Maximising Courses

Herbie

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I have often listened to golfers talk about poss alterations to courses to make them more interesting and it got me thinking about a lot of courses I have played.

Most courses ahve the space to make secondary tee locations and area large enough to make greens bigger,or greens already big enough to take two flags. I wonder why clubs dont take the oportunity to maximise the variable play options this way. It would retain members interest Im sure. Alternate use weekly/monthly or even annually.What do you think?
 

viscount17

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we have a couple of holes where it is obvious that tee locations have been changed in the past and one which has a permanent winter alternative (our wettest fairway). There are no options for shared greens though.

keeping these tees open could really make a difference to one hole (already SS1 though that, and others, need to be re-assessed) offering three variable starts. one shorter and on a totally different line (shorter and tighter dog-leg), the other significantly longer (close to 100 yds) though on the current line. the latter tee could also double as an alternative to the adjacent par 3 leaving a really nasty dog-leg par 3 of around 190 yds - your line is into the lake.

must be a relatively cost effective way to add variety.

as ours is pretty flat and understandably prone to wet, I do sometimes wonder if raising greens as well as tees (most of which are now 'boxed') is an option.
 

Herbie

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I agree, I can understand the logistics of change along with publications etc, but even if this practice was done for benefit of members choice only and original design retained for competition I think it could work on many courses at low cost and give variation and interest to members, I wonder why it doesnt happen at all clubs where it is possible. I used to be a member at a course that only used white tees other than major comps where blue tees were used and the blues were set in locations that changed most of the holes considerably, yet were not to be used any other time????? A waste in my view.
 

viscount17

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went out yesterday and found yet more changes to the course.

last winter they removed a line of pines that had also served as an oob, no oob now; rebuilt and re-aligned the tees on the same hole and removed two transverse hedgerows alonside a double ditched road on two other holes (one was a bit of a status symbol - those who could cross it off the tee and those who couldn't). this together with a mass of tree planting which has continued through the year.

the latest on a par 3, had a hedged ditch on the left of the tee, admittedly scruffy but it intiminated some into the right hand side where the trouble lay. No more - the hedge is gone, just the major trees left and it seems so open. doesn't end there though. the tee is aligned with the right hand side and a bunker but go too far right and there is a copse and a further hedged ditch adjacent to the green. again the hedge is gone and the shot out of copse is now so much easier - too easy? It used to be that if you hit the green you were rewarded but now the penalty for missing is so much less.

I think there will be some planting done but it is a totally different hole.

the shotsaver has not been updated nor do they provide a changes sheet with those they sell.
 

RGuk

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I'd like to see some changes to my course and would certainly welcome more regular use of the variety of tees.
We have one or two really dull holes; I'm sure you'll all recognise the unintersting short-ish par 4 with a more or less straight fairway simple green/bunker design.
I'd like to see some more fairway bunkers (not at middle-hitter distance, but further down) to add some spice to the tee shots. We have a few fairways that get wet.....why not put some proper ditches in and build a few attractive stone bridges. And on the few really wide holes, why not cut the fairway into a sort of dog-leg encouraging some rough on the tiger lines.
All simple, cheap and could improve the demands to the player.
Interestingly, our owner decided to build a brand new tee on the SI 16 par 4 (320) in the woods on the left side. Off the old tee, I hit 3w or 5w/wedge and rarely come off with worse than a 4 (which is correct for my h'cap) but off the new tee, unless you can hit a 220 yd draw (and a big one at that!) you have to hit a medium iron about 170 leaving 150 in......needless to say the pars and birdies us cat.2 players score are just far less common. It's a shame to make an easy hole harder just for the sake of it, most players look forward to the last 4 holes, but off the new tees (there's a similar idea on 18) it can easily be a 4 bogey finish....
 

USER1999

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Judging by the X's on the trees round the 11th tee, it will be lengthened during the winter. Were we asked, no. The course gets harder every year due to mods made by the committee. Nobody asks the membership.
 

Herbie

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I think some committees work well but I do believe members should be asked in some way or have an ideas box at least.
 

Smiffy

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The club I am joining (Highwoods in Bexhill) is a lovely, well established parkland course and always in great condition. But despite having 4 or 5 really good holes there is no "signature" hole.
The 14th is a mid length par 4 from an elevated tee, sweeps around to the left with OB on the right and a small stream some 30 yards in front of the raised green. It's a great hole in it's own right.
The talk for many years has been to replace the stream with a largish pond or lake. The infrastructure is already there with the stream being able to feed and drain water away. In the really bad weather the low lying surrounding area of the stream can get a little boggy so this would be a definite improvement and would greatly improve that hole, both from a players point of view, and the greenstaff.
But the lady members have put their collective feet down and said "No"..it would make the hole too difficult for them.
It wouldn't take much to move the existing red tee back level with the mens medal tee and make it a par 5 for them.
This would then become one of the best (if not THE best) holes on the course.
 

DCB

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"It wouldn't take much to move the existing red tee back level with the mens medal tee and make it a par 5 for them."

That would just make it a longer harder par 4 for them. It would need another 20yds or so to make it a par 5.
 

DCB

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I agree with Murph on this one. Often a committee makes changes without consulting the memebership and without looking at the long term implications of the changes they have sanctioned. If a job is properly thought out and planned, the implications fully investigated and the necessary budget available to do the job properly, then that's fine. But, if it's a half baked idea just to massage someones ego then it's not right.

Lengthening holes or narrowing fairways are all well and good for tightening up a course for the cat 1 players, but its the cat3 & 4 players who suffer most. In some cases it will take away the enjoyment of playing a certain hole. I would recon in most cases it will lead to an increase in comments in the Suggestion Book !

Any changes to a course need to be in keeping with the original style of layout the course was created with. I would go as far as to say any major changes should realy have a "Professional" input into the proposed changes, after all you wouldn't build an extension to your house without an Architect or Structural Engineer being involed would you?

Change for changes' sake, no thank you.
 
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