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Neil_Crafter

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #50 on: December 11, 2007, 11:23:23 PM »
Rich
Appreciate you interrupting the championship! However, the Championship is not a closed event and in fact is the Australian Open Pissing Championships, open to all comers and planned to coincide with the Australian Open Golf Championship which starts tomorrow.

I agree that is a very nicely argued case by John Green and I had planned to include it in my last issue of Golf Architecture magazine but sadly could not fit it in. I think its worthy of sharing though and that's why I posted it. Chris has not commented on it which either means he has not read it or that it blows his thesis out of the water. I suspect the latter!

Justin Ryan

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2007, 12:44:37 AM »
I agree that is a very nicely argued case by John Green and I had planned to include it in my last issue of Golf Architecture magazine but sadly could not fit it in. I think its worthy of sharing though and that's why I posted it. Chris has not commented on it which either means he has not read it or that it blows his thesis out of the water. I suspect the latter!
Neil, as nice as the article is doesn't really address the contention made by Chris that many of the holes don't play as designed, and the failure to provide sufficient room to extend them means this will always be the case, most notably with 4 and 18.  If there was ever to be a case for allowing greater elasticity, it is those two holes, where it is not practical to move the bunkers forwards, resulting in them being practically irrelevant not just for the elite players cited in the article but a large proportion of ordinary golfers as well.

Given that even 17E can be reached with a short iron second these days, does it matter if a course doesn't have a long par five?
Yes.  That is an illustration of Green's contention on irrelevance of the elite player.  It is still a superb hole three shot hole for nearly everybody and its inclusion is a significant factor in why the composite course is head and shoulders above the individual courses (as good as they are).

C) b - A discussion of whether Woodlands or KH has the better routing is a far more valuable use of web space than on how many times out of ten you would split a shag between Megan Gale or Jennifer Hawkins.
Thankfully there are none of those smut obssessed, misogynistic bogans here Mark. ;)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 12:45:32 AM by Justin Ryan »

Mark_F

Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2007, 12:58:36 AM »
Given that even 17E can be reached with a short iron second these days, does it matter if a course doesn't have a long par five?
Yes.  That is an illustration of Green's contention on irrelevance of the elite player.  It is still a superb hole three shot hole for nearly everybody and its inclusion is a significant factor in why the composite course is head and shoulders above the individual courses (as good as they are).

Justin,

I perhaps phrased that one incorrectly.  I too think it 'matters' that a course doesn't have a true three shot hole.

I was going to respond to Mike's earlier contention in this thread about how many world class holes does a course have to have before it is considered poorly routed, by querying why many people consider a course is poorer for not having a great little short par three and four, but not a very good par five.

C) b - A discussion of whether Woodlands or KH has the better routing is a far more valuable use of web space than on how many times out of ten you would split a shag between Megan Gale or Jennifer Hawkins.

Thankfully there are none of those smut obssessed, misogynistic bogans here Mark. ;)

Well, I did detect a stirring... ;)

And by the way - what is your split?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 12:59:16 AM by Mark Ferguson »

Chris Kane

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2007, 01:36:14 AM »
I find it hard to accept when you say the main point of your thread is  RMW's fairway bunkers and their relevance to the tee shots. Please re-read your thread opener and while you mention this aspect it could hardly be considered your thread's main point. Surely your main point was that RMW is too short and that Mackenzie's routing did not build in enough flexibility to allow for future lengthening. I think this thesis has been disproven.

We'll have to agree to disagree about what the premise of my thread was - its clear enough to me that my main point was about the fairway bunkering.  Maybe I've been reading Pat Mucci's threads for too long, and aren't capable of writing as clearly as I used to!

Quote
I agree with Mr Clayton's assessment of the bunkering and he has played these holes far more in tournament and other conditions than the rest of us put together I would expect.

What Mr Clayton has said is true, but he's missed the point of the thread again (a point which has been clarified many times now).  The bunkers may be beautifully carved into hills on 4 and 12, but why did he route the course in such a way that the carries would be limited to around 200m with no way of extending the tees further back?  That is less than ideal routing in my mind.

John Green's article was very good, but as Justin said, it doesn't address my point.  I'd also question the relevance of scores from eight club championships between 1999 and 2006, as RMGC is hardly full of top players.  Is there a single player who played in one or more of those tournaments who has had success at an elite amateur or professional level?

The scores from the Aussie Amateur are very relevant though (despite being only two rounds) - can anyone remember what the conditions were like?

Philip, I must admit that I'm very surprised by the level of civility, but disappointed at the standard of discussion - perhaps there is a link  ;D

Rich Goodale

Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2007, 02:18:14 AM »
Maybe I've been reading Pat Mucci's threads for too long, and aren't capable of writing as clearly as I used to!
[/quote

You is right, Chris!

Neil_Crafter

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2007, 02:22:59 AM »
Chris
Seems a lot of us are missing the main point of your thread, first me and now Mike Clayton. Perhaps if you titled the thread differently to reflect what actually is your main point then us golf course architect simpletons would be able to get it a little easier.

RMW is not poorly routed, not even averagely routed. It is extremely well routed. If you are suggesting that there are some fairway bunkers that are now easily carried today on some holes, like 2 and 4, I think that is apparent, however, as Mike has outlined in his analysis, most of the others are still relevant. In the case of the 4th I suspect it wasn't a very difficult carry when the course was first laid out - a case of Mackenzie's 'pleasurable excitement' if ever there was one. All the routings that were done by Mackenzie and Russell from day one allowed for an additional nine hole course, eventually becoming the seven holes that the East course took up on the main block. So there never were unlimited land opportunities and both Mackenzie and Russell would have to juggle fitting in those extra holes as best they could. Could they have routed the course differently so that those carries could have been stretched in later years. Perhaps, but at what cost in terms of other holes? And would the course be as good as the course is today? Who can say.

There has been a view expressed on here that the West could be lengthened by around 350m or so and I'm sure if the club had wanted to do it they could. I just hope they don't just for the sake of it. Why Chris, do you think that Tom Crow's course record on the West course has stood until now? If the course plays that much easier than it would have in 1956 given the advances in clubs and balls in those 50 years, why has the course record not been broken? Please don't suggest that RM has no decent players as surely the best amateurs in Vic get to play on it competitively.

With respect, John Green's article does answer your point - you premise suggests that RMW is poorly routed as it has no elasticity and is woefully short. I believe he does address this by saying that length is not a magic criterion by which you can judge a course like RMW alone. Its not so much the point of the quality of the RM membership playing in their championship each year as thats a relative thing when you compare scoring over a number of years. I think you have missed the point of John's article. John has played the course for over 50 years as a single figure marker and is very well placed to judge these issues. He is strongly against lengthening the course just for the sake of it or because you can on some holes.

The quality of discussion might be better if you started a better thread! ;)
Seriously though, it is a good discussion point.

Chris Kane

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2007, 02:44:29 AM »
All the routings that were done by Mackenzie and Russell from day one allowed for an additional nine hole course, eventually becoming the seven holes that the East course took up on the main block. So there never were unlimited land opportunities and both Mackenzie and Russell would have to juggle fitting in those extra holes as best they could. Could they have routed the course differently so that those carries could have been stretched in later years. Perhaps, but at what cost in terms of other holes? And would the course be as good as the course is today? Who can say.

If only you and others had stuck to this point, which I'll concede has some validity, instead of throwing up red herrings.

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Why Chris, do you think that Tom Crow's course record on the West course has stood until now? If the course plays that much easier than it would have in 1956 given the advances in clubs and balls in those 50 years, why has the course record not been broken? Please don't suggest that RM has no decent players as surely the best amateurs in Vic get to play on it competitively.

The best players in the golf haven't played the West course in competitive conditions for years, and even the best amateurs don't play it regularly in strokeplay competition.  I don't see how a course record is a valid measuring stick anyhow.

Quote
With respect, John Green's article does answer your point - you premise suggests that RMW is poorly routed as it has no elasticity and is woefully short. I believe he does address this by saying that length is not a magic criterion by which you can judge a course like RMW alone.

My premise (with a sensationalist headline that has attracted 972 page views!) is that on one criteria, RM is poorly routed.  In every other respect the routing is a work of genius.

Quote
Its not so much the point of the quality of the RM membership playing in their championship each year as thats a relative thing when you compare scoring over a number of years.

Scoring wasn't the point of the thread, it is how the holes play and the challenges presented by particular shots.  The scores don't address the issue one way or the other.

Quote
I think you have missed the point of John's article. John has played the course for over 50 years as a single figure marker and is very well placed to judge these issues. He is strongly against lengthening the course just for the sake of it or because you can on some holes.

I am also against lengthening merely because you can, which is why I'm not advocating additional length on the holes where it could be done, but the hole would not improve.

Andrew Summerell

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2007, 03:50:05 AM »
We all look at RMW as a course that has been Australiaís number 1 and well regarded internationally for over 50 years. I dare say Mackenzie, although he thought it was going to be pretty good, could not have envisaged the hype that has built up around many of these courses over time. As much as he understood technology would require courses to be lengthened, Iím sure he was just designing the best course he could for the members of the Melbourne club.

There are many courses with lakes or ocean requiring a carry of 200m and that seems a fair thing. Maybe Mackenzie thought some angry bunkers could give the members the same thrill.

If the course was as closed to pro tournaments as Cypress Point, would we be having this discussion?

Justin Ryan

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2007, 04:38:54 AM »
I was going to respond to Mike's earlier contention in this thread about how many world class holes does a course have to have before it is considered poorly routed, by querying why many people consider a course is poorer for not having a great little short par three and four, but not a very good par five.
That is a topic in itself.  The whole RMW is a tough par 68 course perplexes me as its effectively acknowledges it no longer has a par five.  I'd surmise this would be seen as a major weakness in any other course, but it is glossed over at RM with the tough par 68 argument.  If it was a par 68 with a couple of excellent par fives it would be another matter.  Without doubt it has an amazing collection of green complexes, but time has not been kind to much of the fairway bunkering and I fail to see how there can be any serious argument with the broad thrust of what Chris has advanced.

If the course was as closed to pro tournaments as Cypress Point, would we be having this discussion?
Yes, because the discussion is about the relevance of the bunkering as it relates to 12 markers, not pro golfers.

Well, I did detect a stirring... ;)

And by the way - what is your split?
That is a stirring that must quickly be stomped on.  As for the question, well you clearly under (or over) estimate me.

Chris, you are now seeing how reason can go out the window when you challenge soneone's belief system. ;)


Neil_Crafter

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #59 on: December 12, 2007, 05:05:38 AM »
Chris
A couple of points that I can infer from your last post:

If you start a thread can you criticise posters for not following the direction you think they should? Interesting notion. And what are the red herrings in particular? This is a thread that has stayed on subject (apart from Gale vs Hawkins that is).

So RMW's routing is simultaneously poor and a work of genius.

Scoring is surely one of the criteria to be considered when you are raising the issue of the lack of length of the course and its inflexibility. If the purpose of golf is just to play shots and have challenges then how can you compare how one player copes with that challenge to another without any form of scoring (be it stroke or match play)?

I hope you are not using scoring (number of page views) as a criteria to judge the quality of your thread? Shame on you!

Justin
If you fail to see how there can be any serious argument with Chris' premise that is fine, but I'm not proposing that RMW is a par 68 and I'm sure Mike is not either. Plenty of ways to run up five or six or worse on all the par fives there. Its par is what it is and it is a challenge to break it. While time may not have allowed some of the fairway bunkers (your argument cannot be that it is "much of the fairway bunkering" surely? Mike has clearly dispensed with this line of thinking) to influence play directly they still have some impact, albeit visual and intimidatory as Mike and Andrew have both suggested. There is usually more than one role a bunker can play.

Justin Ryan

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #60 on: December 12, 2007, 05:39:40 AM »
If you fail to see how there can be any serious argument with Chris' premise that is fine, but I'm not proposing that RMW is a par 68 and I'm sure Mike is not either. Plenty of ways to run up five or six or worse on all the par fives there. Its par is what it is and it is a challenge to break it. While time may not have allowed some of the fairway bunkers (your argument cannot be that it is "much of the fairway bunkering" surely? Mike has clearly dispensed with this line of thinking) to influence play directly they still have some impact, albeit visual and intimidatory as Mike and Andrew have both suggested. There is usually more than one role a bunker can play.
Neil, sure fairway bunkering can play multiple roles, but too much of it on RMW these days is of the visual type and no longer influences strategy to any great extent for a large proportion of golfers.  The bunkering on 2,4,12 and 18 is much of the fairway bunkering, accounting for 50% of the bunkering mentioned by Mr Clayton.  Par or the scores you might run up or the overall course difficulty as written about by Green is not how I see the question.  The question relates directly to the ground hazards no longer being in play and thus diminishing the strategy.  MacKenzie foresaw that additional length would be required, yet left no room behind a number of bunkers that would be unable to be moved forward.  Whilst Kevin Pallier suggests it would not have been possible for MacKenzie to foresee the distance advances that have occurred, I'm not convinced

And if anything, Mr Clayton strengthened Chris's argument, not dispensed with it in his 6:16 post.  2, 4 & 18 are all boxed in as a result of the routing and the bunkering is now eye candy.  I'd be fairly certain that MacKenzie would never have intended the bunker on 18 to serve a visual purpose only.

Perhaps if you titled the thread differently to reflect what actually is your main point then us golf course architect simpletons would be able to get it a little easier.
Just curious, but what exactly are the qualifications required to become a golf course architect?

Matthew Mollica

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2007, 06:32:36 AM »
A number of interesting responses here.

Shane, I won't bore you with 18 measurements, but holes 1,3,4 and 5 could all be lengthened by at least 15m, and in some instances 35m without impinging on any other hole. You've illustrated really well how 2 can be lengthened (thanks for the picture - it's great). I accept that any new Tiger tees could look unsightly, and some holes don't require lengthening.  I also accept that holes such as 9,12,15 and 18 can't be lengthened and aren't what MacKenzie would refer to as elastic in their current form.

Chris, you assert that some of the ground hazards are no longer in play for many single figure markers let alone pro players, and that course lengthening is unable to rectify this, therefore the routing is flawed? Please forgive me if I read you incorrectly.

I think some participants in this discussion realise that the hazards on some of these holes were always intended to be more fearsome than they actually appear. MacKenzie wrote of the thrill obtained in carrying a hazard of impressive appearance, which in reality, was not as daunting as it seemed. He no doubt attepted to evoke the sensations he experienced when "sailing over Hell" while at St. Andrews, when designing hazards such as those on RMW 4 and 18 and to a lesser extent, some other holes.

I'd be fascinated to know how far Mike Clayton hit a 3 iron let alone a wooden club during his pro days with a wound ball. I suspect that he would have carried the drive bunkers on 4 and 18 with a long iron, pre-1990. In that instance, one must accept that the hazards always possessed more bark than bite to put it somewhat crudely.

In this case, by strict definition, some of these hazards were never truly "in play" (gobbling well struck shots) for some golfers, even around the time of the second world war. Especially if they hit a hickory like Ogilvy!

A note regarding the drive hazards on 4, 18 and some other holes. Their appearance is fantastic, their location perfect and any alternate site nonsensical. These hazards don't need to be moved, and SHOULD NEVER BE MOVED. The tees can be pushed back if need be, and more than some here realised. I'm still not sure they need to be moved back as it certainly does not provide the greatest pleasure for the greatest number.

A final note on the hazards at 4,6,17 and to some extent 18. Raw unbridled length doesn't work on these holes, as we know. On how many other courses must one clear a hazard, but not by too much? On many occasions on these holes, one bounds through the fairway into an unpleasant or very difficult spot. Balls race down the hill into rough on 4 and 18, across the fairway into rough on 6 and 17. Surely this can't happen on a course where the routing and design are questionable.

Matthew

P.S. Neil, Thanks for the John Green piece. I never tire of reading his words.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 06:59:34 AM by Matthew Mollica »
"The truth about golf courses has a slightly different expression for every golfer. Which of them, one might ask, is without the most definitive convictions concerning the merits or deficiencies of the links he plays over? Freedom of criticism is one of the last privileges he is likely to forgo."

Matthew Delahunty

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2007, 07:16:51 AM »
A year or two back I authored a post which outlined the changes to the composite course

Quote
The West Course now is only 6589 yards now. The composite course is about 400 yards longer at around 7000 yards. The length of both courses has not changed very much in the past 25 years. The 2nd (4W) was lengthed by 23 metres (but often played a par four in pro events before being lengthened), the 4th (6W) by about 10 metres, the 13th (11W) by 14 metres and the 18th (18E) by 10 metres, but I can't recall any other significant changes.

The one I missed was 12W which has been lengthened at both ends.

I think Matt has identified one of the design features of MacKenzie's work - visual intimidation and deception. On holes like 4 and 18 there simply is nowhere else to put fairway traps. So do you not put them in at all? Whether they are an easy carry or not now, they have messed with a lot of golfers' minds over the years.

In any event, I don't agree that they are not in play. Over the years I've seen pros in the traps on 4 and 12 (although, admittedly not recently). At a Johnnie Walker Classic in the late 80s they had to move the tee forward on 4W.

If the wind blows, the fairway traps on at least one of 2, 4, 12, or 18 will inevitably come into play for all but the longest golfers. The beauty is that the holes play in different directions so on the days when the breeze is a factor  one will provide an easy carry but one will be a challenge. I consider myself an above average golfer and I have found myself in the traps on 2 and 4 in the past with a less than perfect drive.

The beauty in the routing of RM is that it "finds" so many great holes. MacKenzie may have been able to build elasticity into the course, but it would come at the expense of so many fantastic holes and green locations. In any event, under his design there was room to extend 1,2,3,4,6,8,9,11,12,13, albeit not by enormous yardages - in many instances they have now been extended to their limit. But could anyone back then have envisaged the modern pro golfer driving the ball 40-50% further than they did in the 20s with modern metal drivers which have enormous margin for error. If you compare that to courses built today you would have to allow room for an 800-850m par 5.

As many others have said, the answer is not lengthening but in reeling in the technology.

2 final points:
1. The tee on 18W could be moved back towards the 17th fairway. There's currently a maintenance shed in the are on the google map. I seem to recall though that the spot is earmarked for a water storage dam.

2. To Chris - how do the issues as Royal Melbourne compare with, say, Swinley Forest (another course which you rate highly)?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 07:17:47 AM by Matthew Delahunty »

Andrew Summerell

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2007, 04:56:30 PM »
2. To Chris - how do the issues as Royal Melbourne compare with, say, Swinley Forest (another course which you rate highly)?

Matthew, I donít want to answer for Chris, but I was going to ask him the same question. Swinley Forest is one of my favourite courses as well and when I thought about the question, I realised how different the bunkering at both courses was. Iím not just talking style & appearance, but the strategy of SF is achieved quite differently to RMW.

Interestingly, SF could play as a par 67 (if par was important) & often plays as a par 68 with the 15th reduced to a par 4.

Neil_Crafter

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2007, 05:31:50 PM »
Justin
Firstly there is no qualification necessary to be a golf course architect as its not a regulated profession like architecture, engineering, medicine or the law. If you can convince a client to give you some work you can call yourself a golf course architect. It just seemed curious that both Mike and I, who do this for a living, apparently did not get Chris' main point.

I can't see how on reading Mike's last post that you can take that to support Chris' thesis. Certainly there are holes that can't easily be lengthened to bring the bunkers into play for decent players from the tee. There is still plenty of overall hole strategies on these holes regardless of whether the bunkers are in play or not. I thought it would be a good exercise to go back to the early plans and see what it was that Mackenzie and Russell intended for these holes. I've looked at the two coloured plans in RM's possession, as well as the routing plan published in "The Sporting Globe" newspaper in Melbourne on January 21, 1931 which accompanied a review of the about to open West Course by experienced golf writer Jack Dillon, a man who interviewed Mackenzie a number of times back in 1926 and knew Russell well. Some of his comments are also quite enlightening.

Examination of these plans for holes 2, 4 and 18 show that the fairway bunkers on these holes were planned to be easily carryable even then. They were never at the limit of the drive - THEY WERE NEVER MEANT TO TRAP GOOD PLAYERS DRIVES! Right from day one! So how Chris and Justin can suggest that is a weakness today is unsustainable if they were never intended to do that task back in 1926. Please see the holes I've extracted from one of the coloured plans and the newspaper report and see what you think. I believe these address Chris' thesis directly, without a red herring in sight!

Coloured plan (hanging on wall of clubhouse) of Hole 2. The solid line is presumably the good player's line while the dashed line is that of the shorter hitter.


Sporting Globe plan of Hole 2 just prior to opening


Coloured plan of Hole 4


Sporting Globe plan of Hole 4


Coloured plan of Hole 18


Sporting Globe plan of Hole 18


Since I wrote this text last night I notice that Matthew Mollica and Matthew Delahunty have also made posts critical of Chris' thesis. Perhaps they didn't get the point either!

And to finish with, some extracts from Jack Dillon's 1931 article in which he discusses the 4th hole:

"To Ivo Whitton was given the credit for many of the features of the fourth hole (448 - 394 yards) by Alex Russell. This is, perhaps, the best hole on the course, It is distinctly dog leg, with a big, natural hazard up on the rise on the right to be carried from the tee, and as much of the corner near the woods has to be cut off as is safe."

He later concludes that:

"The single feature that made the biggest appeal to me was the contouring and undulating of the turf on the ideal spot to which the drive over the rise to the 448 yard fourth should be sent. From this location there will usually be required a wooden club, but the ball will be lying on on an up or a down slope. or the stance will not be quite normal, or the ball will be above or below the feet. This feature contributes considerably to the making of this hole the best on the course."

Dillon is describing the contour hazard of the 4th fairway in the landing area as the making of this hole - not the hazard to be carried from the tee. Clearly the fairway bunker was viewed then as secondary, as it is today.

Dillon also made some general remarks about the bunkering of the West Course, saying that:

"Shaping of the fairways and rough has been most intriguingly, pointedly and attractively done, and thereby has the need for trapping, particularly through the green, been made unnecessary to a notable degree. The economy of bunkering, most marked around the greens, is a big feature of the layout. Every natural point of the country has been marshalled to do its work, and the actual making of traps has thus been reduced considerably."

His remarks about the uniqueness of the West Course are worth repeating:

"While great courses like Metropolitan, Commonwealth and the others named above (Kingston Heath, Victoria, Yarra Yarra and Woodlands), are in many respects quite separate, and have personalities of their own, there is undoubtedly a similarity, and they may be included, with the possible exception of Commonwealth, in the same class of links archtecture. The West Course at Royal Melbourne - to date I have not had an opportunity of seeing in detail, even in the rough, The East Course, which I am informed on the best authority will be the equal of its twin - has a character and personality all its own in golf in Australia.

Essentially this character comes from the manner of the making of the new course. Mostly in the cases of the holes of the other courses, the bunkering and features were added to the holes. At The West Course the holes were superimposed on locations selected as ideal for those holes. Natural golfing features on simply wonderful seaside golfing country (possibly this is melbourne's first seaside lay-out) were seized upon with brilliant skill, and in the making exploited to a degree that has not anywhere else here been equalled. Above all the holes look natural."

Dillon suggests that:

"However, I am convinced that the links which will universally be classed as the finest golfing possession Australia has, is one that is not yet included for playing purposes in our game.....Definitely Australia is soon to see in play the finest championship layout in the land. That lay-out is The West Course of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club at Sandringham. It will be opened for play about the middle of this year."

A big call to rate a course that had not even opened the best in the land, but time has proven that Jack Dillon was right on the mark.

Justin Ryan

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #65 on: December 12, 2007, 06:20:44 PM »
Thanks Neil, some good stuff there.  Accepting the thesis that the bunkers were never meant to trap good players drives! would the course have been better if it had been routed so these dramatic bunkers had a much greater impact on the decision to be made from the tee.  I'd suggest that a designer today would be flayed by the posters on this board for creating so many largely visual ground hazards.  It would be criticised as style over substance.

The top coloured plan also shows the 1st looking more interesting with a centreline hazard.  Do you know who was responsible for that one?

Definitely Australia is soon to see in play the finest championship layout in the land. That lay-out is The West Course of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club at Sandringham.
My RM histories are in storage, but wasn't the East course designed to be the 'championship' course of the two?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 06:31:14 PM by Justin Ryan »

Mark_F

Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #66 on: December 12, 2007, 06:47:05 PM »
...would the course have been better if it had been routed so these dramatic bunkers had a much greater impact on the decision to be made from the tee.

That must mean Woodlands is poorly routed, then.  

Or the bunkers are poorly placed.

I'd suggest that a designer today would be flayed by the posters on this board for creating so many largely visual ground hazards.  

That would say more about the posters than the designer.

Assuming that a designer cares one iota for what anyone posting on the Internet has to say, anyway.

Justin Ryan

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2007, 06:59:55 PM »
That must mean Woodlands is poorly routed, then.  

Or the bunkers are poorly placed.
At least these thread got to 65 posts but you ran it off the rails taking stupid cheap shots.  Congratulations.

That would say more about the posters than the designer.

Assuming that a designer cares one iota for what anyone posting on the Internet has to say, anyway.
The evidence is clear that some designers do care what is posted on the internet.  Exhibit A - http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forums2/index.php?board=1;action=display;threadid=32436

Mike_Clayton

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #68 on: December 12, 2007, 07:20:30 PM »
Could MacKenzie have realistically known that the ball would go 70 yards further - 40 with a drive and 30 with a 3 wood second - within 70 years??

I'm not sure what the answer is but 50 of those 70 have happened in the last ten years. No one predicted that.

Mark_F

Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #69 on: December 12, 2007, 07:32:52 PM »
At least these thread got to 65 posts but you ran it off the rails taking stupid cheap shots.  Congratulations.

It is only a stupid cheap shot if you have an overly sensitive disposition and wish to deny any discussion by immediately labelling any point raised a stupid cheap shot.

Which I guess is pretty much your standard M.O.

We both know the tee on 2 is going back, but the fairway bunkers on 4,10,13,14 and 16 aren't really in play, with little to no room to expand.

6,7,9,15 and 18 of course don't rely on fairway bunkers to challenge from the tee, so it would appear Woodlands doesn't ask much of players from the tee?  

Maybe you could provide an intelligent answer, instead of a mindless snipe.

I await your considered reply with great interest.

Neil_Crafter

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #70 on: December 12, 2007, 09:51:38 PM »
Matthew M
Glad you enjoyed John Green's piece.

Justin
I am pleased you can see my point that these bunkers were always meant as carry bunkers - the historical visual evidence can't be wrong. No sign of Chris though.

Should they have done them this way from the start? Well they did and who are we to criticize? Jack Dillon certainly thought that the landing area for the tee shots on number 4 over the bunkers was more than difficult in terms of contour to test the next shot. What would today's designers do if presented with a piece of land like RMW? It's likely that the hazards would be designed to be more in play but I'm sure there still would be some carry hazards that many golfers could fly. I don't think this is a basis from which to criticize the work of Mackenzie and Russell.

Mike
Who knows. Mackenzie certainly was aware of the increasing distances over time that balls were flying but could he have projected out 80 years into the future? Hard to do it. Are you doing it with your designs? I'm not. Maybe 10 or 20 years but 80? Hard to imagine the distance golf balls will travel in the year 2087. Anyone hazard a guess? And be held to account in a GCA Discussion Group?

As for Woodlands' routing - I'll let that one through to the keeper!

Neil

Chris Kane

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #71 on: December 12, 2007, 11:09:34 PM »
Neil, your posts #55 and #64 were a breakthrough, because you actually addressed the point I raised.  I am happy for my thesis to be disproved etc etc, but only through intelligent debate, not resorting to the tired arguments which have been used time and time again (and are completely true) but were largely irrelevant to the thread.

If you start a thread can you criticise posters for not following the direction you think they should? Interesting notion.

People can say whatever they want, but they need to address the issue if they want to claim they've rejected my premise.

Quote
I hope you are not using scoring (number of page views) as a criteria to judge the quality of your thread? Shame on you!

Please tell me you didn't take that facetious comment seriously.

Quote
It just seemed curious that both Mike and I, who do this for a living, apparently did not get Chris' main point.

You don't need to be a golf course architect to understand (or fail to understand) the question.

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No sign of Chris though.

So to not respond within a couple of hours means conceding that my premise was invalid?  You said the same thing after the mostly irrelevant John Green article - you are better than that.

2. To Chris - how do the issues as Royal Melbourne compare with, say, Swinley Forest (another course which you rate highly)?

I'll try to find my Swinley Forest guide book tonight, and will respond when I have it in front of me.




Neil_Crafter

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #72 on: December 13, 2007, 01:23:48 AM »
Chris
Your continued determination with your thesis forced me to go back in time and examine the early plans of RMW that I have copies of. So for that I thank you as I think a more detailed examination of these plans will reveal a lot more interesting information as well as the info about these carry bunkers.

I think my comment on page views was equally as facetious as yours in the first instance! My attempt at levity.

I don't think John Green's article was "largely irrelevant" as you described it, but hey, if you see it that way, then fine. I thought it went quite clearly towards discussing many of the things you raised in your opening post.

It has been an interesting thread and has revealed some interesting information as a result.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 01:26:03 AM by Neil_Crafter »

Shane Gurnett

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #73 on: December 13, 2007, 02:43:48 AM »
Neil, do you think Mackenzie wanted those hazards to be "just carried" or carried by 50-80 metres?

Justin Ryan

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Re:Has time shown that RMW is poorly routed?
« Reply #74 on: December 13, 2007, 02:53:48 AM »
Justin
I am pleased you can see my point that these bunkers were always meant as carry bunkers - the historical visual evidence can't be wrong.
Neil, I can't say I'm completely convinced MacKenzie wouldn't be disappointed at the disdain with which they are treated from the tee if he saw them today.  

Would you agree the first hole would be improved if they had a crack at implementing the strategy suggested on the plan?  There are no topographical impediments there.

It is only a stupid cheap shot if you have an overly sensitive disposition and wish to deny any discussion by immediately labelling any point raised a stupid cheap shot.

Which I guess is pretty much your standard M.O.
Mark, the topic was about RMW.  Woodlands has perhaps one example of the bunkering the discussion centred on.  Why would you choose Woodlands which is topographical remote from RMW rather than say Peninsula or Victoria?  If you really believed such an off topic premise was worthy of discussion then you should have started a new thread and seen where it went.  Unless you actually wanted to provide Rich Goodall with a couple of chuckles.

We both know the tee on 2 is going back, but the fairway bunkers on 4,10,13,14 and 16 aren't really in play, with little to no room to expand.

6,7,9,15 and 18 of course don't rely on fairway bunkers to challenge from the tee, so it would appear Woodlands doesn't ask much of players from the tee?  

Maybe you could provide an intelligent answer, instead of a mindless snipe.

I await your considered reply with great interest.

Mark, it was summed up fairly well earlier in the thread.  I suspect you believe it is a very intelligent answer.

And if you have ever driven it into gorse -or the horrendous blackberries, old TV sets, rusted-out cars, burnt goats   and other assorted crap sprouting off many links' dunes - you wouldn't be saying that bunkering is the only true means of challenging a tee shot.

Isn't the use of tea-tree and scrub as a driving or tee shot hazard rather widespread on National Old? :) (2,3,7,16 at least).
« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 02:54:23 AM by Justin Ryan »

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