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I was involved in a highly successful renovation/restoration project and I am not even sure how to describe what is currently going on.  I do know most all people like to hear the term "restoration" and I am sure that is what Rees and others fly with. 

That does not mean what they propose is what they do?

My club had little documentary evidence the things we had detailed photos we restored (that was easy because they were Macdonald concept holes or ones with bold features) the others we renovated. 

That said, and I am sure a cop-out, I continued to say restoration because Hanse/Bahto restored a classic look. 

Rees worked at the club in the early nineties and though I do not know the mandate what he did was architectural malpractice.  I would be hesitant to say all this but Rees also had the gall to also critique in a most ungentlemanly way the work we were doing.  Work that he had not seen in person and work that wound up showing how terrible his work was on our course.

Glad we are still listed on his site as a client. :)
Golf Course Architecture / Re: Why not? Chicago Golf
« Last post by William_G on Today at 08:00:33 PM »
Wow- those ground level pics from Arcadia South are looking really good. 

It does seem to be the first course in a very long while (as far as I know) to copy that Raynor/ CBM style.

love it, will have to travel a bit for that, LOL

You probably can add Olympia Fields to your hypothesis. At the end of the day after all of the criticism, only four players (I think) finished under Par and two of those were at -1.

Golf Course Architecture / Re: Why not? Chicago Golf
« Last post by Ira Fishman on Today at 07:47:19 PM »
I am not sure that the reluctance among post-Golden Age architects to use templates fully answers the question. Oakmont seems (I am limited by seeing only on TV) to have more movement than Chicago Golf, but it essentially is farmland too and does not use templates. Perhaps the answer is a matter of available land, economics of course development, and taste, but I would have thought that someone in the last 100 years could have taken ordinary, non-dramatic, non-sand based land to create something truly special. Trinity Forest appears to be one attempt. Perhaps The Golf Club but it is difficult tell from photos what kind of land Mr. Dye had available.

My concern is that the club may have hired him for his name and expect a restoration.


The GM of Union League is highly regarded as possibly the best GM in the country? From a financial standpoint its amazing what he has done for that club. I assume the board at the UL he deals with is part of the clubs success. Rees announced on his website he was specifically hired for redesign. I have a very hard time believing a GM of Mr McFaddens caliber and the board members of the Union League don't know the difference between a restoration and redesign.

I was contacted by someone on the selection committee looking for info on the top restoration architects. He lost in his effort to expand the search.

The plan was turned down by the membership. Likely it was a financial decision, since the clubhouse renovation turned out to be very expensive. A beautiful building worthy of a major investment.

Even with major work, I don't agree with my former assessment that it could be the best course ...
Mayday: There is a vast difference between playing a parkland course in the US and a links course in the UK.  In the US there is a movement toward closely mowing the green surrounds putting a premium on chipping ability which requires the proper conditioning to allow for different options in playing the shot. My course is Bermuda fairways and green surrounds with Champion Bermuda greens and those greens are usually very firm and fast.  This means that you need to be able to bump the ball on to the green but if the surrounds are soft or uneven this becomes an unlikely option.  I think that at the very top level of the game putting is what separates players in any given week. Look at Jordan Spieth - his putting used to be great and now it is awful and so is his scoring/consistency.  Tiger was always a fabulous putter which more than made up for any mistakes he might make.
In the end does it really matter what we think? It's his membership and his bill to pay.

It's the Union League, of course it matters what we GCA goobers think!! Seriously, they can change their name, but if they use the "Abraham Lincoln" card on their website, (and they do) I retain my right to comment !!

That said, I have never played Torresdale, so I will not comment on the need to restore vs redesign! :) I honestly don't know.
I put the word 'trend' in quotes because there's not enough examples/data to warrant the term. But the wholly and very positive reaction to the first US Senior Women's Open brought this to mind, re all our discussions about 'set ups'.

In 2018 Laura Davis won at the Renaissance-restored Chicago Golf Club with a score of 16 under par. Not what one think of as the USGA's 'ideal' for golf's sternest test -- BUT, she was 10 shots better than the 2nd place finisher, and there were only 3 other golfers in the red. Everyone else finished over par.

In 2014 Martin Kaymer won at the C&C-restored Pinehurst #2 with a score of 9 under par. Not what one would think of as the USGA's 'ideal' for golf's sternest test -- BUT, he was 8 shots better than the 2nd place finishers, and there were only 2 other golfers in the red. Everyone else finished over par.

In 2000, at the very height of his brilliance and dominance, Tiger Woods won at historic Pebble Beach with a score of 12 under par. Not what would think of as the USGA's ideal for golf's sternest test -- BUT, he was 15 shots better than the 2nd place finishers,  and they (along with everyone else) finished over par.

As I say, I know it's not a 'trend' -- but, given how very good the architecture is at those three golf courses, it struck me as a compelling case for the USGA to slightly tweak their scoring ideal and set-up goals:

Don't try to have *everyone* finish at level par or worse; instead, perhaps the scoring result (rarely seen at US Opens) that reflects an excellent set up (i.e. one that honours both the course's architecture and the USGA's desire to identify the world's best golfer) is one where the world's best golfer (that week) *is able & allowed to* dominate the rest of the field, be it by 4 or 8 or 10 strokes.

Golf Course Architecture / Re: Chicago Golf Club
« Last post by BHoover on Today at 06:46:38 PM »
I tried to watch the Senior Women’s Open and Chicago GC. But ultimately, I found the Scottish Open and Gullane GC much more interesting and compelling viewing.

If I could choose to play either, I’d go with Gullane all the time. That is not intended as a slight against CGC. I just thought Gullane looked like a hell of a lot of fun. 
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