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GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Patrick_Mucci on October 29, 2009, 10:06:33 PM

Title: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on October 29, 2009, 10:06:33 PM
the ultimate tribute to the Biarritz concept ?

Is there a better natural setting for a Biarritz in all of America ?

Did Raynor's design have a Biarritz on that site ?

Would it not be the absolute, ideal Biarritz in all the world ?

The equivalent of the 4th at NGLA and the ultimate Redan ?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: David Stamm on October 29, 2009, 10:19:13 PM
We don't know what Raynor had in mind, and the present greensite may not have been even considered for hole at all, yet alone a par 3.







Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Eric_Terhorst on October 29, 2009, 11:05:03 PM
Patrick, you probably know that on "The original Biarritz (France)" thread, George Bahto said

"So just as a reminder of the general concept of this hole, it was played from the 80' cliff, over about 155-160 yards of the Bay of Biscay to a 50' cliff beyond." 

He also said that he hadn't discovered any pictures of the green.

Aside from the elevation change, isn't that about what the 16th at Cypress is?  Are you saying the hole should have been shorter?  I'm sure you'll tell me if my questions demonstrate that your questions are over my head...


Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jordan Wall on October 29, 2009, 11:08:30 PM
Pat,

I don't believe so.

Having never played a true biarritz, I know that there are still many around the world of golf.

Being the case, I like how one of a kind the sixteenth hole at Cypress is.  Though perhaps an ideal spot for the ultimate biarritz, the hole would lose it's originailty if it was a template hole.

I consider the hole perfect.  Have you ever played a better par-3?  Have you ever played a better hole?

Besides the fact the site would allow for the ultimate biarritz, do you really believe it would make the hole better than it is now?

I don't believe having the sixteenth at Cypress as a template would improve the hole, even if it was the best biarritz in the world.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: V. Kmetz on October 30, 2009, 12:21:03 AM
All,

In advance I apologize for I have little scholarship or research investment in Cypress Point; I've never played it and since it went off the Crosby rota, there's little opportunity to see or hear much about the conduct of play there - though various articles, interviews and discussion points from the GCA bounty are helping me along...

My contribution or inquiry to this discussion:

1.  I know I have read somewhere that there is conjecture re: that the hole may have been envisioned as a two-shotter or a "half-par" hole (which would be unique as there are few long one-shotters that are thought of in this way)

2.  I also am under the impression that there is some level of provenance to the claim AM's female associate (I'm sorry I'm drawing a blank - Marion Hollins?) had a larger hand in the routing/design of that particular stretch of the course than is commonly understood.

As to Biarritz insinuations (which may be more germane to PM's original post) :

a. I began a thread last week that was polling and exchanging ideas and viewpoints on the Raynor Biarritzes at Yale and Fishers and a lot came out of it (for me at least).  One item became apparent and that is we don't know for sure what the original French Biarritz really looked like.  G. Bahto produced a painting of the scene, but it only captured a perpendicular perspective on the first portion of the shot from the left, nothing of the green complex.  Without sounding demeaning to my favorite architect, Seth Raynor, I say that Raynor never knew what the original Biarritz actually looked like.  He of course may have had access to other paintings and photos that are long veiled in the mist of history, plus the direct (and I'm sure) fulsome anecdotal descriptions from CBM.

b. After looking at Google Earth and some light research materials about the history of Biarritz's recreational environment, I believe I was able to ascertain the site of the original Biarritz and I posted the coordinates of what I believe the painter's perspective was for that picture as the last post on that thread. Though I gulp taking on even the second-hand (from ET) reports of what G. Bahto's conclusions about the original are, I must confess that if I have discovered the correct site it is NOT, I repeat, NOT a massive carry over the sea gorge.  It is no more than 60-80 yards...yes, the scenic (to the eye) scary (to the swing) water looms off the right and it is a craggy peninsula with isolated, limitless sea vistas for 150 degrees.  It seems breathtaking as many of the Raynor copies are, but even in a gutty/hickory age where an average man's good drive carried 160-180 yds, it is NOT the forced blast that Cypress seems to command    from the voluminous pictures and descriptions I have encountered, albeit without a scholar's depth or playing experience myself.

c.  How does this advance the discussion vis a vis Cypress and "shoulda, woulda, coulda?" In short, I believe that Raynor was always on the lookout for a Biarritz that had HIS idea of faithfulness to the original (which was either mistaken or eschewed for his own and his colleagues').  Net-net?  This is exactly the kind of land-form Raynor would say, "Biarritz" and go for it. 

I'm sorry if any of this is hopelessly misinformed.

Cheers

vk
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Chuck Brown on October 30, 2009, 12:24:59 AM
Pat,

I don't believe so.

Having never played a true biarritz, I know that there are still many around the world of golf.

Being the case, I like how one of a kind the sixteenth hole at Cypress is.  Though perhaps an ideal spot for the ultimate biarritz, the hole would lose it's originailty if it was a template hole.

I consider the hole perfect.  Have you ever played a better par-3?  Have you ever played a better hole?

Besides the fact the site would allow for the ultimate biarritz, do you really believe it would make the hole better than it is now?

I don't believe having the sixteenth at Cypress as a template would improve the hole, even if it was the best biarritz in the world.


I gotta say I agree with Jordan although I haven't had the rare privilege of playing CPC.  I've played the Biarritz at Yale, and yes as far as I know the landform at CPC would have been an ideal place for Seth Raynor to attempt to template himself a Biarritz, and it is almost impossible to think that Raynor would have done anything there other than a Biarritz.  It is that ideally suited.  (I think a true Biarritz would have been a shorter hole, aimed more to the left from the present green positioning, right?)  But as Jordan says...

As for a Redan 16th at CPC, it would have been a reverse-Redan if anything, right?  I'm not sure how the essential "tilt" to the "tableland" would have been achieved.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Sean Leary on October 30, 2009, 12:46:16 AM
I think a severe green of any kind there would be too overwhelming.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Lou_Duran on October 30, 2009, 10:04:29 AM
Pat,

Being the case, I like how one of a kind the sixteenth hole at Cypress is.  Though perhaps an ideal spot for the ultimate biarritz, the hole would lose it's originailty if it was a template hole.

I consider the hole perfect.  Have you ever played a better par-3?  Have you ever played a better hole?

Besides the fact the site would allow for the ultimate biarritz, do you really believe it would make the hole better than it is now?

I don't believe having the sixteenth at Cypress as a template would improve the hole, even if it was the best biarritz in the world.

While I mostly disagree with Jordan's estimation of the hole, I too would not change a thing.  It is way too long and exposed to the environment to have a small canal perpendicular to the line of flight splitting the green (though it would make it more dicey for the "strategy" types who lay up to the left).  For many, getting the ball on dry land is a major achievement.  Having a 60'+ putt over a sizable swale would deflate the glorious experience of hitting the green with a good chance to two-putt for par.

I think that #16 is actually not a very good par 3 and hardly a "template" hole.  For most visitors it is a high risk all-or-nothing one shot hole- you either stay on the course somewhere on or near the green or you keep reteeing until you do so, or give up and take an illegal drop.  I don't know the membership, but I suspect that a good number can't make or don't even attempt the carry.  In effect, for them it plays more like a par 4 with still a not-so-easy forced carry.

In my opinion, four things make #16 famous: 1) the outstanding natural beauty of the setting, 2) its juxtapostion with the very "ideal" short #15, 3) the wonderful walk from #15 green to #16 tee with the anticipation of what awaits at the end, 4) how CPC chooses to characterize the edges of the course- i.e. no boundaries.  Line the cliffs in red or yellow, and the complexion of the hole changes considerably. 
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jim_Kennedy on October 30, 2009, 10:10:52 AM
Patrick,
Of course, it would have made the perfect Biarritz and it seems likely that the thought would have occurred to Raynor.

It would be hard to find a better site for one.

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on October 30, 2009, 10:33:54 AM
should there be any question?

From  The Spirit of St. Andrews  -  The Lost manuscript of Alister MacKenzie

Sleeping Bear Press
121 South Main Street
PO Box 20
Chelsea, MI 48118

"The 16th at Cypress Point"

There is one exceptionally fine one-shot hole, namely, the 16th at Cypress Point, California, which so far no one has suggested should be altered. This hole, however, is of an entirely different character to that of which I have just written. Its excellence is not due to the tilt of the green, but to the amazingly beautiful and spectacular ocean hazard intervening between the tee and the green. To give honor where it is due, I must say that, except for minor details of construction, I was in no way responsible for the hole. It was largely due to the vision of Miss Marion Hollins (the founder of Cypress Point).  It was suggested to her by the late Seth Raynor that it was a pity the carry over the ocean was too long to enable a hole to be designed on this particular site.  Miss Hollins said she did not think it was an  impossible carry. She then teed up a  ball and drove to the  middle of the suggested green. The photograph on page 52 givers a good idea of the character of the hole. There are three alternative routes, namely, the direct route over 200 hundred yards of ocean, an intermediate route over about 100 yards of ocean, and still a shorter route to the left.

A well-played shot to the lone Cypress tree with a nicely calculated slice gets the help of  the slope and runs up a slight swale and still have a good chance of a three.

I doubted if this hole could be considered ideal, because I feared that, compared with the other Cypress Point holes, there was not a sufficiently easy route for the weaker player. My mind was set at rest a few months ago.

Alister MacKenzie  1934
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: David Stamm on October 30, 2009, 11:21:28 AM
    Miss Hollins said she did not think it was an  impossible carry. She then teed up a  ball and drove to the  middle of the suggested green. 



Do we know if AM's account here wasn't performed in his presence and not SR's? I think it's possible that Hollins reconted the remark of SR to AM and then the sentence recounts how Hollins showed AM, not SR.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill_McBride on October 30, 2009, 11:31:21 AM
    Miss Hollins said she did not think it was an  impossible carry. She then teed up a  ball and drove to the  middle of the suggested green. 



Do we know if AM's account here wasn't performed in his presence and not SR's? I think it's possible that Hollins reconted the remark of SR to AM and then the sentence recounts how Hollins showed AM, not SR.

Hard to imagine the good doctor being modest!  ;D
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: David Stamm on October 30, 2009, 11:36:06 AM
    Miss Hollins said she did not think it was an  impossible carry. She then teed up a  ball and drove to the  middle of the suggested green. 



Do we know if AM's account here wasn't performed in his presence and not SR's? I think it's possible that Hollins reconted the remark of SR to AM and then the sentence recounts how Hollins showed AM, not SR.

Hard to imagine the good doctor being modest!  ;D


That's my point, Bill. AM, I think, would not have used an idea of someone elses, especially Raynor. 
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill_McBride on October 30, 2009, 11:39:32 AM
    Miss Hollins said she did not think it was an  impossible carry. She then teed up a  ball and drove to the  middle of the suggested green. 



Do we know if AM's account here wasn't performed in his presence and not SR's? I think it's possible that Hollins reconted the remark of SR to AM and then the sentence recounts how Hollins showed AM, not SR.

Hard to imagine the good doctor being modest!  ;D


That's my point, Bill. AM, I think, would not have used an idea of someone elses, especially Raynor. 

Without knowing anything at all about anything absolutely 100%, it has always been my understanding that it was Marion Hollins showing Mackenzie that the hole could play as a par 3.  We know so little about Raynor's work on site that it's hard to imagine that scene taking place with Raynor there.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: David Stamm on October 30, 2009, 11:45:39 AM
    Miss Hollins said she did not think it was an  impossible carry. She then teed up a  ball and drove to the  middle of the suggested green. 



Do we know if AM's account here wasn't performed in his presence and not SR's? I think it's possible that Hollins reconted the remark of SR to AM and then the sentence recounts how Hollins showed AM, not SR.

Hard to imagine the good doctor being modest!  ;D


That's my point, Bill. AM, I think, would not have used an idea of someone elses, especially Raynor. 

Without knowing anything at all about anything absolutely 100%, it has always been my understanding that it was Marion Hollins showing Mackenzie that the hole could play as a par 3.  We know so little about Raynor's work on site that it's hard to imagine that scene taking place with Raynor there.

That is what I took from the passage as well.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jed Rammell on October 30, 2009, 11:51:15 AM
Pat,

Being the case, I like how one of a kind the sixteenth hole at Cypress is.  Though perhaps an ideal spot for the ultimate biarritz, the hole would lose it's originailty if it was a template hole.

I consider the hole perfect.  Have you ever played a better par-3?  Have you ever played a better hole?

Besides the fact the site would allow for the ultimate biarritz, do you really believe it would make the hole better than it is now?

I don't believe having the sixteenth at Cypress as a template would improve the hole, even if it was the best biarritz in the world.

While I mostly disagree with Jordan's estimation of the hole, I too would not change a thing.  It is way too long and exposed to the environment to have a small canal perpendicular to the line of flight splitting the green (though it would make it more dicey for the "strategy" types who lay up to the left).  For many, getting the ball on dry land is a major achievement.  Having a 60'+ putt over a sizable swale would deflate the glorious experience of hitting the green with a good chance to two-putt for par.

I think that #16 is actually not a very good par 3 and hardly a "template" hole.  For most visitors it is a high risk all-or-nothing one shot hole- you either stay on the course somewhere on or near the green or you keep reteeing until you do so, or give up and take an illegal drop.  I don't know the membership, but I suspect that a good number can't make or don't even attempt the carry.  In effect, for them it plays more like a par 4 with still a not-so-easy forced carry.

In my opinion, four things make #16 famous: 1) the outstanding natural beauty of the setting, 2) its juxtapostion with the very "ideal" short #15, 3) the wonderful walk from #15 green to #16 tee with the anticipation of what awaits at the end, 4) how CPC chooses to characterize the edges of the course- i.e. no boundaries.  Line the cliffs in red or yellow, and the complexion of the hole changes considerably. 

I think I agree (though I've only played Cypress in my dreams). Many call this the finest golf hole in the world, but isn't it just an all or nothing manhood measuring contest? #10 at Riveria or #18 at Pebble surely offer more strategic elements, and in my mind are much better candidates as the finest hole in golf (never played them either). 
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on October 30, 2009, 01:32:31 PM
I qouted exactly what was in the Mackenzie book - his "lost manuscript" that Sleeping Bear published .... page 15-something or other

from there on you can surmise whatever you'd like
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Adam Clayman on October 30, 2009, 01:55:42 PM
Jed, Your assumption is incorrect. Don't believe me, believe the good doctor in the passage posted above by George Bahto.

It is not an all or nothing question.

I was fortunate to play in a significant competition on my one and only play, there. Circumstances outside of my control made it prudent to NOT play it all or nothing. Instead, to aim slightly left of the green to ensure a safe ball. You can believe I was not happy having to play safe, but, since it was a team comp. my interests were not the dominate ones at stake. Yes, I was bitching, internally, and yes I was very tempted to throw caution to the wind, but in the end, I did the right thing, hit slightly left (Almost pin high) and we ended up winning the championship.

BTW, The caddies went out one day and measured the actual carry with a fishing line. 197 yards to carry.

David, Bill, I don't see it as that clear cut. If, as the doctor writes, Miss Hollins was the founder of CPC, and she had SR out to see the raw site, she could've easily proved it to him there and then.

The doctor's account seems to recall the incident without interjecting he was a witness to it.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jordan Wall on October 30, 2009, 02:02:54 PM
Pat,

Being the case, I like how one of a kind the sixteenth hole at Cypress is.  Though perhaps an ideal spot for the ultimate biarritz, the hole would lose it's originailty if it was a template hole.

I consider the hole perfect.  Have you ever played a better par-3?  Have you ever played a better hole?

Besides the fact the site would allow for the ultimate biarritz, do you really believe it would make the hole better than it is now?

I don't believe having the sixteenth at Cypress as a template would improve the hole, even if it was the best biarritz in the world.

While I mostly disagree with Jordan's estimation of the hole, I too would not change a thing.  It is way too long and exposed to the environment to have a small canal perpendicular to the line of flight splitting the green (though it would make it more dicey for the "strategy" types who lay up to the left).  For many, getting the ball on dry land is a major achievement.  Having a 60'+ putt over a sizable swale would deflate the glorious experience of hitting the green with a good chance to two-putt for par.

I think that #16 is actually not a very good par 3 and hardly a "template" hole.  For most visitors it is a high risk all-or-nothing one shot hole- you either stay on the course somewhere on or near the green or you keep reteeing until you do so, or give up and take an illegal drop.  I don't know the membership, but I suspect that a good number can't make or don't even attempt the carry.  In effect, for them it plays more like a par 4 with still a not-so-easy forced carry.

In my opinion, four things make #16 famous: 1) the outstanding natural beauty of the setting, 2) its juxtapostion with the very "ideal" short #15, 3) the wonderful walk from #15 green to #16 tee with the anticipation of what awaits at the end, 4) how CPC chooses to characterize the edges of the course- i.e. no boundaries.  Line the cliffs in red or yellow, and the complexion of the hole changes considerably. 

I think I agree (though I've only played Cypress in my dreams). Many call this the finest golf hole in the world, but isn't it just an all or nothing manhood measuring contest? #10 at Riveria or #18 at Pebble surely offer more strategic elements, and in my mind are much better candidates as the finest hole in golf (never played them either). 

Jed,

Having played all the holes you mention, the sixteenth at Cypress is in equal terms with regards to strategic merit as the tenth at Riviera and the eighteenth at Pebble.

The difference between those holes is the length and par of each, which in this case does make a difference.  As a par-3, the sixteenth at Cypress has one primary shot, the tee shot, with which shines the strategic merit.

In this shot, one can choose to be a hero by going for the green, and being that one is playing Cypress and is probably not likely to get that chance many times, that is the shot that most will try.  However, one can also choose to lay up.  The closer one lays up the cliff, the better the angle to green, and usually the shorter the second shot.

The only shot that provides the same excitement from the other holes you mention is the tee shot at the tenth at Riviera, where many options abound.  The only difference is, there is not the same heroic nature in going for the green at Riviera as there is at Cypress, because the penalty if you do not make it far less severe.  Remember, if you miss at Cypress, it's three from the tee.

Pebble's eighteenth is a wonderful hole as well and provides its own strategic merit.  Included in this is a cape like tee shot over the ocean, and a second shot that requires decisive thinking for where to lay up or perhaps go for the green.  The closer to the ocean on the second shot, the better the angle to the green, and naturally, the closer the tee shot to the ocean, the better angle to go for the green in two.  The tee shot also provides more of a heroic nature than that of Riviera because again, if you duck it into the ocean, it's three from the tee.

Riviera's gets it's strength from it's abundance of options off the tee, and the wonderfully unique green that alters plays from the tee and the approach.

The main difference I see between these three holes, however, is the fact that the sixteenth at Cypress plays mind games with the players.  When someone plays Cypress for the first time, the shot they think about the entire round is that tee shot on sixteen.  This is not the case with the tenth at Riviera or the eighteenth at Pebble, or at least not as much so at the sixteenth at Cypress.

In any case, all three are great holes and are surely among the best in the world.

To get back to Pat's question, even if the sexteenth at Cypress was a biarritz, it would just be too hard at 230+ yards.  

And in thinking, if the hole was a biarritz and ultimately the green had been moved left and not on the bluff to which it currently plays, how might that have adversey affected the seventeenth hole?

I don't believe there to be a better way to design the sixteenth and seventeenth holes.  How can you argue with the games strongest par-3?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on October 30, 2009, 02:13:51 PM
Pat:

When you ask if the 16th at CPC should've been a biarritz hole I'm not too sure what you have in mind. What would be different about it? Are you thinking of a green (or fairway then green) that is really long with a big swale in it.

If so, that seems to be one of the mysterious and heretofore unanswered questions about the original Biarrtiz hole in France. I don't know that anyone has ever been sure whether that green did have some really big swale in it which seems to be a centerpiece for all Macdonald/Raynor and Raynor biarritzes and biarritzes by others.

On the other hand the only Biarritzes I know of that have that carry across water or something very similar to it are Yale and Fishers Island, and The Creek.

I have always thought the massive swale in Biarritz greens was an idea Macdonald perhaps got from NB's #16.

Don't forget, C.B. always did say he did not always use whole hole copies with what he did, sometimes prefering to just use some individual feature from somewhere on another hole somewhere else.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Adam Clayman on October 30, 2009, 02:15:11 PM
Don't forget the wind's affect. It determines one's strategy decision as well as club selection. The green site is large enough that it can create as much as a three club difference, independent of the wind.

The Biarittz idea is horrible. Better saved for ground with less of it's own character. At CPC's 16th, that is not the case.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jim_Kennedy on October 30, 2009, 02:16:49 PM
Jordan,
It would be a hard hole, no doubt, but the pleasure of watching the disappearing/reappearing ball would be tremendous.
Yale's carry from the tips is 180+- (don't quote me). Cypress' is 200?

  
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: David Stamm on October 30, 2009, 02:28:20 PM

 
David, Bill, I don't see it as that clear cut. If, as the doctor writes, Miss Hollins was the founder of CPC, and she had SR out to see the raw site, she could've easily proved it to him there and then.

The doctor's account seems to recall the incident without interjecting he was a witness to it.


I understand, Adam. But we don't know what SR had planned, if he even did. If in fact Hollins had hit the shot in front of Raynor, we don't know if he had been persuaded because there is no plan (as of yet) that has turned up and we don't know what Raynor had to say about the site. We don't know if he even would've used the site at all, yet alone for a heroic par 3. Had Raynor done a par 3 of that length and difficulty before? It would seem out of character for him, and I agree w/ Jordan, it would've been even more difficult by using the site as a Biarritz template complete with the swale. I think there is a reason AM chose to design the most benign green on the course. Anything more undulating/severe would've made it borderline impossible.


If Raynor had been convinced of 16, if he had drawn up plans and the course was pretty much designed already before his death, why bring AM in at all? Could Hollins and others utilized those plans and built the course without searching out AM? AM had not yet entered super stardom yet and Raynor was a known name. Was not the MPCC Dunes a Raynor design and then built after his death? 
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bob_Huntley on October 30, 2009, 02:41:02 PM
I think a Biarritz on the 16th at Cypress is like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

Bob
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jordan Wall on October 30, 2009, 02:42:51 PM
Jordan,
It would be a hard hole, no doubt, but the pleasure of watching the disappearing/reappearing ball would be tremendous.
Yale's carry from the tips is 180+- (don't quote me). Cypress' is 200?

  

From Ran's review: "The reality is only slightly more on a human scale with tee perched high on an embankment sixty feet above Griest Pond.

The sixteenth at Cypress has almost no elevation change.  It probably plays at least three clubs longer than Yale's 9th, and not to mentione it is completely exposed to the always strong ocean breeze.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Eric_Terhorst on October 30, 2009, 03:14:42 PM
Patrick,

If you set out to confuse us about what exactly is a "Biarritz" hole, you seem to have succeeded.  I note that some commentators think the template is a heroic hole over a chasm, and some think it's a par 3 with a big swale in the green.  I couldn't imagine that you would be serious about suggesting a big swale in the green at Cypress #16, that's why I didn't bother to dismiss that suggestion as Adam did.  Please have pity on us lesser intellects and clear up your thinking as Tom Paul suggests.

Lou Duran, you said

"I think that #16 is actually not a very good par 3 ...  In effect...it plays more like a par 4 with still a not-so-easy forced carry."

Why in the world would you evaluate a hole like this with this discussion of its par on the scorecard?  Would you also say that the Road Hole is a bad par 4 because most gofers can't reach it in two, or because they have to play away from the bunker because of their mortal fear of it, or because once in the bunker they have to do the equivalent of re-teeing on #16, hitting the bunker shot over and over again until they get it right? 

What golfer as he steps up to the 16th tee at Cypress cares a whit about par?  I say if he executes the heroic shot and makes a 1, 2, 3, or 4, he will count himself lucky.  {On my own one try on a not-too-windy day, I hit a 5-wood onto the rocks and watched with glee as it ricocheted up onto the green, then I 3-putted.  I was thrilled.}

The hole is great because of all the things you and Jordan and Adam have identified.  Neither this nor any other hole worth studying should be measured for greatness against what we call it on the scorecard.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on October 30, 2009, 03:37:22 PM
"I think a Biarritz on the 16th at Cypress is like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa."


BobH:

When in Paris Patrick Mucci actually tried to put a mustache on the Mona Lisa and consequently spent two weeks in Paris rather than one week.

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on October 30, 2009, 03:45:36 PM
"Did Raynor's design have a Biarritz on that site ?"



Actually, Patrick, it may not be long now before I can answer that question for you. I believe I am closing in on perhaps the most elusive and mysterious piece of architectural history out there. I have a lead that the design plan may've also had a "Lion's Mouth" green.

Did you know that Tommy Birdsong's Fernandina Beach Municipal once had a "North Florida Spotted Leopard's Mouth" green on it?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jed Rammell on October 30, 2009, 03:59:18 PM
Patrick,

If you set out to confuse us about what exactly is a "Biarritz" hole, you seem to have succeeded.  I note that some commentators think the template is a heroic hole over a chasm, and some think it's a par 3 with a big swale in the green.  I couldn't imagine that you would be serious about suggesting a big swale in the green at Cypress #16, that's why I didn't bother to dismiss that suggestion as Adam did.  Please have pity on us lesser intellects and clear up your thinking as Tom Paul suggests.

Lou Duran, you said

"I think that #16 is actually not a very good par 3 ...  In effect...it plays more like a par 4 with still a not-so-easy forced carry."

Why in the world would you evaluate a hole like this with this discussion of its par on the scorecard?  Would you also say that the Road Hole is a bad par 4 because most gofers can't reach it in two, or because they have to play away from the bunker because of their mortal fear of it, or because once in the bunker they have to do the equivalent of re-teeing on #16, hitting the bunker shot over and over again until they get it right? 

What golfer as he steps up to the 16th tee at Cypress cares a whit about par?  I say if he executes the heroic shot and makes a 1, 2, 3, or 4, he will count himself lucky.  {On my own one try on a not-too-windy day, I hit a 5-wood onto the rocks and watched with glee as it ricocheted up onto the green, then I 3-putted.  I was thrilled.}

The hole is great because of all the things you and Jordan and Adam have identified.  Neither this nor any other hole worth studying should be measured for greatness against what we call it on the scorecard.

Eric, I agree that you can't evaluate the hole based on par, but if you evaluate it based on strategy, it still comes up short. You have two options; be a man, or be a Moriarty. At Riviera #10, you can hit mid iron to the fat of the fiarway, hit driver into the front bunker, hit driver left of the green, hit 3 wood left of the green, hit driver over the green, etc.

Regardless, if you told me I could pick one hole to play one time in my life, I'd pick Cypress #16. Maybe that is the criteria to base greatness on, strategy be damned.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Adam Clayman on October 30, 2009, 04:28:31 PM
I think there is a reason AM chose to design the most benign green on the course. Anything more undulating/severe would've made it borderline impossible.
  

My speculated reason for what you are calling the most benign green was that he didn't want to detract from the unbelievable natural beauty.

Also, that rock outcrop is not like the dunes land of the 8th, 9th, 12th and 13th holes. An undulating green would feel out of place. And that's why a Biarittz would be out of place and a horrible aesthetic.

P.s. I might like to argue about the most benign green. After my one time, I recall at least one other. (Maybe the 10th?) But, again, it's getting on in years now, January 6th 2000. The day Spyglass Hill first won the cup.  ;D
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jordan Wall on October 30, 2009, 04:36:34 PM
I think there is a reason AM chose to design the most benign green on the course. Anything more undulating/severe would've made it borderline impossible.
  

P.s. I might like to argue about the most benign green. After my one time, I recall at least one other. (Maybe the 10th?) But, again, it's getting on in years now, January 6th 2000. The day Spyglass Hill first won the cup.  ;D

Adam,

The sixteenth green is easily the most benign on the course.

Cheers,
Jordan
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Eric_Terhorst on October 30, 2009, 05:15:16 PM

At Riviera #10, you can hit mid iron to the fat of the fiarway, hit driver into the front bunker, hit driver left of the green, hit 3 wood left of the green, hit driver over the green, etc.

As far as I can tell, you have now diminished two great holes by describing Riviera's 10th as a binary play--1) lay-up or 2) play near/on the green.  Get up on the wrong side today?

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Mike Benham on October 30, 2009, 05:30:35 PM

Adam,

The sixteenth green is easily the most benign on the course.

Cheers,
Jordan



It is of my opinion that the 6th green is relatively benign (less tilt) but less so then 16 ...
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jed Rammell on October 30, 2009, 05:36:52 PM

At Riviera #10, you can hit mid iron to the fat of the fiarway, hit driver into the front bunker, hit driver left of the green, hit 3 wood left of the green, hit driver over the green, etc.

As far as I can tell, you have now diminished two great holes by describing Riviera's 10th as a binary play--1) lay-up or 2) play near/on the green.  Get up on the wrong side today?



No, but I must not have explained myself well enough. In my eyes, Cypress #16 is a binary play, but Riviera #10 has a ton of options off the tee, and the flag location dictates a multiple number of options off the tee, and when playing the approach. This is an outside view, as I've never played either hole.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jordan Wall on October 30, 2009, 06:16:22 PM

Adam,

The sixteenth green is easily the most benign on the course.

Cheers,
Jordan



It is of my opinion that the 6th green is relatively benign (less tilt) but less so then 16 ...

Mike,

While the sixth does not have a lot of slope or contour, it is much harder to read than the sixteenth.  The green itself is almost flat, which is actually tough because it looks as if it slopes a good deal back to front.

I have seen a good amount of visitors blow a putt past going toward the back of the green, and leave a putt far short going toward the front of the green.

It is probably about as flat as the sixteenth, just much harder to read, in my opinion.  For that reason I consider the sixteenth more benign.

Cheers,
Jordan
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill Brightly on October 30, 2009, 07:17:20 PM
Patrick,

Did you come up with this idea on your own? If yes, it was brilliant!

George Bahto's quote seems to make it pretty clear that Raynor routed a par 3 hole on this spot. If this is true, it seems obvious that he would have made it a Biarritz. Biarritz holes were always the longest one-shotter on his designs. What other type of green complex would you expect?

Another poster states that the only Biarritz holes with a carry over water are Yale and Fishers. Well, those are both Raynor designs completed just before he routed Cypress. So why WOULDN"T he be inclined to place his Biarritz there?

Lastly, I wish people would STOP stating that the swale would be in the middle of the green. Raynor did NOT build double-sized green with a swale in the middle, that is a very recent adaptation that many clubs are completing. Raynor would have built the swale IN FRONT of the putting green. (I just dont know how much landing area there would have been past the rocks.)

Jordan Wall, you would do well to stop using the term "template hole." Rather, Raynor used template FEATURES.

So MacKenzie comes on the project, sees the brilliance of a one shot hole over this carry, and builds a green complex that fits his style. Perfectly logical to me.

Can't wait to see if TEP comes up with the original plans!
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on October 30, 2009, 07:53:10 PM
should there be any question?

From  The Spirit of St. Andrews  -  The Lost manuscript of Alister MacKenzie

Sleeping Bear Press
121 South Main Street
PO Box 20
Chelsea, MI 48118

"The 16th at Cypress Point"

There is one exceptionally fine one-shot hole, namely, the 16th at Cypress Point, California, which so far no one has suggested should be altered. This hole, however, is of an entirely different character to that of which I have just written. Its excellence is not due to the tilt of the green, but to the amazingly beautiful and spectacular ocean hazard intervening between the tee and the green. To give honor where it is due, I must say that, except for minor details of construction, I was in no way responsible for the hole. It was largely due to the vision of Miss Marion Hollins (the founder of Cypress Point).  It was suggested to her by the late Seth Raynor that it was a pity the carry over the ocean was too long to enable a hole to be designed on this particular site.  Miss Hollins said she did not think it was an  impossible carry. She then teed up a  ball and drove to the  middle of the suggested green. The photograph on page 52 givers a good idea of the character of the hole. There are three alternative routes, namely, the direct route over 200 hundred yards of ocean, an intermediate route over about 100 yards of ocean, and still a shorter route to the left.

A well-played shot to the lone Cypress tree with a nicely calculated slice gets the help of  the slope and runs up a slight swale and still have a good chance of a three.

I doubted if this hole could be considered ideal, because I feared that, compared with the other Cypress Point holes, there was not a sufficiently easy route for the weaker player. My mind was set at rest a few months ago.

Alister MacKenzie  1934


George Bahto,

I've never believed that story, based on my experience/play of the 16th hole, a 230 yard par 3 with an heroic carry into an ocean breeze/wind.

In 1928, with hickories and a ball of questionable aerodynamic and compression qualities I find it hard to believe that Marion Hollins could outdrive me when I was using modern equipment and balls circa 1985-1995.  I find it hard to believe that Marion Hollins could outdrive me with any equipment, hence I'm dubious when it comes to accepting this story as factual, unless, she played from a forward tee.

I'd like to know who believes that Marion Hollins, using equipment circa 1928, could make that heroic carry from the back tee on a 230 yard par 3, with or without the wind and heavy ocean air as a factor ?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on October 30, 2009, 08:01:44 PM

Patrick,

Did you come up with this idea on your own? If yes, it was brilliant!

Yes, my twisted imagination was running rampant again last night.

The setting is PERFECT for a classic, true to the original Biarritz.


George Bahto's quote seems to make it pretty clear that Raynor routed a par 3 hole on this spot.
If this is true, it seems obvious that he would have made it a Biarritz.
Biarritz holes were always the longest one-shotter on his designs.
What other type of green complex would you expect?


Someone on this site indicated that they had either seen or perhaps had access to Raynor's routing.
If so, I would love to see it, as that site, where the current 16th sits, would certainly have caught Raynor's eye.
And, I would think that a Biarritz would have been his hole of choice for that site.
If someone has Raynor's routing, could they post it.


Another poster states that the only Biarritz holes with a carry over water are Yale and Fishers.
Well, those are both Raynor designs completed just before he routed Cypress.
So why WOULDN"T he be inclined to place his Biarritz there?


I too believe he would have been so inclined.


Lastly, I wish people would STOP stating that the swale would be in the middle of the green.
Raynor did NOT build double-sized green with a swale in the middle, that is a very recent adaptation that many clubs are completing. Raynor would have built the swale IN FRONT of the putting green.
(I just dont know how much landing area there would have been past the rocks.)

For the answer to your question, just go to courses by country and see Ran's write up with accompanying pictures.
You will note that not only is there some room in front, but, plenty of room in back, AND the back has an elevation change where bunkers were cut into it.  PERFECT for a Biarritz.


Jordan Wall, you would do well to stop using the term "template hole." Rather, Raynor used template FEATURES.

So MacKenzie comes on the project, sees the brilliance of a one shot hole over this carry, and builds a green complex that fits his style.
Perfectly logical to me.

Can't wait to see if TEP comes up with the original plans!

You're not the only one thirsting to see those plans
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on October 30, 2009, 10:44:30 PM
Pat: Biarritz, France - played from an 80' cliff to a 50' cliff

also Dr Mac-  "There are three alternative routes, namely, the direct route over 200 hundred yards of ocean, an intermediate route over about 100 yards of ocean, and still a shorter route to the left.

A well-played shot to the lone Cypress tree with a nicely calculated slice gets the help of  the slope and runs up a slight swale and still have a good chance of a three."

you're doubting the great MacKenzie you know


so you want to see the Raynor plan - ???????????   hah - been scouring for that for 15-years (along with the help of Shackleford - i did speak to a relative who saw the plan a good number of years ago - I believe what he told me but nothing about the 16th CP) , although others (no longer on this site) ridiculed this persons story
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: David Stamm on October 30, 2009, 10:50:37 PM

George Bahto's quote seems to make it pretty clear that Raynor routed a par 3 hole on this spot. If this is true, it seems obvious that he would have made it a Biarritz. Biarritz holes were always the longest one-shotter on his designs. What other type of green complex would you expect?


Bill, are you aware of another Biarritz that has this long of a carry? It wasn't George's quote, it was MacKenzie from Spirit of St Andrews. Nowhere is Raynor mentioned in the story and we don't know the context of the story of Hollins hitting the shot.

Another poster states that the only Biarritz holes with a carry over water are Yale and Fishers. Well, those are both Raynor designs completed just before he routed Cypress. So why WOULDN"T he be inclined to place his Biarritz there?

Bill, those holes are significatly shorter, no? I'm not sure it matters if he did those just before he visited the site or not, does it?

Lastly, I wish people would STOP stating that the swale would be in the middle of the green. Raynor did NOT build double-sized green with a swale in the middle, that is a very recent adaptation that many clubs are completing. Raynor would have built the swale IN FRONT of the putting green. (I just dont know how much landing area there would have been past the rocks.)

Bill, I'm not sure if you've been to CPC, but in my opinion, there is not room for the Biarritz type green that Raynor was building for that length of hole. It would've been an almost unreasonable proposition, again, JMO.

 
So MacKenzie comes on the project, sees the brilliance of a one shot hole over this carry, and builds a green complex that fits his style. Perfectly logical to me.


Can't wait to see if TEP comes up with the original plans!
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on October 31, 2009, 06:31:19 AM
David Stamm,

A look at # 16, from "Google Earth" would seem to indicate that there's adequate land to craft a Biarritz green.

Don't just context the hole from the "northern" tee.
There are shorter tees to the south of the back tee.

George Bahto,

I'm certainly not familiar with the permitting process in Monterey in 1928, but, is it possible that Raynor might have filed a preliminary plan/routing with the appropriate authority//ies.

Did Charlie Banks acquire all of Raynor's files and paperwork after Raynor's death in 1926 ?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on October 31, 2009, 09:42:30 AM
Permitting?? I don't need no stinkin permitting

(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g85/ggb313/alfonsobedoya2.jpg)



Did Charlie Banks acquire all of Raynor's files and paperwork after Raynor's death in 1926 ?


certainly they were partners working out of NY City - but we have not been able to find them neither   .... yes, I've spoken to relatives
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Ronald Montesano on October 31, 2009, 10:06:32 AM
1.  I'm not going to read all the entries, but I will say this...the green looks rather pie-shaped from google earth...would you/Raynor suggest a differently-shaped green to acquire the Biarritz contouring?  Would it have come down farther between the bunkers or extended deeper toward the 17th tees?  By my accounting, in spite of the original Biarritz being a chasm hole, it is the green that can be replicated anywhere (and has been), thus being the pre-eminent feature.

2.  I don't get anything from what Bahto quoted that suggests that a Biarritz was in the planning stages for that location.  It has always struck me as more of a "2 or 20" style hole than anything else.

3.  I don't get what is good about #18 at Pebble Beach.  The fairway seems ridiculously flat, it has a stupid tree in the middle of the fairway, a silly bunker fronting the green, no contouring whatsoever in the green site, and a flat putting surface.  If it weren't for the location, it would be completely vapid.  I have no intention of ever playing that hole and don't understand its allure.  Pick a hole from 6, 8, 9 10 at the same course and you have a better hole.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Lou_Duran on October 31, 2009, 11:17:36 AM
Lou Duran, you said

"I think that #16 is actually not a very good par 3 ...  In effect...it plays more like a par 4 with still a not-so-easy forced carry."

Why in the world would you evaluate a hole like this with this discussion of its par on the scorecard?  

Eric,

Before defending a caricatured position attributed to me, I need to ask you, are you Dr. Moriarty's newest prodigy?  Or do you work for Dead Fish in the White House?

As I've noted on this site before, I am hardly a purist.  In fact, though Dr. MacKenzie is probably my favorite gca, dead or alive, I probably fall closer to the "card and pencil" type he didn't seem to like than to the adventurous spirit his architecture was meant to excite.   But, having read both of the "Good Doctor's" books as well as Doak's (on the Dr.), and played a number of his courses, I think that what he wrote is at times contradictory and not all that congruent with what he put on the ground.

If par on a scorecard is of little importance, perhaps we should forgo its use altogether.  Of course, this is nonsense because without a point of comparison, a standard if you will, any discussion and analysis would be far less meaningful.  Without the concept of par, I wonder how an architect would even go about his work.

My primary point regarding CPC #16 is that if the cliffs were marked as most boundaries are, that the hole's claim to fame would be not its dreadful difficulty, but its remarkable natural beauty.  Its reputation today is as a round wrecker and not as a world-class example of a difficult, strategic par 3.  While marking the boundaries would probably reduce its already limited strategic merits, the current hole invites only limited options for many golfers- bold or very timid (notwithstanding Adam's hugely remarkable ability to play safe up against the edge of the cliff left of the green- which is still well short of hole high).  

BTW, here is some more GCA.com heresy, I am not a huge fan of the Road Hole nor Riviera's #10 grassed in kikuyu.  For good graces, I do like Tom Doak- the person and his courses- and think very highly of C & C's work as well  (though, here I go again, I give Crenshaw considerable greater credit to the partnership than our resident cognoscenti typical confer).  
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Rick Shefchik on October 31, 2009, 12:43:58 PM
If Raynor did intend #16 to be a Biarritz, the golf world is lucky that Mackenzie finished the course. The physical dimensions of the site may be perfect for a Biarritz green, but I think it would have been a mistake.

I love biarritz greens. I love the 16th at Cypress. I also love strawberries and jambalaya, but I don't put strawberries in my jambalaya.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: V. Kmetz on October 31, 2009, 07:19:45 PM
Lou:

I definitely think we should get rid of the concept of par altogether, it's no nonsense either.  I think the standard for good play was, is and always will be "Level Fours" for whatever the size of the course...6, 9, 12, 18 or 22 holes.  For an 18 hole course that results in a score of 72 - a score I have never heard anyone but the elite championship caliber player decry when they shot it and for four rounds that results in 288 another score that no one but the elites cry about in a championship tournament.

I look at every hole as a, "Puzzle for Four" from 0-700 yards.  A good course will have an equal number of nearly impossible puzzles, strenuous puzzles, average puzzles, and easier puzzles to achieve that end resulting in a total score for the entire course test.  That holds for medal play certainly, but even moreso for match play.  I think this concept is even accidentally endorsed by the individual handicap of holes by the course's governors. 

If I were to be entrusted with a golf course design, I would insist that a "Par" not be listed on the card - merely a yardage from the various tees and an aggregate from their total(s).  I think this pre-disposes the golfer to confined, fearful thinking before he even swings the club on a hole.

Cheers

vk

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bob_Huntley on October 31, 2009, 07:59:18 PM
Ronald M.,

You wrote

" I don't get what is good about #18 at Pebble Beach.  The fairway seems ridiculously flat, it has a stupid tree in the middle of the fairway, a silly bunker fronting the green, no contouring whatsoever in the green site, and a flat putting surface.  If it weren't for the location, it would be completely vapid.  I have no intention of ever playing that hole and don't understand its allure.  Pick a hole from 6, 8, 9 10 at the same course and you have a better hole.


Is there something wrong with a flat fairway? I seem to remember a goodly number in the various Top 100 tables.

Is the tree in the middle of the fairway any worse than the tree at the 18th at Cypress Point?

Please explain to me the inanity of the front bunker, I'm not sure why the animus toward it.

Have you ever putted the 18th hole at Pebble Beach? If you had, you might have discovered that  there are parts of the green with decided movement.


It's not the best 5 par in the world of golf by any means but to dismiss it so cavalierly seems somewhat strange to me.

Bob

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill Brightly on October 31, 2009, 08:11:07 PM
If Raynor did intend #16 to be a Biarritz, the golf world is lucky that Mackenzie finished the course. The physical dimensions of the site may be perfect for a Biarritz green, but I think it would have been a mistake.

I love biarritz greens. I love the 16th at Cypress. I also love strawberries and jambalaya, but I don't put strawberries in my jambalaya.

Rick,
I think we get that you love Cypress Point, as does everyone. But there should be no doubt that you would have loved what Raynor would have built there. And his par 3 would have been world class because it is a word class place to build a golf hole.
 
The strawberries-jambalaya  analogy is therefore pretty senseless. You were getting strawberries OR jambalaya...no one was going to mix the two...
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Eric_Terhorst on October 31, 2009, 08:17:26 PM

Before defending a caricatured position attributed to me, I need to ask you, are you Dr. Moriarty's newest prodigy?  

Confound it Sherlock, you've done it again!  I admit Dr. Moriarity and I are in league.  On this Halloween we have decided that going forward we will viciously caricature every position you take.   We'll reveal our true and full intentions on April Fool's Day next.

Or do you work for Dead Fish in the White House?

If you meant this as an insult, it is lost on me.  I have no idea what you're talking about.  And please, I beg you, don't explain it to me.  I hope you enjoyed writing it though!

Its reputation today is as a round wrecker and not as a world-class example of a difficult, strategic par 3. 

You insist on referring to par--why?  If you think it's a bad golf hole, why don't you just say "It's a bad hole because...."

Actually, I think its renown is founded on both the natural setting and the unique (to woefully understate it) opportunity it offers the golfer to make a heroic play. 

"Round wrecker"  ???  You're playing Cypress Point.  Who gives a gnat's ass?

Excuse me, Dr. Moriarity is on the cell...

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Ronald Montesano on October 31, 2009, 10:35:30 PM
Bob,

I think that my animus is toward the whole deification of Pebble Beach.  I get the great sense that there is a major imbalance to the course that should restrict it to the bottom five of the top ten at best.  There appears to be a number of average to weak holes on the course that, regardless of the value of the strong holes, is not found on other top five courses.  Golfweek seems to understand this, having dropped the course from 4 to 7 among classic courses only.  Golf Digest has it ranked 6th in the US out of all courses, which to me is very high.  Golf Magazine is the worst, having it at number 5, albeit down one from the last ranking.  From what I gather, 1, 2, 3 and 4 are average to nondescript holes, as are 12, 13 and 15.  That would be 7 out of 18 holes on a top five course?  Unacceptable.

My problem with the 18th hole is that it is the ocean that deserves the reverence, not the golf hole.  I have not putted the hole, but it does not confound in the way that an 18th hole should.  All in all, I think that MacKenzie, Travis, Tillinghast and Ross would have all done a better job with the property than did Neville and Grant.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on October 31, 2009, 10:49:13 PM
Bob Huntley,

Explaining # 18 at Pebble Beach, and the entire golf course at Pebble Beach, to someone who has never played it is like explaining sex to someone who has never had it.  It can't be done.  And, even if it could, they couldn't appreciate it.

# 18 is a terrific par 5.

Pebble Beach is a GREAT golf course.

Nothing more needs to be said.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Kevin_Reilly on October 31, 2009, 11:38:02 PM
Pat, yet another example of review/opinion by picture or following the herd.  Not worth rebutting.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bob_Huntley on November 01, 2009, 01:24:18 AM
Ronald M.,

You wrote:

"My problem with the 18th hole is that it is the ocean that deserves the reverence, not the golf hole.  I have not putted the hole, but it does not confound in the way that an 18th hole should.  All in all, I think that MacKenzie, Travis, Tillinghast and Ross would have all done a better job with the property than did Neville and Grant. "


When you say that you have never putted the hole, it would seem that you have never played the hole or even seen the hole except on television. To express such disdain for the 18th with such limited experience reeks of hubris. Neville and Grant gave us a superb golf course and I am not so sure that Ross would have done better; he did wonderful work but also produced a bunch of clunkers.


Bob
 
 
 
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Ronald Montesano on November 01, 2009, 06:57:55 AM
Kevin, exactly the opposite.  The herd believes that Pebble Beach is a magnificent golf course because of what it has read in print and seen on television.  And, as you'll find on this site, everything is worth rebutting.  That is what makes it an intellectual adventure.

Patrick, sometimes the playing of the course is the letdown.  Do you believe it is a consistent golf course?  Do you believe that the weak holes take away from the strong holes?

Bob, I don't discount the infusion of hubris in my arguments.  I do agree that the playing of the course, as Patrick suggests, puts all doubts to rest, tucked away under a blanket. 

You are also correct about Ross and I will admit that as I typed his name, the exact thought crossed my mind.  However (more hubris) I kept him in as four names somehow seemed better than three.

From my perspective there are at least two ways to elicit response:  one is to meekly pose a question along the lines of "Is Pebble Beach quite possibly a bit unbalanced" while the other is to charge ahead, steed foaming, lance aimed, with "I OUTRIGHT SUGGEST THAT PEBBLE BEACH IS UNBALANCED!!"  I find that the latter evokes greater passion (and verbiage) in the response.  I am most impressed with Bob's responses, as they focus on specific points.  Patrick's responses, ehhh...more supportive and more generic...maybe a little more needs to be said.  Kevin's response is a non-response.  Can you do better, Kevin?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: David Stamm on November 01, 2009, 09:07:13 AM
Ronald, you do know that 18 as we know it today is not the work of Neville and Grant, right?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 01, 2009, 09:24:40 AM
"But, having read both of the "Good Doctor's" books as well as Doak's (on the Dr.), and played a number of his courses, I think that what he wrote is at times contradictory and not all that congruent with what he put on the ground."


Lou:

I think you've got that exactly right. The truth is what most of those guys actually wrote compared to what they actually put on the ground would lead one to believe most all those guys lied through their teeth and they knew they were lying through their teeth when they wrote some of the stuff they did.

I find the only one who wrote it like he saw it and did it was Max Behr. For instance, he seemed to be the only one who actually wrote defending blindness (and explained well why he thought it could be benefical) while everyone else panned it in print but still did it on the ground!  ;)
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Kalen Braley on November 01, 2009, 09:28:14 AM
Ronald,

I couldn't agree more with the comments from Bob, Pat, et all.  The 18th is a terrific hole and I'm baffled that you would summarily dimiss it without even setting foot on it, or at least viewing it from behind the Lodge.  I described its several playing strategies in another recent thread, but can't find it.  As for its location, no doubt it adds to the hole... but then again a hole and its surroundings cannot be seperated and any architect who doesn't use a terrific setting to enhance a course is borderline crazy!!  ;D

P.S  That green is anything but flat...as Bob says quite a few parts of it has a ton of break.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Ronald Montesano on November 01, 2009, 10:07:39 AM
David, I did not know that.  Could you elaborate for me?

Kalen, could you retell the different strategies for its play?

Thanks to both of you.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Ronald Montesano on November 01, 2009, 10:11:46 AM
And I do apologize for having hijacked this thread.  I've complained about such felonious acts in the past and look!  I'm culpable.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Kalen Braley on November 01, 2009, 10:15:40 AM
David, I did not know that.  Could you elaborate for me?

Kalen, could you retell the different strategies for its play?

Thanks to both of you.

Ronald I found the comments I made on the Risk/Reward nature of the hole:

On the tee shot - One can "risk" challenging the hazard and bite off more by going left.  The "reward" is a shorter shot in that will also avoid the trees inteferring on the 2nd shot.

On the approach shot - One can also "risk" challenging the ocean again to either go for the green and/or being in better position for the 3rd shot in.  The "rewards" are either being on in 2 or having a shorter approach in and far enough left so the greenside tree does not stymie the next shot.


So throw in that one can easily make anywhere from 3-8 on the hole.....and then consider its sublime location with all the aethistics like the ocean on the left, terrific views, the seals barking along the shoreline, waves breaking on the rocks, etc, etc...and it indeed makes for one of the finest finishes in all of golf IMO.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Adam Clayman on November 01, 2009, 10:44:58 AM
Ronald, The difference between the top half of the top ten and the bottom half, only matters to those who have a vested interest. In reality the difference is minimal.

As for Pebble Beach as a whole. It spits in the face of those bean counters who judge a golf course hole by hole. There are quite a few of the top courses that I have played that have just as many holes that on the surface are not great when stood alone. Rather the quality exudes from the mix, the route, and the feeling one has after playing the whole that one can quantify for themselves, a courses greatness.
,
I can assure you that Pebble beach is one of the few courses that does not disappoint. Even after all the expectations that come from what others opinions have laid out for decades.

BTW, The fairway is not flat either. It is subtle but not flat.

The green has no flat spot that I know of. The back side of the fronting right bunker creates an almost punchbowl like affect for the front right quadrant. There is a vertical spine left center that extends almost the entire depth of the green, and, the entire right side slopes hard towards the front. Even on slower Poa annua greens a forty foot putt from one side of the green to other will have at least five feet of break. More like 8. How do I know that? Through repeated play and watching up close many people play the hole.

The hole tempts and teases on every shot. The greens apparent flatness illustrates an artists ability to fool the lazy observer while rewarding those diligent in spacial awareness.


One of the reasons Pebble has slide on the GW list, IMO, are the changes made to significant holes such as the 3rd, the 5th, and 15th.

In anticipation... The 15th is a significant hole in the ebb and flow of that course. It WAS an opportunity for the better player to get one more birdie before the difficulty ahead and for the weaker golfer to have a chance at a par. Something he/she may not have had a chance to do for many many holes, or, for the remainder. How do I know that? It was experience on my first time around the grand layout.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Ronald Montesano on November 01, 2009, 11:18:45 AM
Adam and Kalen,

Thanks for the analysis of the various elements of the course.  There is no doubt that the subtleties of the course reveal themselves to the repeat player.  Those observations and strategies are exactly what I needed to eliminate my doubts about the validity of the hole.  While I don't believe that one is necessarily exempt from dismissing a hole's worth without having played it, I do believe that one can add to much to the credibility of a hole by playing it repeatedly (familiarity doesn't always breed contempt.)

I am interested to learn, as David Stamm alluded, how the course changed from what Neville and Grant designed to its present condition.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Adam Clayman on November 01, 2009, 11:28:46 AM
Ronald, As I understand it, Egan changed the hole from a par 4 to a 5. There are better historians than my weak recollection. Hopefully they can fill us all in on exactly what transpired.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 01, 2009, 12:25:37 PM
Patrick:

As to the story of Marion Hollins hitting that brassie shot on #16 the story says she hit it from a bit less than 200 yards. Maybe you don't know that much about Marion Hollins (have you ever read her biography?) but that kind of thing was definitely doable for her---eg she was sort of unimaginatively long. And frankly back in that day pretty much the way they did length designing (and particularly across a body of water ;) was to just do shot testing. So Marion did it on that hole rather than someone else, big deal, so what? What's so hard to believe about that?


Furthermore, about that so-called Raynor design or routing, I wonder if that even was a fact. The same stories that involve Marion hitting that shot say that Raynor had done some "preliminary plans" whatever that means.

Also, it seems that whole club and course was a whole lot more Marion Hollins than most people might realize. Apparently she had some kind of option on it; maybe not on the land (didn't Morse own that?) but on the club itself. Marion was certainly the one responsible for generating CPC's membership and apparently more of the course itself than most might realize. That lady seemed to have thousands of friends all over the place and hundreds of them in some very high places.

Marion Hollins was one of the most unique and remarkable women in many ways I have ever heard of. What an athlete she was not just in golf but in some other things (perhaps the best woman polo player ever known). Apparently in golf her young friend Babe Zaharias was in awe of her.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 01, 2009, 04:31:32 PM
Patrick:

As to the story of Marion Hollins hitting that brassie shot on #16 the story says she hit it from a bit less than 200 yards.

Maybe you don't know that much about Marion Hollins (have you ever read her biography?) but that kind of thing was definitely doable for her---eg she was sort of unimaginatively long.

Compared to whom ?

Please, stop with the foolishness.

In 1928 she couldn't outhit Ran Morrissett.


And frankly back in that day pretty much the way they did length designing (and particularly across a body of water ;) was to just do shot testing.
So Marion did it on that hole rather than someone else, big deal, so what? What's so hard to believe about that?


Have you ever played the hole ?

You couldn't make that carry with the ball and equipment circa 1928.
The story is a fabrication, unless she hit from the tee south of the current back tee.


Furthermore, about that so-called Raynor design or routing, I wonder if that even was a fact.
The same stories that involve Marion hitting that shot say that Raynor had done some "preliminary plans" whatever that means.


It's more probable that Raynor provided "preliminary plans" versus Hollins making that carry with a strong fairway wood.
You've seen stick routings.
You've seen them at Merion and other courses, including GCGC.
They are the most rudimentary form, so I'd imagine that "preliminary plans" were at least stick routings and perhaps far more detailed.


Also, it seems that whole club and course was a whole lot more Marion Hollins than most people might realize.
Apparently she had some kind of option on it; maybe not on the land (didn't Morse own that?) but on the club itself.
Marion was certainly the one responsible for generating CPC's membership and apparently more of the course itself than most might realize. That lady seemed to have thousands of friends all over the place and hundreds of them in some very high places.


That's got nothing to do with her ability or inability to hit a tee shot from the back tee to the green on # 16 at CPC with a ball and equipment in 1928.
It's a myth.


Marion Hollins was one of the most unique and remarkable women in many ways I have ever heard of.
What an athlete she was not just in golf but in some other things (perhaps the best woman polo player ever known).
Apparently in golf her young friend Babe Zaharias was in awe of her.

No one is disputing that she was talented, in sports and finance.

What is being disputed is that she hit a fairway wood from the back tee on to the green at # 16 at CPC in 1928.

I've seen good ball strikers come up short with drivers, hence my skepticism that she made the carry from the back tee in 1928 with a ball and equipment from that year.

Next you'll be teling me how she outhit John Daly using a featherie and niblick

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Sean Leary on November 01, 2009, 04:42:28 PM
Adam C,

Do you really think the changes have caused it to fall? While I don't love some of the changes, it shouldn't affect PB's ratings to any significant extent, IMO.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: David Stamm on November 02, 2009, 10:27:46 AM
I am interested to learn, as David Stamm alluded, how the course changed from what Neville and Grant designed to its present condition.


Ronald, Herbert Fowler changed the 18th to a par 5 and follows the basic route that we know today. Neville and Grant had originally deisgned the hole as a par 4, with the tee much further to the right, basically where the grandtands are for the 17th during competitions. The ocean was not nearly in play then. Chandler Egan came in later and redid the green and added/redid bunkers around the green, but Fowler is the one that is repsonsible for the hole we know today. Technology has actually made the hole even more interesting because the hole is actually reachable now for long hitters, something unimaginable at one time. It is a truly great hole and I would urge you to play it at least once in your life. There are fews walks as special as the 18th as the sun is setting.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 02, 2009, 10:38:40 AM
"Have you ever played the hole ?"


Pat:

Of course I have.


"You couldn't make that carry with the ball and equipment circa 1928.
The story is a fabrication, unless she hit from the tee south of the current back tee."


I probably couldn't but I probably never could hit a golf ball as far as Marion Hollins. The story goes that she hit that shot from a bit less than 200 yards with her brassie and if you actually think or are using the rationale you appear to be on here that the story is a fabrication and that Marion Hollins couldn't hit a brassie 200 yards (the back tee is over 230 yards, so where did you come up with the imbecilic idea that she hit that shot from the back tee since there weren't even any tees on the course when she hit that shot? ;) ) you basically have your head and mind where the sun don't shine!


By the way, Patrick, if you've ever bothered to read Marion Hollins's biography there's a photo in it of her hitting the first tee shot on Pasatiempo. If you know anything about swing dynamics you should check out that particular photo, and if you do also pay close attention to her size!  

As Bob Huntley (who arguably knows more about all things to do with the history of CPC, including Marion, than the rest of us on here combined) has sort of alluded to in the past, it is more than just possible that Marion might have been about half-man anyway!   ;)
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 02, 2009, 10:52:38 AM
Patrick:

I just checked out that photo again of Marion Hollins hitting her first tee shot on the opening day at Pasatiempo and I got to tell you having basically personally seen most all the best lady golfers for the last sixty years (my dad knew all of them particularly from his years at Spalding) that Marion who is right at the top of her backswing in that photo has the most powerful looking swing dynamics I have ever seen with a women by a factor of about 3! Check out that photo and I think even you might begin to see what I mean!  ;)
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: David Stamm on November 02, 2009, 10:59:33 AM
Patrick:

I just checked out that photo again of Marion Hollins hitting her first tee shot on the opening day at Pasatiempo and I got to tell you having basically personally seen most all the best lady golfers for the last sixty years (my dad knew all of them particularly from his years at Spalding) that Marion who is right at the top of her backswing in that photo has the most powerful looking swing dynamics I have ever seen with a women by a factor of about 3! Check out that photo and I think even you might begin to see what I mean!  ;)

Wow, Tom. 3 times more than Joyce Wethered, Glenna Collett Vare or Mickey Wright?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill_McBride on November 03, 2009, 09:35:42 PM
Patrick:

I just checked out that photo again of Marion Hollins hitting her first tee shot on the opening day at Pasatiempo and I got to tell you having basically personally seen most all the best lady golfers for the last sixty years (my dad knew all of them particularly from his years at Spalding) that Marion who is right at the top of her backswing in that photo has the most powerful looking swing dynamics I have ever seen with a women by a factor of about 3! Check out that photo and I think even you might begin to see what I mean!  ;)

Wow, Tom. 3 times more than Joyce Wethered, Glenna Collett Vare or Mickey Wright?

Marion had a serious keester on her.  Lots of leverage and torque.  Huge legs.  Check the photos.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 03, 2009, 10:48:42 PM
Patrick:

I just checked out that photo again of Marion Hollins hitting her first tee shot on the opening day at Pasatiempo and I got to tell you having basically personally seen most all the best lady golfers for the last sixty years (my dad knew all of them particularly from his years at Spalding) that Marion who is right at the top of her backswing in that photo has the most powerful looking swing dynamics I have ever seen with a women by a factor of about 3! Check out that photo and I think even you might begin to see what I mean!  ;)


TEPaul,

To clarify and put this issue to rest, is it your contention that Marion Hollins, with balls and equipment circa 1928 could outhit me with modern day equipment ?

Remember, please don't confuse me with that "powder puff" Ran Morrissette. ;D
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: DMoriarty on November 21, 2009, 08:17:50 PM
Hadn't followed this thread closely, but looking at the old photos in response to the Hendren thread got me thinking about it.   (Pat, while you may have had the idea as well, I think I have seen Gib write the same thing in the past.)

Looking at Shackelford's excellent book, I am not so sure the hole wasn't originally intended to be something like the original world's greatest Biarittz.   All page references below are to this book.  (For those who are unfortunate enough not to have purchased it, I might be willing to part with one for around 1/2 the going rate for Doak's Confidential Guide.)

1. Originally there were tees just to the left of the little peninsula that change slightly change the angle (See page 52.)  And if one looks at the diagram of the 1926 plan inside the front cover, it seems like the par three version of the 16th tee was planned for well left of the current tee and closer to the spot of the current forward tees.  This would change the angle substantially.  Obviously a tee was built on that little peninsula as is shown in the photo referenced above, but I do question whether it was the original, intended tee.  

2. Macdonald's description in SoSA makes much more sense if the tees were further left.  There are no carries of less than 100 yards from near the little peninsula tee unless they played back toward the clubhouse.  From the back of the front tees, the carry to the green is still about 200 yards, the carry to the fairway is about 100, and the carry to the shortest part is about 75.  Also note the angle from which the hole is usually photographed.  It is left of the little peninsula (See pages 164 and 169.)

3.  Also, according to the photographs, the original green wasn't nearly as round as it was now, but was deeper and narrower, more what one might expect of this type of hole (See page 162.)    

4.  And there is a natural swale bottoming just a bit left and short of the green.  See AM's description and also the photo on page 165.  One surprising thing about laying up left is just how deep and intimidating this little swale is when approaching from over there.  (Try laying up if you don't believe me.)  

5.  Looking at the various photos, I think the left front bunker was was further left, leaving a larger gap between the bunker and green, and putting the swale or dip more in play just short of the green.  Take a look at pages 15 and 126, you can see the gap between the bunker and the green.  

My understanding from Uncle George is that the his best estimate of the original Biaritz green was that it had some sort of swale in front of it, and/or the swale of the CBM type Biarritz green was based on the Valley of Sin.  As many of pointed out, the Biarritz doesn't necessarily have the swale in the middle of the green, but rather often in front.   My take (and I could be wrong) is that a biarritz at its purest  might play over some sort of chasm.

So this hole is pretty damn close to the a biarritz hole as it is, although it gives a few more options.  Fantastically, the swale is at least as much in play on the layup as the tee ball.   I don't think formalizing the lines or making an artificial swale would make it any better.   I don't know if it could be any better.

When people discuss these supposed templates, they seem to get a very caricatured and engineered vision in their minds, and because of that the seem to have trouble considering the underlying concepts.   But the underlying concepts are there, if slightly offset.  First clear your mind of what you expect a a biarritz to look like aesthetically, then think of the basic concepts, then look at the photos on pages 15, 52, 126, 162, 164, and 165.  Or you can imagine what a Biarritz might look like in an ideal world if the great Mackenzie decided to build something like it.  

DISCLAIMER:   I am not saying that Raynor planned a biarritz hole exactly there (although it certainly seems possible given AM's description) or that AM decided to build something like a Biarritz, whether because of Raynor's plan or his own volition (although again this is possible.)  But if one looks at the concepts, they are there, just a tiny bit offset, depending on the location of the tee.

___________________________________

By the way Patrick,  the wind doesn't always blow the same direction out there.  I have no doubt that Marion Hollins could reach the green with a brassie.   Depending upon the wind, reaching the green with a brassie is possible even for a hack like me, and when it came to golf Marion Hollins was twice the man I am.   Also, keep in  mind that they may not have been at the exact tee location as you.

______________________________________________

I think a Biarritz on the 16th at Cypress is like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

Bob

My Dear Mr. Huntley,

You are more well-traveled than the rest of us, so surely you know that occasionally even the most beautiful Italian woman might get a bit of a shadow above her lip.   Not my beautiful Italian bride of course, but I've heard.

Best,

DM
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Rick Shefchik on November 22, 2009, 06:15:00 PM
I think a Biarritz on the 16th at Cypress is like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

Bob

My Dear Mr. Huntley,

You are more well-traveled than the rest of us, so surely you know that occasionally even the most beautiful Italian woman might get a bit of a shadow above her lip.   Not my beautiful Italian bride of course, but I've heard.

Best,

DM
I'm thinking it would be more like putting a push-up bra on the Mona Lisa.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Tiger_Bernhardt on November 23, 2009, 11:05:27 AM
Pat, I am not sure of intent or other options other than what many of us have read. However while one can make your arguement on this hole, it is not sound to me. It is one of the greatest holes in golf as it is. The way the green is set, the wind and the carry all are challenges of the highest order. To create a probable 3 put if one ends up in the wrong part of the green seems silly to me. Most are hitting anything from a long iron to a driver. I have never hit less than a 4 wood in 30 plus rounds. It is usually a driver or aoccasionally a 3 wood. I would like to think your club will welcome Weis as a member given your love and respect for him and the extra 18 million he has in the bank after his ND days. Hopefully the school will show it is a place of higher learning and not merely a front for NBC executives to wash money through. Ok the wash part was a joke. Or they can learn from mistakes and fire the AD who did this most stupid 10 year K in year one after doing an 8 year K for Willingham. No we Tigers are not happy with Miles game day blunders either.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 23, 2009, 12:57:03 PM

Pat, I am not sure of intent or other options other than what many of us have read. However while one can make your arguement on this hole, it is not sound to me. It is one of the greatest holes in golf as it is. The way the green is set, the wind and the carry all are challenges of the highest order.

How would a Biarritz green change that ?


To create a probable 3 put if one ends up in the wrong part of the green seems silly to me. Most are hitting anything from a long iron to a driver. I have never hit less than a 4 wood in 30 plus rounds. It is usually a driver or aoccasionally a 3 wood.

You're losing sight of the dimensions of the green and the dimensions of a regular, or the current green.
If a golfer is 30+ yards short of a back pin today, he's chipping for par.
If he was 30+ yards short of a back pin on a Biarritz he'd be approach putting for par.


I would like to think your club will welcome Weis as a member given your love and respect for him and the extra 18 million he has in the bank after his ND days. Hopefully the school will show it is a place of higher learning and not merely a front for NBC executives to wash money through. Ok the wash part was a joke. Or they can learn from mistakes and fire the AD who did this most stupid 10 year K in year one after doing an 8 year K for Willingham. No we Tigers are not happy with Miles game day blunders either.

Why do you want to ruin a good thread by going stupidly off topic ?
[/color]
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: DMoriarty on November 23, 2009, 01:09:42 PM
Tiger,

Also keep in mind that the swale and first plateau were not necessarily even part of the green.   In fact, if we think in terms of the original concept I am not even sure that there had to be a definite first plateau, but rather a long shot to a long green with a swale just short of the putting surface, so the lesser player had a challenging but possible option of trying to run the ball through the swale and onto the green (either on his first shot or his second, from just short.)
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Kalen Braley on November 23, 2009, 01:21:38 PM
Ahhh cmon Pat,

There is never a bad time to talk about ND football!!    ;)

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4679733

P.S.  They show an interesting stat in that video.  Charlie Weis had far superior results when Ty's recruits were the primary role players at ND, his first two years....than when its been Charlies recruits.    :P

So I take it all back Pat....please, please, please do whatever is in your power not to get Weis fired because the drama/scrunity and Weis poor puppy dog facial expressions week after week is far too good not to have around anymore!!  ;D

P.P.S.  Losing to Connetticut, a doormat in a not very good Big East Conference was precious!!  :)

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: DMoriarty on November 23, 2009, 01:58:32 PM
Kalen,  why don't you start a thread if you want to talk ND football?  Preferably on a ND football site.  Thanks. 
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Gib Papazian on November 23, 2009, 04:03:54 PM
I have long wondered whether Raynor envisioned the 16th hole at Cypress Point as a Biarritz at all. Uncle George is the wheel, while I am only the mud flap, so of course I'll defer to his superior wisdom when he chimes in. In the meantime, let's look at the entire discussion from a slightly different (and possibly obtuse) angle.

The *original* Macdonald "Cape" at NGLA was not the diagonal carry we associate with that moniker. The green complex was on a spit of land jutting out into Bullhead Bay. From the tee, one had the option of trying to gun one over a long expanse of water straight for the green, or play to the left leaving an awkward pitch for the 2nd shot.

How is that different from the 16th at Cypress?

When the access road was constructed at NGLA, the 14th hole was changed to what we now call the "Cape" - and it is the diagonal carry that somehow became salient the strategic element - not the fact that the green was surrounded on three sides by water.

Maybe I am suffering from a flashback from my ill-spent youth - or still so traumatized about the USC-Stanford game that I've lost the ability to think rationally. However, if you look at the 16th at Cypress as a clever short par-4, it is not really a Biarritz, is it?

It is the original definition of a Cape Hole.  

George?      
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Tiger_Bernhardt on November 23, 2009, 04:45:47 PM
David I am having trouble figuring out where the space is for all that. It is a long shot to hold on that green as it is. I assumed you and Pat were runing with a large green with swale in the middle as opposed to swale and forward portions being a chipping area
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 23, 2009, 04:56:48 PM
Gibster:

If Alister created the 100-175 yard bailout option on CPC's 16th hole as a conceptual imitation of CBM's NGLA Cape Hole concept something tells me Alister was mocking Charlie!  

Or looked at conversely, do you think Charlie would've recommended that anyone who actually tried to hit the green from the tee at CPC's 16th should be a candidate to be disinherited?

If you can't come up with a rational answer to that question just ask The Redhead----she'll set you straight. ;)
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jim_Kennedy on November 23, 2009, 05:12:02 PM
The *original* Macdonald "Cape" at NGLA was not the diagonal carry we associate with that moniker. The green complex was on a spit of land jutting out into Bullhead Bay. From the tee, one had the option of trying to gun one over a long expanse of water straight for the green, or play to the left leaving an awkward pitch for the 2nd shot.
How is that different from the 16th at Cypress?
- Gib

That sounds like the 17th, at least looking down on it.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill_McBride on November 23, 2009, 05:18:37 PM
Gibster:

If Alister created the 100-175 yard bailout option on CPC's 16th hole as a conceptual imitation of CBM's NGLA Cape Hole concept something tells me Alister was mocking Charlie!  

Or looked at conversely, do you think Charlie would've recommended that anyone who actually tried to hit the green from the tee at CPC's 16th should be a candidate to be disinherited?

If you can't come up with a rational answer to that question just ask The Redhead----she'll set you straight. ;)

Isn't there a tee farther back that increases that carry to the peninsula?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: DMoriarty on November 23, 2009, 05:35:20 PM
Gib,  It certainly does have some cape characteristics, but there are few differences (or possible differences) to consider.  

1.  I don't think the original cape at NGLA was intended to be a drivable hole.  The descriptions I have seen make it sound like the very best drives may put the golfer in a position just a bit right of the green where putting (from off the green) might be a possibility.   While AM considered making the 16th a short par 4, he ultimately did not.  

2.  For me the beauty of the original cape concept was that because the green jutted out into trouble, the angle of approach was at least as important as the distance of the drive.  One could hit a huge drive (240 yards) but leave a terrible angle.   Likewise one could find a perfect angle, but might leave themselves a long shot in.   So the golfer had to figure the correct combination of the two, and then execute.   With the 16th, I don't think the angle of approach from the fairway is as important, nor do I think the distance and angle play off each other in the same way.  Maybe I am just remembering it incorrectly.

3.  By the time you get to the 16th, you've already played at least one hole with sort of a cape concept and you still have another to go.  

________________________________________________________

Tiger,

If you have Geoff's book take a look at the photo on page 162.  You can see that the green used to be more rectangular, and deeper than it is wide.  You can also see that there used to be more room between the front-left bunker and the green.  I cannot tell exactly but I think the bunker used to be back farther and more toward the cliff, so that their actually was a swale between the green and the bunker, and from a different angle (one might have been able to hit it short and through the swale, and onto the green.  

Take a look at the photo on page 164 as well.   I think we can see the front of the green, and quite a bit of grass (and/or an upslope) short of the green.  And from the photo on page 162, we can see there was even more room before the green for a golfer who  just cleared the bunker.

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 23, 2009, 09:19:36 PM
David Moriarty,

I agree, I don't think the original 14th (5th) at NGLA was a drivable green.
I believe it was about distance, angles and the resultant approach shot, but, never about a carry that could reach the green.

Not even TEPaul's wonderous Marion Hollis could have made that drive in 1909.

All too often some examine golf holes in the context of today's I&B, rather than in the context of the balls and equipment in use when a course was designed/built.

If # 16 at CPC was initially contemplated as a par 4, then the "Cape" principle/concept must have been in play.

However, since the hole debuted as a par 3, the "Cape" concept would seem to be out, and the "Biarritz" concept a reasonable possibility.

As a "true" Biarritz, with a carry that matched the original, would # 16 be a spectacular hole ?

I don't see how it couldn't, but would listen to arguments to the contrary.

With such an heroic carry, over a precipice, with the Pacific Ocean below, and the winds buffeting the golfer, I don't see how any hole placed/designed there, couldn't be anything but terrific.

In other words the site is so special that any hole, from the original/existing tee to the original/existing green HAS to be special.

And, as a Biarritz, might it not be even better.

Where are Raynor's plans when you need them ?
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on November 23, 2009, 11:33:40 PM
Gib, no where did Hollins, Raynor or Dr. Mac refer to 16-CP as a Biarritz design.

I am the one referring the hole as being a Biarritz - based on the fact that the long par-3's on Macdonald, Raynor, Banks courses were Biarritz holes.

I take full responsibility - MY OPINION!!

There is some reflection to Cape in some form or another, Gib, but Cape holes they built were generally under 360-370 yards......the lone exception that comes to mind is Mid Ocean 5


so I don’t “get” Cape out of 16-CP

There were any number of Biarritz holes that do not look like Biarritz - no swale - one at Blind Brook comes to mind: push-up green, no swale a bit shorter yardage (because it was built for an older membership) - actually looks like an downhill Eden hole.

Point is there are so many variations to a Biarritz !!! wait til you play Old Macdonald’s - like no other Biarritz and a swale like no other - pure sculpture - not the usual “lets lay a huge pipe into the soft approach and we’ll have a “perfect” linear trench   .... “

Anyhow, I’m glad Dr. Mac built the course (unfortunately, never been there .......... booooo)

Pat: I doubt if you’ll ever see the Raynor Plan. I’ll have the conversation with the person who saw the in the (someday) upcoming Raynor book ..... renamed as someone suggested:

Seth Raynor - The Dork From New York

a portion of the conversation: the Raynor plan  "still existed in 1974, was studied then, and discussed with us over tea at Commonwealth Golf Club in 1978 by a great golfing gentleman not given to prevarication or exaggeration."
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: DMoriarty on November 24, 2009, 12:31:10 AM
Patrick,  I agree generally but think I am more with George on this one.   I think the hole was relatively close to a Biarritz as the hole was originally intended, and think it would have been great fun as such.   While it looks like the coastline may have changed shape somewhat, it is still there, or could be if the bunkers were in their original position and the gap between where the bunkers are and the green was reestablished.  That way the swale short would be more in play from the tee. 

One other consideration-- the terrific option presented by the huge layup area left (although it might have really felt like a very short shot into a biarritz from over there.)   That in my mind is one of the factors that makes this such a great hole, and I'm not sure that this fits with the Biarritz mold. 

____________________________

George,

Thanks for chiming in.  Informative as always.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jim Nugent on November 24, 2009, 01:10:38 AM

George Bahto's quote seems to make it pretty clear that Raynor routed a par 3 hole on this spot. If this is true, it seems obvious that he would have made it a Biarritz. Biarritz holes were always the longest one-shotter on his designs. What other type of green complex would you expect?


This confuses me, because Bahto's quote makes it clear to me that Raynor did not route any hole on this spot:

"It was suggested to her by the late Seth Raynor that it was a pity the carry over the ocean was too long to enable a hole to be designed on this particular site."

As for Pat's question on this thread, a Biarritz green or green complex at CPC 16 seems like overkill to me.   I've never played the course, though.   
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on November 24, 2009, 11:59:09 AM
I think you fella are trying to fit all Biarritz holes into some sort of single model.

In general:

Macdonald sees of hears about this hole dramatic hole on the Biarritz course, the Chasm.

He needs a long (200-plus yards) one-shot hole to go along with what he is trying to accomplish on par-3s - testing various clubs by building various lengths par-3 to fit four sections of the golf bag;

1.   A short hole of from 135-145 (don’t nit-pick the numbers, they are approximations from the 19-teens and 1920's based on scorecards from his earlier courses)
2.   An Eden style hole - middle iron test, from about 160 to 175 (160 was the norm)
3.   Redan, a long iron or wood-club -the average Redan length on his earlier courses were, on average, 187 yds.
4.   missing a long hole ........ my thinking is that he wanted one unreachable on the fly. Here is where a lot of us get into trouble. We keeping thinking about this stuff in the context of today’s play. Think about those players not hitting the ball 200-yards on the fly but counting on a ball that will bound 50 - 60 (and more) yards. There were hardly any holes in the British Isles that fit this mode for him besides the hole in France (I knew they would be of some help at some time).

Big Charlie builds NGLA with only three par-3's leaving out the long par-3. My personal opinion? He felt he didn‘t have the topography for a Biarritz hole on the Southampton property.

So he builds the first Biarritz hole, ground level at Piping Rock - hard turf, a running shot.

Next at Sleepy Hollow he builds a goofy down hill short Biarritz of about 200 yards that is so bad you cannot even see the swale and the “front” fairway area just a flat landing area. That hole is part of the “lower course” - the 7th.

Over time he and Raynor build Biarritz holes on their courses that fit a general model - again, single green fronted by a swale (if possible) with a landing area (fairway preceding the swale. No so-called “double green” (in those days).

I think his side, strip bunkering (when used) was to simulate the left and right greenside hazard problems on the France green ....... probably close to the cliff-line on the right. I have no idea what was on the left of the French hole.

But to me the key is that, yes, there was a basic model but they were not anchored to it and often used the local terrain and the wishes of the membership as a guide for what they were going to build.

1.   Westhampton CC: a reversed horseshoe around the fronting fairway - a one of a kind.
2.   As earlier stated, often there was no swale but just a push-up green, usually on “moderately hard” courses, like Blind Brook, and courses where the membership did not wanted a killer course. “Charlie, we can always go out to National if we want to get knocked out but for every day place give us some moderation” (a Blind Brook paraphrase).
3.   Essex County a downhill Biarritz cocked at more than a 15-degree angle to the line of play with no bunkering on the right but on the left there was bunkering for nearly 100-yards up the hill.
4.   A few, very boring, ground level holes with hardly a swale.

Occasionally they hit the jackpot - Yale, Fishers Island and such.

They were not forcing this early Biarritz model into a course unless it looked right - if it did not, they modified the hole. Some Biarritz holes were cut into a hill; Tamarack. Many were dramatically built up on level land; The Knoll, Chicago etc.; out on an island, Creek

One of the neat things about CP-16, to me, is the angle the land sits on, relative to the line of play to the green. Apparently, a 200-yards carry straight on but less of a carry the further to the left you opt to play. Nice - an optional-play par-3.

So, the question seems to be, did Seth Raynor “see” what became the 16th hole as a definitive Biarritz hole?  Who the heck knows! But it was certainly part of his overall routing of the course
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill_McBride on November 24, 2009, 12:08:39 PM
George, I thought the original hole at Biarritz, France that is credited as the inspiration for Macdonald's "Biarritz" par 3s was a hole that had a forced carry over a chasm, and the swale in Macdonald's holes is there to represent the "chasm."

Are you implying that the green itself at Biarritz, France had a swale in it?

I think the 16th at Cypress Point is a great tribute to the original "Chasm" hole at Biarritz, France, as it certainly has a (heroic) forced carry over a chasm.  It doesn't need a swale if that's what David is implying.

So I'm a bit confused and hope this can be cleared up.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jim Nugent on November 24, 2009, 01:35:01 PM
The swales on CBM's Biarritz holes don't seem to me like much of a replica or tribute to the chasm hole at Biarritz.  They do not mimic the playing conditions: you certainly could not run a ball through the chasm.  Also the chasm hole played much, much shorter than CBM's Biarritz holes.  If there was no swale on or before the green at Biarritz, in what way are CBM's Biarritz holes like the "original?"  They would not have played or looked like it. 

Do we know for sure who gave the name "Biarritz" to CBM's holes?  If it wasn't CBM, the hole may have nothing at all to do with the chasm hole.  Or if CBM did name the hole, he still may not have patterned it off the chasm hole.  IIRC, Rich Goodale pointed out that N. Berwick used to be known as the Biarritz of the north.     

Does anyone know when the crazy green at #16 at N. Berwick was made?  Also, did CBM know about this green, before he built the Biarritz greens?  This plus the Valley of Sin seem like closer replicas to the Biarritz holes, than what I understand about the chasm hole.  I strike that last statement, if the chasm hole did indeed have a swale on or before the green. 
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 24, 2009, 02:32:53 PM
"This confuses me, because Bahto's quote makes it clear to me that Raynor did not route any hole on this spot:

"It was suggested to her by the late Seth Raynor that it was a pity the carry over the ocean was too long to enable a hole to be designed on this particular site.""


JimN:

That's right----or so the CPC story goes Raynor apparently did say it was a pity the carry over the ocean was too long to enable a hole to be designed on this particular site----but then at that point apparently Marion said something like: "Oh yeah, then watch this" and she hit a brassie from a little more than 200 yards over the ocean and onto the site that is now the green.

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: DMoriarty on November 24, 2009, 04:17:08 PM

I always picture the purpose of the swale (or the upslope if the green is simply plateaued) was to make the run up shot a bit more interesting and challenging.   It is certainly more interesting and challenging to try and run a ball through a swale than on flat ground.

George,  I agree with you that we have to consider the distance they used to hit the ball, but think there is some danger to overplaying this.   Many golfers could carry the ball 200 yards in the Haskell era.   Most probably couldn't, but many could.   

Rustic has a deep green with a swale right before it on a 216 yard par 3, and it presents a few interesting playability aspects which are seldom discussed in terms of the Biarritz.     

1.  The golfer must make a definite choice to either completely carry the swale or to land the ball far enough back that it will run through the swale.   Because if you hit into the upslope of the swale, your ball is going nowhere.    Many golfers try to make the green but don't quite make it and end up in the swale.   This seems a very CBM-like ploy to me--  punish the near-miss of the attempt at the perfect shot (in this case carrying it over the swale and stopping it on the green.)

For those with experience playing Biaritz holes built by CBM, does the swale function similarly there?   Do balls hit into the face of the swale stay in it?

2.  At Rustic running through the swale  is a challenge because  the ball must first carry the wash and a ditch.   So the shot must be far enough to carry the trouble, but not far enough to get stuck in the swale.   

George.    I notice that while on flat ground, Piping Rock's Biarritz has a bunker crossing the line of play short of the short landing area.    Has this always been there?     Strategically, it seems to serve the purpose of the Chasm-- requiring even the player utilizing the ground game to at least carry it to a bit short of the green.    Is this a correct understanding?   

I ask because, thinking of the strategies presented it seems important that there be some sort of carry over something before the ball starts rolling.   This seems to be a possible reach back to the chasm to me. 
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on November 24, 2009, 04:17:46 PM
Jim Nugent:

The swale is not a representation of the Chasm.

Also, you said the Chasm hole “played much, much shorter than CBM’s Biarritz holes.”
On page 182 Scotland’s Gift - Golf, Macdonald clearly  state (item #15) 210 yards suggested by the 12th (3rd) Biarritz .......

next page: “these distances are measured from middle of teeing ground to middle of putting green, With proper teeing ground space and putting greens each hole could be lengthened at will from 20 to 30 yards.”


Jim N:” Do we know for sure who gave the name "Biarritz" to CBM's holes?”  

Jim, he clearly named the hole - page 182



Jim N: “If there was no swale on or before the green at Biarritz, in what way are CBM's Biarritz holes like the "original?" They would not have played or looked like it.”[/color]

Jim, no one has been able to ascertain what the green in France looked like and all these listed “inspiration holes” were merely than - an inspiration. We found the original Leven hole inspiration on the Leven course in Scotland. It looks NOTHING like what Macdonald built as the great 17th at National. Eden - the 11th St. Andrews: nothing he and his “cohorts”  built come close to any Eden they built - and so on ........ inspiration


Jim N:  ”Does anyone know when the crazy green at #16 at N. Berwick was made? Also, did CBM know about this green, before he built the Biarritz greens? This plus the Valley of Sin seem like closer replicas to the Biarritz holes, than what I understand about the chasm hole. I strike that last statement, if the chasm hole did indeed have a swale on or before the green.”[/i]

We’ve been thru this one any number of times and I haven’t got the time right now to reiterate this one but if you search engine it out, I’m sure you’ll find a few threads that discuss it.

I’ve also explained my position on where the swale comes from (St Andrews’ 18th). If anyone comes up with some sort of proof otherwise, I’m wide open. I’d love to find out what the original France green looked like.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: archie_struthers on November 24, 2009, 04:25:18 PM
 8) ??? 8)

I actually thought the question was going to be   "should the 16th at Cypress been lengthened a little and made into the best risk reward par four "  ever  ?????   
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Anthony Gray on November 24, 2009, 04:26:38 PM


  THe biarritz green would be out of character with the the others.

  Anthony

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on November 24, 2009, 04:34:01 PM
David:  "George.    I notice that while on flat ground, Piping Rock's Biarritz has a bunker crossing the line of play short of the short landing area.    Has this always been there?     Strategically, it seems to serve the purpose of the Chasm-- requiring even the player utilizing the ground game to at least carry it to a bit short of the green.    Is this a correct understanding?  "

That bunker, well short of the "fairway", the swale and the green was to represent the carry over the hazard

note the illustration of the Knoll's 13th - many clubs removed this bunker becausxe, to them, it served no purpose at all.

......  although that is the original position built by Charles Banks, I think it would be more representative if it were placed at the beginning of the side bunkers

(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g85/ggb313/13Knollforshare.jpg)
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on November 24, 2009, 04:36:44 PM
Anthony: "out of character "

an inspriation - that would fit its surrounding neighborhood
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: George_Bahto on November 24, 2009, 04:42:47 PM
Here is one of the "different" versions of Biarritz - angled approach - Essex County CC, West Orange, NJ

 there is hardly a swale - bad drainage area. The swale is in a very low area surround by lots of "downhill"

(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g85/ggb313/14ECCCshare.jpg)
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: DMoriarty on November 24, 2009, 08:23:34 PM
David:  "George.    I notice that while on flat ground, Piping Rock's Biarritz has a bunker crossing the line of play short of the short landing area.    Has this always been there?     Strategically, it seems to serve the purpose of the Chasm-- requiring even the player utilizing the ground game to at least carry it to a bit short of the green.    Is this a correct understanding?  "

That bunker, well short of the "fairway", the swale and the green was to represent the carry over the hazard

note the illustration of the Knoll's 13th - many clubs removed this bunker becausxe, to them, it served no purpose at all.

Thanks George, that is what I thought, and it really clarifies things for me.  Seems to be characteristic of CBM as I understand him, he allowed for the ground game, but wasn't about to reward an ugly grounder or a topped shot.  

__________________________________

And thanks for posting the Essex County hole.     For those of you who do not understanding how  this could be considered a biarritz hole if the space between the bunkers and the green were reestablished, take a look at these.   The first is Essex, only in mirror image.  The second is CPC with the Essex outline over the top.   Both the red and white lines are about 219 yards.  

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v249/dmoriarty/Essexwithoutline.jpg?t=1259112504)  (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v249/dmoriarty/CPC16thEssexoutline.jpg?t=1259112460)  

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Anthony Gray on November 24, 2009, 09:14:38 PM


  Excellent post David

  Anthony

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Jim_Kennedy on November 24, 2009, 09:18:54 PM
David,
Rather similar, but the fairway of ECCC hole is very much of a downslope to the green, then the green heads uphill from front to back. The 'low' point of the 'swale' is the area where the green and fairway meet, and it shows up as a slightly darker area in your reversed photo of ECCC.

It you hit a low shot at Essex that landed short it has a chance of following the downhill slope and kicking up on the green. That sure doesn't look like the case at Cypress, the ground seems flat and the ball would just run straight ahead and onto the rocks.
I've never been on the ground at CPC, but that's my impression.   
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 24, 2009, 09:33:02 PM
I'm pretty sure Piping's biarritz is the same now as it was back in the fifties and I'm pretty sure no one did anything to it before the '50s. The fairway before the swale is pretty liberal with plenty of room to land a low running shot on it and run it through the swale and up onto the green. The green is on fairly flat ground but the tee is at least 15 feet or more above the green.

The Creek Club's historian produced a great photo on here sometime ago of Piping's Biarritz from 1913 that also showed how the fairway on the 8th hole seemed to come right to the right side biarritz bunker and continued on along the right side of the Road Hole green.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Adam Clayman on November 24, 2009, 11:32:25 PM
The rear bunkers on Dr. Mac's 16th green at CPC are there to catch the aggressive player. Just like all of his rear bunkers. No?

Having a backside of a swale, where a ball hit from 200 yards, on a firm surface, would in all likely hood go bounding into those back bunkers, seems like a penalty not caused by being aggressive, but rather a bounce designed in. Would the good Doctor do such a thing? Did he ever do such a thing?

For that reason, because of those rear bunkers, I don't think a Biarritz inspired greensite/green on CPC's 16th works at all.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: DMoriarty on November 24, 2009, 11:36:05 PM
David,
Rather similar, but the fairway of ECCC hole is very much of a downslope to the green, then the green heads uphill from front to back. The 'low' point of the 'swale' is the area where the green and fairway meet, and it shows up as a slightly darker area in your reversed photo of ECCC.

It you hit a low shot at Essex that landed short it has a chance of following the downhill slope and kicking up on the green. That sure doesn't look like the case at Cypress, the ground seems flat and the ball would just run straight ahead and onto the rocks.
I've never been on the ground at CPC, but that's my impression.    

Jim,  I haven't played Essex so I dont know how steep the slope is.  However, having spent a bit of time in the lay up area on the 16th at CPC, I can tell you that the fairway most definitely slopes down toward the green, with the lowpoint a bit short of the green and then rises up again to the green surface.  

Here is how AM described the shot left in his book:

"A well played shot at the lone Cypress tree with a nicely calculated slice gets the help of the slope and runs very near the green enabling the player to run up a slope of a slight swale and still have a good chance at three."
 

If you've seen photos you know how far left the lone Cypress tree is (and was) from the green, so he was contemplating some serious run on the ball down this slope.  In the old photos it looks as if there used to be enough room for the golfer to go more at the green and land just to the side of the bunker (or over it)  and still run on to the green.   As Shackelford reported in his excellent book, their was more room between the bunkers and the green than one might think.

See page 165 of Shackelford's excellent book to see a photo of the slope and swale.  
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: DMoriarty on November 25, 2009, 01:02:40 AM
The rear bunkers on Dr. Mac's 16th green at CPC are there to catch the aggressive player. Just like all of his rear bunkers. No?

Having a backside of a swale, where a ball hit from 200 yards, on a firm surface, would in all likely hood go bounding into those back bunkers, seems like a penalty not caused by being aggressive, but rather a bounce designed in. Would the good Doctor do such a thing? Did he ever do such a thing?

For that reason, because of those rear bunkers, I don't think a Biarritz inspired greensite/green on CPC's 16th works at all.

Adam,   I don't quite follow you here.   There is a bit of a swale already, isn't there?  Just left of the green?

I think everyone is assuming that a biarritz is a much more stagnant concept than it really is.

The Back Bunkers
.
-  I agree with Adam that the bunkers were designed to catch the aggressive player, or at least give the player on the tee a reason not to just bang away with hall he's got.  But with Mackenzie there was likely more to it than that.
-  Much of the site is sand dunes and MacKenzie uses the large bunkers into the dunes and hillsides throughout the course to tie together the sections with exposed sand and the sections without.   This to me is part of the brilliance of the course-- it flows from environment to environment seamlessly without the golfer ever feelling like he has left one setting for another.   That is what amazes me most about these complaints about the back bunkers-- those complaining completely ignore the style and theme of the rest of the course.  
-  While there is no exposed sand, I think that this hillside is a sand dune, just grassed over.
-  The bunkers in front were small and the bunkers in back were large, thus creating the illusion that there is less space between the front of the green and the back than there really was, and making the shot look even more difficult than it was and thereby increasing the thrill of a successful shot without really upping the difficulty even more.   Look in 1934 photo below and how well the right bunker fit with the back right bunker.  From a lower angle the left bunker would have seemed much closer to the back left bunkers that it really was.    A terrific use of camouflage principles.

[The photo is the same one referenced above by David Stamm, and also appears (at much higher resolution) in Geoff's book.  Note that the left second left bunker is not built facing the tee, but facing the fall off in the back.]
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill_McBride on November 25, 2009, 09:31:05 AM
David, what do you mean by "stagnant concept?"
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Adam Clayman on November 25, 2009, 09:52:30 AM
David, I have no idea if there's a swale left of the green. If there is it sure must be subtle because that's where I was forced to play on my one time play. My issue was with balls hit online with the green that might hit the downward slope of the biarritz (or any swale) and the placement of the rear bunkers. Unless, Like Forrest did at Peacock Gap, turn the Biarritz sideways.  ;D
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 25, 2009, 09:31:35 PM
If someone could post the diagram/schematic of the Biarritz in France, that appears on page 150 of George Bahto's book, "The Evangelist of Golf", you'll see the incredible similarity in the land forms at # 16 at CPC, including a "bail out" area to the left.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill_McBride on November 25, 2009, 10:59:18 PM
David, I have no idea if there's a swale left of the green. If there is it sure must be subtle because that's where I was forced to play on my one time play. My issue was with balls hit online with the green that might hit the downward slope of the biarritz (or any swale) and the placement of the rear bunkers. Unless, Like Forrest did at Peacock Gap, turn the Biarritz sideways.  ;D

It is a cool green indeed - #7, right? - but turned sideways it's no longer a Biarritz, now it's become a Double Plateau!

I love this stuff!
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Adam Clayman on November 25, 2009, 11:18:09 PM
That's funny Bill. I just thought FR stole it from Shivas'. ;)
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Sean_A on November 26, 2009, 03:54:23 AM
Hang on guys.  Doesn't anybody else other than me question how these two holes are meant to express the same design concept? Because somebody named these two holes the same, doesn't in the least mean they are similar holes.  Someone has some splainin to do - at least to me.

(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g85/ggb313/13Knollforshare.jpg)

(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g85/ggb313/14ECCCshare.jpg)


Jim

I don't recall the exact progression of events, but NB's 16th green wasn't created until after CBM made his NGLA design tours. In fact, NB's green may be a copy of a CBM Biarritz.   

Ciao

Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 26, 2009, 08:38:14 AM
Jim Nugent and Sean:

This question of the architectural etymology (so to speak) of the Biarritz hole has always been an interesting and mysterious question and particularly the question of where the idea for that Biarrtiz swale came from or what it was supposed to imitate or emulate.

Some years ago I tried to do as much research as I possibly could on this question and I recall some fairly leading material about the course in France itself. My recollection is that famous Chasm Hole at Biarritz France may not have been the only one from which this idea of a swale or the name "Biarritz" hole may've come from (and we do know that Macdonald said he went to France with Whigam on one of his three architectural study trips abroad between 1902 and 1906 in preparation for the creation of NGLA).

I too have often wondered if Macdonald got the idea for the swale from North Berwick's #16 when he first saw that course in 1906 but now you (Sean) tell us that swale on NB's #16 did not exist at that time. May I ask you how you know that or can prove it? We should also note that even if Macdonald said he did not build a Biarritz at NGLA (even if he apparently wanted to) because he couldn't find the proper spot or topography for it at NGLA, he did do his first Biarritz at Piping Rock in 1911-13 which is definitely on some pretty unremarkable ground and topography. So that sort of begs the question of what Macdonald thought he was looking for as an appropriate spot or topography at NGLA for a Biarritz hole. And we should also remember that Macdonald mentioned this about NGLA in his autobiography that was written about twenty years after the creation of NGLA, or at least I believe that was the first he mentioned it.

Sometimes George Bahto mentions the idea for the Biarritz swale may have come to Macdonald from the "Valley of Sin" in front of the 18th green at TOC. Knowing how familiar Macdonald had been with that course over the years that seems somewhat more plausible or logical and certainly given the fact that it now seems neither Macdonald nor Raynor ever did a biarritz originally with green space in front of the swale (it was apparently always fairway area on their original designs) but that does not exactly explain how or why a Biarritz hole came to be so named.

Again, I have a sneaking suspicion Macdonald saw something at that course in Biarritz France that may've had this kind of swale even though it may not have been that famous Chasm hole over the Bay of Biscay which so many have come to call the original Biarritz hole.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Sean_A on November 26, 2009, 10:32:15 AM
TomP

I don't recall the exact genesis of why we know that NB's 16th was not a model for CBM.  However, I think it started with with Bernardo's description of the hole for his great book, Golf Courses... which was published in 1910.  It mentions a single plateau green for the Gate hole, not a double plateau.  Sometime later we saw a map of the course posted on here showing that the double was either not present or was added - I don't recall which.  In any case, you can do a search to fins all this out, but the evidence was pretty conclusive that CBM did not use NB's 16th green as a template for the Biarritz because the double plateau green at NB didn't exist at the time of CBM's research.

Ciao
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 26, 2009, 11:02:17 AM
Sean:

Thanks for that info on NB's #16 green.

I would say that no one really knows then where Macdonald's idea for that huge swale in front of Biarritzes came from. Not to mention that famous hole in Biarritz France was apparently not even called the "Biarritz" hole, at least not by the Biarritz golf club. I think it was referred to as the "Chasm" hole.

All this is probably just another good example of what Macdonald said himself-----these kinds of features (or even some of the names of holes) and such were simply taken from his observations of parts and pieces of existing holes and reapplied over hear in the same piecemeal or composite manner.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 26, 2009, 11:57:51 AM
TEPaul,

If you will turn to page 148 of George Bahto's book, "The Evangelist of Golf", it will answer your question about the carry to the green on a "Biarritz" hole.

I don't believe that the carry/chasm has anything to do with the swale in the green or green footpad.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: TEPaul on November 26, 2009, 11:19:16 PM
Pat:

My question on the Macdonald, Raynor, Banks Biarritz hole has nothing to do with the carry distance from tee to green; it has only to do with where the concept of the huge swale on the Macdonald, Raynor etc Biarritz hole came from.
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 28, 2009, 07:35:19 PM
TEPaul,

It certainly wasn't by accident.

It was a deliberate design effort.

I don't have the time now, but, I'd like to list the Biarritz's accompanied by their timeline to see what form the original and subsequent Biarritz's took.

If someone can post the diagram on page 150 of George Bahto's book, "The Evangelist of Golf" you will see the eerie resemblance to # 16 at CPC
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Bill_McBride on November 29, 2009, 10:32:49 AM
TEPaul,

It certainly wasn't by accident.

It was a deliberate design effort.

I don't have the time now, but, I'd like to list the Biarritz's accompanied by their timeline to see what form the original and subsequent Biarritz's took.

If someone can post the diagram on page 150 of George Bahto's book, "The Evangelist of Golf" you will see the eerie resemblance to # 16 at CPC

I can't post the photo but think there is one huge difference - the length of the forced carry.  At Cypress Point it's 210-215 yards.  At the Biarritz it's 170 yards with 40-50 yards of fairway between the chasm edge and the front of the green.   At CPC the only way you can play a shot as short as 170 yards is over toward the cypress tree.

Of course a 170 yard shot in 1888 probably equals a shot of 220 yards today......
Title: Re: Should the 16th at Cypress Point have been
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 29, 2009, 02:36:20 PM
TEPaul,

It certainly wasn't by accident.

It was a deliberate design effort.

I don't have the time now, but, I'd like to list the Biarritz's accompanied by their timeline to see what form the original and subsequent Biarritz's took.

If someone can post the diagram on page 150 of George Bahto's book, "The Evangelist of Golf" you will see the eerie resemblance to # 16 at CPC

I can't post the photo but think there is one huge difference - the length of the forced carry. 
At Cypress Point it's 210-215 yards. 

Bill, I think your measurements are off.
The CPC scorecard lists # 16 as only 219 from the Championship tees.
That's from the back tee to the center of the green, so I don't know where you're coming up with a carry of 210-215 yards.
The red tee is lists the hole at 208, so, again, I don't see how a carry of 210-215 is required.

 
At the Biarritz it's 170 yards with 40-50 yards of fairway between the chasm edge and the front of the green.   

Where are you obtaining your measurements for the Biarritz in France ?
From an artist's rendering or actual measurements ?


At CPC the only way you can play a shot as short as 170 yards is over toward the cypress tree.

That's not true ?
How do higher handicaps and women play the hole ?
Please look at the tees to the south of the Championship tee.
And, why is the assumption that the current Championship tee has always been the only tee location from the inception of the hole ?

If you could post George's schematic of the original Biarritz and the Google Aerial of # 16, the resemblance is striking

Thanks

Of course a 170 yard shot in 1888 probably equals a shot of 220 yards today......