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My main issue with Troon...a ton of holes between 340 and 380 yards...simply not enough variety.
Are the dunes at Troon sufficiently high that the wind is likely to funnel or change direction as it blows between and over them?[/size]I'd say not really, Thomas. Recollecting as best I can, the first 3 and last 3 holes are on pretty flat land so little in the way of dunes. The wind whips across these holes as you are right there at sea level, not perched above it as at Turnberry or hidden inland as at Lytham. I can certainly see that stands would affect play at an exposed hole like the 17th for example.The duneland comes into play a bit more around the far end of the course, from 7 through to 10, but it is all fairly gentle. I remember the approach to the dog leg 7th as being really good with mounding both sides. I thought it was a great hole. The 8th of course has the big mound on the left of the green, then you play a tough par 4 hole through mounds at 9. Turning back for home the 10th has some good movement, especially for the second shot. After that I don't really recall much elevation change.I think in a nutshell that's why Troon doesn't get much wider appreciation. It's certainly a very good test of golf, but I'm struggling to point to any real highlights that would cause you to remember them. You need to execute a lot of good straight shots coming in without much in the way of definition or respite. I do recall the higher handicappers I was partnered with found it a few notches too tough for them, and as a result were a little downhearted afterwards. And they played from tees that were probably appropriate for their game
I thought the most interesting thing about several of the early holes was the positioning of the tee box relative to the fairway - very much on a diagonal, so while there appeared to be plenty of fairway to hit if your room a conservative line away from the bunkers your ball would run thru the fairway send into the light rough, making the approach very challenging given the angle you now had to come into. I'd never before (or since?) seen that design aspect before. I'm think holes 2-3-4. Separately certainly 6-10 are strong and 17-18 were notable.
I think Sean underplays Troon...The way 7, 8 and 10 connect is stunning and all three are great golf holes. Big dunes as well.11 has that really tough charm with the gorse and railway line wall. 12 has beautiful land movement tee to green. 13th is a fantastic hole with very good offset drive and approach in to saddle green. 15 has a good bit of quirk with the green hidden over a large short grass shoulder. 17 is a tough and very good par-3. 18 has the wonderful connection to the clubhouse. First 4 less characterful relying somewhat on bunkering (no bad thing) but 5 and 6 have plenty of charm.I liked it a lot. Would like to see it again.AllyQuote from: Matt MacIver on June 28, 2016, 07:28:03 AMI thought the most interesting thing about several of the early holes was the positioning of the tee box relative to the fairway - very much on a diagonal, so while there appeared to be plenty of fairway to hit if your room a conservative line away from the bunkers your ball would run thru the fairway send into the light rough, making the approach very challenging given the angle you now had to come into. I'd never before (or since?) seen that design aspect before. I'm think holes 2-3-4. Separately certainly 6-10 are strong and 17-18 were notable.Matt,I don't think this is an unusual concept with good links course - I am very much a fan of offset fairways of this nature. What you noticed in Troon is far more pronounced up the road in Western Gailes. In fact up there it is overplayed just a little.Notably it is to do with the dune system. Often a tee is placed just inside the primary dune near the sea with the shot played over the secondary dune ridge to an offset fairway that plays parallel and on the land side of that secondary ridge. The walk is then back to the next tee on the sea side and the idea is repeated. The formation of dune systems makes this shot a common one to set up and when done well (and not too often) it is a great feature.