Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

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Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 10:51 pm

There's been an interesting discussion on the Ballwasher thread following the announcement from the USGA that the 2021 and 2025 Walker Cups will be held at Seminole and Cypress Point respectively.

super_realist offered the view that a heathland course might present a challenging venue for the next GB&I host opportunity in 2023. Examples of championship possibilities among heathland courses by super and Shotrock included:
Walton Heath
Sunningdale
Swinley Forest
Wentworth
St.George's Hill
Woodhall Spa
Woburn
Blackmoor
Blairgowrie
Gleneagles
Archerfield
The Dukes
Worksop

Others could obviously be added. Distinctions between heathland & parkland have been offered, but a couple of US posters have been sceptical of any advantage that a heathland venue might offer to GB&I.

What does everyone think?

And: Which heathland courses might be the best examples of the genre??

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by SmithersJones on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 11:38 pm

Away from the Surrey heartland of heathland golf (sorry Robo) there are a couple of excellent examples in Suffolk, Purdis Heath and in particular Woodbridge. Miss the fairway by more than a little and you're lucky to be able to hack out onto it. Beautiful but challenging par 3s and overall just a really great test.
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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 12:53 am

Smithers,
A friend of mine is a member at Woodbridge and he raves about the course, and its condition. Not on my bucket list exactly, but maybe my pail list.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by puligny on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 11:19 am

I'm not sure it is about creating an advantage, and would prefer it to be about showcasing some of the best we have to offer.
Heathland additions for me would be Hankley Common in Surrey and Enville (Highgate course) in Staffs.
Both are really good examples of heathland tracks, and have both been used for serious amateur and pro events.
Then move over to East Midlands and in Sherwood Forest, Coxmoor and Notts GC (Hollinwell) you have 3 of the very best within a man sausage stride of each other.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by puligny on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 11:20 am

Ha ha - co.k stride got changed to man sausage! What next!

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by McLaren on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 1:22 pm

Kwini

Maybe super, our resident geologist, knows better but I think heathland has quite specific geological features. Something to do with old sea beds or something.
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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 1:31 pm

Mac,
Quite possibly.
I just thought it was an interesting discussion with robo, super & GPB and thought it deserved a thread of its own. Not sure if the Berkshire Red /Blue and/or Stoneham fully qualify as heathland, definitely have heathland characteristics, but really enjoyed playing all three.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by navyblueshorts on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 2:32 pm

puligny wrote:I'm not sure it is about creating an advantage, and would prefer it to be about showcasing some of the best we have to offer.
Heathland additions for me would be Hankley Common in Surrey and Enville (Highgate course) in Staffs.
Both are really good examples of heathland tracks, and have both been used for serious amateur and pro events.
Then move over to East Midlands and in Sherwood Forest, Coxmoor and Notts GC (Hollinwell) you have 3 of the very best within a man sausage stride of each other.
Being based in Notts, I'd encourage anyone at all to play Hollinwell - wonderful and more than capable of challenging Walker Cuppers. Sherwood is also excellent as is the Coxmoor course itself (even if the club are winkers). Enville was excellent when we were there.

As for advantages for GB&I in a Walker Cup? Not sure. You'd think links might favour GB&I, but I don't think so.
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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by Shotrock on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 3:33 pm

Navy - I think it would favor GB&I. There are no heathland courses in the US (to my knowledge). So any experience is better than none and that stuff is nasty to negotiate.

I've heard great things about Hankley Common. Love to play that someday.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by puligny on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 4:01 pm

Sr - Hankley stands comparison with the very best. It's on a huge piece of land so the feeling of space is extraordinary and has been tweaked, including extra length when required, in a really good way. Interesting holes, constantly, but in some cases subtly, changing direction, excellent greens etc etc. One not to miss.

Kwini, I think they are trying to return Stoneham to genuine heathland by taking out trees and regenerating heather. Signs are it will soon be back to its best after (personal view) some years in the doldrums. Also, how did I not mention Berkshire. Cost probably!! Great courses.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by McLaren on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 4:13 pm

Kwini

This is definitely worth a new thread. I was responding to any claims of parkland and heathland being similar courses. Heathland has just as unique a turf as links.

Are there any heathland courses in the USA?
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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 5:12 pm

Mac,
See Shotrock's note just above.
Not that I've seen either, though there is some countryside in Eastern Connecticut which is the closest I've seen, possibly Cape Cod too; grasses seem somewhat similar, but not seen the heather.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by Plunky on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 6:09 pm

There's a nine-hole course called Highland Links in Truro that might fit the bill.  Haven't played it for years but it has tons of scotch broom and the rough is nasty.  Does that make it a Heathland course ?

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by McLaren on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 6:24 pm

If you hover above the area most of the surrey sand belt courses are located on the British geological survey app you get the following blurb.

1:625 000 scale bedrock geology description: Bracklesham Group And Barton Group (undifferentiated) - Sand, Silt And Clay. Sedimentary Bedrock formed approximately 34 to 56 million years ago in the Palaeogene Period. Local environment previously dominated by shallow seas.

Setting: shallow seas. These rocks were formed in shallow seas with mainly siliciclastic sediments (comprising of fragments or clasts of silicate minerals) deposited as mud, silt, sand and gravel.


http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyofbritain/home.html



The blurb for the geology of the area around Ganton, which is considered a links like inland course is

1:50 000 scale bedrock geology description: Speeton Clay Formation - Mudstone. Sedimentary Bedrock formed approximately 100 to 146 million years ago in the Cretaceous Period. Local environment previously dominated by shallow seas.

Setting: shallow seas. These rocks were formed in shallow seas with mainly siliciclastic sediments (comprising of fragments or clasts of silicate minerals) deposited as mud, silt, sand and gravel.


Does anyone know if Ganton counts as a heathland course?
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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by puligny on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 6:32 pm

Here's a story I am assured is true, but haven't verified. The final scene in James Bond film Skyfall - Scottish moors/heathland, with massive explosions and large house being systematically destroyed was filmed on land owned by Hanley Common GC and adjacent to the course. Members apparently heard some noise, there are military ranges nearby which can sometimes be heard, but had no idea the filming was taking place until after the event.
Total area of the site is circa 950 acres. Not sure what this does for the golf, but it's a good story to contemplate between shots!
Many people think heathland is a bit barren, but if you like it, little else is better, and when the heather turns purple it is at least a very beautiful if near inescapable hazard!!

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 9:03 pm

puligny,
According to wiki, they used various aspects of Hankley Common for three different Bond films . . . . . . . (Assume that is factual and not just a malicious post from the Kremlin.)

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by Shotrock on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 9:50 pm

On this snowy day in Pennsylvania I am really enjoying this thread.

I've never had anything less than a fantastic time at a Heathland Course. A good friend of mine is a member at St. George's Hill and had some visiting guests this summer from The Berkshire. Post golf and at the outside patio they extended an invitation for a visit. Even if it was the beer talking, I'll be taking them up on that offer.

New Zealand is another wonderful course to add to the list.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by navyblueshorts on Sun 18 Dec 2016, 12:54 pm

Shotrock wrote:Navy - I think it would favor GB&I. There are no heathland courses in the US (to my knowledge). So any experience is better than none and that stuff is nasty to negotiate.

I've heard great things about Hankley Common. Love to play that someday.
I'm less convinced SR. Basically, heather/gorse etc (beautiful though it is) is as much a hazard as water/sand etc. There's no specific tricks to playing out of heathland hazards. Just keep out of it!

McLaren wrote:Kwini

This is definitely worth a new thread. I was responding to any claims of parkland and heathland being similar courses. Heathland has just as unique a turf as links.

Are there any heathland courses in the USA?
Heathland turf is nice to hit off, no doubt, but a good strike is a good strike is a good strike. It'll make bob all difference to amateurs of that standard and I doubt it would make any difference to a typical club amateur.
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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by puligny on Sun 18 Dec 2016, 3:32 pm

The opening to this thread mentions a number of course types, and while my favourites will always (I think) be heathland and links, a word for desert courses. Like heathland and links they may not appeal to all - the scenery it seems you love or hate, and most that I know tend to be resort courses with lots of property surrounding, but find a good one and the experience is exhilarating. Views you just won't replicate anywhere, flora and fauna different from most, and golf architecture to make you smile and wonder!

My current home course is chalk downland - a feature which is disappearing rapidly from the UK. If you want to play winter golf with no interruptions bar fog and snow, and keep your shoes clean, find a good chalk downland course. Current British Am champion, and a recent 2 time Brabazon winner grew up on them!

All that said, my best rounds over the past few years have all come on parkland courses! Maybe that should be telling me something! Hey ho!

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by raycastleunited on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 2:13 pm

I love the concept of links golf... purest form of the game, battling the elements etc. etc.

BUT in reality a lot of times I've played links courses it's been a case of battling against gale force winds, sheltering behind an umbrella, cold wet freezing hands, and multiple layers to keep out the cold even though it's July. I like the challenge of a stiff breeze, but often it's just miserable. And many links courses, despite being near the sea, lack anything that could be classed as a "nice view". There are of course some links courses with wonderful views, but more typical is what you get at Royal St George's - ominous dark grey sky, dirty brown sea, nuclear power station back drop.

I'm sure that you do get warm sunny days on links courses from time to time, just not many. The answer is to transport the links somewhere nicer. The closest I've seen to links overseas is El Saler near Valencia, and what a lovely experience it is.

For me, heathland golf can best be described as links in a forest. If I had to choose one course to play for ever, it would be a heathland course, it's just such a pleasant walk, and the turf is lovely for ball striking. I loved watching Kingston Heath on the telly recently, and I don't think I've had a better golf experience than 36 holes at Sunningdale.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by raycastleunited on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 2:24 pm

Puligny - all my best rounds have come on modern desert / parkland courses. Wide open fairways suit my wayward driving and I'm pretty good at hitting high irons in to receptive greens. But it's the putting surfaces where it's easier to score... modern courses usually have much flatter greens than heathland or links which are always older courses. Greens today are designed to be fast, whereas older greens were designed with more borrow when speeds were slower.

I think Robert Trent Jones said that his design philosophy on the greens was you shouldn't have to aim outside the hole on a putt under 6 feet. Well on my course (built 1920's) there's only 4 greens where this applies!

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by pedro on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 3:11 pm

raycastleunited wrote:I love the concept of links golf... purest form of the game, battling the elements etc. etc.

BUT in reality a lot of times I've played links courses it's been a case of battling against gale force winds, sheltering behind an umbrella, cold wet freezing hands, and multiple layers to keep out the cold even though it's July. I like the challenge of a stiff breeze, but often it's just miserable. And many links courses, despite being near the sea, lack anything that could be classed as a "nice view". There are of course some links courses with wonderful views, but more typical is what you get at Royal St George's - ominous dark grey sky, dirty brown sea, nuclear power station back drop.

I'm sure that you do get warm sunny days on links courses from time to time, just not many. The answer is to transport the links somewhere nicer. The closest I've seen to links overseas is El Saler near Valencia, and what a lovely experience it is.

For me, heathland golf can best be described as links in a forest. If I had to choose one course to play for ever, it would be a heathland course, it's just such a pleasant walk, and the turf is lovely for ball striking. I loved watching Kingston Heath on the telly recently, and I don't think I've had a better golf experience than 36 holes at Sunningdale.
Hear hear ray. I'm no sports fundamentalist and for me golf has to be enjoyable in every sense, rather than just be a dogmatic battle against yourself and the elements. Nice(ish) weather, enjoyable nature and nice company are pivotal for a good experience, regardless of links, parkland, heathland or heartland.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by super_realist on Wed 21 Dec 2016, 8:41 am

McLaren wrote:If you hover above the area most of the surrey sand belt courses are located on the British geological survey app you get the following blurb.

1:625 000 scale bedrock geology description: Bracklesham Group And Barton Group (undifferentiated) - Sand, Silt And Clay. Sedimentary Bedrock formed approximately 34 to 56 million years ago in the Palaeogene Period. Local environment previously dominated by shallow seas.

Setting: shallow seas. These rocks were formed in shallow seas with mainly siliciclastic sediments (comprising of fragments or clasts of silicate minerals) deposited as mud, silt, sand and gravel.


http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyofbritain/home.html



The blurb for the geology of the area around Ganton, which is considered a links like inland course is

1:50 000 scale bedrock geology description: Speeton Clay Formation - Mudstone. Sedimentary Bedrock formed approximately 100 to 146 million years ago in the Cretaceous Period. Local environment previously dominated by shallow seas.

Setting: shallow seas. These rocks were formed in shallow seas with mainly siliciclastic sediments (comprising of fragments or clasts of silicate minerals) deposited as mud, silt, sand and gravel.


Does anyone know if Ganton counts as a heathland course?

Or if you're Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Ben Crane, Zach Johnson etc , these formations were laid down some time in the last 6000 years.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by MontysMerkin on Wed 21 Dec 2016, 9:55 am

You lefty, corbyn sucking, whinging, softy snowflake.
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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by dynamark on Thu 22 Dec 2016, 9:01 pm

Hollinwell(Notts) is a beast of a golf course and it has held some biggish events.There are pics in the clubhouse I think it may have been the John Player comp ? way back You play the first thinking this is OK and then you get battered for four hours.Clubhouse is great old school but very good.Put it on your list
My course have managed to get a Trilby Tour event next July so watch out for me on Sky.

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 23 Dec 2016, 8:35 am

Playing or assisting?

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Re: Links Courses vs Parkland vs Heathland vs Desert vs GripItAndRipIt

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