How do you assess a golf course? - What makes a good / bad course/ hole?

NearHull

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Ideally sat on a balcony. I love a balcony with a view as you describe.
We have a balcony extending from the lounge that overlooks the 9 and 18 greens and also gives some views of the 1st and 10th tees. Along with the sunshine ( have I mentioned sunshine?) it was a significant factor in choosing which course to join when we moved here.
 

IanM

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Where you stand on the tee and have to think about what you need to do, rather than blindly pull out the driver and whack it!

A hole where you walk on the tee and just say "Wow!" That could be the hole, the view, preferably both...

Super turf, interesting shapes to greens and bunkers

A sea view!

I like a course where you can sit and have a drink, whilst watching players finish the 18th hole.

E.g Saunton, behind the East's 18th on a warm summer's evening! The Patio at Birkdale... must be loads;)
 

Lord Tyrion

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We have a balcony extending from the lounge that overlooks the 9 and 18 greens and also gives some views of the 1st and 10th tees. Along with the sunshine ( have I mentioned sunshine?) it was a significant factor in choosing which course to join when we moved here.
Sunshine, near Hull o_O:LOL:.

Sounds like a great bit of design by the architect, both course and clubhouse (y)
 

GB72

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I like a raised tee box. Love being able to see the full extent of the hole set out in front of you.

Too many courses seem to be designed for the opening holes and the closing holes (those visible from the clubhouse) but then slip into a patern of bland par 4 holes in the middle where you cna see how they were trying to fit a set number of holes in the space available and ended up with 3 or 4, up and back, par 4 holes in a row to make up the numbers.
 

Swango1980

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Where you stand on the tee and have to think about what you need to do, rather than blindly pull out the driver and whack it!

A hole where you walk on the tee and just say "Wow!" That could be the hole, the view, preferably both...

Super turf, interesting shapes to greens and bunkers

A sea view!



E.g Saunton, behind the East's 18th on a warm summer's evening! The Patio at Birkdale... must be loads;)
Agreed. I dislike a course where you just take out a driver on any hole that isn't a par 3, because it is too long make playing anything shorter a better decision (unless you can drive the ball 350 yards, at which point course management comes more into it). There is one, pretty well respected, course nearby that is like that. And, you can't see any of the course from around the club house. I find it a very boring place to play.
 

Slab

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I like a raised tee box. Love being able to see the full extent of the hole set out in front of you.

Too many courses seem to be designed for the opening holes and the closing holes (those visible from the clubhouse) but then slip into a patern of bland par 4 holes in the middle where you cna see how they were trying to fit a set number of holes in the space available and ended up with 3 or 4, up and back, par 4 holes in a row to make up the numbers.

Yeah def not a fan of the 'same' adjacent holes just going in opposite directions
Luckily I can't think of any round these parts but I remember them from old courses
 

GB72

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Yeah def not a fan of the 'same' adjacent holes just going in opposite directions
Luckily I can't think of any round these parts but I remember them from old courses

If I were to have one round of golf in Mauritius, where would you recommend. Heading out on 7th May
 

r0wly86

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the visuals from the tee make a big impression, if it's wide open and flat then it's a bit of a boring start, if it's raised slightly, lined with some trees and some shape to the fairway then it will look pleasing to my eye. Also little things like the foliage through the hole, heather in bloom, or azaleas just add a lovely splash of colour.

If I have to plan the hole then that sets it a part from others, if I can just blast a driver then deal with the next shot when I get there that is not a great hole, if I have to think about my club selection and where I need to get the ball to make my approach easier, then that adds a lot to the hole imo

then obviously the condition.

Also as someone else said about fairness, if I hit a good drive that just trickles off a sloping fairway into 6" rough I would be fuming
 

IanM

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Venues you are made welcome as a visitor!! Especially expensive courses near the top of the ratings!!

Eg. Royal Birkdale ... from the moment you get out the car, you are warmly welcomed (Ian R, take a bow!) and shown around. Everyone in clubhouse is friendly and helpful. (Same at S&A and Hillside... maybe it's the region!)
Rye and Sandwich - don't be fooled by the heavy duty dress codes. Cross the threshold and folk are really nice.
 

evemccc

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Eg. Royal Birkdale ... from the moment you get out the car, you are warmly welcomed (Ian R, take a bow!) and shown around. Everyone in clubhouse is friendly and helpful. (Same at S&A and Hillside... maybe it's the region!)
Rye and Sandwich - don't be fooled by the heavy duty dress codes. Cross the threshold and folk are really nice.[/QUOTE] @IanM

The woman serving in the Spike Bar at Sandwich wasn’t in any way nice IMO — but for the rest of the day it was all top class
 

evemccc

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Excellent thread. Reminds me of a thread-topic a few months ago — something like ‘what is more important in a hole/course, Strategy, scenery or conditioning?’

Often I hear people say a good hole is a hard hole - often it is one which gives you options — often this will be a Par 5 - or a short Par 4 — tempting you to go for it with a high risk / reward factor eg. the 9/10th(?) at Beau Desert - drivable par 4 or the Par 5 at Hayling (hard to know which one cos it was a shotgun start)
The short dogleg Par 4 on the front nine at Deal is another example (8th hole?) of high tariff risk reward
Famously the Par 5 14th at the Old Course offers this risk/reward strategy element

The 8th at West Hill uses Colt’s diagonal bunkering well, which offers a bunker challenge however far off the tee you drive it

I have heard it said that strategy is now reduced on many old courses due to the modern golf ball and how high and how spinning it is…reducing the necessity to come in to the green from a particular angle —- as in, it’s all become more like target golf

I gather that Penal course design isn’t fashionable — but I don’t mind it and like a course to have some penal holes. The new Par 3 15th (17th in the Open) at Hoylake is as penal as they come and will be superb if the wind blows

For me ultimately I like courses with elevation change, beautiful views, excellent conditioning, a good mix of holes — v short par 3s, long par 3s, short par 4s and long par 4s, a couple of strategic par 5s, with the bunkering of Muirfield!
 

Slab

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If I were to have one round of golf in Mauritius, where would you recommend. Heading out on 7th May

Heritage if you're in staying in the south or west (its a full day if you're staying in east or north though)
In the North & north east then Mont Choisy (home club) linksy feel to it with plenty variety of hole design
Staying only in East, then Ile Aux Cerfs for a real technical challenge or anahita for a big wide course
 

GB72

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Heritage if you're in staying in the south or west (its a full day if you're staying in east or north though)
In the North & north east then Mont Choisy (home club) linksy feel to it with plenty variety of hole design
Staying only in East, then Ile Aux Cerfs for a real technical challenge or anahita for a big wide course

That assumes I am prepared enough to have any idea where on the Island the resort is (I am not, wife picks, I agree). Staying at Lagoon Attitude but google maps sugest the North/North East
 

timd77

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Hmmm, good question. In general I like a course that’s lined by mature trees, there’s some water, dog legs, just basically a tricky course. Think I’d get bored playing a course that was wide open, up and down etc.

At my place my favourite holes of each are:

Par 3 - 10th, 150ish to the middle, green kind of surrounded by trees with a narrow opening, bunkers protecting it short and left. Pretty to look at.

Par - 4 - 7th, around 330 yards but it’s tricky, not really driver off the tee as you run out of room. Sweeping dog leg right to left, tee shot up onto the top of the hill, approach shot slightly down, green protected by trees to the front and lake to the left, normally a sucker pin pulling you into the water!

Par 5 - 480ish, dog leg left to right, plenty of trees, reachable in 2 if you get a good drive and catch the downslope with your second. Green protected by bunkers.
 

Slab

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That assumes I am prepared enough to have any idea where on the Island the resort is (I am not, wife picks, I agree). Staying at Lagoon Attitude but google maps sugest the North/North East

Definitely mont choisy then, DPWT venue to boot)
 

Golfnut1957

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I don't know the answer to this as I'm not sure what exactly the qualities are that make me want to return to a course.

As the course is closed, and I'm stuck in the house I decided to spend the day thinking about it. I listed the clubs I have played, 65 in total. All in the UK, stretching from Aberdour in the north to Wentworth in the south. The list took an hour, but it only took 5 minutes to answer the question I have always wondered about, what is my top 5?, This was made easier by seeing them all listed.

The answer is:
The Glenn, North Berwick.
Cavendish,
Silloth
West Linton
Brancepeth Castle

There are a boat load of course which I love, Hawick, Seascale and South Shields, amongst many, and a few that I won't return to which may be surprising to some as they include Wentworth and The Roxburgh.

The thing is I still can't pinpoint exactly what it is that makes these clubs stand out. Perhaps it is just their overall quality, something etherial about them. One's a Colt, another a MacKenzie. One a cliff top, only one links, only two have outstanding views. We played Silloth in a gale and got destroyed. We played the Glenn on a sublime, sunny, windless day in September.

Some more thought required I think, I have a golf trip to organise for September.

One thing I can say with conviction, and it has already been mentioned. A clubhouse with outstanding views, preferably a balcony and if it isn't too much to ask, some sun, will make any golf club memorable. Hello Aberdour.
 

banjofred

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The club I left last year had too many boring greens. Dead flat.....I like at least a little movement....more interesting while putting and also more important to put the approach shot in the right spot to avoid a butt clenching putt.
 
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