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Tom_Doak

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2020, 10:38:57 AM »
Still surprisingly few takers for the right shelf on 15 even though it gives a much better view and line into the green.


This is a perfect example of how difficult the brilliance of Gunnamatta is to show in photos. From memory we had a LHS pin on the first day of matches. I recalled your comment the previous day and banged it up over the trees from the tee to see what it left me and it was a ridiculously simple flat half wedge with the backstop behind the pin.




One of the reasons I haven't been able to accede to Thomas Dai's request to post a map of the course is that the master plan we drew up is only half close to the final product! 


The 15th is a great example.  It was originally to be a long par-3, as was the old 9th on the Ocean course.  But when the club approved the master plan, they told me their one hesitation was having back-to-back par-3 holes at 15 and 16, especially because the old 9th was one of the members' least favorite holes. 


So, while we were starting construction, I spent a lot of time trying to work out how to make the hole a decent par-4.  Re-routing the maintenance track between the Ocean and Moonah courses was one complication, but the club assured me they'd happily deal with that to get a par-4.  So, we did that, and made a pretty good cut where the path used to be so you could see through to the green from a tee shot low and left.


While we were doing all that, Brian Schneider had noticed the view of the the green site from the old 10th fairway [on the upper right], and asked about using that as an optional route to the green -- which is why the green is shaped as it is, to give someone a reason for going right.  He probably would never have thought of it had there not been a bunch of fairway already there, and the fact it was on the road we'd take to get back to the clubhouse at lunch or at the end of the day.  I hope they are able to continue chipping away at the trees on the hillside over time, as they preclude many players [including me!] from seriously considering a drive up to the right.




The other holes that are completely different from the "approved" map are 10, 11, and 12.  The latter two presented some safety issues with 13, which caused a major re-think; that they both turned out so well is probably a function of having to think about them a lot more than some of the other holes.  The same would be true for the greens at 7, 8, and 10.  That is really the way our process works . . . the holes get better through collective observation and time on the ground.




Mark Pearce

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2020, 12:40:48 PM »
But when the club approved the master plan, they told me their one hesitation was having back-to-back par-3 holes at 15 and 16, especially because the old 9th was one of the members' least favorite holes. 
Because no great course could have consecutive par 3s at 15 and 16.....

MKrohn

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2020, 07:23:27 PM »

Enjoyed the photos, I never "hated" the Ocean like so many and clearly the membership, in fact on any number of occasions we played the Moonah/Ocean double rather than play the Old course.


Really looking forward to playing Gunnamatta, nothing better than standing on that 1st tee, looks like I can hit it in that centre bunker anymore !!

Chris Kane

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2020, 08:12:50 PM »
Because no great course could have consecutive par 3s at 15 and 16.....
If 15 hadn't turned out as an absolutely sensational par-4, there would few knives out at the club - that's for sure.

Tom_Doak

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2020, 10:58:20 PM »
But when the club approved the master plan, they told me their one hesitation was having back-to-back par-3 holes at 15 and 16, especially because the old 9th was one of the members' least favorite holes. 
Because no great course could have consecutive par 3s at 15 and 16.....


I'm as open-minded as anyone about the sequencing of holes, but I try to avoid consecutive par-3's unless there is just no other way the routing makes sense.  I mean, yes, it works at Cypress Point, but the land we were working with [while very good] is not the point at Cypress Point.


I've done consecutive par-3's twice:  10-11 at Pacific Dunes, and 12-13 at Rock Creek.  The pair at Pacific are two of the most memorable holes on the course; at Rock Creek, not so much, but the rest of the back nine is set up perfectly by those two holes.


The funny thing was, by going away from the consecutive par-3's, the club was asking me to only have three par-3 holes in the eighteen.  That's the first time I have only built three short holes on a course, and for most clients, I think that would be a bigger objection than having them back to back.  But few golfers have even mentioned to me that they've noticed there are fewer par-3's than normal.  The only comment I got about it at the Renaissance Cup was that the course lacks a short par-3, because all three of them play fairly long in the winds we saw.

Brian Walshe

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2020, 04:22:01 AM »
Scott mentioned how much the line on 3 can change with the pin moving from the front tier to the back but the hole plays dramatically harder to a back pin.  A front pin you want to be right off the tee but you can get away with being a little left.  Back pin and you are all but dead from the right, playing over the bunkers and across the tier and invariably you end up on one of the lower tiers. 2 putts is a major win from there as the top tier falls a little away from the crest which makes judging the distance really hard. I played consecutive weekends in the same group of three.  Front pin week one, 2 birdies and par.  Back pin the following week and 2 bogies and a double.  Standing on the 4th tee one of the group turned and said "What just happened there???"  The course just provides so many options, working out what ones you take when is proving to be a lot of fun.

Scott Warren

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2020, 08:15:56 AM »
A couple of screen grabs from the wonderful videos Will Watt at Caddie Mag has been producing for The National GC. I highly suggest you check out his & the clubís social channels to see more.

Posting these to show two things: the extent of the fescue use in the greens surrounds (lines between couch and fescue are clearly visible) and also how wonderful the ridges and shapes are that wind through the greens and their approaches.








« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 12:27:34 AM by Scott Warren »

Scott Warren

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2020, 08:19:27 AM »
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« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 12:27:23 AM by Scott Warren »

Scott Warren

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2020, 12:25:22 AM »
Pics fixed.

John Mayhugh

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2020, 08:17:19 AM »
Scott,
Thanks for doing this tour. Finishing work looks fantastic through the pictures, which is no surprise.

I too like the restraint with greenside bunkering. Easy to see that there is plenty of interest without them.
One issue - you mentioned that the 7th was the only short uphill par 4 you have ever cared for. The second at Elie would like a word....

Thomas Dai

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2020, 09:44:21 AM »
Just looked through the photos in this thread once again and some other things Iíve found and jeez, this course looks just so much fun.
Like walk off the 18th green with a big smile wanting to head straight to the 1st tee again type fun. :)
Atb

Scott Warren

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2020, 02:52:27 PM »
One issue - you mentioned that the 7th was the only short uphill par 4 you have ever cared for. The second at Elie would like a word....


This is a fair point. The second at Elie is excellent.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2020, 07:41:22 PM »
I have to note that I've been surprised by all the comments about the sparse greenside bunkering, because that is a staple of my work.  I thought it must just stand out more because so many greens in the Sand Belt are ringed by bunkers.


However, a quick accounting via Google Earth shows that we built even fewer greenside bunkers than usual.  So, that's either Brian and Clyde's influence, or my own reluctance to build greenside bunkers in windy places where they might present wind erosion issues, or both.  For sure, the small bunkers at 5 and 8 are a function of that.

V_Halyard

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2020, 01:28:46 PM »
Thanks for sharing the photos you did of Gunnamatta. The course looks AMAZING! I see a lot of Mackenzie/Maxwell and ANGC influence with the green complexes, however. The 3rd green reminds of the the 18th at ANGC. The 4th green is a near replica of the 5th green at ANGC. You got the boomerang green on the 8th, which is a Mackenzie trademark and were you to remove the bunkers to the right of the 12th green and replace them with hillocks/mounds you'd essentially have the 8th green and surrounds at ANGC.



I've never been shy about telling people where I got my ideas for various holes.  I can tell you I never once thought of Augusta while we were working at The National, and I'd be surprised to hear that any of my crew did.  If we needed any more MacKenzie influence than we already had, there are plenty of fine examples local to Melbourne.


I guess you can see whatever you want to see, but since you haven't been there, it's kind of silly.  Hopefully Jeff Warne, who grew up in Augusta and played in the recent Renaissance Cup, will see this thread and comment.


Yes, the course is VERY wide -- it's even wider than we usually build, because it is a windy place, but also because golfers don't like to look for their balls in the rough when there might be snakes about.  [We have never found anywhere near the number of abandoned golf balls we found at The National, because golfers abandon them so easily down there.]


Advice we heeded: "When hunting for balls, assume every spider ane snake you see can kill you."   -sooo
"It's a tiny little ball that doesn't even move... how hard could it be?"  I will walk and carry 'til I can't... or look (really) stupid.

Kevin Pallier

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2022, 04:24:51 AM »
When isolation is over, flights resume and the state borders reopen, I reckon the first tee at Gunnamatta is one of the first places I will find myself.


Well that happened for me today ;D


I finally got the chance to experience National's Gunnamatta post COVID border lockdowns and to say I came away impressed is an understatement.


I had the good fortune to play with someone who had seen it a lot and was able to describe the best lines from green back to the tee. He did damn fine too shooting 1 over out and less than a handful home for 40pts.


I didn't hit it anywhere near as good as him but still had a lot of fun creating shots into the greens which had some wicked but lovely movements.


12 is a hole that showed it's class - a downhill 360m P4 (with wind behind today). A playing partner went left off the tee and had difficulty with a shot in from that side with a pin left having to navigate some mounds on the left side into the narrow green. Another partner got lucky with his tee shot which skipped out of the fairway bunker and he had a half wedge in. Another playing partner took a putter from 100m straight downhill and put it to about 4 metres (12 foot)! I hit a good tee shot and took putter as well as I had a shot from about 30 metres in.


Options aplenty - my name is Gunnamatta.


It's a massive improvement on what was there previously and a course I'd recommend one make the journey to play.

Bruce Hardie

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2023, 04:22:48 AM »
Well, we have back-to-back par 3s now.


The 17th is now being played as a 120y par 3 with tee markers set up on the fairway while the club awaits a solution to the problem of tee shots on 17 frequently landing on the 18th tee.


It must be a difficult problem as it was identified within days of opening (one playing partner did in in their second round of the course) and it remains unresolved.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2023, 12:02:04 PM »

It must be a difficult problem as it was identified within days of opening (one playing partner did in in their second round of the course) and it remains unresolved.




I wish I'd heard about the problem that early, but we hadn't heard anything about it before the Renaissance Cup in 2020, or we would have tried to address it then.  That was two weeks before the world shut down, and I haven't been back to Australia since then, so everything to date has been based on correspondence.


I am going back in late February to try and sort out a more permanent solution.  Playing 17 at 120 yards was my interim suggestion; it's by far the less expensive option than making changes to 17 and 18, or even to 18 and 1 if we tried to leave 17 alone.


The hard part is that most everyone seems quite attached to 17 the way it is, but that's the hole that's the problem.

Bruce Hardie

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2023, 07:01:32 PM »

The hard part is that most everyone seems quite attached to 17 the way it is, but that's the hole that's the problem.


I hope you do come up with something that leaves 17 mostly intact - it's a very good golf hole.

Charles Lund

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2023, 11:30:18 PM »
I've now played Gunnamatta about 15 times, with about a dozen being post-Covid rounds on two trips in 2022.


The original finishing sequence for 16, 17, and 18 as par 3, short par 4, and demanding long par four finishing hole seemed to be enthusiastically accepted.  I recall the 18th tee location problem was first mentioned in club notice during Covid.  Prior to that, main issue was thought to be the walk from 17th green to 18th tee, requiring players to allow the green to clear and players to leave the area before teeing off.


The temporary 18th tee location now converts 18 into a relatively shorter par four, depending on wind conditions.  I hit eight iron on in regulation in strong downwind and into the wind it is a three shotter for me, with the best strategy being a strategic lay up for a gap wedge type shot, which takes bunkers out of play.


Most members I played with think of #17  as one of the most interesting holes on the course and I would think of it as among my favorite short par fours in Australia.  It presents different options for me, depending on wind direction and strength.  A tee shot left leads to a difficult short second shot with a challenging angle for carrying it onto the green.  The steep face makes a finesse bump shot into the slope or a putt an alternative.  A tee shot out to the right gives a better angle, easier when played into the wind as any shots hit downwind tend to be long.


I personally like the location of the temporary tee on th 18th hole.  It transformed the old 18th hole from The Ocean from anticipatory dread into a hole whose challenge I can embrace, regardless of wind conditions.


It's hard for me to see how a new tee can be constructed to lengthen 18 to a more suitable length for many, without encroaching on number one green area or hitting from a much lower area with a somewhat blind shot uphill.


I doubt the 17th green could be moved without changing the character of one of the most memorable holes.


Members I have played with discussed relocating the number one green and locating the 18th tee where it would play as a par five.  I had a hard time visualizing a new location for a new first green.  The beauty of Gummamatta is that the greens seem to have been located where natural contouring was present. I suppose there is an area left of the current number one green where a new green could be constructed.


Charles Lund

Bruce Hardie

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #44 on: March 15, 2023, 11:34:27 PM »
Looks like the work is done and we just need the grass to grow.


Solution seems to be sensible, and workable, and I am optimistic about the way it will play.

Bruce Hardie

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #45 on: April 18, 2023, 01:17:08 AM »
We are open again.


Work seems to address the problem statement well and the new back tee for 18 is GREAT. It's a shot to really stir the blood to finish the round.


Thank you.

Charles Lund

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2023, 03:54:05 AM »
I was able to see the new number one green under construction in late February and March.  The new location of the green seemed to improve the hole visually, in comparison to the location of the original number one green.  I liked the proximity to to the course boundary with a defining out of bounds fence similar to the one near the number two green.  The sentiments of people I was with playing Gunnamatta and walking from a temporary green to number two tee were positive about thr aesthetics of the aesthetic green, bunkering, and green surround.  The slopes and contours of the new green will provide interesting alternatives, depending on hole location.


I think most members will like the new number 18, which appears to play as a challenging par five replacement for the original par four that was brutal and seemed to play mostly into a strong wind.


Charles Lund
« Last Edit: May 27, 2023, 11:18:09 AM by Charles Lund »

Bruce Hardie

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2023, 07:17:51 AM »
A few more laps around for me and this week also saw the filling of the back bunker on 16 which had blown out so much that shots were literally impossible.


And I've got to say that the club and the Renaissance team have got the changes right.


It looks like the black tee box will feature the blue markers more often than not on 18 which is now one of the best tee shots on the complex. 1 & 18 pair up nicely as a tougher vs gettable combo for most members. They also been pinning some smaller areas on the 18th green (front right today for example).


Well done.

Mike_Clayton

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2023, 08:57:21 AM »
Chris Kane and I played last week and played the 2nd off the new 18th tee.
It's an easier walk, a little longer and at least as good a tee shot.
What's bizarre about the Gunnamatta is this belief it's 'easy' and you can "hit it anywhere".
To play it well off the back tees you have to drive it really well and it's one of the more difficult tee to green courses in the country.

Bruce Hardie

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Re: National (Gunnamatta) by Renaissance Golf Design
« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2023, 10:24:52 PM »
Chris Kane and I played last week and played the 2nd off the new 18th tee.
It's an easier walk, a little longer and at least as good a tee shot.


Sounds cool but are the bunkers in play and is going for the green an option? I think those are defining features of what makes that hole so good.

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