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Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #50 on: May 31, 2018, 03:27:26 AM »

I have written much about Dornoch in the past so my views are well known.


Dornoch is about the whole package. The village is one of the few in Sutherland to offer that wonderful feeling off village life which the visitor can stroll through and soak in. This is a big plus for Dornoch. Brora and to a lesser extent Golspie are much less attractive to stroll around and both villages need to buck up their ideas if they wish to attract more visitors.


I have always found the club, it's staff and members to be very welcoming as is the case at both other clubs.


The course at Dornoch has a spectacular setting and some very good holes but does it have an all world hole? I am afraid I do not see the charm of Foxy except that it is a very good green complex though this is somewhat ruined by the softness of the base of the bankings which are overwatered from the green irrigation. The drive seems very one dimensional. I would put the 15th and 17th well ahead. The biggest gripe I have is the course is very repetitive asking the player the same question over and over with its raised greens and often no realistic run up shot. The par 3s three of which are great and one poor are all a bit samey to so as a set not so great. Finally, the course is slowly losing it's links like qualities becoming too defined, fairways being too short but not tight and an overall to manicured look. It does deserve it's high ranking in the UK but I wonder if it is slowly losing it's 'links soul'.


I consider Brora the purer links and better course. The grazing of the rough is a key part of this and I hope Golspie think about introducing this to its course as it would improve the rough no end.


Jon

Sam Andrews

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #51 on: May 31, 2018, 03:32:17 AM »
A very good point Jon. Do “famous” links courses end up over-preening themselves to justify their high visitor fees and in doing so lose the character that made them celebrated in the first place?
He's the hairy handed gent, who ran amok in Kent.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #52 on: May 31, 2018, 04:28:21 AM »

I have written much about Dornoch in the past so my views are well known.

Dornoch is about the whole package. The village is one of the few in Sutherland to offer that wonderful feeling off village life which the visitor can stroll through and soak in. This is a big plus for Dornoch. Brora and to a lesser extent Golspie are much less attractive to stroll around and both villages need to buck up their ideas if they wish to attract more visitors.

I have always found the club, it's staff and members to be very welcoming as is the case at both other clubs.

The course at Dornoch has a spectacular setting and some very good holes but does it have an all world hole? I am afraid I do not see the charm of Foxy except that it is a very good green complex though this is somewhat ruined by the softness of the base of the bankings which are overwatered from the green irrigation. The drive seems very one dimensional. I would put the 15th and 17th well ahead. The biggest gripe I have is the course is very repetitive asking the player the same question over and over with its raised greens and often no realistic run up shot. The par 3s three of which are great and one poor are all a bit samey to so as a set not so great. Finally, the course is slowly losing it's links like qualities becoming too defined, fairways being too short but not tight and an overall to manicured look. It does deserve it's high ranking in the UK but I wonder if it is slowly losing it's 'links soul'.

I consider Brora the purer links and better course. The grazing of the rough is a key part of this and I hope Golspie think about introducing this to its course as it would improve the rough no end.

Jon


Very nicely put Jon.


‘Links soul’, Nice terminology. Difficult perhaps to specifically define but I’m sure most who’ve played for a while and played a variety of course types will get the drift. Over maintenance, irrigation etc have a lot to answer for. Sometimes ‘less’ is ‘more’ and all that.


Atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #53 on: May 31, 2018, 05:07:51 AM »
Sam

I don't think there is any doubt a great many links have lost something by over-preening...just look at revetted bunkers.  The current renaissance movement has a strong stem of open sandy areas as part of the design.  I think a great many links had open sand about their properties which was eventually tamed...over-tamed imo.  But that aspect isn't nearly as bad as the watering and feeding which nearly destroyed the concept of links.  Unfortunately, these days, rough is what is allowed to run rampant, but instead of keeping that in check money is spent on bunkers. 

Anyway, if folks want a true links experience, with the rare exception, avoid top courses.  But I am not convinced that is what most golfers want...

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

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #54 on: May 31, 2018, 05:33:16 AM »
Excellent post Jon.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #55 on: May 31, 2018, 05:51:16 AM »
Anyway, if folks want a true links experience, with the rare exception, avoid top courses.  But I am not convinced that is what most golfers want...


As a regular poster herein has said more than a few times, let a bunch of folks go hunting the big names and leave the little ‘uns and under the usual radar ones to us! :)


Atb

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #56 on: May 31, 2018, 08:57:23 AM »

Excellent post Jon.


Thanks Garland.


Anyway, if folks want a true links experience, with the rare exception, avoid top courses.  But I am not convinced that is what most golfers want...


As a regular poster herein has said more than a few times, let a bunch of folks go hunting the big names and leave the little ‘uns and under the usual radar ones to us! :)


Atb


+1

Rich Goodale

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #57 on: May 31, 2018, 11:42:07 AM »
All this elevated green/chipping back and forth hatred amuses me.  Play bowls if you can't hit the ball straight or lay up when necessary and take a bogey.


Rich


ps--most of those elevated greens are natural and not created. :)


rfg
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #58 on: May 31, 2018, 01:29:31 PM »

All this elevated green/chipping back and forth hatred amuses me.  Play bowls if you can't hit the ball straight or lay up when necessary and take a bogey.


Rich


ps--most of those elevated greens are natural and not created. :)


rfg


Rich,


it is not hatred on my part and used in measure it is a very good ploy but when used repeatedly it becomes somewhat jaded. I like the course but would argue that the sum of it's holes is less than the individual worth of said holes due to this repetition. Whether the green sites are natural or not is secondary though I suspect some forgotten alterations were undertaken as with most 'natural' courses.

Rich Goodale

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #59 on: May 31, 2018, 05:33:35 PM »
Thanks for your well informed thoughts, Jon.


Vis a vis the course.  1 and 2 were switched in 1921 from two flat 250 holes to the 330 + 170 yard holes of today.  Ross did the green of 1 and Sutherland did 2.  3 was always at grade, before the hole was mangled a few years ago.  The greens of 4 and 5 are and always were geomorphological phenomena as were 9, 11, 14, 15.  6 and 7 were built in 1946.  8 was found.  10 was built, as were 12 and 13.  16 is at grade, as is 17. 18 is slightly tweaked.


If you can't play delicious recovery shots, you will not like Dornoch.


Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #60 on: June 01, 2018, 03:23:32 AM »
I might also counter the claim by Sean / Dai / Jon that the top links are less likely to give you a true links experience.


The fiery and fastest links I usually play are those high end ones where the course manager is experienced enough to not over-water. This because the conditioning is already so good that it adds to the firmness.


But in general, I get the point and agree with much behind the sentiment (although not fully the revetted bunker part - what is less links like are “natural” bunkers in the middle of play, not tied to dune systems).


Anyway, I’ve only played Dornoch twice but it’s clear my tastes veer more to Rich’s than to a few others...

Ruediger Meyer

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Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #61 on: June 01, 2018, 10:41:20 AM »
I did the North Coast 500 trip two weeks ago and played Dornoch for the first time. I think the Golf Digest ranking is not very good for setting your expectations. I was hoping to get blown away and I wasn't and I am not sure whether my lack of appreciation is just a result of expecting a second coming of the Old Course, Royal County Down et al.
I thought the front 9 are tremendous, but the back 9 closer to the ocean fell off for me quite a bit. I'd prefer the incoming holes at North Berwick West. If I come back to the Highlands the course that I am dying to play again is neither Dornoch nor Brora, which is a very fine course by itself. It is Durness which might have the best value for money I ever experienced on a golf course

Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Enlighten me about Dornoch’s greatness.
« Reply #62 on: June 01, 2018, 11:21:58 AM »
I wish I knew enough to enlighten anyone in the treehouse.  Even if I did I couldn't articulate it.

That said, I have Royal Dornoch in my top 5 along with Shinnecock Hills, National Golf Links of America, Sand Hills and The Old Course in no particularly order.  Perhaps I've become a conformist thanks to this crowd, but I do have Bandon Trails in my top dozen for what that's worth.    Other than Ballyneal no course has grown on me with time like Royal Dornoch has.  It is great and "just right" - a rare combination.

Mike
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

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