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I just wanted to add a few comments as we have been advising on the changes to hole 5 and the final design.I fully agree with Ian's analysis. The 5th hole is (and was) a wonderful par 3. The ONLY reason for adjusting the design was purely agronomical. The severity of the green surface - combined with modern mowing heights and the amount of traffic the course receives - resulted in a situation where there were really only 2 pin positions on the green. This resulted in severe turf issues as the wear and tear on the green could not be spread out enough to sustain a healthy turf.As I saw it we were faced with 3 options:The first would be to design a new 'modern' green with plenty of pin positions - disregarding the original, fantastic Simpson green. This was taken off the table (by myself) before even considering it further.The second would be to respect the original green as much as possible, by adding the smallest possible extension to the green, which allowed the creation of additional pin positions.The third would be to 'scale up' the green, by basically redoing the green but making it 30% bigger.As I saw it, the second option was the most respectful to the philosophy of the hole, Mr. Simpson and the existing green. By taking this approach 90% of the original green surface remains EXACTLY as it has always been.The philosophy of the hole is - in my opinion - 95% intact. We did not suggest or propose changes to the bunkering, as - like put forward by Ian - the most interesting aspect of the hole is the bunkering on the right, the severity of the green and the runoff on the left. We carried out a small extension on the back left of the green which now provides the hole with 5-6 pin positions and the ability to create a healthy turf.The holes main defence and conundrum remains exactly the same as the original design provided - perhaps you can even argue that the runoff on the left is even more in play now.We were faced with a safety problem as the drive on hole 6 is very tight to the green on hole 5. This resulted in the mound on the left being slightly more angled than we perhaps would have liked (even though Simpson himself talks about, if I remember correctly, that the only place where shapes can be unnatural and steep in appearance is on the back of greens). However, all shaping done near the green is directly inspired by the shaping found on the back right of the green (which can bee seen on the old before photo). To have this authentic shaping to use as a reference helped us achieve a blending in with the old part of the green. (This method of enlarging greens have been used historically on the course as well on other holes, such as the 6th).Another option would of course be to mow the green at a different height and thereby influence the severity of the slopes, but that is not an option deemed realistic.It is worth noting as well, that we had a complete 3D survey done of the 5th green before the work started, so if - at some point - a solution is found to sustain the original green with only 2 pin positions, it could relatively easily be converted back to the original design.I am myself a huge admirer of Tom Simpson and we have been consulting the club now for close to 5 years. We have helped tweak the 2nd and 18th holes (both having undergone massive changes over the years) to offer more strategy in tune with Simpsons original design philosophies. We are currently working on a masterplan for the entire course, addressing mostly traffic issues to and from tees/greens and a few alterations mostly relating to safety.At the moment we are also involved in adding a chipping facility and a complete transformation of the entry road, which is being changed from a shaded, parkland theme to a full, open 'linksland area'. About 30-40 trees have been removed and the clubhouse and practice area now opens up onto the golf course and not the trees. Where you could see 20yards ahead before - views now open up to the towering dunes 1000 yards away. I wish I knew how to post photos as I could share some with you.
PhilipI remember playing this hole during the RIBA Architects Inter Regional Tournament in 2014.Then it was easy to see the difference between the old and new parts of the green. I can remember the new green having a shallow mound in the middle part of the new section - was there any reason why it is there?The new 17th just opened before this event. CheersBen