Byfleet, Hoylake, East Berks, RSG, West Sussex, Hollinwell (x2), Alwoodley, JCB (x2), Beau Desert, Painswick (x2), Stranahan, Belfry (Brab & PGA)

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #111 on: August 11, 2015, 08:01:21 AM »
Robin interesting photo’s you’ve selected. In the Confidential Guide before last   Tom Doak singled the course out for potential greatness but criticised the holes over the road  (6, & &8?). I know they’ve been redone since and I don’t believe he’s been back.

So how good are the new holes and have you played a better 9 holer?

I have visited and walked the holes on the Clubhouse side and was intrigued by the intelligent use of alternate tees second time around.   Would definitely be up for a game.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Robin_Hiseman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best 9 hole course you've played
« Reply #112 on: August 11, 2015, 09:17:34 AM »
Tony

I'm a child of the 9-holer, back up in the Pennines and the north-east of Scotland and though I've played my fair share, most of them were pretty rustic by all accounts.

Reigate Heath is the nicest one I've played and yes, they have a good selection of alternative tees for the second lap.

The first three or four holes are IMO the best of the bunch and by comparison the ones over the road are weaker, primarily because they are more linear in challenge. That said, the pictured 7th was one of my favourites, from an aesthetic angle. The narrow, uphill tree lined 8th is arguably the weakest of the bunch. Too close to the main road for my liking.

Definitely up for an evening or weekend afternoon round.

I've got a full photo tour ready to go. Just need to get my arse in gear to write it up.
2023: Aberdovey, Liphook, Mill Ride (x9), Hillside, Lytham, Delamere Forest, Formby, Birkdale, Carya, Maxx Royal, Cleeve Hill, Sunny (Old & New), West Byfleet, Hoylake, East Berks, RSG, West Sussex, Hollinwell (x2), Alwoodley, JCB (x2), Beau Desert, Painswick (x2), Stranahan, Belfry (Brab & PGA)

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