£270 for the Old Course?

Jimaroid

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The removal of gorse seems to be an effort to speed up play. The Eden in particular is now almost gorse free and almost unrecognizable from a few years ago.
It has worked to speed up play. I admit I was skeptical prior to them starting all this a few years back, whilst I think we've lost some hole definitions in places there are many examples of where the new open waste areas have improved the visuals and playability of the holes to retain fair punishment for bad shots. The 15th on the Jubilee still has all the charm but without the extremely penal misses into gorse in every conceivable direction. The 7th on the Old used to be a notorious snag for anyone that didn't make the carry past the 11th tee. The 1st on the Eden is much less penal now, it was getting silly how so many delays were being created immediately off the first tee.
 

davidy233

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Gorse seems to be going from a lot of links courses just now, is this a fashionable thing?
It's fashion/trend thing but aimed at restoring courses to the way they were intended to be - restoration of the original course (or something like it) is a big thing in the USA at the top courses and is becoming popular with some venues and golf architects here.

A large part of it is getting rid of stuff that has grown in and was never intended to take over - trees mainly on the classic courses in the states and gorse on links here - removal of gorse is something that's always happened historically but didn't seem to get done much over the last 50 years or so.

Good article here
 
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Crow

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It's fashion/trend thing but aimed at restoring courses to the way they were intended to be - restoration of the original course (or something like it) is a big thing in the USA at the top courses and is becoming popular with some venues and golf architects here.

A large part of it is getting rid of stuff that has grown in and was never intended to take over - trees mainly on the classic courses in the states and gorse on links here - removal of gorse is something that's always happened historically but didn't seem to get done much over the last 50 years or so.

Good article here
Does that mean that they'll be bringing the tees forward to the old yardages and how the course was intended to be played? :D
 

davidy233

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Does that mean that they'll be bringing the tees forward to the old yardages and how the course was intended to be played? :D
The Old Course doesn't seem to have got much longer (if we ignore the Championship tees which only get used by the pros) since 1927 - not sure when steel shafts became the standard but I'd say that's largely how far you can roll back.

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Restoration principles seem to be largely about removing trees/gorse/scrub to make playing corridors the width they were originally intended (including restoring fairway width) and restoring green areas to their original shapes and areas - general opinion is that golf courses have got much narrower since the time architects refer to as 'the golden age' (Early 1900s).
 

TigerBear

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What? You mean the roots and history that golf was originally only played by the social and economical elite. Where the poor were mere caddies or greensfolk? Those roots and history?
Nope, the fact that this game originally was a sport that transcended class and open to all in Scotland. I mean look no further than TOC itself, it's a charitable trust!

Those egalitarian traditions on the wane in recent times and certainly compounded now!
 

Foxholer

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Nope, the fact that this game originally was a sport that transcended class and open to all in Scotland. I mean look no further than TOC itself, it's a charitable trust!

Those egalitarian traditions on the wane in recent times and certainly compounded now!
I'd challenge the assertion that it was a 'sport that transcended class' from its origins! The cost of (feathery) balls alone would have been pretty enough to make it unaffordable by 'normal folk'! It was simply that the links were 'common land' and had been for 300 years! Here's a link to its history https://golfcollege.edu/history-saint-andrews-links-home-golf/ Note the point that the R&A was 'created by Noblemen, Landowners and Professors'.
HCEG (Muirfield's club) started on Leith Links and had similar military and professional roots, with same 'problems' of golf reducing archery practice.
The Links Trust has been in existence for less than 50 years!
 

patricks148

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I don't mind it as I find them to be two different courses in terms of challenge/playability but of equal standing (in my eyes). I agree that conditioning has been down on recent years but I've never really found it to be shabby per-se. Gorse seems to be going from a lot of links courses just now, is this a fashionable thing?
You're spot on though, if the cost has been brough in to line with the New then I'd expect (hope) that the attention to condition and maintenance is also aligned.
Played this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks and lots of gorse has been removed in that time, all of which is taking away the premium on accuracy. Same with Tain when I was a member not that long ago the course was tight off the tee and you defhad to be pretty straight off the tee and on approach shots on a lot of holes but not any longer.
 

Foxholer

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Played this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks and lots of gorse has been removed in that time, all of which is taking away the premium on accuracy. Same with Tain when I was a member not that long ago the course was tight off the tee and you defhad to be pretty straight off the tee and on approach shots on a lot of holes but not any longer.
Makes for quicker rounds though, which has become more of a priority of late for several (pretty obvious, so no need to expand) reasons.
 

GreiginFife

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Played this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks and lots of gorse has been removed in that time, all of which is taking away the premium on accuracy. Same with Tain when I was a member not that long ago the course was tight off the tee and you defhad to be pretty straight off the tee and on approach shots on a lot of holes but not any longer.
First I saw of this was probably 2013 when I was still at Muckhart. 1st on the old nine was a long par 3 to a raised green which was originally protected on the right by loads of gorse and a steep run off bank on the left.

Certain groups of members complained about it being too hard and lost balls in the gorse made it too tough resulted in it all being burned back. Ruined a perfectly good and challenging hole.
 

Foxholer

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I don't mind it as I find them to be two different courses in terms of challenge/playability but of equal standing (in my eyes). I agree that conditioning has been down on recent years but I've never really found it to be shabby per-se. Gorse seems to be going from a lot of links courses just now, is this a fashionable thing?
You're spot on though, if the cost has been brough in to line with the New then I'd expect (hope) that the attention to condition and maintenance is also aligned.
I've only played it twice (in the same weekend a very long time ago) and also considered it equivalent to The New that I also played - as part of a deal. It wasn't in as good condition, but was being worked on, so 'forgave' that. Indeed, several memorable holes, though it didn't seem to flow quite as well as The New.
 

TigerBear

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I'd challenge the assertion that it was a 'sport that transcended class' from its origins! The cost of (feathery) balls alone would have been pretty enough to make it unaffordable by 'normal folk'! It was simply that the links were 'common land' and had been for 300 years! Here's a link to its history https://golfcollege.edu/history-saint-andrews-links-home-golf/ Note the point that the R&A was 'created by Noblemen, Landowners and Professors'.
HCEG (Muirfield's club) started on Leith Links and had similar military and professional roots, with same 'problems' of golf reducing archery practice.
The Links Trust has been in existence for less than 50 years!
Interesting read that, thanks for sharing (y) Of course there's an undeniable link to the upper echelons of society, but going back to the 15th century it was an accessible sport open and played by all - that's directly quoted from the R&A world golf museum when I was last up a couple of years ago. In Scotland at one point we had umpteen municipal courses all around the country and Glasgow in particular has numerous courses in certain areas that you wouldn't exactly describe as fit for a landowner or nobleman:ROFLMAO: (although the SNP doing their best to erode that) and some of the best municipals can be found on the West coast, Ayrshire - the standard and condition of the courses there akin to that of a premium club course!
 

patricks148

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First I saw of this was probably 2013 when I was still at Muckhart. 1st on the old nine was a long par 3 to a raised green which was originally protected on the right by loads of gorse and a steep run off bank on the left.

Certain groups of members complained about it being too hard and lost balls in the gorse made it too tough resulted in it all being burned back. Ruined a perfectly good and challenging hole.
They first removed a load at Tain about 2008, and there thinking was to speed up play, rough grew in its place. Trouble was when you fired one in the Gorse, that was it, but with rough, people would then spend ages looking for balls, but not with gorse, so didn't really have the desired effect🤣
 

davidy233

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Played this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks and lots of gorse has been removed in that time, all of which is taking away the premium on accuracy. Same with Tain when I was a member not that long ago the course was tight off the tee and you defhad to be pretty straight off the tee and on approach shots on a lot of holes but not any longer.
Is it part of the making it easier for shorter hitters/less skilled golfers that was mentioned by Mackenzie & Ebert when they did alterations? They said then "The thrust of the proposals is to make the course more forgiving for the shorter players and to make it tougher for the longest and most skilful players"
 

KenL

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At my club, some patches of gorse have been thinned out, but no removed.
We are planting it in a couple of places between holes for definition.
Golf is becoming more important in terms of the environment and removing all the gorse would have a negative impact on wildlife. Vitally important that if it is being removed that it is the dead of winter.
 

patricks148

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Is it part of the making it easier for shorter hitters/less skilled golfers that was mentioned by Mackenzie & Ebert when they did alterations? They said then "The thrust of the proposals is to make the course more forgiving for the shorter players and to make it tougher for the longest and most skilful players"
Alas on that point have missed the mark by some way. They put bunkers across the middle of quite a few fairways that are at a distance to catch medium.and shorter hitters where as long hitters fly these by some way. We didn't get that many scores in the 60's on the old course, now a few of the young lads are shooting these type scores almost every week. The old course was a bit shorter and the bunkers were quite penal,but there was a premium on accuracy and avoiding the pot bunkers. They have made the course more fair in some aspects, the waste area type bunkers are not the penalty the pot bunkers were and you can advance the ball some distance where as the old ones mostly you were just getting it out. I suppose there has to be a happy medium between between pace of play and enjoyment on playing, but we also have competition s and the way things are going its getting so big hitters have a massive advantage over accuracy. They certainly do at Nairn now.
 
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