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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #50 on: March 15, 2023, 03:08:24 AM »
Bunker free, grazed and non irrigated is about as natural as it gets even if some soil was pushed around by a shovel. In that regard Minch Old is hard to beat. That said, the price to pay is ropey greens and few people like this, including me. There's a lot to be said for natural golf, but that isn't the be all and end all imo.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 16, 2023, 12:43:35 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #51 on: March 15, 2023, 05:21:01 AM »
Bunker free grazed and non irrigated is about as natural as it gets even if some soil was pushed around by a shovel. In that regard Minch Old is hard to beat. That said, the price to pay is ropey greens and few people like this, including me. There's a lot to be said for natural golf, but that isn't the be all and end all imo.

Ciao
Surprised that Kington hasn't featured in these discussions.  Obviously many made greens.  But aside from that, non-irrigated, grazed, fertilised by sheep.  And excellent greens.

James Brown

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #52 on: March 15, 2023, 01:14:02 PM »
Has anyone every developed a measure of naturalness?  Something where we could put courses on a spectrum. 


Digesting these comments so far, I would say a 100% natural course with no irrigation and no contouring of any kind and no mowing might be a nice novelty to try out once or twice, but not the kind of place I would really find interesting.

Haven't seen Mulranny have you. ;)

For example, I was just scanning the Mach Dunes website and they were promoting the fact that they utilized goat grazing as a supplement to ďsome mowing.Ē 



I have always thought of Brora as the most natural course in the world.  At least in terms of melding natural with an actual constructed work.  Not a lot of electric fences in nature, but I donít think thatís the point.

You don't find Brora "interesting?"



I havenít seen Mulranny, but you can see from their website that they some some mowing and mow the greens for sure. 


My point was that we should view naturalness on a spectrum. 


And Brora is certainly interesting, but they also have an extensive maintenance regime there as well.  And many of the tee boxes are constructed not ďfound.Ē

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #53 on: March 16, 2023, 12:47:30 AM »
Bunker free grazed and non irrigated is about as natural as it gets even if some soil was pushed around by a shovel. In that regard Minch Old is hard to beat. That said, the price to pay is ropey greens and few people like this, including me. There's a lot to be said for natural golf, but that isn't the be all and end all imo.

Ciao
Surprised that Kington hasn't featured in these discussions.  Obviously many made greens.  But aside from that, non-irrigated, grazed, fertilised by sheep.  And excellent greens.

Kington definitely waters their greens when necessary, but it makes for a more enjoyable round imo. I know Minch Old is handcuffed, but it's a shame.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #54 on: March 16, 2023, 04:59:05 AM »
Mulranny has greens irrigation. They also have greens where the height-of-cut that is higher than usual. Given their windy location and the severity of their greens contours both are apt.
Kington has greens irrigation.
Minchinhampton Old waters its greens with a tractor and water trailer with the tractor driver sprinkling the greens via a hosepipe.
atb

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #55 on: March 16, 2023, 09:20:36 AM »
Castine in Maine.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #56 on: March 16, 2023, 12:33:58 PM »
Reading through this thread it seems to me that you could divide naturalness into 2 distinct parts.


1 - how the course was constructed or laid out. Was there much earth moved or vegetation/plants/trees removed to make the course.


2 - how the course is maintained ie. no or little irrigation, native vegetation with minimal mowing etc.


In my experience in the UK the two tend to go together, both due to a lack of money !


Niall

Adam_Messix

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #57 on: March 17, 2023, 08:17:57 PM »
The course that jumps out most in my mind is Waverley in New Zealand.  The maintenance mostly by local farm animals add to the charm.  The trees that have been added are a concern but it is minimalism in it's purest form otherwise.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #58 on: March 25, 2023, 06:56:44 AM »
I remember Kilspindie having greens at grade. They struck me as more found than built.

I guess that they had to knock down sections of the stone fence though.

I had one of the biggest eye openers in design seeing Burnham's 6th being rebuilt. Just shy of the proper green was a completely natural temp green. A highly interesting bit of the fairway was cut shorter and used as the green. I am not convinced the expensive rebuilt proper green is any better than the old temp green. Plus, the amount of space required for the green was immense compared to the natural temp green. I know which green I prefered.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #59 on: March 25, 2023, 10:17:11 AM »
I remember Kilspindie having greens at grade. They struck me as more found than built.

I guess that they had to knock down sections of the stone fence though.

I had one of the biggest eye openers in design seeing Burnham's 6th being rebuilt. Just shy of the proper green was a completely natural temp green. A highly interesting bit of the fairway was cut shorter and used as the green. I am not convinced the expensive rebuilt proper green is any better than the old temp green. Plus, the amount of space required for the green was immense compared to the natural temp green. I know which green I prefered.

Ciao


Part of the fun of re-building greens on good links land is actually locating great, natural sites for the temp green whilst the original gets re-built. Members will accept something far more funky as a temp so you can find a great roll in the ground from where to mow something cool.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #60 on: March 25, 2023, 10:27:14 AM »
I remember Kilspindie having greens at grade. They struck me as more found than built.

I guess that they had to knock down sections of the stone fence though.

I had one of the biggest eye openers in design seeing Burnham's 6th being rebuilt. Just shy of the proper green was a completely natural temp green. A highly interesting bit of the fairway was cut shorter and used as the green. I am not convinced the expensive rebuilt proper green is any better than the old temp green. Plus, the amount of space required for the green was immense compared to the natural temp green. I know which green I prefered.

Ciao


Part of the fun of re-building greens on good links land is actually locating great, natural sites for the temp green whilst the original gets re-built. Members will accept something far more funky as a temp so you can find a great roll in the ground from where to mow something cool.


Ugh.
That hurts to read.
True. But still hurts.
Even the club's with the most quirk have members as detractors,which nearly always dumbs  a place down.


Growth industry for the "faster grass" sellers and later the restoration architects...
"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

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2023, 10:34:33 AM »
A few days ago I was gazing out of the clubhouse window at the 18th green of a course much beloved herein wondering to what extent the table-top green had risen over the decades/centuries given top-dressing and storm blown sand.
atb


PS - the temporary green site on the 6th at Burnham that Sean mentions above was an absolute cracker.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #62 on: March 25, 2023, 10:37:51 AM »
I remember Kilspindie having greens at grade. They struck me as more found than built.

I guess that they had to knock down sections of the stone fence though.

I had one of the biggest eye openers in design seeing Burnham's 6th being rebuilt. Just shy of the proper green was a completely natural temp green. A highly interesting bit of the fairway was cut shorter and used as the green. I am not convinced the expensive rebuilt proper green is any better than the old temp green. Plus, the amount of space required for the green was immense compared to the natural temp green. I know which green I prefered.

Ciao


Part of the fun of re-building greens on good links land is actually locating great, natural sites for the temp green whilst the original gets re-built. Members will accept something far more funky as a temp so you can find a great roll in the ground from where to mow something cool.


Ugh.
That hurts to read.
True. But still hurts.
Even the club's with the most quirk have members as detractors,which nearly always dumbs  a place down.


Growth industry for the "faster grass" sellers and later the restoration architects...


Itís not meant to hurt, Jeff. Just because a temp green can have a lot of funk doesnít make it a better green site. If it did, Iíd be pushing for it to become the permanent solution.


Thereís a number of reasons most temp greens usually work best as temporary answers.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #63 on: March 25, 2023, 10:45:33 AM »
I remember Kilspindie having greens at grade. They struck me as more found than built.

I guess that they had to knock down sections of the stone fence though.

I had one of the biggest eye openers in design seeing Burnham's 6th being rebuilt. Just shy of the proper green was a completely natural temp green. A highly interesting bit of the fairway was cut shorter and used as the green. I am not convinced the expensive rebuilt proper green is any better than the old temp green. Plus, the amount of space required for the green was immense compared to the natural temp green. I know which green I prefered.

Ciao


Part of the fun of re-building greens on good links land is actually locating great, natural sites for the temp green whilst the original gets re-built. Members will accept something far more funky as a temp so you can find a great roll in the ground from where to mow something cool.


Ugh.
That hurts to read.
True. But still hurts.
Even the club's with the most quirk have members as detractors,which nearly always dumbs  a place down.


Growth industry for the "faster grass" sellers and later the restoration architects...


Itís not meant to hurt, Jeff. Just because a temp green can have a lot of funk doesnít make it a better green site. If it did, Iíd be pushing for it to become the permanent solution.


Thereís a number of reasons most temp greens usually work best as temporary answers.

Ally

You may be missing the point. Practically all the big name links greens are more built than people realize. The difference in seeing the bare bones temp next to the normal green was quite stark.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #64 on: March 25, 2023, 10:52:37 AM »
I donít think Iím missing the point at all, Sean. I know exactly what you said. I agree that thereís a stark difference between completely found green sites on links land and built solutions.


Most greens have been built to one degree or another since the Golden Age architects started to build. Although itís all a matter of degrees. Some greens will be completely manufactured, others just very slightly tweaked. There will be all sorts in between on each of your favourite courses.

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Most natural courses
« Reply #65 on: March 27, 2023, 11:10:02 AM »
I remember Kilspindie having greens at grade. They struck me as more found than built.

I guess that they had to knock down sections of the stone fence though.

I had one of the biggest eye openers in design seeing Burnham's 6th being rebuilt. Just shy of the proper green was a completely natural temp green. A highly interesting bit of the fairway was cut shorter and used as the green. I am not convinced the expensive rebuilt proper green is any better than the old temp green. Plus, the amount of space required for the green was immense compared to the natural temp green. I know which green I prefered.

Ciao

When Chambers Bay was having trouble with their 4th and 7th greens due to getting to little sunshine by being located against a steep slope they mowed a wonderful temporary green out of the 7th (I think) fairway.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

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