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Waterford Valley - The utopia of public courses


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#1 Peter_Pan

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 03:33 AM

To those with a learned understanding of golf architecture and the golf industry, Waterford Valley must rank as one of Australia's best public tracks and definately the best in Melbourne Why do I say this? I am not here to argue to classical architectural merits of said course versus Tier 1 sandbelt tracks. However, if you take the layout and compare it to public access tracks across Melbourne and the Peninsula, then some clever engineering starts to emerge Firstly, for the average social player who is likely to frequent a course such as this, he likes to feel that they have "a chance" at a course.They don't want to play 420m uphill par 4's into the prevailing breeze like at Eynesbury. They don't want 5.5 hr rounds after an hours drive looking balls in the rough like at the Dunes and playing in howling gales What they want is wide fairways, sub 380m par 4's, bunkers largely out of play but there for asthetics and large generous greens. Waterford Valley excels in all these points with the added bonus of being in Metro Melbourne and in easy access off Eastlink Every hole at Waterford gives the once a month player hope of a par. The 1st at 330m off the blues is a straight away hole with a massive green (a highlight of the course). Great foresight by pacific Coast Design, knowing that they didn't need to design Kingston Heath, but instead a way to lure the average hacker into a round The course has plenty of water that is largely out of play (eg rarely a forced water carry except for the approach at 18 and tee shot on 13) and the bunkers are all a few feet back from the green complexes. Again, the average player is not penalised for missing unless it is an atrocious miss. The wide Santa Anna fairways are always in good condition due to the use of recycled water. Combine this with width, and typically bowl shaped greens, and you can see the architect was attempting to keep balls in play, rather than create a monster. this ensures rounds move on with clockwork precision. Slow play is a rarity here. Perfect design for the purpose Waterford Valley also has some interesting holes for the better player including #3 that asks choices off the tee for the longer hitter, #10 that reveals its green the further right you hit (but lengthens the approach) and #15 that will beg all weekend warriors to try drive it in 1. Waterford Valley has space, interest, and most importantly, has been designed as a public course. No stupidly long rough touching the fairways, no lomng water carries, 63 bunkers for looks rather than punishment and greens built to contain balls rather than propell the bad shot away For $50, you will not leave underwhelmed. For your next public round when in Melbourne, choose Waterford Valley. It was built for you to enjoy your game. You may be able to argue successfully that their are better designed public traks in Melbourne based purely on architecture. However, when you start to analyse a Waterford Valley against its competition on a "fit for purpose" equation, it will win every time.

#2 Francie

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 03:36 AM

Play it in summer!!

#3 Russssssssssssssssssssssss

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 04:15 AM

Not a fan, and a round will take close to 5 hours.

#4 jafflemaker

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 05:33 AM

It looks like PP got kicked out of Southern and has shares in Pacific Coast Design :) It is soggy in Winter :) BTW- I have never played it.

#5 Peter_Pan

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:05 AM

It looks like PP got kicked out of Southern and has shares in Pacific Coast Design :)

It is soggy in Winter :)

BTW- I have never played it.

I'll review Southern soon. Need another hit to refresh my memory

#6 Danz

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:13 AM

what's the point in having bunkers that "not in play"? Sounds retarded.

#7 ellimb

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:15 AM

Played there in winter and it is soggy. Have to tip toe around some greens. For $50 there are so many others that are better. If social playing, just tee off the white tee and you would find must courses FRIENDLY.

#8 Peter_Pan

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:26 AM

what’s the point in having bunkers that “not in play”? Sounds retarded.

That's the point Bunkers are a nightmare for teh social golfer. It screws up holes for them and they dont know how to get out The beauty of the WV design is that they are generally out of play unless you really misfire. Therefore, the hacker enjoys his round, the round flows and the course owner gets a return customer Simply Brilliant and fit for purpose

#9 Peter_Pan

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:26 AM

Played there in winter and it is soggy. Have to tip toe around some greens. For $50 there are so many others that are better.

If social playing, just tee off the white tee and you would find must courses FRIENDLY.

ellimb

Hell, almost every course in Melb was soggy at some point this winter and spring

#10 Francie

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:29 AM

Some worse than others, PP. Waterford Valley was a shocker. You would know that if you played there during the year.

#11 Peter_Pan

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:44 AM

It is in a flood plain so probably more likely to be worse than a sandbelt course How was Beaconhills or anything north like the Frog? i played them both and should have brought my flippers

#12 jafflemaker

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:11 AM

It is in a flood plain so probably more likely to be worse than a sandbelt course

How was Beaconhills or anything north like the Frog?

i played them both and should have brought my flippers

The little boy who never grew up

Well the developers obviously misfired on their 'UTOPIA' if you can't play it when it rains. I doubt most would find utopia in a floodplain. So the repeat customers will only be coming back in fine weather. Brilliant business plan.

#13 BuggeraCup

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:20 AM

From an architechure point of view, to have bunkers that are not in play does not add merit, it detracts from the strategy. I've never played the course but for a course to be considered enjoyable it should engage both the good palyer and the poor/average hacker. Bunkers should achieve this goal by encouraging the good players to 'flirt' with them in order to obtain an easier second shot and allow the hacker to play away from the hazards with impunity however, with the penalty of a more difficult or obstructed second shot. Conversely, if the hacker is overcome with bravado/ego and decides to challenge the bunkers/hazards then they should pay the consequences if they do not play the perfect shot. In all cases the average player, even when taking the safer route, should have the opprtunity to secure an 'easy' bogey. Bunkers placed purely for aesthetic reasons do nothing to improve the design of the course and such courses will become boring and devoid of strategy for the player who chooses to play the course multiple times. Once again, I have never played Waterford Valley, just making an observation on your excellent review.

#14 Danz

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:28 AM

Bunkers are a nightmare for teh social golfer. It screws up holes for them and they dont know how to get out
Those people shouldn't play golf if they can't tackle a common challenge of the game. Bunker play is not that hard once you understand what to do.

#15 OldBogey

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 09:19 AM

If you rarely hit bunkers, you can't hone your bunker skills. I agree that it's very soggy in winter. But what can you do with a floodplain in suburbia? It's either a park or a golf course. As a former wasteland, you either truck in a mountain so you can have a drainable surface or you just let it get soggy in winter.




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