My friend Nick Norton is a member at Cavendish... He asked me to post this which I'm sure is of interest to many of you:
"I am a member at Cavendish and have been for 25 years. It is a masterpiece of design, and I agree, is probably the best example of a pure Mackenzie course in existence (though I have yet to play his courses in America).
Just to give a little background as to why. It is called Cavendish, the family name of the Dukes of Devonshire, in a sense a family more aristocratic than even the Windsors. Indeed the first ever list of millionaires in the UK only had 8 names on it with Cavendish being one of them. The family home is Chatsworth House in Derbyshire the finest stately home in Britain. The gardens and park were laid out by Capability Brown. So, when in the 1920’s when MacKenzie was given artistic license over a fine piece of property just outside Buxton, he had perhaps the best client he could have hoped for at that time. He would have also known that he would have to come up with the goods, as it were.
Though it is uncertain how many visits that he would have payed to the site. I believe it would have been much more than most of his courses. He had the incentives and time to really communicate his design ideas to the constructors and shapers of the day. Unlike Australia, where he conveyed his ideas and left the courses in the hands of others, at Cavendish he would have made himself available to regularly oversee the developments. MacKenzie was never going to miss the chance to ingratiate himself to England’s highest aristocracy, a family of taste which has employed some fine artists over the centuries.
The routing of the course remains as it was, although the sequence in which the holes are played has changed from the original two loops of 9. The current loop of holes from 9 to 13 is Cavendish’s equivalent amen corner. In particular with the water/stream coming into play on 9,10 and 11.
The proof of the pudding is in the playability of the course. One never gets bored of playing shots at Cavendish. Almost every hole can be approached in bump and run fashion, from the right angle. Every shot to every green is interesting if not thrilling. The risk and reward concept even extends to putting when the greens are fast!!
At Cavendish the major mark of MacKenzie that impacts even the most ignorant golfers are the greens. The greens are boldly contoured in beautifully flowing manner.
The pictures here are great, however, the course must be played in summer to fully appreciate it, especially the greens. Buxton is one of the wettest places in England. The greens are currently playing very well thanks to recent work.
Where the course currently suffers is with its bunkers. The old pictures displayed here show that they were a good example of MacKenzies work; sand flashed and aesthetically very pleasing. Time, various greenkeepers and greens committees has resulted in bunkers that are currently an ugly mish mash of an insult to MacKenzie. Also, there has been some excessive tree planting over the years.
Essentially Cavendish is in need of some sensitive, well executed restoration work. Should this be done successfully, I believe Cavendish would be the best course in the world under 6000 yards!!!!! Actually, I will always think it is! Please visit, and find out if I am biased!"