Ahhh, he says as the penny drops. Now you are setting a much
higher standard. I'm not sure that such an approach would
yield the best result. It would run the risk of sounding like
those gushing essays I write when I've enjoyed my game, be it
at National Moonah, St Andrews Beach, Paradise Palms or even the
humble Half Moon Bay. From what others have said, my review of
Barnbougle Dunes might just consist of the word "wow"
typed 10,000 times. In short, it's also a bit like measuring
something without the assistance of a yardstick for comparison.
As a compromise I quite like MatthewM's method of scoring
each hole and adding the total. This method, however, is only one
dimension of the quality of a course. Other factors like the
grandeur or modesty of the site, the condition and grooming of
the course, the routing and flow of the holes, the nature of the
soil underfoot, the practice facilities, the flow of the path
from car park to first tee, and a myriad of intangibles.
So, whether you develop a scale for each of these dimensions and
then perform some calculation to get an overall score or combine
the factors in some other way is a problem MatthewM must have
faced before he could publish his rankings. I'd be interested
in his methodology.
I've said often enough where I stand on the comparison
between RMW and KH. My comparison is very much a one-dimensional
view of what faces the golfer shot after shot, hole after hole.
This, to me, is the nitty gritty and in the end is all that
counts. It is why a clever designer can create an enjoyable and
entertaining course on a dull site
eg Moonah Links.
Once again I've rambled on for long enough, but let's go
for it. Here's why I think KH#1 is an 8 (excellent but not
one of the best), and and RMW#1 is a 7 (incomplete or flawed). A
few themes will also emerge about why I think RM have painted
themselves into a corner, and how inspired the course renovation
work was at KH.
Imagine we've played both courses a few times, and that our
ball striking is roughly modern day scratch level. We now face
the first round of the Australian Open.
defended almost entirely by its relatively uniform back to front
The green's features and pin placement don't
significantly affect the strategy for the second or the drive.
Why 7 not 6? It is not a disappointing hole and the fact that it
innocently presents all its features puts the player in the frame
of mind that his destiny is up to him. There is also just enough
difficulty in depth perception on the second to increase the
difficulty in leaving the ball under the pin.
Why 7 not 8? It is a good not excellent hole, and is incomplete
in the sense that the green lacks interest. This hole is an
excellent candidate for the same treatment that the green at KH#1
received to change it from a plain jane.
I'm not sure how this will be received. Perhaps we might end
up with a semi-official ISG analysis of both courses, reflecting
the views of both detractors and afficionados of each hole as we
progress. Perhaps nobody is interested.
I will await the response with interest.