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Frank Kim

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Better Nine
« on: August 09, 2015, 04:37:05 AM »
The 9 hole course thread got me thinking.  What courses have a disparity in the nines?   Pacific Grove was a great example.  Passatiempo was also mentioned.  For me I much preferred Kirtland CC's back nine to the front.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 06:10:15 AM by Frank Kim »

Ed Tilley

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2015, 05:23:44 AM »
The course with the biggest disparity between nines that I've played is Pyle & Kenfig just down the road from Porthcawl in Wales. the back nine is in the dunes and is very, very good. The front is over the road on farmland and is very average at best.


Portstewart would be another contender although I don't think the drop in standard is nearly as big.

Alan Ritchie

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 06:30:24 AM »
I think royal Aberdeen is often placed in that bracket though it's been a few years since I was there

Thomas Dai

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 09:11:42 AM »
Blue touch paper and match time..........TOC?
Atb

Tom_Doak

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 09:12:54 AM »
Augusta National
Oakland Hills

Jud_T

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 09:17:21 AM »
What about classic 9-holers that have been extended to 18 at a much later date, i.e. Harrison Hills, West Bend etc.?
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

BCowan

Re: Better Nine
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 09:56:49 AM »
A classic 9-holer that was ruined at a later date would be Mohawk GC in (Tiffin,OH).  Back 9 is one of my favorite Ross nines I have played.  As Tom mentioned earlier, he used the best land on the course. 

cary lichtenstein

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 09:57:28 AM »
i think its generally about the topography just being dramatically better on one 9 v. the other. the quarry course un Florida, Diamond Something, would go unnoticed except for the quarry holes on the back nine.
 
I actually liked the front 9 better at Pebble Beach because of of the quirkiness of 3 and4, the wonderful 7th and 8 and the  halfway stand on the tee with the birds soaring and the difficult shot into the 9th green
Live Jupiter, Fl, was  4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 4 back surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms. Last course I played was Augusta

Phil McDade

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 11:49:58 AM »
Machrihanish is generally viewed this way by many people, where the front 9 gets all the accolades. I do think there are several holes on the back nine that are really good and under-rated, but the heaving dunes that the front nine holes wind through are largely absent on the back nine, and for many the course ends with something of a bland 17-18 finish (although I think technology has made 18 a fine gambling finisher).


At the risk of invoking GCA wrath -- NGLA? Of course the back nine is full of great holes, but more than one well-traveled GCA poster has told me the front nine of NGLA is the best front nine in golf, so by definition the back nine must meet this thread's criteria. ;)

Tom_Doak

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 12:49:24 PM »
What about classic 9-holers that have been extended to 18 at a much later date, i.e. Harrison Hills, West Bend etc.?


Several of my top 10 nine-hole courses in The Confidential Guide [c. 1994-96] have been extended to 18 holes:  Harrison Hills, Rolling Rock, Sea Ranch.  The smarter architects mix the two nines together so it's not easy to compare the original nine and the newer holes  :)  Prairie Dunes is another example of that:  the original nine holes were 1-2, 6-10, and 17-18 ... which are nearly all of the best holes.

BCrosby

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 01:58:06 PM »
Augusta National
Oakland Hills


Tom - I understand why someone might prefer the back nine at ANGC. But do you really think there is a "disparity" in the quality of the two sides?


I would add Crystal Downs to the list. I buy into the common wisdom that the front nine is one of the best anywhere. The back nine is good but it is not at the same elevated level.


Bob   


Bob

Tom_Doak

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2015, 02:32:52 PM »

Tom - I understand why someone might prefer the back nine at ANGC. But do you really think there is a "disparity" in the quality of the two sides?

I would add Crystal Downs to the list. I buy into the common wisdom that the front nine is one of the best anywhere. The back nine is good but it is not at the same elevated level.



Bob:


I'd put them into the same boat, actually.  The front nine at Augusta, like the back at Crystal Downs, is not a letdown, but if you were picking the 4-5 best holes from either course people would look strangely at you for picking even one hole from the "other" nine.  Same for The Old Course, as Thomas Dai pointed out before me -- I'd put the 2nd and 4th holes among my favorites at St. Andrews, but most people cannot see past 11 and 14 and 17.

Howard Riefs

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2015, 03:20:00 PM »
Back nine of Blackwolf Run -- Meadow Valleys, which is part of the original course and U.S. Open routing. I'd also argue it's the best nine among the four Kohler courses.
"Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: Taking long walks and hitting things with a stick."  ~P.J. O'Rourke

J_ Crisham

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2015, 03:37:47 PM »
West Bend- outstanding front nine by Langford /Moreau, back nine by Moe , Larry , and Curly.
Spokane CC- nice front nine, excellent back nine. A course well worth playing if in the area.  Shoreacres has a much more interesting back nine .

Joe Hancock

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 03:44:34 PM »
Frank,

Not exactly answering your question, but we often talk about the golf course routing, rhythm and flow, etc. Sometimes the ebbs and flows of the routing are such that the 2 nines of an 18 hole course are different, yet together are necessary for the 18 hole course to be as good as it can be. Some cases, such as many have pointed out, where the nines are just so different because the nines may have been built by different people at a different time. 

I wonder how many of the great courses were designed and built with equity(in this context) in mind?
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

Sean_A

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2015, 05:41:24 PM »
TOC has to be the posterboy for disparity in quality between the 9s...I spose Machrihanish as well.


I would also mention North Berwick...same for WHO with a superior back nine...actually, same for New Zealand. 


Brancaster as well, the front 9 is miles better than the back. 


I disagree about Nefyn and P&K.  Neither course is really good enough to have a large disparity between the 9s.


Ciao



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

Jim Hoak

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2015, 06:59:09 PM »
Portstewart in Northern Ireland has nine holes as good as any in Ireland.  The other nine are very ordinary.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 07:28:16 PM by Jim Hoak »

Greg Tallman

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2015, 03:35:54 PM »
Muirfield Village? For me the final nine is far superior to the opening nine.

Also one here in Cabo - Cabo Real - opening nine is, well, forgettable while the inward half is pretty solid.

BHoover

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2015, 03:44:45 PM »
The original post mentioned Kirtland, which is the best example for me. The front nine is a good one. But the back nine is so exceptional that it dramatically overshadows what really is a solid front nine. So although I think the back nine is far better than the other nine, that should not be taken to suggest the front nine isn't good in its own right.

Sean Leary

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2015, 09:35:29 PM »
Royal County Down, although I liked the back 9 more than I thought I would.

John Kirk

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2015, 09:45:02 PM »
I consider the back nine at Kingsley GC to be significantly more compelling (better) than the front nine.

Could be controversial!

Frank Kim

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2015, 05:36:22 AM »
John,


That's interesting because a good friend of mine after playing Kingsley thought the front nine was his favorite nine ever but back nine not as much.


Brian,


The back nine of Kirkland CC is as good as it gets.  It does overshadow the front nine.

BCowan

Re: Better Nine
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2015, 06:46:03 AM »
I think Kingsley is really well balanced.  I like 6 holes on each side.  2-6, and 8. 10, 12, 14-16, and 18. 

Kirtland, I need to play another time.  I think the front is very good and gets overshadowed by the elevation changes on the back.  The front is good architecture.  The opening hole is very good and basically the par 3's look similar on the front is my only complaint.  I need to play the 9th hole again.  I think 18 is a weaker closer but i only played half the hole due to rain.  If only Keith Foster could restore it, it would be even more awesome.  The back has 10 holes on it so it's not fair  ;D ;D ;D

BHoover

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2015, 07:39:46 AM »
Ben, you might be joking (always hard to tell if someone is being sarcastic in a written comment), but why would Kirtland need to bring in Keith Foster for a restoration? Ron Forse already did the restoration work.

I agree that the front is very good and gets overshadowed by the back nine. The two par 3s on the front are similar. But the back nine really is pretty spectacular (although I think 18 is the weakest hole on the back nine).

Mike Treitler

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Re: Better Nine
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2015, 12:36:07 PM »
Back nine of Blackwolf Run -- Meadow Valleys, which is part of the original course and U.S. Open routing. I'd also argue it's the best nine among the four Kohler courses.




You took the words right out of my mouth!     The front 9 of the meadow is super mediocre and the back 9 is spectacular and arguably the best 9 at Blackwolf Run.  Perhaps they should just blow that 9 up and make it 27 holes or just redo it. 

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