Jump to content


 

Photo

Sandbelt ranking


  • Please log in to reply
78 replies to this topic

#1 henry

henry

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3562 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 06:03 AM

Interesting in the opinions of people here on the sandbelt 'pecking order'

In my opinion

:
1. Royal Melbourne (West)
2. Kingston Heath
3. Royal Melbourne (East)
4. Victoria
5. Woodlands
6. Metropolitan
7. Commonwealth
8. Peninsula (North)
9. Yarra Yarra
10. Spring Valley
11. Huntingdale
12. Peninsula (South)

For the purposes of this exercise, the courses listed above comprise the sandbelt.



#2 Jim

Jim

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1073 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 09:29 AM

Henry
Why would you exclude Long Island, which is adjacent to Peninsula. The definitive book on the sandbelt by Paul Daley also includes Kingswood and Southern.

1. Royal Melbourne (West)
2. Kingston Heath
3. Royal Melbourne (East)
4. Woodlands
5. Victoria
6. Metropolitan
7. Peninsula (North)
8. Commonwealth
9. Yarra Yarra
10. Spring Valley
11. Peninsula (South)
12. Huntingdale
13. Long Island
14. Southern
15. Kingswood

The biggest improver in recent years has been Peninsula North, with the renovation work being undertaken by Mike Clayton, who has obliterated nearly all the work done by TWP, thankfully. The South course will be next, and also offers plenty of scope for improvement.



#3 henry

henry

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3562 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 09:44 AM

Jimmy,

I've chosen to exclude Kingswood and Long Island because they have something in common: being surgically altered by Tony Cashmore. Southern just doesn't cut it for a sandbelt course, the main problem being the out-of-character water hazards.

Woodlands? Wonderful golf course, massively under-rated generally, but I'm not so sure that it can lay claim to being the best course outside RM and KH. For one, the course lacks the necessary variety that a course like Victoria provides. Perhaps they could get Tony Cashmore (as suggested by Jack on another thread) to do the appropriate vandalism to upgrade the course: such as extending all the short par-4's by 50-100 yds each.



#4 Jim

Jim

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1073 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 10:01 AM

Woodlands has vastly more interesting green complexes than Victoria, providing a greater range of shots and demanding greater precision than any other course on the sandbelt. It also offers plenty of variety, I'm not sure why you think it offers less than Victoria. It has also been spared much of the abuse dished up to some of the other sandbelt tracks over the years in the name of progress.

I agree Southern is a paddock, but it is still on the sandbelt, along with Kingswood and LI.



#5 John J Jones

John J Jones

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2765 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 05:46 PM

Henry,

Love your thinking on why courses should be excluded. Surely though you should give Commonwealth the chop as well. It seems to meet you two criteria having Cashmore working on it and having a water hazard.

JJ



#6 Jim

Jim

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1073 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 08:01 PM

JJ
Good point re: Commonwealth. The water hazard on the 3rd hole there is simply dreadful, with the fairway sloping towards the water on the right, particularly unfair for anyone who slices. There is also water on 7 and 16, and you are right that Cashmore is currently working on improving the course, and no doubt got the gig on the basis of his work at LI and Kingswood. They have also had the dubious honour of having the course modified by Kevin Hartley, so it is surprising that Henry hasn't consigned the course to the dustbin of sandbelt history along with the other three.



#7 henry

henry

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3562 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 08:39 PM

Jimmy,

You're very quick to change your opinion to match that of the fictional John J Jones aren't you!

I distinctly remember you describing Commonwealth as being "only second to Royal Melbourne" at one time. Despite the changes that have been made, which you clearly disagree with, I hardly think that its fair to relegate Commonwealth to the "dustbins of sandbelt history".

Besides, the 3rd is a great long par 4, one with a multitude of strategic options from the tee. The rough around the bunkers has recently been reclaimed as fairway, which is a great move. A friend of mine who is a member can't stop talking about how much the hole has improved.



#8 the_unreal_jeffrey

the_unreal_jeffrey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1928 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 09:28 PM

Stop Press.

TWP are building a new course right in the middle of the sanbbelt. It is called sandhurst, making it perhaps the sandiest of all the sandbelt courses. I have seen some sneek preview photos and it has a Par three hole where the green is hard up against a stone wall on two sides!! Looks great!! So lets not get too carried away with ranking the sandbelt courses until this course is finished and the redesign at Patterson Lakes is finished.

Here is my provisional ranking based on what I hav seen from the masterplans of two said courses.
1 Commonwealth -beautifull treed, few water hazards, continually eliminating weak holes
2 Patterson Lakes -no expense spared making this course modern.
3 Sandhurst -stone wall baby.
4 Huntindale -The best of both world -old sandbelt charm and tough modern design
5 Royal Melbourne East -Unbelievably great considering it hasnt been changed in 70 years
6 Royal Melbourne West - Ranked just below East because it doesnt have any Par 5s
7 Keysborough -Only sandbelt course with mini golf. As a touring professional once told me "the driving range looks like the **** I used to see on the Japanese tour."
8 Spring Valley -I like their Orange Juice
9 Kingston Heath -see RM East
10 Rossdale -a true hidden gem
11 Kingswood -havent seen the new improvements yet so could climb soon.
12 Sandringham -some holes were originally part of royal melbourne

Havent played the rest so not qualified to comment.



#9 Jim

Jim

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1073 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 09:52 PM

Henry
You are correct, I did say that Commonwealth was once second only to Royal Melbourne on the sandbelt. That was in the olden days. Now it barely feels like a sandbelt course, given that it is overgrown with exotic trees and has terrible fairways. The only suggestion you get that it is on the sandbelt is from the magnificent greens and bunkering (Hartley holes excepted), and even those are at risk from Cashmore. The course has been destroyed by successive committees without any idea whatsoever, and what has happened at Commonwealth is easily the worst example of the slow destruction of a golf course ever seen in this country. It probably isn't too late to undo the damage, yet, but that moment is fast approaching with the continuing work by Cashmore.

Jeffrey
Isn't it nice to see TWP giving a nod towards the great traditions of the game in Scotland with the construction of the rock wall. Along with Pacific Coast Design, with their island greens and waterfalls, they are the most exciting firm operating in Australia today. I can't wait to see what PCD come up with at Patterson River either, should be very exciting. I've heard that they have built a tee directly behind a big gum tree, which is the sort of challenge that is largely absent from the game these days and another example of their ability to think "outside the box". biggrin.gif



#10 the_unreal_jeffrey

the_unreal_jeffrey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1928 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 10:23 PM

Jim,

The stone wall is a nod to the early Scottish courses? I didnt know that. I didnt even know that the early scottish courses had stone walls. I thought it was a reference to Caddyshack 2. I might have to change my opinion now.

By the way,
I almost forgot. Possibly the best course on the sandbelt isnt in any rankings because no one has ever played it. But it was designed by PCD and TWP so it must be bloody good.



#11 henry

henry

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3562 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 10:38 PM

Jeffrey,

Another cracker post, true to form. However, you've missed out on the hidden gem of the sandbelt, Cheltenham. Occupying the same sandy soil that makes Royal Melbourne and Victoria among the world's finest, it features nine beautiful holes meandering across the undulating site.

The excellent design is matched only by the perfect maintenance practices, with kikuya on the green fringes. This mandates a "target-golf" style of play, which is long overdue, considering the emergence of the arsy "bump-and-run" play which has polluted the games traditions in recent years.

Cheltenham however does not feature water hazards. Obviously this is to its detriment.

I was very concerned to hear from a member-friend of mine, Percy (a lurker here), that Pacific Coast Design did a master plan for the club, where they suggested the planting of native grasses. What a joke. I can't understand why they want the place to appear natural...if I wanted to see something natural, I'd go down to the National to admire TWP bunkers.



#12 the_unreal_jeffrey

the_unreal_jeffrey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1928 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 10:43 PM

Henry,

I forgot about Cheltemham. A lot of people forget that the Aus Open this year, although all publicity stated that it was held at Victoria, was infact played over a Cheltenham/Victoria composite course. Still, I wouldnt put it in my rankings because it is only nine holes.



#13 henry

henry

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3562 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 10:48 PM

Jeffrey,

What would you rather: nine great Cheltenham holes, or 18 flawed ones where you can top the ball and still run onto the green, like at Kingston Heath?

I'll go Cheltenham any day...played both courses last week, and I know where my heart lies.



#14 the_unreal_jeffrey

the_unreal_jeffrey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1928 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 11:23 PM

Henry,

That is one of the stupidist things I have ever heard. You will lose all credibility if you say stupid things on this board like Cheltenham is better than Kingston heath. Kingston Heath has twice as many holes, is 20% longer per hole, has 30 times as many bunkers and a double green. I think you are just being silly trying to get a response out of us more well reasoned people. And I suppose it has worked as i am responding. Consider this my last word on the matter.



#15 henry

henry

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3562 posts

Posted 19 December 2002 - 11:33 PM

I think you're taking yourself (and others) a little too seriously Jeffrey.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users