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Ally Mcintosh

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2021, 04:59:08 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


I am very surprised that there is feedback that suggests rugged edge bunkers take more maintenance: This can only mean that they are being over-maintained or that they are being forced in to locations that are not natural.


That last point is part of my problem with some of the work I’ve seen: Why does it follow that every fairway bunker is fully rugged (even when backed in to artificially created mounds) and every green side bunker is completely clean? It is too much of a juxtaposition... Why not mix it up a bit, including combining both rugged and sod wall solutions in one bunker? This ties a scheme together much more seamlessly.


Finally, edges in rugged bunkers should have very minimal maintenance (much easier when they have been naturally placed). Some of these photos show cookie cutter edges that are intended to be maintained.


Aberdovey’s issue could have been one of design and therefore erosion. A little deep and narrow, encouraging wind blow. But different sites have different problems.

Tom Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2021, 09:46:44 AM »
You're right Ally, Aberdovey's issue was erosion. As a quite open and exposed site for the most part the wind had undercut basically every face that was even slightly exposed to the point where some were close to collapse and impossible lies could be found if your ball ran up to the undercut faces. The marram grass they had planted on the faces had also got abit out of hand where if you missed the bunker and landed in the marram you had a near impossible shot with the only option to just hack at it which many of the older members couldn't do. They only have a handful of staff and although revetting a bunker is arduous it's easier than having to reshape the whole bunker every few years for a normal greenkeeping team. When I first saw the bunkers there, I thought they looked awesome but speaking with the head greenkeeper and seeing them close up just before they started the program to go back to revetted faces again I can see why they've gone on the path they've chosen and it's bascially the same reason why they would have been revetted in the first place.


Agree on your other points too.

Sean_A

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2021, 11:51:41 AM »
It is a shame Aberdovey lost its bunkers. They were by far the best looking new bunkers on a links that I saw. I am still surprised they had serious erosion because they were quite hunkered down. Ah well.

Burnham is gradually converting fairway pots to more natural style bunkers. They are gonna keep pots around the greens.

Ciao
« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 03:21:28 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2021, 12:37:45 PM »


Why not mix it up a bit, including combining both rugged and sod wall solutions in one bunker? This ties a scheme together much more seamlessly.





We did not do any revetting at St. Patrick's to start with -- but I expect the bunker shapes to evolve, and hope to go back and do partial revetments in some spots over time.  We did not build a lot of bunkers close to greens, generally, which helps minimize the urgency of controlling the inevitable erosion.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2021, 01:03:57 PM »


Why not mix it up a bit, including combining both rugged and sod wall solutions in one bunker? This ties a scheme together much more seamlessly.




We did not do any revetting at St. Patrick's to start with -- but I expect the bunker shapes to evolve, and hope to go back and do partial revetments in some spots over time.  We did not build a lot of bunkers close to greens, generally, which helps minimize the urgency of controlling the inevitable erosion.

For me, this can actually be the most organic look of all. Because whilst sod walls are quite clearly a man-made intervention, if they are placed in bays to stabilise obvious weak points for erosion, it feels like a natural evolution.

The other point worth (re)making is how much better bunkers look if placed in natural areas with the surface scraped off, the sand bowled out and not much else. I just looked at a couple of bunkers built in the fairway on the 8th at St. Patricks. These don't have overly complicated edges and they fit perfectly to the eye, primarily because of where they are placed. Compare that to the fairway bunker in the 1st photo of reply 14 on this thread: An overly fussy edge in a created rear mound.... Clearly it is harder when you are dealing with flat links land like Nairn but I'd argue that if the land doesn't throw up obvious areas for rough edged, natural bunkers, then don't build them.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2021, 04:28:08 PM »

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.


Tom/Jeff


You assume the quirk is being taken out of the course but is that actually the case ?


Niall

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2021, 05:45:39 PM »
Niall:


You're right, I don't know.  I just hated to hear that they were going to change the 14th somehow.  It was the one green on the course I remembered well from 39 years ago.

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2021, 07:41:20 PM »
Any word if they are building any fake dunes here?

Brian_Ewen

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2021, 02:14:07 AM »
Amateur Championship is at Nairn West this coming week.


https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/sport/golf/3223381/nairn-golf-club-chief-colin-sinclair-has-high-hopes-for-home-trio-at-amateur-championship/


Shame, but it looks like spectating is being limited to 400 members.


R&A will have a live feed of the final.



« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 02:04:56 PM by Brian_Ewen »

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2021, 09:52:19 AM »
Tom Mackenzie redesign worked a treat at Nairn

And Sinclair explained why major work all around the course makes Nairn the ideal test for next week’s golfers.


He said: “The course was remodelled three or four years ago. The club had a strong vision to bring in (leading golf course architect) Tom Mackenzie, who had worked on Turnberry, and he remodelled all 18 holes, some slightly more than others.


“New greens, new tees and new bunkering. That was two-fold. Firstly, to make it more challenging for the elite players, such as we’ll have next week.


“But it was also to make more fun for the average golfer, the higher handicapper, by having new forward tees in. Having had all that work put in place, the restored Nairn Golf Club is there for everyone to see.”


I'm up that way in a couple of weeks time and will hopefully be able to take a look but it does sound like there has been a good bit more work than originally suggested.


Niall

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2021, 12:30:52 PM »
Men’s Amateur Championship next week. Alterations by the Royal Engineers. Would some £ from an organisation based in St Andrews also perhaps be involved?
Atb

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2021, 01:36:38 PM »
I've just got back from a golf trip that included a game at Nairn, where I had only played once back in 2009. Before heading off, I'd seen this thread and had also checked back on my own photo tour from back then. I remembered a solid Championship links course but with the holes near the house being a bit flat and dull, while those at the far end were okay but unspectacular, and in the middle of both nines a bit more character (3,4 and 5 on the front, and 13, 14 and 15 on the back). On reading that 14 green was being changed and 15 approach undulations evened out I was somewhat disappointed as I felt those to be a strong point of the round.


Now whatever you say about M&E they are certainly considered a safe pair of hands by many and so its no surprise clubs, especially those with relations with the R&A, tend to engage with them. I'm not commenting on that here, what I am commenting on is how pleasantly surprised I was at the overall Nairn experience now they've done their work.


Standing looking out from the clubhouse, I remembered a bland view, mostly a sea of green with a few pot bunkers. Instead, the new bunkers and their surrounds have been positioned and cleverly shaped and blended in, in such a way that its only when you are walking through the first few holes that you realise its quite flat. The funny mounds and ditch on the second have gone thankfully. Changes to the fairway bunkering on the 5th havent harmed it at all and its still my favourite on the course. By the time you reach the 7th its again no longer a bland and forgettable hole, but instead a pair of bunkers on the corner test the drive between those and the beach, and the new green is close to the beach also, testing your approach shot while never relying purely on an instagram moment, as its not immediately obvious how close the green is. One of the most obvious fairway bunker changes was actually on 12 where instead of a pair off to the left almost out of play, a pair pinch the drive zone.


What of 14 and 15? Well I'd only played the once so am clearly no expert, but the 14th green was pretty much what I remembered so perhaps they only changed some of the surrounds and enlarged it slightly, as the valley through the middle was still there! On 15 a new pair of bunkers about 100yds from the green lead into an area of undulating land that again felt very similar to how it was before. Maybe they had softened them slightly but if I hadnt known I wouldnt have been able to tell.


So all in all, some clever remodelling and repositioning of bunkers has turned Nairn from what I felt was solid but I'm afraid to say dull, into an improved challenge with improved aesthetics, without getting rid of those few key moments of character (the 5th hole, 14th green, 15th approach) which were the shining lights previously.


Cheers,


James


ps, sorry for the lack of photos which would have made this a much better post!  ::)



2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay, Ganton, Burnham & Berrow, Royal Dornoch, Woodhall Spa

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #37 on: July 15, 2021, 02:32:35 PM »
Thanks for that update, James. Really looking forward to getting up there and seeing it.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #38 on: July 15, 2021, 04:44:11 PM »
James


Thanks for that. In the event I didn't manage to visit Nairn when I was up that way recently but I watched a fair bit of the Amateur on-line and the course looked great, as you might expect hosting the Amateur. The 14th in particular looked as though all they might have done was clear out the back of the green. I'm not even sure if they extended it. Certainly the front half looked as I remembered it.


Niall

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #39 on: July 15, 2021, 04:59:01 PM »
It is great to hear that the changes to 14 and 15 were not as extensive as expected. I only had one play in 2018, but 14 remains a memorable green as does the tee shot on 15. I quite liked the course overall, but perhaps that is because we had some wind that highlighted the quality of the turf and the ground game.


Ira

Ben Sims

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2022, 10:13:47 PM »
So we’ll over a year on now, what’s the report?


I have to say that the newest drone flyovers look really nice. Historical imagery from google earth helps in discerning the changes as well. It looks pretty good.

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2022, 06:09:51 AM »
t


I have to say that the newest drone flyovers look really nice.

Why am I not surprised?

Drone photography is the modern equivalent of vanity portraits.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Ben Sims

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2022, 09:04:47 AM »
t


I have to say that the newest drone flyovers look really nice.

Why am I not surprised?

Drone photography is the modern equivalent of vanity portraits.


I agree. I don’t like them for the most part. But in this context, it allows people to have a conversation about purported changes to a golf course that not many have seen or get to see. That’s what I’d rather focus on. But your point is noted.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2022, 09:13:01 AM by Ben Sims »

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2022, 09:42:04 AM »
The trouble with drone footage is it gives no representation of what you see on the ground.


Case in point the new par-3 at Hoylake.

Ben Sims

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2022, 10:00:39 AM »
The trouble with drone footage is it gives no representation of what you see on the ground.


Case in point the new par-3 at Hoylake.


Well darn, seems I’ve typed the triggering word “drone” and we forgot to talk about the golf course.


Do you make it back up there Ally?

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2022, 10:03:42 AM »
Ben


The long and the short of it is that Nairn is a very good links even if it only really gets grudging credit. Part of that is due to the nature of some of the land as Boony alluded to in his post. In my view it is in the discussion along with a handful of others as to being best course in the north of Scotland.


Niall

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2022, 10:06:23 AM »
t


I have to say that the newest drone flyovers look really nice.

Why am I not surprised?

Drone photography is the modern equivalent of vanity portraits.


Well if vanity portraits involve the artist creating a painting of the subjects head while looking down on it then I'd agree.


Niall

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2022, 10:14:03 AM »
The trouble with drone footage is it gives no representation of what you see on the ground.


Case in point the new par-3 at Hoylake.


Well darn, seems I’ve typed the triggering word “drone” and we forgot to talk about the golf course.


Do you make it back up there Ally?


No haven’t been back up. I’ve no problem with drones as a method of discussing things / changes etc… I’ve a bigger problem if they are used primarily as sales / marketing tools and give false representation of what the golfer might experience.


I’ve no idea if that might be the case at Nairn.


But who wouldn’t take advantage of the technology if it brings more people to your course. I know I would.

Thomas Dai

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Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2022, 11:05:21 AM »
Occasionally someone will take drone footage from a players eye level.
Mind some folks are shorter/taller than others.
Atb

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: M&E changes at Nairn
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2022, 11:29:07 AM »
Occasionally someone will take drone footage from a players eye level.
Mind some folks are shorter/taller than others.
Atb


Isn’t that just called a video?

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