Kyle Henderson

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A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!! New
« on: July 14, 2009, 01:10:59 pm »
FYI: My other pictorial threads from this trip can be viewed at the following links:
Royal Dornoch http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40107.0/
Brora http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40120.0/
Golspie http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40126.0/
The Castle Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40204.0/
Murcar http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40281.0/
Crail: Craigshead & Balcombie http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40325.0/
Lundin Links http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40387.0/
Muirfield http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40439.0/
Cruden Bay http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40565.0/
Gleneagles - Kings Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40675.0/
St. Andrews - Old Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40696.0/
Gullane #1 & #2 http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41085.0/
Panmure http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41122.0/
Gleneagles - Queens Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41152.0/
Kingsbarns http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41184.0/
Royal Aberdeen - Balgownie Links http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41498.0/
Carnoustie – Championship Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41834.0/
North Berwick - West Links http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,42104.0/

*not featured: Nairn, Eden, New, Castle Stuart (tour)


Thanks to an (as always) excellent review of Cruden Bay that was recently posted compliments of Ran Morrisett and Co., I am withholding detailed personal commentary of the course. Generally, I enjoyed CB very much. While it may be quite as interesting around the greens as Royal Dornoch or provide the balanced and measured test of golf administered by Carnoustie of Muirfield’s “championship” courses, every hole is eminently memorable, scenic and engaging. It’s certainly photogenic!!! The only real complaints one is likely to hear concern the “goofy finishing holes,” particularly the bathtub 14th green, blind par 3 15th and semi-blind par 3 16th. It seems that wheels are in motion to “correct” these issues, details of which are discussed at the following link:
http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php?topic=22594.0

While that sequence is certainly not “ideal,” it is both unique and exacting – it’s also probably harder to improve upon than one might think. I can only hope that the changes prove themselves worthy. The “new" 13th hole is currently shaped and partially grasses (see photos below). I’m curious to see what becomes of the old 14-16. As the course stands now, it undoubtedly passes my “could play it every day and never grow weary of it” test.

Now for the “meat.”


First, compliments of the venerable Melvin Hunter Morrow, a few morsels of history:

 
“The first sketch shows the plan of Port Erroll with the new station, hotel and site of the new course. I have rather crudely shown the original course which according to the report was part covered by the new station in 1895.” – MHM


“The second sketch shows the 1896 course before the requirement for the 9 hole St Olaf’s. Note the changes to made to the first Cruden Bay course to accommodate the new 9 hole. Both courses opened in 1899.” -MHM


Relatively current routing, though a new 13th hole (a par 3 going straight towards the sea) is almost complete beyond the current 12th green and 13th tees at the bottom of the map.
 

Second, a ridiculous number of photos from my 36 holes played on the first of June, 2009.


A panoramic view looking down the 1st hole (par 4, 415 yards), the 2nd beyond and the St. Olaf course running through patches of gorse on the right. Slains Castle sits on the horizon.

Panning  right over the 1st tee, 18th  green, St. Olaf course and the 5th green and 6th fairway running south along the distant dunes.

… and right again to gaze at the 6thgreen, 7th hole turing towards the coast, and 17th coming back towards the club house.

Looking past the 1st green to the  2nd hole (par 4, 346 yards).

A short but testing approach to the 2nd green and a threesome ahead on the 3rd tee.

The tee shot for the 3rd hole (par 4, 274 yards)

… and the approach to the 3rd green over the crest of fairway.

The gorgeous 4th (par 3, 195 yards) across the waterway from Port Erroll.

The 5th hole(par 4, 455 yards) stretching away from the middle tees parallel to the shore.

A view of the 5th from left of the fairway around 300 yards out.

The obligatory posterior view of yours truly as I watch my tee shot fade a bit too far the right on the 6th (par 5, 525 yards).

The last 150 yards of the 6th as seen from left of the fairway.

A  short approach to the 6th from the right edge of the fairway.

The 7th (par 4, 380 yards) fairway wraps left around the prominent dune…

… and up to an elevated green site.

A look back down the 7th to the gargantuassive clubhouse.

The 8th hole (par 4, 257 yards), heading south again. The 9th tees are up to the left on the top of the flattened, gorse-covered hill.

A look back down the 8th, the 16th green short and right of the shelter shack, the 7th green long and left.

From the 9th tee, looking west over the 8th green to the inland fields.

… and north over the starting and finishing holes of the course.

… and south down the 9th hole (par 4, 452 yards) running on top of the hawklaw.

Peeking west again over the inland grape seed  fields.

The 9th green approach

Looking north from the 10th tee over the 13th and 14th holes.

… then south over the 13th fairway, 11th green and 12th hole.

… and a bit further inland to see the 10th (par 4, 380 yards).

The 11th (par 3, 147 yards).

A closer view of the perils awaiting shots that miss short and/or right of the 11thor way left of the 10th fairway.

The 12th (par 4, 311 yards) from the tee

…and from behind (taken from the “new 13th” tee).

The fledgling “new 13th” will probably be played with a mid- to long iron by most amateurs players.

The stellar 13th (par 5, 543 yards)

Tee shots may flirt with this burn (which also crosses the 10th and 11th) when the winds are helping, though a mighty blast of 330 yards is required to reach it.

A lay up to the left will open up the 13th green perched diagonally between a small hillock on the right and a rather larger slope to the left.

Try not to be short and right of 13th green.

The 14th (par 4, 389 yards)

The sunken 14th green and vulnerable 15th tee.

Looking down the line of the blind par 3 15th (236 yards! though most will play it from 191).

15th beach view

The 16th (par 3, 180 yards) is played over the 15th, requiring that a bell be rung after players tee off on #16 to signal the go ahead for the group behind.

Another overview of the 15th and 16th greens from the 9th tee.

The 17th (par 4, 424 yards).

The hump in the middle of the 17th fairway (runs from ~170-130 yards from the green)

A swale complicates the approach to the 17th green.

Looking back down the17th.

A view from right of the 18th (par 4, 416 yards)

Long drives will tumble to the lower right portion of the 18th fairway.


Bellissima!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 12:06:43 am by Kyle Henderson »
"I always knew terrorists hated us for our freedom, now they love us for our bondage." -- Stephen T. Colbert discusses the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' at Gitmo

Mark Pearce

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 01:21:54 pm »
Great pics Kyle.  Which hole will be removed from the course when the new 13th comes into play?
2015 played:  Northumberland, Dunbar, North Berwick West Links, Muirfield, Elie, Crail Balcomie and Craighead, Moraine CC, Springfield CC, The Golf Club, Rockliffe Hall, Wynyard Hall, The Berkshire Red and Blue, Beaconsfield, Ganton, Notts

Kyle Henderson

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 01:24:32 pm »
Great pics Kyle.  Which hole will be removed from the course when the new 13th comes into play?
Supposedly the 15th is doomed. :P
"I always knew terrorists hated us for our freedom, now they love us for our bondage." -- Stephen T. Colbert discusses the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' at Gitmo

Mark Pearce

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 01:55:34 pm »
Great pics Kyle.  Which hole will be removed from the course when the new 13th comes into play?
Supposedly the 15th is doomed. :P

Good.  Stupid hole.  I don't have a problem with 14 or 16 which also get flack (in fact I think 16 is a rather good hole) but 15 is proof that quirk needn't be good.
2015 played:  Northumberland, Dunbar, North Berwick West Links, Muirfield, Elie, Crail Balcomie and Craighead, Moraine CC, Springfield CC, The Golf Club, Rockliffe Hall, Wynyard Hall, The Berkshire Red and Blue, Beaconsfield, Ganton, Notts

Emil Weber

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009, 03:38:30 pm »
OMG, that looks freaking good!
Cruden Bay is somehow one of these courses that you don't see a lot of pictures of, I only knew 5-6 holes, and I 'm surprised by the variety.  your photos are GREAT... Thank you!!!

Melvyn Morrow

Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009, 05:01:54 pm »

Kyle

I was expecting the usual good quality photos that you have been so kind to share with us all. However, I must say that your Cruden Bay photos are absolutely excellent.

They clearly show why Port Erroll was originally chosen by the Railway Company to set up their Resort Complex. To think it continued to thrive up to the Wall Street Crash, which brought many great places and names down.

I love this stretch of coastline, your photos certainly do it justice. For your information about 4-6 miles south along the beach you will encounter a small fishing town called Collieston, which was owned by the same family who also owned Askernish, then went on to buy out the Earl of Erroll estates (circa 1896) in Aberdeenshire. At Collieston they also built a 9 hole course in 1900 which survived until WW2 when the Deserts Rats took over the area for tank training destroying the course in the process. With the help of locals, we believe we have found the original site of the course, just south of the village.

I believe they are your best set of photographs yet – many thanks for sharing them with us.

Melvyn   

Melvyn Morrow

Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2009, 05:39:22 pm »

Kyle

Just checking my files and note that we may have a couple of similar pictures. You have a photo of the little bridge at Port Erroll your photo No.8; I have a copy of a sketch (see below). Seems more or less unchanged, apart from extra supports around the base of the bridge, not bad considering the sketch dates from the mid 1890’s. The other is the beach itself your photo No. 24 compares fairly well to the top sketch.

I will e-mail you a 1890’s course map of Aberdeen GC The Balgownie Links as of 1896. Total length was then 3 Miles 47 yards (out 2673 back 2654 yds). A Ladies course also existed but not included, however you many note that the North Sea seemed to then be named German Ocean – new one on me.

Melvyn

Anthony Gray

Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2009, 06:14:05 pm »


  Kyle,

 What took you so long? Love the pics. My favorite course in the world because of playability and variety. Stunning beuty. Did you get a chance to visit with Ally?

   Anthony


David Stamm

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2009, 07:25:24 pm »
Kyle, with such a glorious looking day and magnificent course, how in the world were you able to convince yourself to come home!
"The object of golf architecture is to give an intelligent purpose to the striking of a golf ball."- Max Behr

Andrew Mitchell

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2009, 08:14:53 pm »
Great pictures Kyle.  Your photos keep getting better and better.  You did have a very photogenic subject though in Cruden Bay!

Do you know what will become of the 15th.  Is it to be expunged permanently or just used sparingly with the new 13th as a relief hole?  I must say I would be sorry to see it go.  For me it sums up all that is quirky about CB.  Then again I may have a soft spot for it as, having played the hole twice, I have yet to take more than 3 ;)

 
2014 to date: not actually played anywhere yet!
Still to come: Hollins Hall; Ripon City; Shipley; Perranporth; St Enodoc

Andrew Mitchell

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2009, 08:22:29 pm »
The stellar 13th (par 5, 543 yards)

Tee shots may flirt with this burn (which also crosses the 10th and 11th) when the winds are helping, though a mighty blast of 330 yards is required to reach it.


The 13th is stellar indeed but what a beast when the wind is not helping.  Last year a group of GCAers played a pre Buda round at CB in the Hawklaw Tankard.  Off the back tee into the teeth of a very strong wind my well struck (for me) drive didn't even reach the fairway.  A reasonably struck 3 wood followed and that pulled up just short of the burn in your second picture which, as you (correctly) point out, could be in reach from the tee with a following wind. 

The beauty of links golf, two different courses on the same ground when the wind changes direction.
2014 to date: not actually played anywhere yet!
Still to come: Hollins Hall; Ripon City; Shipley; Perranporth; St Enodoc

Mark Pearce

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2009, 08:33:10 pm »
I think the 13th played at 580 yards in the Hawklaw Tankard.  I hit my drive as well as I possibly could and failed to reach.  Like Andrew I was short of the burn in two and had to think long and hard about laying up short in three.  I believe the wind was up to about 40 mph that day.  I seem to recall Joe Fairey (who hits a good ball and can really play) describing it as the best par 7 he has ever made on the Saturday.
2015 played:  Northumberland, Dunbar, North Berwick West Links, Muirfield, Elie, Crail Balcomie and Craighead, Moraine CC, Springfield CC, The Golf Club, Rockliffe Hall, Wynyard Hall, The Berkshire Red and Blue, Beaconsfield, Ganton, Notts

Anthony Gray

Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2009, 10:18:15 pm »


  Isn't the 15th part of what makes CB great. CB does not follow all the rules of ideal golf design. That is part of its charm.

  Anthony


Mark Pearce

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2009, 10:23:41 pm »


  Isn't the 15th part of what makes CB great. CB does not follow all the rules of ideal golf design. That is part of its charm.

  Anthony



No.  It's a very poor golf hole.  3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are great, 13 is great.  14 is wonderfully quirky.  16 is great (but borderline).  15 is just rubbish.
2015 played:  Northumberland, Dunbar, North Berwick West Links, Muirfield, Elie, Crail Balcomie and Craighead, Moraine CC, Springfield CC, The Golf Club, Rockliffe Hall, Wynyard Hall, The Berkshire Red and Blue, Beaconsfield, Ganton, Notts

Anthony Gray

Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2009, 10:33:47 pm »


  Mark,

  What makes it bad? Blindness? Length?

  Anthony


Matt MacIver

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2009, 10:40:20 pm »
Kyle - thanks for the photos, agree with others they are top notch. 

When I die I want to come back as Cruden Bay.  It has absolutely everything I could ever want in a golf course.  And I've never been there. 

SPDB

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2009, 10:48:35 pm »
The only real complaints one is likely to hear concern the “goofy finishing holes,” particularly the bathtub 14th green, blind par 3 15th and semi-blind par 3 16th. It seems that wheels are in motion to “correct” these issues, details of which are discussed at the following link:
http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php?topic=22594.0

To me these "goofy" holes are a large part of what I found so compelling about Cruden Bay and I am saddened to hear that the club will go forward with the "correction."  I'll concede that the blind par 3 15th is not everyone's (or most golfers') cup of tea. Whatever shortcomings it has, I think it is par preferable to the "new" 13th, which based on the below picture looks to be quite the pedestrian affair.


Quote

The fledgling “new 13th” will probably be played with a mid- to long iron by most amateurs players.




Kyle Henderson

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2009, 10:58:35 pm »


  Kyle,

 What took you so long? Love the pics. My favorite course in the world because of playability and variety. Stunning beuty. Did you get a chance to visit with Ally?

   Anthony



Frankly, I had a rediculous number of photos to sort through and label, hence the delay. These presentations take quite a bit of time, but it feels good to share my experiences with like-minded architecture nerds and to distill my memories into something more packaged and easy to recall.

Ally was very busy, but he did take time to stop in while I was having lunch between rounds and again when I was waiting on the 7th tee in the afternoon (BTW Ally, I did carry all of the junk and reach the fairway, leaving a very short approach ;) ) He had the course in pretty good shape, though the greens were sanded not long before my visit. "Anthony Gray International Golf Course" is in good hands!
"I always knew terrorists hated us for our freedom, now they love us for our bondage." -- Stephen T. Colbert discusses the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' at Gitmo

Doug Wright

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2009, 10:58:47 pm »
Fantastic photos Kyle.

The stretch between 3-7 is one of the best in Scotland IMO. I think both par 5s on the course are particularly good.

Regarding the new 13 vs the old 15, I'm somewhat torn. I certainly appreciate the quirk of 15 but I didn't find it to be that great a hole. 16 isn't that good either IMO and the combination of these two par 3s probably leads me to say the new 13th will make the course better. I actually think the new 13th, though somewhat out of character with the rest of the course, will be well received. It's a beautiful spot for a golf hole and will be plenty challenging with any of the typical wind blowing there.
Twitter: @Deneuchre

Kyle Henderson

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2009, 11:26:10 pm »

Kyle

I was expecting the usual good quality photos that you have been so kind to share with us all. However, I must say that your Cruden Bay photos are absolutely excellent.

I believe they are your best set of photographs yet – many thanks for sharing them with us.

Melvyn   


I think the course did most of the work. The sunlight also helped. I wish I'd had time to stick around and shoot a bit more around sunset. The weather that day was picture perfect.

Thank you for the kind words and for sending me so many interesting historical tid bits!
"I always knew terrorists hated us for our freedom, now they love us for our bondage." -- Stephen T. Colbert discusses the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' at Gitmo

Kyle Henderson

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2009, 11:31:15 pm »
Out of curiosity, for those that think the 15th at Cruden Bay an atrocity, how does the Dell hole at Lahinch compare?
"I always knew terrorists hated us for our freedom, now they love us for our bondage." -- Stephen T. Colbert discusses the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' at Gitmo

Anthony Gray

Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2009, 11:33:50 pm »


  The new hole does look a little too "modern" for CB. I say keep the 15th as is. It is unique and so "old school".

  Anthony


Dan_Callahan

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2009, 12:49:58 am »
If I were to close my eyes and imagine my perfect golf course, it would look very similar to those pictures of Cruden Bay.

Anthony Gray

Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2009, 12:58:25 am »
If I were to close my eyes and imagine my perfect golf course, it would look very similar to those pictures of Cruden Bay.



  Dan,

  Well put. I do it all the time.

  Anthony


Gib Papazian

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Re: A Pictorial: Cruden Bay!!!
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2009, 02:05:09 am »
To touch a single hair on the head of that golf course is a profanity upon the game and anyone who lends a hand in this atrocity should be executed by firing squad.
“All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”
― Douglas Adams

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