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Neil_Crafter

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Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« on: June 03, 2008, 07:46:33 AM »
While the original of Mackenzie's bunkering plan is lost unfortunately, there is a reproduction of it in The Herald, a Melbourne newspaper, from January 13 1927. I believe this article had escaped most researchers and was brought to my attention by Melbourne golf writer Brendan Moloney who is writing a new history of Kingston Heath. The article to which the plan is attached is titled "Kingston Heath Golf Links - Dr Mackenzie's Easiest Piece of Golf Architecture: Concentration on Bunkers". The article includes Mackenzie's report and the plan itself appears to be drawn by a newspaper artist, presumably by copying Mackenzie's plan.

While full due is given to Dan Soutar for "laying out the holes" it is interesting that the writer "P.A.R." also gives credit to Mick Morcom for "designing of the greens and the modern undulations on the fairways." It would seem that Morcom did more than just build the course to Soutar's design.

I just thought people might like to see this plan now that it has come to light again.
cheers Neil


Tom_Doak

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2008, 07:52:10 AM »
Neil:

Fascinating.  But do you think that's Dr. MacKenzie's actual drawing, or just a newspaper re-creation of it?

Andrew Summerell

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2008, 07:55:45 AM »
Thanks for that Neil. It would be interesting to see what would be done if the course was designed today with all the extra land they own.

Mick Morcom for "designing of the greens and the modern undulations on the fairways."

Do you mean that one hill that a bunch of holes go back & forth over.
(This comment aimed at Matt Mollica & Rich Macafee)

Mark Bourgeois

Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2008, 08:36:09 AM »
Neil

It doesn't appear to have MacKenzie's distinctive "T" icon designating the tees.  But it does have the bold / conservative lines of play -- not particular to MacKenzie?

Interesting to see bunkers on the direct line of play for every short hole!

3 and 13 look like interesting short 4s.

Thanks!

Mark

Neil_Crafter

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2008, 08:42:02 AM »
Tom
It is nice to see this isn't it.
No I'm sure its not Mackenzie's actual plan, because if it was anything like the one he prepared for Royal Adelaide, with fine pen lines and in colour, it would have reproduced poorly in black and white in a newspaper. I feel confident in saying that a newspaper artist made his version by copying Mackenzie's original. The fairway shapes, bunker shapes and hatchings all look like a fairly reasonable copy of the original to me. Wish the original still existed!

Andrew, yes it would, but its not a bad routing job that old Dan Soutar did all those years ago. Certainly Mackenzie could find little fault with it apart from No.15.

Mark
No it doesn't have the 'T' at the tees, who knows whether the artist changed it. The solid and dashed lines of play are there allright. No 3 is a great short 4, one of the best in the country.

cheers Neil

Bill_McBride

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2008, 09:04:36 AM »
That is a fantastically intricate routing plan, in and out and all around!  I'd love to see it on a topo.  There might be a hill there where #8 and #16 greens come together.   

What's the problem with #15?

I didn't study it very long but it appears the course could have been built with returning nines the way several holes return to the immediate area of the clubhouse.  Any idea why Soutar and Morcom didn't?  Probably topo issues, again it would be cool to see this with topo lines.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2008, 10:34:10 AM »
Bill:

Kingston Heath is perhaps the flattest course in the entire top 100.  There is a hilltop where 15 green sits, about 20 feet above 14 fairway, and then gradually descending across #16 and into #9.  There is a smaller hill to the right and short of 17 green, which makes that approach blind.  And that's about it!

The original 15th was a different hole, a blind short par-4 of some kind, and MacKenzie changed only that in the routing.

Mike Nuzzo

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2008, 11:52:21 AM »

How big is the site?

All of the tacking around the property looks great - it would have been impossible to figure the routing without the numbers.
And it winds up at the far end of the property having to get back in 2 holes.
How are 17 & 18 regarded?

Thank you for sharing Neil.

cheers
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil & Tiger.

Sean_Tully

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2008, 02:24:56 PM »
Neil,

Interesting routing map. What is is that appears in the 18th fwy? Cop Bunkers?

Tully

Neil_Crafter

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2008, 04:38:33 PM »
I thought I'd add a Google Earth aerial of the course as it is today by way of comparison. Of course the bunkering appears much more intricate than some of the simplistic shapes shown on the plan. And some bunkers do not appear on the plan that were actually put in - artistic licence by Morcom and son I suppose. Tha article by PAR says that "There are to be some bunkers in the middle of the 14th that are not included on the plan".

As for No 15, Soutar's original hole was a blind short par 4 played over a hill and Mackenzie brought the green back to the top of the hill to play as a one shotter, saying in his report that "the 15th hole be changed and that it be converted into an iron shot hole of a somewhat similar character to the famous Gibraltar hole at Moortown, England." Famous, if I don't say so myself!

Mike, property area is not great, a little over 100 acres I think, but maybe one of the Victorian lads knows this statistic. 17 is a fairly long 4 with an unbunkered blind green, quite quirky but fun in its own way. 18 is a good finisher and not easy to get your 4. I like them.

The 18th Tully is described by PAR as "A bunker has to be carried in the middle of the fairway going to the last. A bunker comes into the fairway from the right that will trouble the second shot, and there will be plenty of bunkers and mounds around the green." Not a cop bunker per se.

Interestingly, there is a mention of an existing bunker on the 12th, which surprised me as I had thought the course was totally unbunkered when Mackenzie got his hands on it. PAR says, "Dr Mackenzie settled a big argument at the twelfth hole. There was a big bunker right in the middle of the fairway, and many strongly opposed this as something that should not be in golf. However, the expert assured them that such things are quite common at St Andrews, and advised that the hazard should remain." That bunker is still there today I believe.

cheers Neil



David Druzisky

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2008, 05:28:06 PM »
Neat stuff.  Thanks for sharing.

The current bunkering seems quite different than the plan.  Looks like there exist a lot of bunker clusters.

I like the 9th on the old plan vs what I see in plan view on the aerial. ?

The short route lines on the plan are nice.

Sean_Tully

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2008, 05:34:17 PM »
Neil,

Taking a closer look at the plan and I gave you the wrong hole number. It is actually #6 and not #18. It is interesting with the six mounds/bunkers right in the middle of the fairway and short of the green.

Tully

James Bennett

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2008, 06:14:40 PM »
On the top left of the aerial is the 'Clayton's hole' - the spare par 3 that is often used.  And it displaced the magnificant short #10 par 3 during the women's Oz Open, allowing a 2-tee start with returning nines (I think).

James B
Bob; its impossible to explain some of the clutter that gets recalled from the attic between my ears. .  (SL Solow)

Andrew Summerell

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 08:23:30 PM »
The Google aerial is interesting. All the par 3s look they are tucked in very tight between other holes. You could even say they look cramped, yet, when playing the course, they never feel that way.

Is this one of the necessary gifts an architect working with a small site needs the ability to make the tight holes feel spacious.

Mike_Clayton

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2008, 06:26:10 PM »
Kingston Heath is on about 125 acres.

Kelly.

The 3rd in the plan looks more interesting because he has drawn fairway left of the bunker.
I am not sure if that plan was ever implemented but the tiny green sits on a pronounced left to right diagonal and there is a real advantage playing - usually with a 3 or 4 iron - close to the bunker. Every yard right of the bunker makes the pitch correspondingly more difficult especially when the pin is in the right corner behind the deep greenside bunkers.
If there was an option of playing left of the farway bunkerit would make for an even better angle into the flag but it would place players awfuly close to the 11th fairway.
You can see from the sketch how unsafe that looks.

Andrew,

The legend at the club is that Soutar found the 10th hole first - which is hard to imagine or believe - and routed the whole course around it - which is easy to beleive given the 3rd green plays to it, the 4th hole plays away from it, the 7th runs behind the tee the 8th plays away, the 9th comes back to it, the 11th plays away and the 14th runs past it.
On a small piece of land it was a brilliant way of taking up a largely useless piece of land when most architects would have moved the tees back at the 4th and 8th and probably snuck a few extra yards onto 3 and 9.

What few comment on is this course was over 6800 yards in 1930 - actually longer than it was in 1990. Since, the 12th has been lengthened by 80 yards (and the centre bunker moved to compensate and keep the intent), the 11th tee went back closer to the original and they added a few yards to the 2nd.


David_Elvins

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2008, 06:42:59 PM »
What few comment on is this course was over 6800 yards in 1930 - actually longer than it was in 1990.
ntersting that they still managed to put in 2 short Par 4s.  How many long courses these days do that?

3rd green looks to be forward of its current position?  Any idea wen it was moved?

And 16 plays 300 yards downhill.  How would the hole work at that length today? 
Ask not what GolfClubAtlas can do for you; ask what you can do for GolfClubAtlas.

Mike_Clayton

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2008, 08:35:22 PM »
Dave,

I don't think the 3rd green has moved. It looks to have the same relationship with the 10th hole it does now - but Vern Morcom moved the 11th tee way to the right (a very odd decision because it was not a good tee shot from there) and Graeme Grant moved it part of the way back which was a big improvement.
Ironically the ideal place is where it was originally and it could still go back there.

I think 16 is a much better hole for the extra 100 yards because it introduced that great looking and very hard to judge - at least it always has been for me - second shot.
At 300 yards it would be a drive and pitch with the cross bunkers out of play for the tee shot.

Andrew Summerell

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2008, 09:11:40 PM »
Andrew,

The legend at the club is that Soutar found the 10th hole first - which is hard to imagine or believe - and routed the whole course around it - which is easy to beleive given the 3rd green plays to it, the 4th hole plays away from it, the 7th runs behind the tee the 8th plays away, the 9th comes back to it, the 11th plays away and the 14th runs past it.
On a small piece of land it was a brilliant way of taking up a largely useless piece of land when most architects would have moved the tees back at the 4th and 8th and probably snuck a few extra yards onto 3 and 9.

Thanks Mike,

I have always been interested in the different methods of routing various architects have.

David_Elvins

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2008, 09:21:24 PM »
I don't think the 3rd green has moved. It looks to have the same relationship with the 10th hole it does now

Neil has very kindly provided the aerial and plan to scale.  If you overlay them the third green looks to have moved back and right 20-30 yards (Front left of current green is back right of green on drawing).  I assume with the land being quite flat, it wouldnt make much difference to the hole other than it playing longer, would it?

Ask not what GolfClubAtlas can do for you; ask what you can do for GolfClubAtlas.

Neil_Crafter

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2008, 08:44:27 AM »
David
The Google earth plan has a scale on it but not the map as far as I can see. I wouldn't read too much into the correlations between the two.

Mike
The story as I understood it was that Soutar routed the 10th hole right at the start as the large avenue of gum trees was already there and this short par three fitted in there nicely. This is as recorded in the history book. 1937 photo of this hole shows mature gums so it would not have looked much different to Soutar when he looked at the land back in 1923. Also included are a shot of the 16th and the 18th.
cheers Neil






David_Elvins

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2008, 09:18:07 AM »
The Google earth plan has a scale on it but not the map as far as I can see. I wouldn't read too much into the correlations between the two.
Great photos Neil, thanks.

It was interesting to see that the plan, although without a scale, has the boundary drawn to scale and almost all features located very accurately.  Hence, the question marks over the few features that aren't located so accurately.


Ask not what GolfClubAtlas can do for you; ask what you can do for GolfClubAtlas.

David Stamm

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2008, 12:05:30 PM »
How many acres does KH occupy?


(Thanks, Mike)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 12:25:53 PM by David Stamm »
"The object of golf architecture is to give an intelligent purpose to the striking of a golf ball."- Max Behr

RichMacafee

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2008, 07:44:02 AM »
Somehow I missed this thread. Thanks to Matt Mollica for pointing it out, he obviously was surprised I hadn't contributed.

Thanks for posting the article Neil, very interesting, and will be very useful in compiling Brendan's records. I agree that this is a drawn 'copy' of a Mackenzie document. The bunkering plan provided to the club included detailed elevation plans of each hole, as well as the reasoning for how each bunker should influence the direction of play.

I've printed off a copy of the plan, and I'll take it down to the club in the next week and do some comparisons with the old course overheads we have. There are a great set of full course overheads from the 30's, 50's, 70's and current, which are invaluable in course discussions at Greens Committe meetings.

Mike has given a good account of 3, I'm sure the hole was never played with fairway left of the bunker, and it is certainly not a poorer hole for it (although Dr.Mac's plan does look intriguing also) now, it's one of the best short 4's in the country.

Dave Elvins: I'm also pretty sure 16 was never played as a 300yd par 4. It makes sense that Mackenzie would move the 16th tee closer to the 'new' 15th green when he suggested it become a par 3, but as far as I know that suggestion was never acted upon, and thus the walk back to the 16th tee exists as it does. The 'original' in 1925 was a 418yd par.5. and from that I would conclude that the tee was moved slightly back on a similar line to the original.

I also don't think the 3rd green has really moved significantly. Maybe slightly, but if the full width of the 10th tee was drawn into the original, I don't think there is much difference at all. The original 3rd hole was 250m exactly, the current hole is 269m

Mike C: The 11th tee is an interesting one, and I agree it would be a good hole with the original tee position re-instated. The problem would be safety on the 13th green, and I think it would be a significant one with the 'standard miss' for club golfers being short and wide right.

Neil: Mick Morcom's contribution to the design (fairways and greens) and construction are certainly acknowledged by those at KHGC that know their history.

Mike's comments on the length of the course are well made, and not often recognised. Apart from the obvious loss of length on 15, the 11th and 4th holes were both reduced in length over that 60 year period, and were both longer holes than they are today.

Another interesting note re: the routing is that this site was chosen because the length of it was predominantly north-to-south, meaning very few holes would have to be played into the afternoon sun (which comes from the bottom of the plan and google map for those that don't know).

The fasciniating ones on this plan for me are the 13th and 17th, and I will check the old aerials to see what they show and report back. I'm also very interested in the 2nd hole drawings, as they strongly represent what I believe the hole should look like now.

............and it's also great to hear some praise for a very underated routing ;)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 08:18:03 AM by RichMacafee »
"The uglier a man's legs are, the better he plays golf. It's almost law" H.G.Wells.

Matthew Mollica

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2008, 06:44:06 AM »
Following recent discussion on #17 at Kingston Heath, and the inclusion in that thread of Neil's image from the top of this thread, I was moved to really closely scrutinise the bunker plan as reproduced in the newspaper.

Interesting to see that there are many differences between what's on the ground today and the bunkers depicted in the plan. Even more importantly, 4 and 13 look distinctly different when one gets closer to the green. The similarity of these holes today is a criticism from some quarters, yet it seems MacKenzie's plan may have been to have them appear and perhaps play distinctly differently.

If the bunker plan reproduced for the newspaper is accurate, 4 would feature an unbunkerd drive area, and necessitate an aerial approach. 13 on the other hand would be a more open green front where one may elect to drive RIGHT (rather than left as most wish to these days), and then access an open green front.

MM
"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."

Mike_Clayton

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Re: Mackenzie's Bunkering Plan for Kingston Heath
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2008, 06:51:36 PM »
Matt,


One big difference at 13 is that there are no trees between the 12th and 13 fairways.
Now the club own the land behind the 13th tee and it seems there is a will to move it back those diagonal cross bunkers MacKenzie has drawn would be a lot more relevant.
It is true that 4 and 13 to play the same in terms of drive left by fairway bunkers to a green bunkered on the right and back left corner.

I looked at 3 on Tuesday. There is no way you could cut the fairway left of that bunker without going out into the road of the 11th tee shot.
Moving the bunker to the right might however create an even more interesting hole and set-up something  closer to MacKenzie's intent - if the drawing is an accurate reflection of his intent.

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