Style of Golf Course

I play at a very decent course.



It was tree lined with some heather and gorse, but a lot of the trees and gorse are being removed to promote heather.



The course has heath in its name and the course changes are promoting a lot of clubhouse debate.



Now the crux of my query is I believed that a heath was dry sandy soil heather gorse yes and very few trees.



However this track has 3 very large fishing lakes in the middle and lots of water around the place but not in play as the 27 holes wind around the lake.



In my opinion the course has heath elemens but is more of a hybrid and plays better as such.



But I am interested in neutral opinions. So will heath land golf courses (think Surrey belt land UK) have large bodies of water on the land they are located on?
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Comments

  • MattyO1984MattyO1984 Members Posts: 4,801 ✭✭
    I wouldn't expect to see large bodies of water on a heathland course but that in itself does not prevent it from being considered a heathland course. Our course is heathland in sections and has one ditch that rarely has any water in it and rarely comes into play.



    If you head to Spey Valley you will see heather galore and that is most definitely a healthland course but there is water there as well.
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,301 ✭✭
    You may be overly critical of the name. I don't think the lakes would disqualify the name.



    From Wikipedia;



    A heath (/ˈhiːθ/) is a shrubland habitat found mainly on free-draining infertile, acidic soils and is characterised by open, low-growing woody vegetation. Moorland is generally related to high-ground heaths[1] with—especially in Great Britain—a cooler and damper climate.

    Heaths are widespread worldwide, but are fast disappearing and considered a rare habitat in Europe.[2] They form extensive and highly diverse communities across Australia in humid and sub-humid areas where fire regimes with recurring burning are required for the maintenance of the heathlands.[3] Even more diverse though less widespread heath communities occur in Southern Africa. Extensive heath communities can also be found in the Californiachaparral, New Caledonia, central Chile and along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to these extensive heath areas, the vegetation type is also found in scattered locations across all continents, except Antarctica.
  • caniac6caniac6 Members Posts: 2,710 ✭✭
    A lot of American courses have lakes. Sometimes they are strategic, sometimes they are just for looks, and sometimes they function as a source for water. I'm so used to them, I don't even give them a thought. What I really like is an old fashioned course where the front of the green is fairly open, and gives the option of hitting the ball in the air or a low runner.
  • Tim GavrichTim Gavrich Golf Travel Guru Featured Writer Posts: 191 ✭✭
    Tyler1putt wrote:


    I play at a very decent course.



    It was tree lined with some heather and gorse, but a lot of the trees and gorse are being removed to promote heather.



    The course has heath in its name and the course changes are promoting a lot of clubhouse debate.



    Now the crux of my query is I believed that a heath was dry sandy soil heather gorse yes and very few trees.



    However this track has 3 very large fishing lakes in the middle and lots of water around the place but not in play as the 27 holes wind around the lake.



    In my opinion the course has heath elemens but is more of a hybrid and plays better as such.



    But I am interested in neutral opinions. So will heath land golf courses (think Surrey belt land UK) have large bodies of water on the land they are located on?




    How old is the golf course? Are there photos from soon after the course opened?



    If it's older, and photos are available, my guess is that they'll show you that the trees and gorse bushes used to be a lot shorter than they are now, or even nonexistent.



    In light of this, why wouldn't you want the course environment restored to what it originally was?



    Thinning out/removing trees will help with conditioning and removing auto-unplayable gorse bushes will make the course fun, because recovery shots will be more prevalent after a shot is hit off line.



    I've played Sunningdale Old and St. George's Hill, and I find heather to be a pretty great potential off-fairway obstacle. You might get a decent lie, you might just have to hack it back toward the fairway. That seems perfect to me.



    Sounds like a potentially very exciting time for your club!
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,301 ✭✭


    If it's older, and photos are available, my guess is that they'll show you that the trees and gorse bushes used to be a lot shorter than they are now, or even nonexistent.



    In light of this, why wouldn't you want the course environment restored to what it originally was?




    Because maybe it's better now than the original. Restoration isn't necessarily a good thing.
  • FairwayFredFairwayFred Sponsors Posts: 4,018 ✭✭
    edited Feb 16, 2019 12:41pm #7



    If it's older, and photos are available, my guess is that they'll show you that the trees and gorse bushes used to be a lot shorter than they are now, or even nonexistent.



    In light of this, why wouldn't you want the course environment restored to what it originally was?




    Because maybe it's better now than the original. Restoration isn't necessarily a good thing.




    Fortunately most of the golf world disagrees with you and the restoration movement that is sweeping the country is greatly improving alot of our old courses. I can think of so many examples of courses that were greatly improved due to this current trend. And virtually zero that were not improved. The city I live in, Detroit MI is such a great example of this. When I was growing up here you had a bunch of great old courses that were all showing their age and needed help. Now nearly all of those courses have been restored and are so much better because of it. Starting with Franklin Hills in 2003 then also Orchard Lake, CC of Detroit, Detroit Golf Club, Barton, Red Run, Tam O Shatner and Meadowbrook and now finally Oakland Hills too. Very exciting times for these clubs and the others doing this type of work.
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,301 ✭✭




    If it's older, and photos are available, my guess is that they'll show you that the trees and gorse bushes used to be a lot shorter than they are now, or even nonexistent.



    In light of this, why wouldn't you want the course environment restored to what it originally was?




    Because maybe it's better now than the original. Restoration isn't necessarily a good thing.




    Fortunately most of the golf world disagrees with you and the restoration movement that is sweeping the country is greatly improving alot of our old courses. I can think of so many examples of courses that were greatly improved due to this current trend. And virtually zero that were not improved. The city I live in, Detroit MI is such a great example of this. When I was growing up here you had a bunch of great old courses that were all showing their age and needed help. Now nearly all of those courses have been restored and are so much better because of it. Starting with Franklin Hills in 2003 then also Orchard Lake, CC of Detroit, Detroit Golf Club, Barton, Red Run, Tam O Shatner and Meadowbrook and now finally Oakland Hills too. Very exciting times for these clubs and the others doing this type of work.




    So, let's get back to what I said (as usual, you don't like to do that) which was "Restoration isn't necessarily a good thing". I didn't say "restoration is always bad".



    So, do you disagree with what I said? Are you saying that "restoration is always good?"
  • FairwayFredFairwayFred Sponsors Posts: 4,018 ✭✭
    edited Feb 16, 2019 1:47pm #9





    If it's older, and photos are available, my guess is that they'll show you that the trees and gorse bushes used to be a lot shorter than they are now, or even nonexistent.



    In light of this, why wouldn't you want the course environment restored to what it originally was?




    Because maybe it's better now than the original. Restoration isn't necessarily a good thing.




    Fortunately most of the golf world disagrees with you and the restoration movement that is sweeping the country is greatly improving alot of our old courses. I can think of so many examples of courses that were greatly improved due to this current trend. And virtually zero that were not improved. The city I live in, Detroit MI is such a great example of this. When I was growing up here you had a bunch of great old courses that were all showing their age and needed help. Now nearly all of those courses have been restored and are so much better because of it. Starting with Franklin Hills in 2003 then also Orchard Lake, CC of Detroit, Detroit Golf Club, Barton, Red Run, Tam O Shatner and Meadowbrook and now finally Oakland Hills too. Very exciting times for these clubs and the others doing this type of work.




    So, let's get back to what I said (as usual, you don't like to do that) which was "Restoration isn't necessarily a good thing". I didn't say "restoration is always bad".



    So, do you disagree with what I said? Are you saying that "restoration is always good?"




    Obviously nothing is 100%, it can depend on a number of factors and people can always find a way to screw up something good but in the VAST majority of cases yes restoration is a good thing.



    Your clearly on record as disliking classic architecture vs modern (or whatever we want to call the Nicklaus, Fazio etc era just before the current modern minimalist trend) and not being a fan of restoration work in general so you can try to play semantics but my post is based on more than just your one post that I quoted.



    Can you give some examples of courses you have played before and after (not Pinehurst #2 or any other courses that you judge having not played it at all or since the work was done) that you think were better before a restoration?
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,301 ✭✭


    Obviously nothing is 100%, it can depend on a number of factors and people can always find a way to screw up something good but in the VAST majority of cases yes restoration is a good thing.




    OK. So we agree. It is possible that a restoration might not be an improvement which is all I was saying.


    Can you give some examples of courses you have played before and after (not Pinehurst #2 or any other courses that you judge having not played it at all or since the work was done) that you think were better before a restoration?




    When I play a course I don't care if it has been restored, totally rebuilt or just changed over time. I just look at the course as it is today. So I don't know which courses I have played that have been restored and which have not other than some obvious names like PH#2.



    So if I'm restricted to courses I've played before and after a restoration, I have no comment.
  • FairwayFredFairwayFred Sponsors Posts: 4,018 ✭✭
    edited Feb 16, 2019 2:25pm #11



    Obviously nothing is 100%, it can depend on a number of factors and people can always find a way to screw up something good but in the VAST majority of cases yes restoration is a good thing.




    OK. So we agree. It is possible that a restoration might not be an improvement which is all I was saying.


    Can you give some examples of courses you have played before and after (not Pinehurst #2 or any other courses that you judge having not played it at all or since the work was done) that you think were better before a restoration?




    When I play a course I don't care if it has been restored, totally rebuilt or just changed over time. I just look at the course as it is today. So I don't know which courses I have played that have been restored and which have not other than some obvious names like PH#2.



    So if I'm restricted to courses I've played before and after a restoration, I have no comment.




    Interesting that you have no real world examples that you can cite.



    I guess I'm just old fashioned in thinking that you should actually play or atleast see a golf course in person before forming an opinion on it.



    In general this is a good rule not just in golf. Personal experience is often times necessary to form an educated, relevant opinion.
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  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,913 ✭✭



    Obviously nothing is 100%, it can depend on a number of factors and people can always find a way to screw up something good but in the VAST majority of cases yes restoration is a good thing.




    OK. So we agree. It is possible that a restoration might not be an improvement which is all I was saying.


    Can you give some examples of courses you have played before and after (not Pinehurst #2 or any other courses that you judge having not played it at all or since the work was done) that you think were better before a restoration?




    When I play a course I don't care if it has been restored, totally rebuilt or just changed over time. I just look at the course as it is today. So I don't know which courses I have played that have been restored and which have not other than some obvious names like PH#2.



    So if I'm restricted to courses I've played before and after a restoration, I have no comment.




    You would be amazed at how many courses you are playing that are playing no where near the way they were designed
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,301 ✭✭
    mallrat wrote:




    Obviously nothing is 100%, it can depend on a number of factors and people can always find a way to screw up something good but in the VAST majority of cases yes restoration is a good thing.




    OK. So we agree. It is possible that a restoration might not be an improvement which is all I was saying.


    Can you give some examples of courses you have played before and after (not Pinehurst #2 or any other courses that you judge having not played it at all or since the work was done) that you think were better before a restoration?




    When I play a course I don't care if it has been restored, totally rebuilt or just changed over time. I just look at the course as it is today. So I don't know which courses I have played that have been restored and which have not other than some obvious names like PH#2.



    So if I'm restricted to courses I've played before and after a restoration, I have no comment.




    You would be amazed at how many courses you are playing that are playing no where near the way they were designed




    I'm sure you are correct. I just don't pay attention to that aspect as it holds no interest for me.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,301 ✭✭


    I guess I'm just old fashioned in thinking that you should actually play or atleast see a golf course in person before forming an opinion on it.




    I'm a little more modern. I have the ability to form an opinion of some things by looking at pictures and videos and listening to what others say.



    I've never driven a Lamborghini but I do have an opinion of them. I'm pretty sure they are fast, expensive and exciting to drive.
  • FairwayFredFairwayFred Sponsors Posts: 4,018 ✭✭
    edited Feb 16, 2019 3:18pm #15



    I guess I'm just old fashioned in thinking that you should actually play or atleast see a golf course in person before forming an opinion on it.




    I'm a little more modern. I have the ability to form an opinion of some things by looking at pictures and videos and listening to what others say.



    I've never driven a Lamborghini but I do have an opinion of them. I'm pretty sure they are fast, expensive and exciting to drive.




    That's not a good analogy. That's like saying about a golf course I'm pretty sure it's got 18 holes, some bunkers and a few trees. Would you compare the experience of driving a Lamborghini to the experience of driving a Ferrari having never driven either?



    Golf courses are very subtle and nuanced and have a ton of things going on that you need to see to form an opinion. Anyone can form an uneducated, ignorant opinion on any topic based on whatever they want but your kidding yourself if you think you can form an educated, relevant opinion about a golf course you have never seen.
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  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,913 ✭✭
    A perfect example is some recent pictures of Oakmont (I believe). The course was designed with almost no trees. Decades later almost every hole was surrounded with trees. I don’t see how that is part of the original design?
  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,913 ✭✭



    I guess I'm just old fashioned in thinking that you should actually play or atleast see a golf course in person before forming an opinion on it.




    I'm a little more modern. I have the ability to form an opinion of some things by looking at pictures and videos and listening to what others say.



    I've never driven a Lamborghini but I do have an opinion of them. I'm pretty sure they are fast, expensive and exciting to drive.




    But pictures and what not only do so much. Case in point Torrey Pines. On TV that course is almost as stunning as Pebble and gets included on many people’s must play list. Yet everyone I know who has travelled to play it leaves completely underwhelmed with many saying it is an absolute waste of one of the most beautiful pieces of land they have seen.
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