Jump to content


 

Photo

Royal Melbourne v Kingston Heath


  • Please log in to reply
124 replies to this topic

#31 _Andrew_

_Andrew_

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2337 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 02:20 AM

QUOTE: St. Andrews @ Dec 31 2005, 01:38 PM

MM – you raise some salient points but I beg to differ on at least two of them:
1) just because RMW is on better land doesn’t make it a better course
2) MacKenzie did the bunkering on both courses and personally I think he did a better job overall on KH (esp: considering the land)

My great concern with this argument is that the land does make so much difference. Many of the early Scottish courses like Elie, Crail (Balcomie) & North Berwick (West) have very basic architecture, but are excellent courses because of the land they are on. If an architect did a great job designing a course on a rubbish tip are we to assume it to be a better course because of the greater effort that went into making it at least reasonable. Of course not.

Land & routing are the largest contributors to the greatness of a course.



#32 St_Andrews

St_Andrews

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3315 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 02:58 AM

Andrew
Please be carefull when construing what I said - all I said was was great land doesn't necessarily equate to a great course. Does National (Ocean) ring a bell ? (I believe you created a post recently about this very point)

Jack
A very interesting comparison and I believe a somewhat solid reflection on a hole by hole basis and it shows the quality of both courses in their own right.

If you move a couple of points on the holes either way you obviously can get a different result - but I certainly favour RMW's F9 v KH's better B9 and give KH the overall vote (just).



#33 ttitheridge

ttitheridge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5492 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 04:09 AM

Guys, excellent posts.

Ross, I believe your summation of the second shot on RMW#6 sells it way too short. It is in my opinion one of the better second shots in Melbourne sandbelt golf, and has so much more to it than the both conservative and one dimensional angle you put to it. I am a battling mid teen handicapper, and if I can choose various plays into that green (ranging from attacking a left pin to bunting one into the front right of the green), then a lot of people can.

I am deliberately (and will continue to do so) avoid comparisons based on hole# or other tenuous links at best. Like Jack has done, value each course hole by hole, then put the two pieces together. I will never use the 12th hole at either course to raise a positive or negative point about the other. Speak of the holes as they actually are, for RMW#12 is designed to come between RMW#11 and RMW#13, not be played alongside KH#12. This reminds me of VinExpo in Bordeaux where a Taiwanese buyer told the proprietor of Haut Brion that he tried his wine against Chateau Latour and found the latter to be superior. The proprietor quite rightfully but politely replied that he made his wines to go with food, not with Chateau Latour.

My one repeated gripe that hasn't been addressed here in this thread is that I still more than ever firmly believe that there is too much tearing down the RMW facade in a way that is no less criminal than what KH normally cops in the process of being consigned by many to being the bridesmaid. Ask all you like for RMW to be justified, but I think you cannot ask people to rebuild it from scratch when KH holes in this thread are not having the same asked of them. No, it isn't fair to take down decades of earnt respect (as distinctly opposed to a traditional free pass), and then ask individuals of varying debating capabilities to have to re-earn it all for the course themselves in a few posts.

For what my opinion is worth, too many facets of RMW are being given unworthy faint praise here, and it is those views that may be harder to back up than those from RMW fans promoting the same facets.

If KH is seriously to challenge RMW in this debate, then its benefactors will have to make a convincing case with much prose on KH that involves not one word of the opposite for RMW. In other words, prove your positive case first before you try and propose RMW's negative one. Then we have a start that is more in good faith than it is getting side tracked by concerning itself with the potential of a Royal Melbourne free pass.



#34 CraigaW

CraigaW

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1192 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 04:31 AM

I agree that holes should not be compared by order but why not compare them by par if KH has superior par 5 s then a point each if RMs par 4s are superior a point each and so on to the 3's do the same.

Also should'nt a course be rated on today not yesterday as some of these courses seem to be.

RM is a course in decline under the present conditions will it still be no1 in 5 years?

What will happen to this discussion when Barnbougle gets up the lists to 2 or 3 or maybe even 1.

The presentation of the facility must come into it not manicured gardens but the quality of the playing surfaces as they are the ones the game is played on.

I have walked both but am yet to play either so i cannot comment on why one is or is not better than the other but the player i used to caddie for considers RM a par 67 and felt he had played poorly if he did not shoot that or better and KH a par 69 so that is my only comment.



#35 ttitheridge

ttitheridge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5492 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 04:59 AM

QUOTE: chestnuts @ Dec 31 2005, 06:31 PM

I agree that holes should not be compared by order but why not compare them by par if KH has superior par 5 s then a point each if RMs par 4s are superior a point each and so on to the 3's do the same...

...I have walked both but am yet to play either so i cannot comment on why one is or is not better than the other  but the player i used to caddie for considers RM a par 67 and felt he had played poorly if he did not shoot that or better and KH a par 69 so that is my only comment.

Your first question is easy to answer. A hole is never played as a relative to a hole at another course. When you see a landform and are about to craft a par 3 into it, do you try and do the best you can do in that spot, or do you hold up a hole elsewhere on completely different land and build a hole to compare to it? If you do the latter, and even if you "win", you will have stuffed the character and disjointed the flow of the design by losing sight of the importance of working on your site, blending it in with your holes both before and after and not dreaming of a totally different place. People on both sides of the fence here know the value of a great routing, and that these two courses have excellent routings. The total journey means endlessly more than a ridiculous method of comparing like distanced or par holes with somewhere else. Not one course on this planet is a great one due to some arbitrary comparison of some of its holes against those at another top course. They are so because of what is actually there in entirety.

As for your last point, that spells out difficulty. Difficulty can at times have no relationship to greatness whatsoever. I find Heritage from the tips around 4-5 shots harder than Kingston Heath. If I have 42-43 round the front nine at Heritage, that is like a 40 for the front at Kingston Heath. That said, I think Kingston Heath is significantly better than Heritage smile.gif


I haven't once yet made a definitive statement here as to which of the two courses I think is better. I am merely asking the protagonists to state their case for one without disparaging the other.



#36 ThanksForAllTheFish

ThanksForAllTheFish

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1852 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:02 AM

Jeffrey,
an excellent question which will tease out the finer points of the discussion. I don't believe KH has a "best" hole despite many people ranking #15 as such.

In my rating I said that KH 3, 9, 10, 14, 15 & 16 were all "9"s and I'm happy to stick with that. I also rated RMW 7 and 17 as "10"s.

To answer your question then, KH doesn't have a distinctly best or second best hole and two of RMWs holes are better than the 6 equal firsts at KH.

Tony,
an excellent post above and one which shows that we are far closer in our views than this discussion might suggest.

You explained pretty clearly what you like about the green on #6 (the fairway is not in dispute). In my book every green with a strong uniform slope is best treated the same way by the player. Hit it to the middle of the green and do everything you can to get your distance right. Any strategy more complex than that borders on being self delusional. If this hole has befuddled the guys you've carried for, then maybe that is a point in its favour in a perverse sort of way. In my book, this is not a thinking man's green. I'm happy to be in the minority on this one. A dissenting view can only sharpen a thoughtful mind. JJJ is the only one who has responded with a genuine response to my comparison of the greens of RMW#6 and RME#4. I thought what he said made great sense, and he threw in bonus comments on RMW#10.

You seem to be running a theme along the lines of criticism of the fundamentals at RMW isn't fair because it has earned so much respect over the decades and nobody is criticising KH? I don't know whether that's what you mean to say, but if it is then its sheer bollocks. I'm more than happy to talk about holes at KH if you feel it will help, but so far nobody has raised any specifics at all! So, pick a hole or a shot at KH which isn't up to scratch. Jack seems to have a few, but overall he's a more generous marker than I am.

My original proposition remains. Too many people are blind to the flaws of RMW because of its reputation. Shot for shot, hole for hole KH is a better course.

In the end, the discussion of course architecture should be the winner.



#37 ttitheridge

ttitheridge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5492 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE: rsheehy @ Dec 31 2005, 09:02 PM

You seem to be running a theme along the lines of criticism of the fundamentals at RMW isn't fair because it has earned so much respect over the decades and nobody is criticising KH? I don't know whether that's what you mean to say, but if it is then its sheer bollocks. I'm more than happy to talk about holes at KH if you feel it will help, but so far nobody has raised any specifics at all! So, pick a hole or a shot at KH which isn't up to scratch.

Awesome post, and the bit I've pasted here I'll address because it isn't quite what I mean.

I don't want to have KH facets put up to be potentially criticised. I want KH fans to make their case on KH positives. If my assistant wants my job, he will have to do more than point out my weaknesses that he thinks get overlooked. He'll have to put forward why he is the man for the job. As soon as he mentions my name, he'll lose their interest if he hasn't yet fully completed his own pitch.

If an essay was to be written on why KH was Australia's finest course, I would look forward to a long essay on it, without one other course having to be mentioned until towards the end when the author would perhaps have to justify what it is about their points that puts it ahead of the rest. From posters saying KH should have the title, all I've seen so far even in great posts is a predominantly more mention of RMW than of KH!!! I already know what I think of RMW. I want somebody to use discussion to tell me their story of KH.



#38 _Andrew_

_Andrew_

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2337 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 06:07 PM

QUOTE: St. Andrews @ Dec 31 2005, 03:58 PM

Andrew
Please be carefull when construing what I said - all I said was was great land doesn't necessarily equate to a great course. Does National (Ocean) ring a bell ? (I believe you created a post recently about this very point)

Good point, but I did say land & routing. The routing at Ocean actually sucks & blows at the same time.



#39 growler

growler

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 110 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:13 PM

Having just played at KH as an interstate guest I found the golf course did not meet some of the hype that I have been reading in these threads. We had to wait on the 1st tee whilst some guys cleared the right side bunkers, they were playing the 6th and caused us a few minutes delay. Then as some of us drove into the right side bunkers on 6, a similar circumstance again arose.

Blind drives on 8, 9 16 and blind seconds to 14 and 17.

All par 5's in same direction, demanding par 4's 1 amd 6 in same direction, 8, 17 and 18 in same direction.

13 and 17 seemed pretty ordinary holes and the double green did not inspire, and nor did the bunker in the middle of 11.

Felt best holes on this golf course were the par 3's.

Seemed to be a fair bit of air traffic around KH.

As for the rest, some of the other great Melbourne golf courses have excellent holes as well.

Very difficult to be absolutely convinced that ranking these courses a clear winner as the best in Melbourne doesn't just have a touch of "prestige, status value, and maybe difficulty to join".

Perhaps a "Royal" in front of some other names down there may just alter a ranking or two.



#40 ThanksForAllTheFish

ThanksForAllTheFish

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1852 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:25 PM

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.

KH#1 Green

defended almost entirely by its relatively uniform back to front slope.

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.



#41 ttitheridge

ttitheridge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5492 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:42 PM

Ross,

May I possibly have another similar length post from you as that above, mentioning no golf course other than Kingston Heath?

I have asked almost half a dozen times, and nobody has yet made a case for Kingston Heath without spouting on about Royal Melbourne West!!! Even if for a moment, can you please pretend there is no Royal Melbourne.

The comparisons, and the picking at RMW have their place

later

in the discussion if a case can be put forward for KH

first

, but I want the KH info without the interruption of the occasional instant RMW comparison. Between holing out on KH#1 and moving to the 2nd tee, how many shots am I likely to hit into RMW#1? smile.gif



#42 AndyA

AndyA

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1609 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 08:25 PM

Ross, this has become a fantastic thread.

I mostly agree with your analysis of the first holes at RMW and KH, but I'm not sure its a fair comparison.

The holes were designed with a different philosophy. At Royal Melbourne Mackenzie/Russell built a simple hole in the same vein as St Andrews - very wide fairway, fairly simple approach shot without much danger. Its a hole which eases the golfer into the round Kingston Heath is almost the opposite - an absolute balltearer which requires two good shots to hit the green. Double-bogey is very possible here.

Viewed in isolation, the Kingston Heath hole is clearly the better hole (as RM's is almost a "nothing" hole), but there's a lot more to understanding these courses than looking at them merely on a shot-by-shot basis.

tithers, this thread is about comparing two golf courses, so a post which only talks about one of the courses doesn't really address the topic. If one wants to make a case that KH is better than RMW, then they need to discuss why Kingston Heath is better than RMW, which entails talking about both courses.



#43 ThanksForAllTheFish

ThanksForAllTheFish

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1852 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 08:34 PM

Hi growler.

There is a quote from an interstate visitor to KH which always makes me laugh. The genteleman in question was from Queensland and was having a very difficult day on the course. On the 11th he topped his tee shot into the long grass that precedes the fairway and was heard to say "I don't see what's so great about this course. They don't even mow the fairways back to the tee".

Very difficult to be absolutely convinced that ranking these courses a clear winner as the best in Melbourne doesn't just have a touch of "prestige, status value, and maybe difficulty to join".

No. You're wide of the mark here. Perhaps in the other capital cities, but not in Melbourne.



#44 ThanksForAllTheFish

ThanksForAllTheFish

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1852 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 08:54 PM

there's a lot more to understanding these courses than looking at them merely on a shot-by-shot basis.

Yes, there are many dimensions. My contention here is that the reason KH has grown in stature, and RM has been descibed by extremists as redundant is because of what the courses offer the player on a shot by shot basis. Kingston Heath has become stronger over the years. RM has sat on its hands. I'll go further and say that may have been the basis of Jack Nicklaus' infamous "nice members' course" quote.



#45 ThanksForAllTheFish

ThanksForAllTheFish

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1852 posts

Posted 01 January 2006 - 09:19 PM

May I possibly have another similar length post from you as that above, mentioning no golf course other than Kingston Heath?

Yes you can and in the past I have, but as AndyA says this thread is a comparison between KH and another golf course.

The other factor is that KH in its current guise is very close to being the very best it could possibly be.

There. A post about KH without referring to anything in the suburb of Black Rock. Damn, I just mentioned it!






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users