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Victoria Golf Club

Victoria Golf Club, the home club of Peter Thomson, Doug Bachli and Geoff Ogilvy, is one of the very best of the sandbelt courses. The original Alister MacKenzie influenced course was changed over many years by the overplanting of trees, the growth of grass bordering fairways as rough and the reduction in size and character of the bunkers. We have consulted to the club since 1995 and in that time the bunkers have been restored, the negative influence of the trees reduced and the rough has been replaced in many places by sand or short grass. Like so many of the sandbelt courses the greens...

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Point Lonsdale Golf Club Redevelopment

After more than ten years in planning it looks like will be starting our major redesign shortly following this media release from the Victorian Government. The existing course sits on some beautiful sandy ground above Lake Victoria. To allow for a residential development we will be building some new holes on land previously used for shell grit mining and some adjacent farmland. Well done Point Lonsdale Golf Club! :: Ashley Mead  

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Royal Queensland :: Before & After Hole #2

This before & after is one from the archives. Back in 2005 we rebuilt the Royal Queensland Golf Club after the government decided to duplicate the Gateway Bridge.  Many of the existing fairway corridors were utilised but with the need to have all 18 holes on the western side of the bridge, several new holes needed to be built on land previously unused for golf. The 2nd hole is a short par 4 of 314m and was constructed on land which had previously been filled with material pumped from the Brisbane River.  The combination of marine mud, river sand and building waste and a relatively uninspiring...

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Bonnie Doon :: Before and After Hole #9

With stage 2 of our redesign at Bonnie Doon having just started we take a look back at the work completed in Stage 1.  Here's how the holes looked prior to the starting, why certain things were done the way they were and how the course has evolved over the last 2 years.  Enjoy. The old 1st hole and 4th at Bonnie Doon were pretty much carbon copies.  Both played as long par fours, over similarly undulating ground, in the same direction, and alongside each other.  As part of our overall plan for the course the 18th hole would be removed (to help improve boundary problems) which meant we needed...

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Bonnie Doon GC :: Stage 2 begins

Work began last week on the 4 holes comprising stage 2 at Bonnie Doon – the new 8th, 11th, 16th and a spare hole.  Trees have been felled and shaping has started today.   The two photos here are of the new 8th, a short uphill par 4 with a strong slope running from right to left through the second half of the fairway.  We’re planning to run a ridge or tier on a slight diagonal through the middle of the fairway to help flatten the slope.  This will not only prevent balls from continually running into the left trees (as is now the case) but will addto the strategic interest...

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The Long and Short of It : A Debacle

From Back Page Lead Feb 24th 2013 Tim Finchem, the Commissioner of the American PGA Tour, announced this morning that his organization would not be supporting the ban, jointly proposed by the USGA and the R&A, on the anchoring of putters. Presumably he assumes the rest of the world’s professional tour will fall in behind America. If they do not we then face the prospect, for example, of Adam Scott not playing here in Australia because whilst his putter would be legal in America he would be forced to adopt a short replacement for the Australian Open and Masters. Chaotic is word that comes...

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A right Royal stuff-up :: From Back Page Lead

Michael Clayton writes for Back Page Lead and the article can also be found here. -- If you ever wanted to rile almost the entire golf world you would suggest altering the greens at the Eden (11th) and Road (17th) holes at The Old Course in St Andrews. This is one of the great courses – perhaps even the greatest of them all - and the game played over its crumpled undulations, that many have described as sacred ground, is endlessly fascinating. Peter Thomson has long argued it is the course that all others imitate. The Road Hole green is without doubt the most famous green in the game...

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AUSTRALIAN SUMMER OF GOLF

This summer of Australian tour events celebrate golf on some of the countries best courses.  Three of the four biggest tournaments in Australian golf this summer have been or will be held on courses we have either consulted at or have extensively modified. The inaugural Perth International was played at Lake Karrinyup with Bo Van Pelt taking the inaugural title, The Australian Open returns for the third year to The Lakes in Sydney and the Australian Masters is back at Kingston Heath. Since Tiger Woods' win in 2009 the Kingston Heath have, with our advice, added some length to a course...

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Bonnie Doon Update – August 2012

The new holes have been growing-in well at the doon and only the 9th (the final hole built) is yet to open for play. 50,000 heathland plants are currently going in the ground, with a further 25, 000 due in spring.  These will add another texture to the roughs and bunker edges and in time we hope it takes on a similar feel to the heathland courses of London or the Sandbelt of Melbourne.  Either would be unique to Sydney. Below is a series of photos taken from the new 10th tee, which help illustrate the scale and style of our design. As you can see major earthworks and tree removal has drastically...

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History Repeats at the 2012 Open Championship

Forty-nine years ago a young player with a rare talent came to the 17th hole at Lytham with the Open Championship in his hand. Two pars would earn twenty-three year old Jack Nicklaus the most famous trophy in the game. Instead Nicklaus made two fives – the last from one of the cavernous pot bunkers that litter the final fairway – and he missed the Bob Charles, Phil Rogers playoff by a shot. Nicklaus was already a U.S Open winner, and within weeks he would add a second major championship when he won the PGA championship in Dallas.   Adam Scott’s progress from prodigiously talented...

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Open Championship 2012

Peter Thomson won five Open Championships. The fourth was earned at Royal Lytham & St Annes, in 1958, when golf was played with wooden woods and sand irons with fifty-five degrees of loft. Thomson triumphed in Lancashire following a playoff with Englishman Dave Thomas, despite spending the week without a sand wedge in his bag. "I wasn't a good bunker player," he later said, "so I decided I wouldn't go in them." 21 years later the 22-year-old Spanish genius Severiano Ballesteros arrived at the same links to be warned by his caddy (the stoic and long-suffering Dave Musgrove) that the Lytham...

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Elastic Golf :: Not a Stretch

Scott Warren, die-hard golfer, (twitter.com/scott___warren) and  Bonnie Doon Golf Club member recently suggested the new uphill par 3, 15th hole at his home club was ‘elastic’. One day he had played from a front tee to a front pin less that a hundred meters away. The next day he played a 130 metre shot from the back tee to a pin cut at the back of the green. Elastic is good. Who of us want to play the same hole over and over? The 8th hole at my home course, Metropolitan is a short par five easily reached for the most powerful but for me a couple of woods and, in the winter at least,...

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Lake Karrinyup Rebuild :: from AussieGolfer.net

FROM AUSSIEGOLFER.NET Lake Karrinyup rebuilt ahead of Perth International Lake Karrinyup, often considered Western Australia's best golf course has had a make over in the lead up to the biggest golf tournament to be held in Perth in several years. The last big golf tournament to be held in Perth was the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2009, ultimately won by the then amateur, Danny Lee. Since then Danny Lee has struggled since turning professional and the eastern states, namely Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, have taken the lion's share of the important golf tournaments.   But it is set to change...

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Ogilvy Open About British Ambition

As seen on theage.com.au Martin Blake Sports writer for The Age   Geoff Ogilvy heads to Royal Lytham and St Anne's Golf Club in England next week fresh from a break at home in Melbourne, and determined to find the solution to his poor British Open Championship record. Australia's most recent major championship winner — he triumphed in the US Open in 2006 — has played nine British Opens, missing the cut seven times, with a fifth at St Andrews in 2005 being his best finish. For a player of his quality and experience it is a puzzling record, and one he cannot explain. "It's weird...

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In need of a facelift :: Royal Canberra 14th

I was recently asked to take part in adding my opinion to the article, "In need of a Facelift - Aussie architects nominate one hole they want to redesign" as seen on the Planet Golf website. Michael Clayton – 14th Hole at Royal Canberra The 14th hole at Royal Canberra is a good hole played over interesting land and with a green that rewards those who drive long and close to the fairway bunkers on the left. The original designer, Commander John Harris, however drew a hole (one that was never built) that played from a tee far on the right and with a tee shot over the diagonal line of the edge...

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One of sport's greatest upsets.

I join the conversation again on the podcast, "State of the Game", which is hosted on Geoff Shackelford's website. Episode 9 :: "One of sport's greatest upsets." "Before we move on from Olympic Club and its storied history, the latest State of the Game podcast features Rod Morri and Mike Clayton in conversation with Neil Sagebiel about his book on Jack Fleck." You can either stream it from the link above or subscribe to the podcast here via itunes. FROM GEOFFSHACKELFORD.COM    :: Mike Clayton

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The real winner at the US Open?

Also seen here on the BackPageLead. Toward the end of the championship American television commentator Peter Jacobsen came out with the well-worn line,  ‘Olympic has been the winner this week.’ He was referring to the difficulty of the course and the fact that no player was going to equal, let alone beat, its strict par of 280. They rarely do at the US Open, an event that proudly stands on its mantle of ‘golf’s toughest test.’  The courses are arranged, and the dimensions distorted, to ensure par is around the winning score and in this age, indeed any age, the only way to manipulate...

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New Project :: Sun City Country Club

Located an hour north of Perth, the Sun City course is on land notable for its abundant sand and ideal indigenous vegetation. Our Masterplan was completed earlier in the year and the first stage of works commence in August. The remainder of the plan is to be completed over the next couple of years as the proposed housing develops. Working with the club and Peet, Australia's largest land developer, the project gives the club a chance to transform the golf course. In the first stage of works we build a large drainage swale to assist with storm water flows from the residential development....

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Golf Course Architecture article about Bonnie Doon GC

ARTICLE FROM: Golf Course Architecture WRITTEN BY: Scott Warren Newly-formed Ogilvy Clayton Design has completed its first project, as Scott Warren reports. Play has begun on six new holes at Sydney’s Bonnie Doon Golf Club, marking the completion of the first stage of the club’s redesign by Ogilvy Clayton Design. The design is the first by the new company that brought together Mike Clayton and his countryman, 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, as well as co-principals Michael Cocking and Ashley Mead, both of whom had worked with Clayton in the previous iteration of his design company. Five...

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Lessons to be learnt at Augusta

I achieved my boyhood dream of going to the Masters a couple of weeks ago.  Basking in the Augusta sunshine and wandering around what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful golf courses ever to exist.  Not a bad way to spend a week ‘at work’. As a purist it’s easy to be critical of Augusta.  Other than the routing it barely resembles the course Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie dreamt up and its artificial appearance has probably done more harm than good to maintenance practices around the world.  But even still there is much to love and learn at Augusta and I came away from my week...

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