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Sean_A

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: The 2018-19 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2019, 05:49:00 AM »
Spangles

It sounds like you are saying you played AV, a course well under 3000 yards, in the easiest of conditions, yet you didn't better your handicap  8)   If the course is too short then don't take driver out.  That said, it might be better to lay back on some holes.  I don't really know which lines to take for holes such as 2, 3, 4 and possibly 7.  I need time to chip around the greens when the holes are at the top of the putting surfaces.

One of AV's great charms is the lack of definition made possible by the cool terrain and lack of rough.

One thing I can say, AV gives an outward appearance of being easy, but I don't see guys tear it up.  Sounds very similar to a famous links in Scotland.

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 06:10:18 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Mark Pearce

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: The 2018-19 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2020, 10:35:15 AM »
As evidenced on several of the other threads, this was visited by several pests who all expressed their positive vibe to me.


ON Monday morning deserted by fairweather friends and with heavy rain forecast, I thought sod it I'm near enough for a quick look. ON arrival about 8.30 I had the place to myself. the sky was clear and there was Zero wind to suggest it changing. It looked tempting and after locating the honesty box    I played it to my handicap in 1'10 mins.
I can only think I was golfed out OR the charms of the course are being seriously oversold here.

- 6 of the holes are (from memory) 340 to 370 long. Driver, wedge/9i
- I hit every fairway, there's no definition of the holes.
- The promised micro undulations afforded me not one awkward shot.- The greens are simple (but true), slope affairs.

As Sean says in his review, perhaps it (seriously) needs wind.


By contrast I really enjoyed the challenge of Bamburgh Castle GC, even if the greens really are about as simple as they can get. I'll go back to Alnmouth but only if time is too short to play Bamburgh again.

I played AV again this morning with one of my sons.  We were joined by Storm Derek, who was right behind us on the first 5 but was right in our faces on the back 4.  He brought hail with him on the second 9, for a couple of holes.


Even in those conditions I just don't get Tony's take, from someone who, I think, normally has similar views to mine.  On the specific points:


  • Yes, there are several driver/wedge holes.  But the wedge approaches to each of them are very different.  This was my third visit and I really don't think lack of variety is a fair charge.
  • It's true that, excluding the 6th, the fairway is very wide.  That lack of "definition", however, is far from fatal to good golf. In this morning's wind the width was essential but, like another course with extremely wide fairways, being a long way left is a bad place to approach the green on most of the holes.  Position does matter.
  • The course does not have "micro-undulations" a la Kington.  What it has is fabulous, true links style undulations.  Nothing "micro" about them.  If Tony never got a side hill, uphill or downhill lie, he was lucky (or not?) but there's no doubt that the terrain is every bit as interesting as, say, Elie and far superior to, say, Crail.  As to the greens, I'm tempted to respond with a "pah".  They may not be wild roller coaster rides like Prestwick but "simple slope affairs"?  Maybe true of 1 and 9 but there's more than enough interest on the remainder to keep you going and the surrounds tie in to them wonderfully.  Finally on the greens, it seems like it has been raining for three months.  Parts of the county are underwater but this morning those greens putted magnificently and at a speed and with a firmness that many courses would envy in July.
AV isn't a great golf course.  It is, though, very, very good, always well presented and playable and great fun.  It may not (the 6th aside) be the hardest course in the world and you may not need a degree in geometry to putt on the greens (though good judgment and good touch are essential) but at £20 for 18 holes?  One of UK golf's great value quotients.

In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Michael Whitaker

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2020, 11:27:19 AM »
Excellent report, Mark. I hope to have a look this summer.
"Solving the paradox of proportionality is the heart of golf architecture."  - Tom Doak (11/20/05)

Thomas Dai

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: The 2018-19 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2020, 02:27:11 PM »
- 6 of the holes are (from memory) 340 to 370 long. Driver, wedge/9i
Interesting comment here by Tony as with 2/3rds of the holes being Driver, wedge/9i things are not that dis-similar clubbing wise to watching the elite men pro's on TV play a standard-ish tour course in benign conditions.
Good point made by Mark about "micro-undulations". The m-u's at Kington are actually old ant hills, yes thousands of them, the likes of which are not seen much if at all on sandy links courses.
atb
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 02:42:12 PM by Thomas Dai »

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2020, 03:45:03 PM »
I have agreed to find another £15 and give it a second go, I'm even prepared to admit I just might have been wrong.


 After all it has to happen one day.....(not talking about the admitting part!)
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Marty Bonnar

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2020, 05:06:33 PM »
I have agreed to find another £15 and give it a second go, I'm even prepared to admit I just might have been wrong.


 After all it has to happen one day.....(not talking about the admitting part!)


We’re weekending at Slaley in two weeks. Wanna play it (AV) on Monday, 9th?
 ;D
F.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 05:21:39 PM by Marty Bonnar »
Assembled in Michigan from foreign parts.

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2020, 06:29:02 PM »
I love the look of the 5th hole and green, it's like a 270 yard Biarritz. If you weren't trying, or unable to drive the green, the "...ground just before the green" sure poses some interesting questions.


What a wonderful spot.
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Mark Pearce

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2020, 02:26:33 AM »
I love the look of the 5th hole and green, it's like a 270 yard Biarritz. If you weren't trying, or unable to drive the green, the "...ground just before the green" sure poses some interesting questions.


What a wonderful spot.
The 5th was playing as a 210 yard par 3 yesterday.  A serious par 3 from those tees!  As a 270 yard par 4, the pitch (for most) from short of that green is a fabulous challenge to meet.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Sean_A

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2020, 07:10:22 AM »
With the exception of 8 and 9, all the holes have interesting terrain at least in front of the greens. With several greens running away from play most golfers will have to consider bumping in approaches. On some of the holes, the high ground is just shy of the green making it difficult to judge any type of approach. AV is much more than meets the casual glance.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Niall C

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: The 2018-19 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2020, 07:46:05 AM »
- 6 of the holes are (from memory) 340 to 370 long. Driver, wedge/9i
Interesting comment here by Tony as with 2/3rds of the holes being Driver, wedge/9i things are not that dis-similar clubbing wise to watching the elite men pro's on TV play a standard-ish tour course in benign conditions.
Good point made by Mark about "micro-undulations". The m-u's at Kington are actually old ant hills, yes thousands of them, the likes of which are not seen much if at all on sandy links courses.
atb


Muldoon always was a seriously big hitter.


Niall

Jon Wiggett

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2020, 12:25:37 PM »

I will back Niall on Tony being sneaky long.


One point I do not understand is that a lack of definition being criticised. To me a good, traditional links experience requires a total lack of definition. Everything should blend/merge with no clear lines to define it. Or maybe I have misunderstood the point  :-\

Jason Topp

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2020, 01:05:21 PM »
I loved the experience of playing the course but found the golf to be pretty awkward.  Downwind through hole 5, it seemed to me that the greens were built to be approached from the opposite direction - elevated in front and then sloping away.  I could imagine growing to like that challenge but I could not even conceive of a type of approach shot that would likely succeed. 


The 6th was memorable - sort of a super spion kop. 


I enjoyed the finishing holes into the wind the most - although the ground gets a bit meadowy at the end.  I also enjoyed the ground on which the course sits - plenty of fun links contour. 


I highly recommend the place as an experience but fail to see its merits in terms of course design.

Sean_A

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2020, 01:08:01 PM »
I reckon like any course with strong ground features that AV requires experience to understand and play it best. If not for the interesting "reverse" greens the course would be fairly dull.

Ciao
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 01:11:17 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2020, 02:53:40 PM »
I reckon like any course with strong ground features that AV requires experience to understand and play it best. If not for the interesting "reverse" greens the course would be fairly dull.

Ciao


You could be right.  I may need to go back and play with Muldoon!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2020, 03:13:59 PM »
I reckon like any course with strong ground features that AV requires experience to understand and play it best. If not for the interesting "reverse" greens the course would be fairly dull.

Ciao

You could be right.  I may need to go back and play with Muldoon!

Noooo, not Spangles! 😉

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2020, 03:12:49 AM »
Elie is increasingly recognised as being a gem (not so hidden these days).  On of the striking features of Elie is the number of front to back sloping greens.  It's also one of the things I love about AV.  Perhaps knowing how to play Elie was an advantage but how hard can it be with a wedge in hand to work out that you land the ball just short of the green and allow it to release out?  I think it's great, in these days when we're needing longer and longer courses that you can make a driver/wedge hole really tricky by sloping the green away and making it play firm.


Jason - you just need to play more links golf.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

John Mayhugh

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2020, 07:12:25 AM »
If anyone needs to play more links golf, it's me. Not because I didn't appreciate AV - I did. But I still need to play lots more links golf because it's so much fun.

I saw Sean's tour before playing AV, and think he captured it well (as usual). The 6th was even more wild than the photos show. That's a hole I wouldn't want a lot of wind on, but for the rest - bring it on. Wind really makes those approaches interesting.

Thomas Dai

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2020, 11:25:44 AM »
And there's another aspect to courses such as Alnmouth Village, the relatively simple maintenance practices and thus the cost. Nice to hear that the Clubhouse is also used as a cafe open to non-golfers. Another useful source of revenue, although possibly one with tax implications.
As Sean says in the thread title "What more do you need?"

atb


PS - I wonder if the course was ever played in reverse (with some adjustment in relation to the uphill section)?

Niall C

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2020, 11:33:43 AM »
David

I thought the same re the course playing in reverse and I suspect it might have for short periods by way of resting the turf, however the way it is played now is as per the plan that was in one of the early Golfing Year Books. Hard to believe now but back in the 1880's, Alnmouth was considered one of the best courses in England.

Niall

Mark Pearce

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2020, 02:21:20 PM »
The 6th was even more wild than the photos show. That's a hole I wouldn't want a lot of wind on, but for the rest - bring it on. Wind really makes those approaches interesting.
It played almost straight into a 3 or 4 club wind on Saturday.  I was almost as proud of the 4 and 5 I made in my two visits as I will be of any holes I played this year.  Even on a perfectly still day, that green takes some hitting.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Jason Topp

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2020, 03:56:04 PM »
Elie is increasingly recognised as being a gem (not so hidden these days).  On of the striking features of Elie is the number of front to back sloping greens.  It's also one of the things I love about AV.  Perhaps knowing how to play Elie was an advantage but how hard can it be with a wedge in hand to work out that you land the ball just short of the green and allow it to release out?  I think it's great, in these days when we're needing longer and longer courses that you can make a driver/wedge hole really tricky by sloping the green away and making it play firm.


Jason - you just need to play more links golf.


I agree I need to play more links golf!


I generally enjoy greens that slope front to back but thought the way these were designed was particularly ill suited to such shots.  I do not recall having a similar reaction at Elie which I greatly enjoyed. 

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #46 on: February 26, 2020, 04:56:15 AM »
Elie is increasingly recognised as being a gem (not so hidden these days).  On of the striking features of Elie is the number of front to back sloping greens.  It's also one of the things I love about AV.  Perhaps knowing how to play Elie was an advantage but how hard can it be with a wedge in hand to work out that you land the ball just short of the green and allow it to release out?  I think it's great, in these days when we're needing longer and longer courses that you can make a driver/wedge hole really tricky by sloping the green away and making it play firm.

Jason - you just need to play more links golf.

I agree I need to play more links golf!

I generally enjoy greens that slope front to back but thought the way these were designed was particularly ill suited to such shots.  I do not recall having a similar reaction at Elie which I greatly enjoyed.

Jason

Why and which bits are ill suited for front to back shots?

I understand the criticism if one thinks front to back greens behind relatively sharp high points is over used. Holes 2-4 are of this variety, though I would argue 4 is exceptional not least because one can lay off up the right to hold an approach if the tee shot is properly placed.

5 runs away from play as well, but that isn't the main feature and hanging a ball right is an option here as well.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2020, 09:57:12 AM »
Elie is increasingly recognised as being a gem (not so hidden these days).  On of the striking features of Elie is the number of front to back sloping greens.  It's also one of the things I love about AV.  Perhaps knowing how to play Elie was an advantage but how hard can it be with a wedge in hand to work out that you land the ball just short of the green and allow it to release out?  I think it's great, in these days when we're needing longer and longer courses that you can make a driver/wedge hole really tricky by sloping the green away and making it play firm.

Jason - you just need to play more links golf.

I agree I need to play more links golf!

I generally enjoy greens that slope front to back but thought the way these were designed was particularly ill suited to such shots.  I do not recall having a similar reaction at Elie which I greatly enjoyed.

Jason

Why and which bits are ill suited for front to back shots?

I understand the criticism if one thinks front to back greens behind relatively sharp high points is over used. Holes 2-4 are of this variety, though I would argue 4 is exceptional not least because one can lay off up the right to hold an approach if the tee shot is properly placed.

5 runs away from play as well, but that isn't the main feature and hanging a ball right is an option here as well.

Ciao


I cannot remember the holes precisely but holes 2-4 seem about right.  I do not recall having any issues with the last one going out but felt like I was repeatedly approaching holes designed to be played from the other direction before that point.  There could very well be subtle nuances that I was missing in their design that would reward approaches from a particular angle that I missed. 


That said - there was a certain magic about the place replicated in few places on earth. 

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2020, 06:56:54 AM »
Elie is increasingly recognised as being a gem (not so hidden these days).  On of the striking features of Elie is the number of front to back sloping greens.  It's also one of the things I love about AV.  Perhaps knowing how to play Elie was an advantage but how hard can it be with a wedge in hand to work out that you land the ball just short of the green and allow it to release out?  I think it's great, in these days when we're needing longer and longer courses that you can make a driver/wedge hole really tricky by sloping the green away and making it play firm.

Jason - you just need to play more links golf.

I agree I need to play more links golf!

I generally enjoy greens that slope front to back but thought the way these were designed was particularly ill suited to such shots.  I do not recall having a similar reaction at Elie which I greatly enjoyed.

Jason

Why and which bits are ill suited for front to back shots?

I understand the criticism if one thinks front to back greens behind relatively sharp high points is over used. Holes 2-4 are of this variety, though I would argue 4 is exceptional not least because one can lay off up the right to hold an approach if the tee shot is properly placed.

5 runs away from play as well, but that isn't the main feature and hanging a ball right is an option here as well.

Ciao


I cannot remember the holes precisely but holes 2-4 seem about right.  I do not recall having any issues with the last one going out but felt like I was repeatedly approaching holes designed to be played from the other direction before that point.  There could very well be subtle nuances that I was missing in their design that would reward approaches from a particular angle that I missed. 


That said - there was a certain magic about the place replicated in few places on earth.

I agree with Mark, AV isn't great, but it is as you state special. It's obvious I am captivated by the combined charm of the town setting and course. I think a major reason for my admiration is the simplicity of it all. It also helps that a 2ball can whip around the course in no time. I have a lot of time for Alnmouth Village and hope more people stop by to see what I see.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

John Mayhugh

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Re: ALNMOUTH VILLAGE GC: What More Do You Need?
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2020, 07:25:26 AM »
The thread title sums it up well - what more do you need? It's not the kind of course you would build a trip around, but seeing places like this makes a trip more memorable.

Most amazing to me is the idea that something like this costs a little over $400 per year for all the golf you want.



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