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Doak's Confidential Guide (to Aussie courses)


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#1 Uncle_Leo

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 08:26 AM

ted.arlt's comments on the Routing thread have inspired me to drag out Doaks Confidential Guide to Golf Courses for another read. I have the 1996 edition which is, I believe is the most recent version. I have listed below the great mans ratings on a State by State basis, with a few select comments. Is this still a valid review of most of our top courses?

NSW

The Australian

(Doak 6) "a pretty dull layout"

The Lakes

(5) "sorely handicapped by mediocre finishing par 3's"

New South Wales

(7) "one of the most violent golf courses in the world" "the routing is excellent"

Newcastle

(7) "relatively unheralded course" "not an indifferent hole on the course"

Royal Sydney

(6) "the course is underestimated in comparison to others in Sydney"

VIC

Barwon Heads

(5) "the best links golf course in Australia"

Commonwealth

(8)"not the best course in Melbourne, but one worth playing while you are there" one of the most pleasant and strategically pure courses one could hope to find"

Huntingdale

(5)"the Firestone of Australia...a boring golf course"

Kingston Heath

(8) "clearly Melbourne's second best course"

Metropolitan

(6) "suffers in comparison to some of the other Sandbelt courses"

National Old

(0-6) "virtually unplayable a couple of afternoons a week"

Royal Melbourne

(West 10) (East 6) "Royal Melbourne is the course Augusta wants to be" "brilliantly routed" "bunkered to reward bold play"

Victoria

(7) "short holes are unusually dull" "lacks the strategic interest of Commonwealth, the variety of Kingston Heath and the charm of Yarra Yarra"

Yarra Yarra

(6) "many standout holes" "majority of holes slide left to right"

SA

Kooyonga

(6) "a pretty good course" "the course could flow much better"

Royal Adelaide

(8) "the two shotters impress most"

WA

Lake Karrinyup

(5) "boy am I glad I didn't fly all the way acoss the continent to see this one"

Is this still a fair appraisal of golf in this country? Did Doak get it wrong? Would his list still be the same if he re-did the whole thing now (and of course including all the new course built since 1998)

Jack



#2 golfer69

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 08:45 AM

Jack

Any chance you can post his comments about Goondoowindi and Charleville from up this way ?



#3 ozero

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 09:02 AM

Huntingdale

is a very good golf course.



#4 the_unreal_jeffrey

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 09:31 AM

stoner,

you are a brave man saying that around here! Good luck!


Jack,
Good post, I will write something soon.



#5 ted.arlt.02

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 09:54 AM

ooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuu !!!!!!!

Still too busy here at the Boardroom to stop for this one. I'll grab my Doak notes tomorrow and be back...this should be a good one.



#6 peanuts

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 11:38 AM

A couple of quick comments

- Harsh on The Lakes. So what if you end the course with par threes? If it's just because they are mediocre (and I know they've done some work on 18 recently) then there's gotta be another reason for the score to be so low.
- If he reckons Royal Sydney's better than The Lakes his credibility score's just dropped.
- By giving Barwon Heads 5 and calling it the best links course in Australia, he's not classified NSW as a Links course.



#7 Uncle_Leo

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 05:40 PM

Forgot to mention that if you have a copy of the Confidential Guide, you should hang on to it as it is has rapidly appreciated in value over the past few years. Copies on ebay in the US have sold for more than USD$450!



#8 henry

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 05:56 PM

Jack, he gets it right most of the time, but we should bear in mind that although this latest edition was published in 1996, he saw most of the courses in the late 80's or early 90's.

Obviously when courses undergo major changes his rating is no longer valid. Commonwealth (8) for example, was renovated in the early 1990's, and I assume it would get a different number on the scale if Doak were to rate it today.



#9 henry

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 06:00 PM

And of the new courses, I've heard he rates National Moonah as a 7 (probably too high IMO), and rates The Dunes and Moonah Links very poorly.

I assume Barnbougle would be a 9, possibly a 10 because its his own work.



#10 judgesmails

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 06:56 PM

In that case he would probably have Ranfurlie as a 7 or 8 as his mate deigned that one! I wonder just how much bias he has toward certain designers based on name alone...



#11 _Andrew_

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 07:19 PM

QUOTE: peanuts @ Jan 28 2005, 12:38 AM

- By giving Barwon Heads 5 and calling it the best links course in Australia, he's not classified NSW as a Links course.

NSW is not a links, although it is a seaside course. We have very few links in Australia.



#12 mac

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 02:07 AM

Judge

I know he is pretty fair and the book got just about everything else right.
He nailed Australia with those marks.

He has been to Ranfurlie and he gave it a 5 which is exactly right.
5 is a decent mark when a 3 is 'about the standard of the average course in the world.'
Interestingly,Woodlands, the 68th best course in Australia gets a 7 (not in the book but he was there a few years after it came out) so somebody got it wrong by a long way!!

The Confidential Guide is the only golf course rating worth the paper it's written on - and the 1995 edition sells for about $500 US.

Henry

He rated The Dunes a way ahead of ML - thought it was pretty decent.



#13 Jim

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 02:17 AM

QUOTE: henry @ Jan 28 2005, 06:56 AM

Obviously when courses undergo major changes his rating is no longer valid.  Commonwealth (8) for example, was renovated  in the early 1990's, and I assume it would get a different number on the scale if Doak were to rate it today.

Henry, apparently it rates behind Marysville now. laugh.gif

Mac
Woodlands is actually 69th ranked. blink.gif unsure.gif ohmy.gif



#14 speckymagee

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 02:25 AM

A bloke called Mike Clayton wink.gif told me a few years back that if I wanted to learn a bit more about golf courses I should buy the book from Amazon. I did and has it been a good investment in both knowledge and money. In fact I got Tom Doak to sign mine so it is valuable!

But a few years ago I was looking around for a fiftieth birthday present for a bloke who reckons he knows plenty about golf. So I gave him a copy but he was too big of a know all to understand it and now its worth a fortune. mad.gif We aren't mates any more as he is just too knowledgeble about golf and the direction our course should go. But if I broke into his house and stole it back he would never know!! Should I do it?? biggrin.gif



#15 ThanksForAllTheFish

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 02:47 AM

Easy on Marysville Jim. That's one of my favourite places to play golf smile.gif
15,16&17 would be among the world's toughest consecutive par 4s

They should put your name on an honour board if you play those three in even par!






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