JNC Lyon

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Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« on: March 07, 2011, 01:41:22 am »
Thanks to Sev K-H Keil for hosting Joe, Mark, John, and I at Galloway today.  We had an excellent day for it.  It was 50s, sunny, and windy.  It was one of those days that is perfect for seaside golf.

The golf course also matched up to the course and the company.  As many of you know, I'm not Tom Fazio's biggest fan.  Therefore, I wasn't sure a course like Galloway would appeal to me.  However, Galloway was very impressive throughout.  Some thoughts:

-The routing at Galloway is not particularly strong.  There are several awkward walks between holes, and a number of holes forced players to make big walks back to the tee.  However, I liked the routing for the way it brought the golfer down to the water immediately, into the woods, back to the water, then back into the woods and hills for awhile, then, for the final two holes, back to the waters edge.  

-All of the waterside holes were very well done.  1 and 2 are absolutely stunning to start out the round.  The green complexes on these two holes are very bold: elevated from their surroundings, with all sorts of recovery shots awaiting.  2 makes great use of short grass to the left of the green and is a fascinating short par three.  5 is a demanding par three with the thumbprint in the front of the green.  17 and 18 are brilliant finishing holes at the water's edge.  The 18th tee is a very special spot, with long views of Atlantic City and the nature reserve to the north, and the hole itself is a brilliant par four that requires two bold shots to finish.

-While the short par fours are the highlight at the Executive Course next door, the long par fours are the highlight at Galloway.  4, with its excellent fairway bunkering, 10, with a brilliant halfpipe green, 13, with its dramatic and highly strategic bunkering, and 15 with its wild green complex are all major highlights.  Holes like these can get to be a slog, but Fazio loads them with interesting architectural features so that the golfer is engaged.  While many long par fours discourage good shots, these holes at Galloway can inspire brilliant play.

-Galloway is a hell of a hard golf course, but it is also a ton of fun.

What says the treehouse?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 01:59:52 am by JNC Lyon »
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." -Woody Allen

Matt_Ward

Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 01:49:19 am »
JNC:

When you wrote what you wrote -- were you somewhat off-center after too many drinks ?

I mean you're part of the anti TF crusade movement here -- are you not ?

Glad to hear you liked GN -- I like it plenty even though the overall routing isn't its strong suit.

TF took the land and the combination of holes -- always keeps you guessing. Be grateuful you played the course minus the on-shore breezes when the greenheads invade.

Easily one of NJ's ten best courses and often times is overlooked by many people when the full TF portfolio is weighed.

One final thing -- I am not a big time fan of #17 but I do believe #18 is one of TF's best holes. Concludes the round in rgand fashion with the angled tee shot making one really think of what you need to do before pulling the trigger.

Malcolm Mckinnon

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 01:49:36 am »
John,

You missed it... We had 80+ players swarming all over the golf course today at Springdale in NJ today. I chatted with a Princeton Coach and the team is off to spring break at Sea Island, Ga next week.

PM me if you want to come on down next weekend.

Malcolm


JNC Lyon

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 01:59:23 am »
Matt,

I still have some vitriolic anti-Faz rhetoric in me, no worries, but he put up a great effort at Galloway.

What do you not like about 17?  I thought it was a ton of fun today into a stiff breeze.  It's a hard hole, but it also has a cool gathering green and ample bailout to the right.  17 gives the weaker player a chance for a three, while the stronger player still has no guarantees.  I can't think of anything I didn't love about 18.

Malcolm,

I'm headed down to Hilton Head next weekend, but thanks for the invite.  I'd love to see Springdale in the near future.  Glad to hear it was busy today there...snow is still on the ground back here in Hamilton!
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." -Woody Allen

Dan Herrmann

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 07:59:35 am »
Did Dr. Joe take photos?

Andy Troeger

Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 09:03:44 am »
JNC,
Thanks for posting. I haven't played Galloway, but I'm glad you came away impressed. Fazio's better efforts are pretty darn good and it sounds like Galloway fits in that category.

Tony Ristola

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 09:16:07 am »
Question: isn't it the last design Strantz did for Fazio?

Brad Isaacs

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2011, 09:37:12 am »
The routing is definitely the weak part of a golf course with a lot of very good holes. The dog leg rt 18 this only ok as a finishing hole,and I admit the view from the t-box is great.
I never want to play it again however. The bugs!
The roads that you have to cross  take away from the walkability and it is this that keeps a great collection of holes from being ranked higgher. I enjoyed the holes there more than Shadow Creek. I have not  played Victoria National but have had respected friends call that TF's best work and would like to compare the courses.

Mark McKeever

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2011, 09:47:29 am »
Great golf with great company.  You can't ask for more.

Galloway had some really neat holes and every one offered a unique challenge.  No two holes reminded me of one another and I liked that a lot.  The green complexes were really wild offer different ways to hit your approach shots to access hole locations.  Also here are not many straight putts on the greens.  There were a few putts that I couldn't believe broke the other way or broke more than I expected....very tricky in spots.   The course is ripe with visual intimidation both off the tee and guarding the greens.  It really puts a high demand on well executed shots throughout the round.  If you lose focus and miss a shot, you're most likely going to pay.

Holes 1-3 are a great way to start out the round.  You don't need to be exceptionally long on these holes, but you better hit the shots or else you're going to post some bigger numbers early on.  The skyline green on the first hole is really good as is the perched second green which fronts the tide marsh.  I would REALLY like to see a middle left flag on hole 3.  I can imagine that it gives players fits.  It would be similar to trying to land a ball on the roof of your car with a short iron in your hand as it runs off in front and in back on that side.

The golf course is a good mix of short strategic par 4's as well as some daunting longer ones. (Unless your J. Shimony who is being added to the Mitchell Report as we speak)  The longer par 4's were very fair in that they allowed for lower trajectory shots.

The 17-18 finish I thought was a pretty neat way to wrap up the round.  17 is a long but fair one shotter and it reminds me a bit of the second shot from 13 at PV.  18 wraps perfectly around the marsh inlet and has a tricky green with lots of subtle movements.

Galloway is a solid golf course and is very worth a game when you are in the area.  Big thanks to Sev for hosting us out there!

Mark



PS. JWB took pictures.  He is probably loading them as we speak....or grading mid term exams..

  
Best MGA showers - Bayonne

"Dude, he's a total d***"

John Shimony

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 11:06:39 am »
I would say the first four holes at GN are great  The first green is quiet a sight to see as you round the dogleg.  It's pushed way up with a beautiful view of the bay in the distance.  As a result of being so elevated it has some deep bunkers (of which I have experience) but they are the proper punishment for missing the green with a short iron or wedge.  The second hole, a par 3, is exposed on the bay and the green has a bailout to the left for wind assisted misses on that side.  That hollow is maintained as short grass and looked like one of the most fun recovery shots on the course.  Number 3 is a short par four with a tiny green protected on the front left but open on the right.   Bausch displayed his ground game early with a long putt from that side, which is also protected with a false front if I recall.  And hole number 4 is a long dogleg left with an ample fairway.  The view from the tee shows the fairway falling away to the right which could play tricks with targeting your drive.  But Joe was quick to point out that the second more distant fairway bunker on the left gives away that the hole bends in that direction.  The green seems tucked back into the woods.  Very tough.  And an honorable mention should go to the fifth hole, a brute of a par three into the wind and exposed to the bay.

The 2 and 3 shot holes on the back side get long and narrow (except for 12) and it's gets too tough for me but starting again at the short par four 15th the course finishes with four more very good holes.  And the young Lyon loves the eighteenth because he almost jarred it from 100 yards.  

Thanks again, Sev.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 11:13:38 am by John Shimony »
John Shimony
Philadelphia, PA

Jerry Kluger

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2011, 11:20:51 am »
I am a very big fan of GN as the only criticism I can find with the course is the routing - but it's hard to criticize the road bisecting the property considering how many other great courses have that feature.  You also have to recognize that the owner wanted to have as many holes on the bay as possible and this contributed to the routing problem.  I have said before that I believe that #1 is perhaps the best opening hole I have played - challenging and beautiful but certainly not too difficult with a fantastic green complex.  The variety of short and long holes along with great greens makes for a wonderful experience.  If your game is off you can really have a lot of problems with the course but generally there is sufficient width for most conditions including a bad swing.  The only warning is to check the wind direction before you go because those flies can make for a miserable day.

JNC Lyon

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2011, 11:37:04 am »
John S.,

I should hate 18 because I missed my four-footer after two great shots in there!  I'm still mad about that...

The holes on the back nine are a test, no doubt about it.  However, I thought 10 through 13 had enough width to keep things reasonable.  A decent drive will find the fairway, which is ample on most holes, and give the golfer some options on the second shot.  A bad drive or layup second shot will end up in the pines or bunkers off the fairway, but it is still possible to make par.  I hit some snap-hooks on 9, 15, and 16, which, by any account, are bad shots that deserve to be punished.  In each case, I found my ball and was able to recover.  I made two pars and a bogey on these three holes.

For me, Galloway National is difficult from tee to green.  However, the greens will make or break the score from start to finish.  There were several holes where I hit a poor drive and made a par, and others where I hit a great drive and had to either work for par or made bogey.  I think the emphasis at Galloway is around the greens, which are well-done and interesting throughout.  In combination with the tee-to-green difficulty, they make the course an unrelenting test for the better player, but the high handicapper still has a way out.

Hopefully Joe can post some pics soon so we can really get some debates fired up!
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." -Woody Allen

Sev K-H Keil

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2011, 12:25:01 pm »
I'm glad you've enjoyed your day at Galloway --- a few quick comments.

You've seen the course without eye candy yesterday. In another 4-6 weeks the fescue will be up and the greens will be lightning fast. The course gets very little play and the in-season conditioning is one of the very best in the state. I'm a big fan of the total experience at GNGC --- also, the 360 degree practice facility is something to write home about.

I've always been first to criticize the routing, but recently I was shown a detailed map of the property. The course was built on an extremely small, awkwardly shaped parcel of land --- taking that into consideration, combined with the fact most holes are very private (you rarely see other golfers, except across the lakes) and every hole is memorable, I have now begun to appreciate the routing as quite brilliant.

Galloway is a pure members' course. The in-season set-up is long and hard (more than the HCP adjustment gives you credit for); it tends to beat people up quite a bit --- in fact the difficulty sometimes discourages outside play.  Once you walk it a few times, you'll discover that the course is more walkable than it  appears at the first glance. The caddies should have pointed out the members' short-cuts that dramatically shorten walks and prevent you from having to walk back to the next tee box (e.g. 7 to 8, 8 to 9, 11 to 12, etc.). My usual twosome walks the course in just over 3 hours

I hear a lot of fuzz about the greenheads on this forum --- I play the course regularly all year round (yes, it is open 12 months) and there are only a few weeks (depending on the weather) when greenheads are really a factor; mostly limited to holes, 2, 4, 5 and 18. Members have figured out which bug spray repels them better and wear long pants during that time.  Interestingly enough, the greenheads tend to gravitate towards the white roof of carts --- an adequate penalty for not walking the course in the first place.


Matt_Ward

Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2011, 01:10:54 pm »
The real interesting dimension of the TF discussion rests on one simple thing -- few people have really played the best of the best that he has designed. Often times -- people have played the generic cookie-cutter formulaic layouts that have made TF the poster child for scorn. Throw in the fact that he has botched upgrades / restoration (call it what one will) and you get the feelings that he is the Darth Vader of design.

I have played in the range of 75+ TF courses over the years and it's my belief that when TF has really stepped up to the plate his very top tier layouts are worthy of solid praise. No doubt his batting average on that front isn't as high as Doak's or C & C's but then again they make it a point to only work in very specific and limited situations. No doubt there's a price to pay for TF when he spreads himself on such a wide canvass.

GN is often overlooked on a national perspective -- frankly, as much ink as a nearby neighbor like Hidden Creek gets -- I see GN as being a solid two-three steps ahead of it. TF didn't overwhelm the land here at GN -- the course actually looks quite connected to the Jersey Shore region. TF could easily have mailed in the usual mounds and decorative bunker style but that didn't happen there.

The comments from Sev are spot on. The land site is awkward in areas but the isolation element does add to one's time there.

Anyone coming to Jersey for a Shore experience needs to have it on their menu -- along with a place like Hollywood which is set back from the ocean and coastline more so than GN.

Like I said -- GN is a top ten layout in NJ and that says plenty because, with the other exception of Bayonne, all are classic time frame courses from years ago. Breaking into that line-up is no small feat. TF deserves credit for his work there and the comments from the club support that.

JR Potts

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2011, 02:43:49 pm »
I enjoyed Galloway and thought it was one of Fazio's best.  That said, its Clubhouse is number 1 on my list of ugliest clubhouses in the world.

Joe Bausch

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2011, 02:46:01 pm »
I'll try to process some photos soon, but for now you can chew on the routing:

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JNC Lyon

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2011, 02:54:15 pm »
The isolation element of the routing is not a huge positive for me, although I can see why it's appealing to others.  However, I found the course very walkable.  Sev, our caddie, Chris, was phenomenal, and he showed us a few cut-throughs that made the walking easier.  I also found that the club has an excellent walking/caddie culture.  We saw multiple groups either riding/walking with caddies or walking and carrying.  That sort of ethos really adds to a private club like Galloway.

The property at Galloway is strange to be sure, and Fazio did a decent job finding the best landforms and routing accordingly.

Matt, you really nail down the main reasons why Fazio the architect can be so frustrating.  At Galloway, you get the sense he tried really hard.  8 could have been a very generic and boring water par three.  However, he gives the golfer plenty of bailout right, and the greensite has several Redan characteristics that made the hole a blast to play.  On the other hand, a Fazio course like Camp Creek outside of Seaside, FL has three generic water par threes, none of which the level of complexity of Galloway's 8th.  Why does he put a lot of effort into some courses and not others?  If he gave a fraction of the attention he gave to Galloway to all of his courses, I think he would be regarded better by his detractors, including me.
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." -Woody Allen

Joe Bausch

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2011, 03:06:40 pm »
I know some might prefer the aerial smaller so the blue slider bar is not required:

Twitter: @jwbausch (where I announce new photo albums)
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JNC Lyon

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2011, 04:52:55 pm »
Joe,

The two big gaps in the course, between 5 and 6 and between 10 and 11, seem unavoidable because of the property constraints.  The staggered routing within each piece of property that necessitates long walks back to tees seems more avoidable, and it was a little frustrating at times.
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." -Woody Allen

cary lichtenstein

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2011, 05:09:02 pm »
So much negativity for a really excellent course re routing. It's great that 2 people pointed out the difficulties of routing given the property.
Lived Chicago, now Fl, was a 4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 2 back, wrist, shoulder surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler w/o it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, I don't miss nasty weather, icing,back spasms and da jerks.

Matt_Ward

Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2011, 05:14:33 pm »
JNC:

Be curious to know how you stack GN against other TF designs you have played -- not courses that have been upgraded but original designs.

thanks,

Mark McKeever

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2011, 05:28:56 pm »
It would be really interesting to see how 5 could have played as a short par 4.

Mark
Best MGA showers - Bayonne

"Dude, he's a total d***"

Joe Bausch

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2011, 05:36:45 pm »
It would be really interesting to see how 5 could have played as a short par 4.

Mark

Heck, I thought it was a par 4 yesterday!  ;)

Was that hole halved with a 5? I think it was.

For those playing along at home, this par 3 playing maybe 175 in the air was into a 20+ mph breeze yesterday.
Twitter: @jwbausch (where I announce new photo albums)
Twitter (Friends of Cobb's Creek Golf Course):  @FriendsOfCCGC
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Mark McKeever

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2011, 05:48:34 pm »
You and I both made a 3 on our second ball after dumping our firsts into the bay!

I was told that the 5th was originally intended to be a short par 4 but permit issues became a problem.

Mark
Best MGA showers - Bayonne

"Dude, he's a total d***"

Joe Bausch

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Re: Galloway National: A Fazio Course I ACTUALLY LIKE
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2011, 06:08:22 pm »
Some pics of the first few holes.  I think these contrast rather nicely from those on other threads that were taken in the spring or summer.  I really like how these photos came out, in particular the very mottled greens at this time of year.

#1.  Dogleg right par4 (400 yards).









From the back of the deep green, you can turn around and see the AC skyline:



#2.  Par 3 (played about 125 yards this day to the up pin).











#3.  Par 4 (375 yards).











More tomorrow....
Twitter: @jwbausch (where I announce new photo albums)
Twitter (Friends of Cobb's Creek Golf Course):  @FriendsOfCCGC
Friends of Cobb's Creek GC

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