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Golf Course Architecture / Re: Changes to St Enodoc's Tenth
« Last post by Tom_Doak on Today at 11:04:34 AM »

As Adam alludes, one of the things about the 10th is that you don't have to hit the drive into the fairway.  The first time I played there, not realizing the distance to the neck [and with the rough down in December], I hit my drive onto the side of the hill and then got pin high with a "baseball swing" second shot as you aptly described it. 

Many good players would say that having to play a hole in that manner is out of bounds, and that the stance for a second shot from the side of the hill is much too unpredictable.  Indeed, it is ... and those players are welcome to lay back off the tee, or to try for the neck of fairway, instead.  But my principal suggestion for that hole was to keep the rough on the hill mowed with some degree of regularity, so that golfers could try to play the hole in summer the way it does play in winter.

As I mentioned, the tenth is the only hole from the original, pre-Braid 18-hole layout which dates to 1907 I think.  At the time it would have been a much more straightforward, three-shot par-5, as no one would have been able to drive the ball to where the fairway narrows so "unfairly".  I doubt it would have been though of as quirky, back then.  It is interesting how modern expectations sometimes completely change people's view of a hole:  it is a great hole for a lot of players, just not for the longer hitters who think they decide these matters.
Golf Course Architecture / Re: Golf Related Maps
« Last post by Jud_T on Today at 10:59:47 AM »
Anybody know what became of Wheaton Golf Club?
Golf Course Architecture / Re: Weak Holes
« Last post by Tom_Doak on Today at 10:52:57 AM »
In art, the defense of this theory is that "only God is perfect," so any piece of artwork should contain at least one intentional flaw.  It's been proposed as applying to everything from Amish quilts to Islamic art to Zen buddhism ... where it is rephrased as "freeing yourself from the burden of trying to make it perfect."

I absolutely believe there is a lesson in there for golf course architects, and who better to have pointed it out than Tom Simpson, who was probably the most accomplished artist among golf course designers?

The counterpoint to this is the concurrent thread on Pine Valley.  Did you notice that the GOLF DIGEST title is "every hole at Pine Valley," implying its perfection?

So which do you think has been the more positive influence on modern golf architecture:  the idea that every course is bound to have a "weakest" hole, or the idea that courses should be modeled after Pine Valley, and we should never rest in pursuit of perfection?

My own take is that when God gives me a perfect piece of land, I will deliver a perfect course.  [Of course, then I would have to retire, or kill myself like George Crump.]  But I really don't expect perfection, even from God.  It's more important to accept what you are given.

Golf Course Architecture / Re: Weak Holes
« Last post by Jack Carney on Today at 10:28:26 AM »
I don't really use the term "weak" but i do use the term "connector" holes. Holes that connect the more interesting parts of the property where the architect had more to work with. These can be designed to be very good holes but they don't start with a level playing field. (intended) These holes are a just a fact of life and probably a function of expense at the time of construction. Modern courses have much fewer of these as moving dirt and "creating" interesting property is just a computer away.
Nice to see drone video that was actually authorized by the club....

I don't think PV is that hard.  The fairways are wide and you tend to get a lot of nice flat lies.  The greens are difficult but not any more so than many top courses.  I've shot around my handicap there multiple times.   

Along with the unique greens what truly makes it great imo is the different looks you get on each hole and the variety of hole lengths.
Golf Course Architecture / Re: Fun but Challenging
« Last post by Jack Carney on Today at 10:08:19 AM »
To me scoring is a small component of fun. I might be disappointed by the way I played but still had fun. The first time I played Myopia is a great example, didn't break 80 but had just a great time seeing it for the first time. Went back; several times; and played much better - did I have more fun? Maybe but in a different way for sure. When I think back on the course I generally think about that first round for some reason not the better shots I hit on subsequent visits. I always want to play well on visits to great courses but i know I won't hit all the shots well. The good news is that the great ones have a bunch of fun shots to hit and I'll hit my share. Therefore, I really don't focus on the quality of my play but on the quality of the opportunities. Kinda funny - in thinking back over other classic greats that appears to be a theme with me. Therefore I guess fun to me is a bit different. I do love to hit the heroic shots, already mentioned, that great courses offer but have fun with the opportunity as well.

When I play my home course this is probably reversed as my focus is more on my play. Interesting to think about it.
Golf Course Architecture / Re: No more call-ins!
« Last post by Ronald Montesano on Today at 09:56:56 AM »
calls in
Golf Course Architecture / Re: Fun but Challenging
« Last post by Ronald Montesano on Today at 09:56:25 AM »
Assuming I make it to the RTJ Trail (concurrent thread) in March, I'm looking forward to playing the Ross Bridge course from 8K yards ( I'm 5'9" and 52 years old, but that type of test doesn't come along every Dyngus Day. Will I enjoy it? Sure, but not because I'm fixated on numbers. I expect to shoot higher than my average, way higher. I will hit some great shots and laugh at some unfortunate ones.

I think about other sports, and how one three-point basket, or one TD pass, can erase a game's worth of failings. We don't have that luxury in golf. One eagle erases...very little. We need to be on point as much as wrestlers, boxers and MMA combatants.

Now, I aligh with those who prefer width, the ground game, and the challenge as magnified by well-placed bunkers, playable swales, and undulating greens. No one bleeds out (of golf balls) but you need game to score.
Golf Course Architecture / Re: Green at the 18th at Yale
« Last post by Jeff Loh on Today at 09:43:40 AM »
Wow...Ben is a real "Evangelist."
Golf Course Architecture / Re: Fun but Challenging
« Last post by Tom_Doak on Today at 09:06:10 AM »

Pinehurst #2 proves playability and difficulty are not defined by the same elements.
A low flight player or weaker player can enjoy the space and room.

An elite player must contend with the approach shots there.
The weakest player can play short and manage the hardest part of the course.

Ballybunion is the same.  That's one of the things Tom Watson said about it after his first visit, that resonated with me when I first saw it.  You are generally not in too much trouble if you can hit the ball somewhere in front of the green with your approach.  You are in big trouble if you miss the green to the sides with your approach ... often to either side!  Like Pinehurst, the targets are narrow and the shaved banks exaggerate the difficulty of recovery shots.
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