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Niall C

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M&E changes at Nairn
« on: January 05, 2019, 09:23:47 AM »
The latest digital edition of Golf Course Architecture carries a story of quite extensive changes being made to Nairn by Tom MacKenzie of MacKenzie & Ebert. They include creation of new tees which presumably are for the benefit of future championships at Nairn rather than the normal day to day play. Of more interest I think is firstly the revamping of a lot of the bunkering to make it shallower and larger and therefore more playable (my interpretation of the work) as well as two new greens at the 1st and 7th and extension of the 14th. This last bit of work had me worried as IMO the 14th green is one of the great greens of the north of Scotland. It appears however that they are retaining what is there but just enlarging it (again, my interpretation).

Has anyone been up there recently and has seen the ongoing work ?

Niall

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 10:05:16 AM »
“Green surrounds are being changed on more than half the holes”.

Niall C

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 11:27:27 AM »
Yes, went back and reread that bit. I note that he talked about replacing some of the bunkers with humps and swales. I don't think that a bad thing depending on how it's done.

Niall

Ira Fishman

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 11:57:00 AM »
When we played there last summer, two of the Members (both very good players) told us that the proposed changes were quite controversial. They said the club wanted to stay competitive for garnering significant competitions. The green at 14 was deemed to not have enough pinnable locations and is being turned into a more traditional tiered green. The two Members also objected to smoothing out the hollow in front of 15 which was being done apparently to make it less unpredictable.


I only played once but agree that 14 was a wonderful green and green complex. I also enjoyed the quirk of 15.


Ira

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2019, 03:59:24 PM »

Niall,


I haven't seen the work or read the report know several members at Nairn. Some are quite positive whilst a couple are quite reserved in their comments. None however are against the changes with the oldest of them saying the course has changed a lot in the 60 years he has been a member some of which has been good and other alterations less so. He did say that had the course remained untouched from the one he played as a lad it would be a poorer course today. This comment of his is one of the reasons for my points on the Machrihanish thread.


Jon

Tom_Doak

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2019, 11:05:22 AM »

It's a shame to hear the 14th green at Nairn will be changed.  It was the one main reason to see the course, like the old 13th at Dooks, also gone now.

Tim Gallant

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2021, 03:07:57 PM »
I was having a play on Google Earth earlier and looking at potential courses to see once things open up a bit. Has anyone played Nairn since the changes were made? I believe they were mainly done last winter? Looking at GE, it appears there has been significant bunker work done, and as Niall notes, a few green changes.


Would be interested to hear from those that have played the updated course.

Brian_Ewen

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 03:23:35 AM »
The two Members also objected to smoothing out the hollow in front of 15 which was being done apparently to make it less unpredictable.


Baffling!

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 11:43:12 AM »
M&E.  Who'd a thought it.
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

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2021, 05:18:30 AM »
Given those involved in quite a few recent golf course changes there are a number of Clubs who might wish to consider displaying the cap badge of the Corps of Royal Engineers* :)
atb

*the RE reference as suggested by 'Spangles'.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2021, 07:35:59 AM »
I’m yearning for a game at Nairn. Only ever stood at the clubhouse and looked over the course... If I can ever travel back to Aberdeen, I might take a spin up and combine a round with nine at Covesea.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2021, 10:14:10 AM »

It's a shame to hear the 14th green at Nairn will be changed.  It was the one main reason to see the course, like the old 13th at Dooks, also gone now.


I'm always amazed that as the modern "athletic" player continues to "improve" and shoot lower and lower scores, quirk and "unpredictability" have to be removed.









"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2021, 03:40:17 PM »

I'm always amazed that as the modern "athletic" player continues to "improve" and shoot lower and lower scores, quirk and "unpredictability" have to be removed.




I suspect it has less to do with quirk and more to do with the fact that architects get paid more when they recommend more construction work.





Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2021, 03:52:48 PM »
In the case of Nairn, the impression I received from the couple of Members who voted No with whom we interacted is that the club was quite focused on attracting more high level competitions and that somehow believed that the 14th Green and 15th fairway were impediments. It would not surprise me if the remit to the architects led them to recommend the changes. But it does strike me as a unfortunate reason to make them. The green at 14 is all time favorite.


Ira

Clyde Johnson

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2021, 04:41:20 PM »
I walked most of the holes last summer (but not 14, as there were too many golfers.) Here's a few very average pictures for anyone interested:




Hole 1 - Fairway Bunkers




Hole 1 - New Green (raised to give a few of the Firth, rolling over to a burn hiding behind.)




Hole 4




Hole 7 - New Green (hard to the gravel beach)




Hole 12
« Last Edit: April 07, 2021, 04:46:34 PM by Clyde Johnson »

Tom_Doak

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2021, 05:42:04 PM »
In the case of Nairn, the impression I received from the couple of Members who voted No with whom we interacted is that the club was quite focused on attracting more high level competitions


Unfortunately this is often the case, but it's just a clever ruse for the anti-quirk crowd to get their way - by appealing to members' egos.


They're not gonna get The Open.  Short of that, what difference do the other events make?  They've hosted the Amateur, the Walker Cup, and the Curtis Cup previously and could probably do so again, apart from having a lot of competition.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2021, 05:48:42 PM »
In the case of Nairn, the impression I received from the couple of Members who voted No with whom we interacted is that the club was quite focused on attracting more high level competitions


Unfortunately this is often the case, but it's just a clever ruse for the anti-quirk crowd to get their way - by appealing to members' egos.


They're not gonna get The Open.  Short of that, what difference do the other events make?  They've hosted the Amateur, the Walker Cup, and the Curtis Cup previously and could probably do so again, apart from having a lot of competition.


Absolutely.


Bottom line is that almost every British links course has moved further from individuality and closer to homogeneity with each successive renovation over the past 100 years. I find that a crying shame, even if those same courses have been ostensibly “improved” many times over.

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2021, 08:07:26 PM »
We played only once. Changing 14 and 15 made no sense to me. But I never thought much about the changes to the bunkers in the posted photos until I saw the photos. Why change them when the original fit so well? Oh well.


Ira

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2021, 02:49:27 AM »
Thanks for posting the photos above.
If their idea was to attract another larger event they've been successful as the British Amateur is due to be played at Nairn, whoops, I mean 'The Nairn', this June.
atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2021, 03:33:17 AM »
In the case of Nairn, the impression I received from the couple of Members who voted No with whom we interacted is that the club was quite focused on attracting more high level competitions


Unfortunately this is often the case, but it's just a clever ruse for the anti-quirk crowd to get their way - by appealing to members' egos.


They're not gonna get The Open.  Short of that, what difference do the other events make?  They've hosted the Amateur, the Walker Cup, and the Curtis Cup previously and could probably do so again, apart from having a lot of competition.


Absolutely.


Bottom line is that almost every British links course has moved further from individuality and closer to homogeneity with each successive renovation over the past 100 years. I find that a crying shame, even if those same courses have been ostensibly “improved” many times over.

+1 Ally. It's getting to the point where Castle Stuart and Kingsbarns are more distinctive than many old links. I still point the finger squarely at great classic British archies for getting the ball rolling. Their ideas went too far and we are still living by them.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022:

Richard Fisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2021, 03:45:50 AM »
Unless, like (say) Harlech or Silloth, you have basically no spare money, or certainly not the sums to undertake the kind of extensive 'renovation' work that Ally and Sean are talking about. Both remain pretty 'unreconstructed', at least in the sense of this thread, although Harlech certainly needs an injection of funds to undertake major irrigation and drainage work without which, ultimately, there will be no golf course as the water table continues to raise, and the local council no longer has the capacity to dig out drainage ditches on the north of Morfa Harlech in ways it once did...

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2021, 03:56:21 AM »
I must admit that Harlech does seem fated for a slow death. Looking over the area from the castle highlights Harlech's precarious position.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022:

Richard Fisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2021, 04:10:40 AM »
We (RStDGC) and particularly the fab greenkeeper Rhys Butler, do have significant remedial plans...!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2021, 04:14:25 AM »
Harlech has a 1950s vibe about the club and town. It's very endearing.

Whan I was last there Harlech seemed to have pretty much cracked the water in bunkers issue.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 02:52:17 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2021, 04:16:06 AM »
Be interesting to see how long the opened-up, more rugged-edged look lasts at UK links and heathlands.
The first links I recall going along these lines was Aberdovey and they now seem to have moved away somewhat from it, at least a bit. Seems like plenty more still joining-in though (jumping on the bandwagon?).
Time and money to maintain likely to be key in the long run. Comments are appearing suggesting maintenance crew staffing levels need to rise to allow for the upkeep of the newly opened-up and rugged-edge style. How will members react when their subs go up to pay for more staff? Or will no more staff be employed to keep the subs down with the consequence that the newly opened-up and rugged-edge style features gradually grow over and the edges are cut and strimmed straighter once again with heaven forbid, a few rivets installed?
Time will tell.
atb

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