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David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« on: September 02, 2021, 01:04:09 AM »
I could not find the lengthy thread from 2-3 years ago debating the merits of moving the 7th hole at RDGC closer to the sea. Having played the course a dozen times in the past 19 days, I can offer my moderately biased opinion of the new hole.

1) The new green is a faithful replica of the old one.

2) The new fairway does not have quite the "texture" of the old one, but is by no means dead flat.

3) The views along the entire length of hole, whether looking down the fairway to the "infinity" green or out to the sea or down on the course below, are stunning.

Playing the old 7th hole often seemed to be a bit of drudgery. Playing the new 7th certainly is not.





 

Jeff Schley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2021, 01:13:14 AM »
Thanks DT, good to know and glad you were able to travel this year to play the course. Any issues with flow being affected from 7 to 8?
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2021, 01:22:37 AM »
Jeff -

The walk from the new 7th green to the 8th tee is maybe 30 yards longer. Once the 8th tee is moved closer to the new 7th green as planned, that will go away. I do not know the timetable for making the changes to #8.

Nice video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nVu1t2mFX0

DT

JohnVDB

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2021, 01:47:26 AM »
Thanks DT, good to know and glad you were able to travel this year to play the course. Any issues with flow being affected from 7 to 8?


If anything it is better as it just gives the group in front that much more time to hit to the green lessening the chance they are still over the hill but in range.

Mark Mammel

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2022, 03:45:51 AM »
Just (finally) got to spend a few days in Dornoch. The new 7th is something of a disappointment to me; it is certainly better than the old version, which was basically a long slog of a linking hole with gorse looming on both sides, though the fairway was plenty wide enough.  The new hole faithfully reproduces the green and surrounds, and the bunkering is similar. The views are spectacular. Still, the fairway is basically flat- compared to the rolly-polly feel of many others there, like 9, 11, 12, 14, etc. it is not very interesting. Of course, from a long undistinguished hole to a long undistinguished hole with spectacular views, the choice is easy. But it seems an opportunity lost. The hole could be more interesting if the fairway was redone, or some other changes were made to add to shot values, but I can't see the club closing the hole again even in part now that we can finally visit.


So much golf to play, so little time....

Mark

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 08:30:10 PM »
I've played the new 7th a handful of times and I am pleased with the early results.  With the great benefit of superior scenery, it remains a formidable hole requiring two very good shots to get on the green and some nifty putting to come away with a par.  I haven't found the fairway that bland, nor do I need rumpled ground to further test my hybrid or long iron approach.  Proportionality is important to me- a short hole might offer greater interest with uneven lies and tighter greens, while a longer hole requiring more power and longer approaches might offer less rumpled lies and a wider opening to the green.  #7 is not my favorite hole at RDGC, but I think it is definitely improved.  I do look forward to the new tee and cut lines for #8 made possible by moving the #7 green over toward the sea.  I think that this could make a more favorable impact for the course overall than the change to #7.   One of the things I admire about RDGC is that it takes a long view to improving the course, only making changes after careful, considered deliberation.     

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2022, 05:14:44 AM »
Mark, whilst I was one who questioned whether the changes were absolutely necessary, once the decision was made, I would not have been in favour of re-shaping the fairway.


With links land, general principle should be that you take the land as it is, minus work around greens and tees. Fairway work should be limited to local area cuts and fills to improve visibility and playability, occasionally having to do minimal work to house bunkers.


I believe there is a fine line - that is often crossed - where courses (or parts of courses) start to look created rather than organic, primarily when land movement on a micro-scale does not tie with the macro picture.


Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2022, 07:46:08 AM »
It's a no brainer if the club has plenty of dosh. That said, once a decision was taken to shift hole, I don't see any need to replicate what existed. It wasn't a special hole. I also have no qualms with fairway shaping to liven up hole. Just hire an archie/shaper who can do a good job.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

JohnVDB

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2022, 08:10:11 AM »
Having just returned from 5 weeks in Dornoch to go with my trips over the last two years, Iíve now played thee new 7th about 80 times.  I like the way it plays now. The fairway doesnít have a lot of movement, but the old hole didnít and Iíd agree with Ally that it wouldnít be a good thing to create it out of nothing.  The entire area on top of the hills is pretty flat (see the 8th and 17th before they drop off the hill).


One criticism is that there isnít a lot of interest for the shorter hitters before the green.  They canít reach the bunkers on the left and there is nothing to make the second interesting since they canít reach the green.  Of course, it can be similar for longer hitters when playing into the wind.  Possibly another bunker on the left short of the two there now and on on the right about 100 yards from the green similar to the one on the old version.


My other criticism is that the trouble on the left of the green is so far away from play that it isnít in your head on a long shot to the green like it was on the old hole.



Philip Gawith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2022, 03:20:56 PM »
The view from the 7th tee at RGDC is surely a contender for the best in golf. What the alteration achieves is to extend a 2-3 minute ďwowĒ experience into a 15 min pleasure. From a GCA perspective I would agree that the change is largely a wash; from an overall golf experience perspective, a big improvement.


I am not sure I am looking forward to changes to the 8th hole with enthusiasm. That hole works pretty well for me/the group I play with, especially when into the wind, as it often is. I think it is a harder hole to improve, and easier to mess up.


David where do things stand with the clubhouse changes that were planned?

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2022, 04:56:48 PM »
Philip G. -

As far as I know, the new clubhouse at Dornoch is on hold for the immediate future and possibly a few years longer.

DT

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The new 7th hole at Royal Dornoch
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2022, 06:29:21 PM »
I agree with John, to my mind it should almost play like the Road Hole with a dominant bunker front left of green would be the thing to do. I'd maybe also knick an idea from Castle Stuart and have a bunker 30/50 yards short like the 3rd and the 6th, just where you might want to place your ball if you were laying up.


Niall

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