Paul_Turner

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #100 on: November 26, 2012, 02:15:39 am »
Frank's correct and I certainly have no faith in the EIGCA doing anything to stop the changes;  it's contrary to their incentives.

I hope the press can dig and critique into why this whole process is opaque and down to a few individuals behind closed doors making decisions about a publicly owned treasure.   John Huggan usually has his ear close to the ground for Scottish golf matters, perhaps he can get some answers.

Dawson basically just announces what's going to happen with a few lines of cursory explanation.

I think there has to be a backlash from the locals to stop it.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 02:25:56 am by Paul_Turner »
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Jud_T

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #101 on: November 26, 2012, 02:20:05 am »
Personally I think the press is our best bet. Once this gets some airtime it will be easier to get pro's reactions etc.  Time for Brad, Jay et al. to earn their pay :).  Anyone have any contacts at the Golf Channel?  Getting this on Golf Central would be a big step in the right direction.  Jeff Rude? Charlie Rymer? Time to pull out all the stops and call in all your chits.  This very issue may determine whether this site has real value and influence or is only so much mental masturbation.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 02:27:38 am by Jud Tigerman »
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Ivan Morris

Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #102 on: November 26, 2012, 02:33:15 am »
There is nobody less inhibited about aiming a kick at The R & A when I think it is deserved - but not this time.  In the interest of injecting some balance. I'm one golf journalist who won't support this campaign or write about it. It's gone way over the top. So there! My info is that a 'wedge' of influential locals who play the course on a daily/weekly basis are in favor. How many of you aggravators have played TOC more than once or twice, to justify being so indignant and sure of yourselves?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 02:45:34 am by Ivan Morris »

Tom_Doak

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #103 on: November 26, 2012, 02:38:19 am »
In the interest of injecting some balance. I'm one golf journalist who won't support this campaign or write about it. It's gone way over the top. So there! My info is that a 'wedge' of influential locals who play the course on a daily/weekly basis are in favor. How many of you aggravators have played TOC more than once or twice?

Ivan:

I've played The Old Course a lot more than twice.  I've probably played in 20 times, and walked it 50 more.

Jud_T

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #104 on: November 26, 2012, 02:42:05 am »
Ivan,

Does it matter?  TOC is much more than a member's club.  It's an idea, an ideal.  It belongs to all of us who play this great game.  In fact the whole point is that it's much larger than the pedestrian concerns of Dawson and the Open Committee.  It's the f#%&ing Old Course.  If we can't protect out most hallowed grounds we might as well hang 'em up and take up shuffleboard and tiddly-winks.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 03:29:40 am by Jud Tigerman »
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Tom_Doak

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #105 on: November 26, 2012, 02:42:39 am »
The letter of Tom to the golf architecture bodies is good but will have no effect. Tom doesn't have much confidence in the ASGCA, and the EIGCA has never taken any stance that would be confrontational to any of its members (or the R&A), let alone when it is one of its senior members, a Fellow even. So this will not yield anything.

It is also very important to know when the work will commence, since whatever we do has to have enough power to stop things before the work starts. Once the work has started it will be much tougher to stop it.


Frank:

Perhaps you are right, perhaps you will be proven wrong, but I am willing to let the note play out over the next week or two and see where it leads, instead of condemning them before they have a chance to respond.  We do know that at least a few members of the respective associations agree with the gist of my letter.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #106 on: November 26, 2012, 02:47:00 am »
Brad Klein....Ron Whitten...Joe Passov...Alistair Tait...Scottish golf writers...these are the fellows you need to enlist, then.

Haven't heard any of them stand up to talk about it yet.  And most of the guys you mentioned are salarymen for big golfing publications that may not want them to pick a fight with the R & A.  [I suspect John Huggan would be firmly on board, and is probably already writing something about it, without any prodding from me.]

I do think that any and all R & A members should be enlisted in the discussion.  They may not want to rock the boat, either, but I would guess at the moment that most of them have not even contemplated the possibility of The Old Course being changed, and a lot of them belong to the club because they love the course.  George Peper is both an influential writer AND an R & A member; I will see what he has to think.

Ivan Morris

Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #107 on: November 26, 2012, 02:51:25 am »
Tom - The cap obviously doesn't fit you. That's close to half a million yards trod on TOC, by the way.

BCrosby

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #108 on: November 26, 2012, 02:53:02 am »
Ivan -

Most of us 'aggravators' have played TOC many more times than 'twice'. But thanks for bringing up our standing to criticize the Dawson decision. You've opened the door to talk about a couple of other things.

Most of us (a) have seen a fairly large number of other great courses, (b) read a fair amount about golf architecture, (c) think a lot about gca (after all, we participate in this forum), (d) know something about Playfair, Robertson, OTM, John Low, MacKenzie and the role of TOC in the history of gca.

So if we are comparing expertise, we are happy to match up with your "wedge of influential backers".

That doesn't mean we must be right and your "wedge of influential backers" must be wrong. It does suggest which group might have better and deeper credentials to talk about the issues and should not be glibly dismissed out of hand.

But one thing IS clear to me. If your post is the kind of thinking you use in your journalism, your newspaper deserves better.

Bob  

Frank Pont

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #109 on: November 26, 2012, 02:53:53 am »


Frank:

Perhaps you are right, perhaps you will be proven wrong, but I am willing to let the note play out over the next week or two and see where it leads, instead of condemning them before they have a chance to respond.  We do know that at least a few members of the respective associations agree with the gist of my letter.
[/quote]

Tom, fully agree with your strategy, just wanted to get a sense of urgency across (how much time do we have?) and make sure we have plan B working on all 4 cylinders whilst we wait on the (non)reaction of the GCA bodies!


Ivan Morris

Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #111 on: November 26, 2012, 03:08:21 am »
Mr. Crosby - I'm a little fish too so, I take it that you'll be relieved that I won't be writing further about this issue, then? My thinking, defective or otherwise, will not be hampering your cause. The vast majority of all golfers won't give this matter two seconds of thought. While you, TD and Co, may huff and puff - the R & A will do exactly as it pleases.    
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 03:09:57 am by Ivan Morris »

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #112 on: November 26, 2012, 03:23:35 am »
Mr. Crosby - I'm a little fish too so, I take it that you'll be relieved that I won't be writing further about this issue, then? My thinking, defective or otherwise, will not be hampering your cause. The vast majority of all golfers won't give this matter two seconds of thought. While you, TD and Co, may huff and puff - the R & A will do exactly as it pleases.    
Ivan, that's no reason to accept it though.... I tend to agree with Frank that an urgent plan-B needs to be put in place and that means someone framing the right question or questions and getting an online petition set up (for starters).... Even if there is a ground swell of support from within each organisation, they won't move as a group either quickly enough or at all... But well done to Tom for kicking it off... Incidentally, this is all about The Old Course for me.... No other course is even close in terms of history and the need to preserve so I'd certainly like to see us tackle The Old Course as its own entity... Movements around other important courses may need to be approached differently and / or separately because in many cases they are less clear cut.... Just my opinion... 

Sean Walsh

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #113 on: November 26, 2012, 03:24:52 am »
Ivan,

Thank you for denigrating our contributions to the subject without any idea of the backgrounds of those you deride.

FYI - I have played it 15-20 times Caddied it somewhere above 80 times, walked it maybe 10.

Do I get an exception like Tom? Who do I apply to to check whether my opinion counts or not?  

Write about it or not, I could care less.  You are welcome to your opinion, as much as I disagree with it.  Maybe we don't represent the mainstream of golf but at least we give a shit and are prepared by the means at our disposal to preserve something we value.

Regards
Sean
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 03:31:35 am by Sean Walsh »

Tom_Doak

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #114 on: November 26, 2012, 03:26:54 am »
the R & A will do exactly as it pleases.    

Ivan:

Yes ... that's why we are bothered.

More specifically, it bothers me that this decision has been taken by a very small number of people.  I've just heard from a friend who is a member of the R & A, who was quite disturbed by the announcement ... there had been no discussion of it with the members at the club's annual meetings this fall.

Of course, we must remember that the R & A doesn't own The Old Course at all.  All they can really do is tell the town they demand changes to the course if they want to continue hosting Open Championship events.  It's not clear how or when that decision was made or handed down.


jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #115 on: November 26, 2012, 03:34:03 am »
There is nobody less inhibited about aiming a kick at The R & A when I think it is deserved - but not this time.  In the interest of injecting some balance. I'm one golf journalist who won't support this campaign or write about it. It's gone way over the top. So there! My info is that a 'wedge' of influential locals who play the course on a daily/weekly basis are in favor. How many of you aggravators have played TOC more than once or twice, to justify being so indignant and sure of yourselves?

Ivan,
Sorry to pile on but,
"a wedge of influential locals" have mucked up many a classic course, and are the very reason the term "restoration architect" even exists.
In fact, people who grew up on and are most familiar with a course are the very ones most likely to take it and its history for granted.

But, as you already pointed out, the equipment let the genie out of the bottle and led us down this road.
I only wish we could mount this much passion about the equipment issue-but it's a start.
I am glad to see that the R&A notices "something" is different about the caliber of professional play-Now we just need to steer their solution in a more long term direction, and not continue to band aid classic courses.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 03:41:15 am by jeffwarne »

Willie_Dow

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #116 on: November 26, 2012, 03:43:48 am »
Historic links portray the advancement of golf proficiency, and is the factor of comparison in my view.  What Bob Jones did at Saint Andrews vs what Rory McIlroy or Luke Donald will do is the permanent gauge of golf design content.

To remove that gauge by redesign is a mistake.

Chris Kane

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #117 on: November 26, 2012, 03:45:38 am »
.
I only wish we could mount this much passion about the equipment issue-but it's a start
'The equipment issue' is the reason these changes are proposed - the R&A and the Links Trust have chosen to address the symptom rather than the cause.

I had thought that when the R&A started contemplating changes to the Old Course (beyond additional tees) to ensure its relevance to the modern professional game, they would realise that there is a problem with equipment that must be addressed urgently. I was wrong.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #118 on: November 26, 2012, 03:47:32 am »
Well, maybe this will get somewhere.  Responses below from Bob Cupp and Graham Papworth:

Tom-
I'm in.
This is tantamount to redesigning Chartres.
Amazing.
What is it they do not like and who are the responsible parties?
The historic significance of those forms is immense, something that should be
preserved at all cost, even if it is some low scores.
I have topo of the old course. Why don't they just build the entire thing again
somewhere and enlarge it whatever percent the ball has advanced and listen to
those Boyz scream.
The easier solution would be for every ball manufacturer to produce a ball with
ballistics that would roll back to Pre-titanium drivers and two-piece balls.
B

[that's Bob Cupp]

Hi Tom,

I agree whole heartedly and I recall some discussion at that forum about the
equivalent of a heritage listing for such treasured courses. I'd also be
very surprised if our membership wasn't unanimous in supporting a petition
against any design changes to the Old Course. I wasn't aware of this
proposal and would like to forward it on to our members to begin garnering
support.

Regards,
Graham


Maybe this will lead somewhere after all.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #119 on: November 26, 2012, 03:50:42 am »
'The equipment issue' is the reason these changes are proposed - the R&A and the Links Trust have chosen to address the symptom rather than the cause.

I had thought that when the R&A started contemplating changes to the Old Course (beyond additional tees) to ensure its relevance to the modern professional game, they would realise that there is a problem with equipment that must be addressed urgently. I was wrong.

Chris:

While I agree that the two issues are linked, I don't think we want to talk about the equipment discussion in making our case here, because that will triple the resistance from the R & A.  Here's what I wrote about that on my other thread:

I don't think we need to get this discussion wrapped up with the equipment discussion -- in fact, I think we really NEED to keep it separate.  There is no question that the two are linked, IN THE MINDS OF THE GOVERNING BODIES ... but they do not have to be linked here.  One can simply say The Old Course is worth preserving, and then see if the governing bodies are perverse enough to say it can't be, because they can't control the equipment issue.

I am not trying to use this development as evidence that the equipment rules need to be changed.  That's the governing bodies' problem.  The truth is that we've enabled them to avoid confrontation with the equipment companies for decades, by allowing them to change the fields of play instead.  If we could just make a stand that we aren't going to change the great courses to make up for their inaction, then maybe they would be more compelled to do something ... and if they don't, at least they wouldn't have ruined the great old courses in the process.

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #120 on: November 26, 2012, 03:55:52 am »
TD,
I support your letter and any other actions that would be needed.  

I am quite certain Golf channel and that the national magazines will probably sit back and watch and report if there is anything to report but will not take a stance.

The one good thing about knowing this is that it somehow got out.  I would wager that the R&A did not expect this to be published and it would probably enhance an attack strategy to know who and how it was released.  It would have been so much easier for them to have done it and not told until too late. ;)

As for Ivan....you guys don't be too hard on him...I bet there are more writers and journalist in his camp than the other but at least he came out and made a statement and now he has obliged and will not get in the way...
Oh well....

« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 04:03:34 am by Mike_Young »
if never happened.

Chris Kane

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #121 on: November 26, 2012, 04:18:04 am »
While I agree that the two issues are linked, I don't think we want to talk about the equipment discussion in making our case here, because that will triple the resistance from the R & A. 
Tom, you are right. The issues are definitely linked, but equipment shouldn't be the focus of any campaign - it has to be about the Old Course, not broader issues about governance of the game.

Pleased to see the positive responses to your letter thus far, well done, I hope they're the first of many.

Jeff_Mingay

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #122 on: November 26, 2012, 05:02:32 am »
Ivan Morris,

With all due respect, your rationale allows dictators to come power. Revolutionaries have been triumphant, too, ya know.
@jeff_mingay

Mike_Clayton

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Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #123 on: November 26, 2012, 06:10:41 am »
Tom,

John Huggan is staying with us in Melbourne at the moment. He is all over it already with a terrific piece for the newspaper.

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Big Changes Planned for the Old Course; Hawtree to Do the Work
« Reply #124 on: November 26, 2012, 08:26:22 am »
Ivan Morris

On an earlier thread you worried about changes going to far at Sunningdale (by the same architect), but now you dismiss others who are critical of changes to an even more historic course??
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

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