Score prediction? Royal St Georges in a gale!
Just for a bit of fun....
I'm away on a golfing trip this weekend to celebrate my friends 40th. We're staying in Sandwich and playing Royal St Georges on Friday, Royal Cinque Ports on Saturday and Princes on Sunday.
Really looking forward to it but having only played a links course once before and having checked the weather I reckon it's going to be very touch scoring!
Predicted heavy rain and high winds Friday (gusts of over 40mph). Rest of the weekend doesn't look much better either!
Having read up on the course earlier in the week I was sort of thinking that breaking 100 would not be too bad due to the difficulty of the course, however with the now predicted high winds who knows what could happen! I've tried a session practicing my punch shots at the range but it's not my normal style of play, however I think it will be the only way so depends how I manage to hit them!
Sooooooo, what do you reckon my scorecard will show after the round? (and I won't take offence to any predictions here, it's just a bit of fun - anyone getting it spot on will get a drink off me at the NvS )
Reply : Tue 2nd Feb 2010 15:08
Oooer, Jim - 35-40 mph winds for the weekend. My wild stab is that you'll just break 100, and probably be over the moon about it. I'll go for a 98.
Reply : Tue 2nd Feb 2010 15:58
Reply : Tue 2nd Feb 2010 16:16
Ah, Conwy. My first experience of links golf and the wind was screaming in. Interesting to take 4 decent hits to get to the green into the teeth of the wind and then stroking a 280yd drive on the next. Brilliant, just love them.
Reply : Tue 2nd Feb 2010 16:19
Any of the above are possible! Certainly would be very happy with your suggested 98 Tim - would normally be disappointed with that but I'm sure everyones scores are going to be inflated somewhat (even my friend who's a club pro).
What would anyones tips be for general links play (Wayne, I know you're well acclimatised to them!) Will I pretty much be needing to 'punch' every shot do you think?
Reply : Tue 2nd Feb 2010 16:57
Actually thinking about it I guess if the winds behind my back then I'm better off hitting it high and 'letting it fly'!!?
Reply : Tue 2nd Feb 2010 18:47
Jim, having played all three of these fine courses I will say that I am extremely jealous that you are going to play all three one after the other.
You must be wealthy to play Royal St. Georges as that is normally very expensive and in my opinion the hardest of the three.
All have held the Open Championship at some time or other and RSG is still on the Open rota.
The main course at Princes, which is on the same burrows as RSG is the Shore and the Dunes, but it is quite possible that you will be asked to play one of those combined with the Himalayas, an extremely interesting nine with very severe rough.
Royal Cinque Ports is one of my favourites and an extremely good test of golf and should still be on the Open rota, imo. Large and very fast greens will also be a major problem.
Having seen you play, what do I think of your chances. Hard to say, but I would be very surprised if you managed to break 100 on any of them even off the forward tees. Seaside wind is something that you will not have encountered as it is relentless and clubbing is an art form. A complete waste of time looking at your sky caddie thinking that will solve your problem. When you play Princes there is one par three that I have hit a driver to, and that was when I could pump the ball a fair way.
The bunkers, as wayne mentioned are hell holes so make every effort to avoid them if at all possible.
Advice! the secret is to keep the ball low, use the contours of the ground to get the ball to finish where you would like it to. Don't, under any circumstances attempt to overpower the courses, I have seen it attempted by many better players than us Jim. It just does not work. Use your strokes, play bogey golf and you will come off satisfied.
Yes, I am still jealous.
Last edit : Wed 3rd Feb 2010 10:04
Reply : Tue 2nd Feb 2010 20:49
Thanks for all your responses, it's just getting me more excited about playing such great courses. Obviously I want to play well but honestly I'm going to enjoy it no matter what, I'll just enjoy the test! Certainly will have to be well on top of my course management, but still get the idea there's going to be many a bounce and gust that'll send me in different directions than intended!!
Price wise John it isn't really 'too' bad, all 3 rounds plus 2 nights accomodation and dinner and breakfasts for just over £250. It has bent the bank balance a bit but what with it being my best friends 40th and being such great courses I really couldn't turn down! Ill certainly be trying to play bogey golf and pick my way round as well as possible, even though we've only met once John your words still ring in my ears about certain ways to think about shots, very valuable advice...
Will report back to you all next week with scores & experience, due back Sunday evening (hopefully not still stuck in any hell hole bunkers!!)
Last edit : Tue 2nd Feb 2010 20:51
Reply : Wed 3rd Feb 2010 17:41
Thats a great deal Jim.
I've played Princes in February, and was a real tough test. Especialy for someone who hits a high ball.
I'm going 107 St Georges, 98 Princes, and 101 Cinque Ports.
Have a gooden
Reply : Mon 8th Feb 2010 13:29
Grrrr, just wrote a proper write up for you all and when clicked post it errored and disappeared! Not enough time now to re-write so quick scores were:-
Royal St Georges = 99
Royal Cinque Ports = 99
Princes = 89
Best predictions from Darren Atkinson, spot on so I owe you a drink!
Amazing courses and great time, very tough though!
Last edit : Mon 8th Feb 2010 13:29
Reply : Mon 8th Feb 2010 18:46
Well done, Jim, especially for the round at Princes. Which two loops did you play?
Reply : Tue 9th Feb 2010 16:36
<p class="MsoNormal">Full write up as requested Darren, and yes I'll be staying at the NvS so you can have your drink then! </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">All I can really say is WOW!! Such a pleasure to play such fabulous courses, even if the scoring was tough. Weather wise we were very fortunate as the predicted high winds didn’t materialise, so we were left with decent conditions with the odd head or tailwind thrown into the occasion for good measure!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Royal St Georges on Friday was without doubt the best course I’ve been lucky enough to play. Standing on the tee of each hole I couldn’t help but think “what a hole”, certainly puts into perspective some of the blandness of some inland courses. Every shot was daunting in its own way and really a case of trying to blank out of your mind the amount of troublesome bunkers & hollows that peppered every fairway. We had to tee off from the 10th just so as not to hinder any members who may turn up and want to walk on, however overall the course was quiet so it was really only our 4 groups of 2 balls (club rules) that could be seen. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">I was in the third group to go off, so having somewhat nervously watched the other members of our party successfully get their drives away and without finding trouble it came down to my turn! Managed to get a good drive away, to left side of fairway which left me about 140 to the green. Normally would have gone straight for it but words of John Pettit rang in my head of ‘resist and play bogey golf’ so I laid up short of the greenside bunkers rather than risk it! A chip then onto the green gave me my first proper taste of links greens as it carried on rolling and left me a horrible sloping 14ft putt. Too tentative so left that about 4 foot short and then managed to sink it for a bogey 5 (still happy at this stage!)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Then the course lured me in on the next tee, fairly straight away looking 202 yard par 3, stroke index 15, into a bit of wind. A few bunkers surrounding the green and in hindsight yes yes yes, I probably should have clubbed down and aimed to hit to just in front of the green but the little voices said ‘go for it’!! Tried too hard and topped my tee shot into some patchy rough about 70 yards from tee and off to the right a bit. Still no big drama but a horrid lie. ‘Tried’ to play safe but 2nd shot turned my club and ball ends up in bunker 10 yards short of green. Then the fun started, was up against the vertical face of my first taste of ‘hell hole’ bunkers!! Took me two to get out and then still left my chip only on front edge of green. Horribly short first putt left me about an 8 footer, which leaked by so finally knocked in for a 5 over score of 8. Lessons to be learned I think!!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Anyway enough of dwelling on my worst hole, survived the rest of the course – only hit one other bunker which was again a major lesson in course management as really shouldn’t have taken driver on that hole! Massive highlight was a birdie at our 10th (the courses 1st hole), perfect drive, 4 iron to the green, 14 foot putt and a big whoop of delight!!) – I was going to leave happy no matter what now! Overall a score of 99 which as hinted at could have been better with a couple of better decisions as always. A great experience none the less!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Won’t bore you with all the details of the next 2 rounds too much as just realised how much I’ve written already! However Royal Cinque Ports was a fabulous course too, highly recommended!! As per the first day I must admit I found putting the trickiest part, the greens being faster than I’m used to and also Royal Cinque Ports having more undulating greens as well left me hitting many putts 4-5 feet short (not helped by approach play being off the mark somewhat). So even though I drove really well all day I only managed a 99 again (as mentioned though would have settled for that beforehand!). Story basically is you need your short game even more than ever on links courses (as the more experience on here have indicated!). Luckily we finished our round literally 10 mins before a sea mist/fog rolled in and totally blanked out the course, a real pea-souper where you couldn’t see 10 yards in front of you!!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Sunday we played Princes (Dunes & Himalayas as there was a comp using the Shores 9), another great course (adjoining land, just over a fence from Royal St Georges). Even considering it's name it was not quite as dune like and hilly as the other courses but still a great links test, and drift into the rough here at your peril as it was savage grass (and nearly always lost ball material). Fortunately I drove really well (apart from 1 wayward drive off first tee) and stayed clear of most of the trouble all day, playing easily my best round of the 3 days and scoring an 89. Really happy with that and a winning end to the trip for me as took the honours with the 34 stablefords that achieved me. Funniest thing (which may lose some of the humour in the translation) was seeing one of my playing partners trying to retrieve his ball from a 4ft deep rabbit hole for a few minutes, only to discover it wasn’t his anyway!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Summing up it was a real joy as you can tell and I would highly recommend any of the courses, although Royal St Georges would have to go down as the one I would love to play again without hesitation. I dread to think how much harder these courses would have been if the wind was really blowing, however it lured me into too many shots that I still shouldn’t have gone for, so I owe it one!! I’ll just have to go back another day, not try swinging so hard and reap John Pettit’s and the likes advice of picking your way round to avoid the big scores!! Whichever way you look at it though, it certainly beat being stuck in the office!! </p>
Last edit : Tue 9th Feb 2010 17:37