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Mark Saltzman

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Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« on: September 23, 2012, 08:38:16 PM »



Oklahoma City is on terrain that is ideal for golf.  The entire front 9 and last 4 holes on the back nine are routed over rolling land that all slopes toward a small pond in the centre of the property. 

Anyone who has spent any time on a Maxwell golf course knows that Maxwell liked using the natural flow of the land to create tilt in his fairways.  As such, seeing the first fairway fit perfectly on the land is no surprise...




Further, I have come to notice that Maxwell was leery of using the most severe undulations in his fairways.  While he does use them on occasion in the DZ of par-5s, often they are used as a carry-hazard on par-3s and on the tee shot on par-4s.  For example, there are some wild undulations short of the fairway on the 2nd...




A similarly tilted fairway at the par-4 4th. You really get used to seeing these from Maxwell...




While it seems that the modern architect avoids using blindness from the tee, it was no doubt a favourite trick of Maxwell's.  This view of the tee shot at the very long par-5 5th shows a completely blind tee shot with little indication of an ideal line.  Imagine seeing this without trees...




Even on some of his most titled fairways, Maxwell would sometimes create (or find?) a plateau on the high side of the fairway to reward a tee shot on the bold line.  For example, the severely right-to-left tilted fairway at the 7th...




Has a small plateau on the right side that would leave this preferred view of the green...




While the front nine has several  strong holes (of particular note  are the 2nd, 5th and 7th), the real genius of OCGCC is the routing of a five-hole stretch on a tiny piece of land on the other side of a road.





Maxwell makes maximum use of the stream, having it cross in front and left of the green on 10...




It must runs short and right of the green on the 11th...




It must be crossed twice at the 12th, and it protects the left side of the green...






It runs right of and beyond the 13th green...




And must be carried yet again on the approach to the 14th...




To steal a line from Ed Oden, Maxwell found a feature he liked and figuratively bashes you over the head with it.


The 14th is a strong, short par-3 with the most heavily bunkered green on the golf course.  I don't know that I would call this par-3 a Maxwell template, but I did see a very similar looking hole at Southern Hills and I believe there is one at Prairie Dunes...




I am on record as not being a big fan of the bunker work at OCGCC... but, I have been somewhat put in my place as I recently saw historic photos of the golf course.  There is no doubt there is a Dr. Mack influence in the original bunker shaping (he is credited as co-designer), though they were (of course) more ruggedly shaped than what is being put in. 

From what I've read, Maxwell was very much into his golf course flowing naturally from the land.  Anything man-made, and that would include bunkers, detract from the appearance of the golf course.

With that in mind, I present...

The approach to the third at Dornick Hills:  From the fairway, the green looks inviting, laying at-grade and syncing well with the tilt of the land from the right.  I can only imagine how much better it looked when there were no trees left or long.




The bunkers flow flawlessly with the land.  Dark in colour and simple in shape, there are not noticeable from the fairway.






Similarly, the approach to the 9th at Dornick Hills: Not entirely unlike the 3rd at Crystal Downs, here the bunkers are cut out from a hill-side.  From the fairway, one can see nothing  but a green that lay at the bottom of a natural amphitheatre.




But, as seen from behind, the green is literally surrounded by bunkers; short-left, left, long-left, long and short-right, yet they could not be seen from the fairway.





Now, we move on to the work at Oklahoma City G&CC.

First, the approach the the 17th:




And the 18th as seen from the tee:




In both cases at OCGCC the bunkers are now the focal point of the hole.  Whereas Maxwell liked to keep his bunkers subtle and natural, they are now raised, white and out-of-character with the rest of the golf course.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 11:11:37 PM »
Mark:

Who is doing the bunker renovation at Oklahoma City?

Clearly, they want their bunkers to be noticed, whether or not Maxwell did.

Matt_Cohn

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 11:29:21 PM »


Those are very strange looking bunkers for a Maxwell course.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 11:32:59 PM »
Tom, I believe it's John Colligan. 

Anthony_Nysse

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 07:44:49 AM »
Maybe Trey Kemp can chime in about this. Unfortunately, those bunkers look nothing like Southern Hills or Colonial, which I think that they should to keep the Maxwell feel. Maybe the memberhsip isnt aware of what they have?
Anthony J. Nysse
Director of Golf Course & Grounds
Mountain Lake
Lake Wales, FL

Jay Flemma

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 10:21:26 AM »
Remember, this was the first course Maxwell did with Mackenzie too.

A great golf course with a wonderful routing, and terrific terrain.
Mackenzie, MacRayBanks, Maxwell, Doak, Dye, Strantz. @JayGolfUSA, GNN Radio Host of Jay's Plays www.cybergolf.com/writerscorner

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 10:51:20 AM »
Maybe Trey Kemp can chime in about this. Unfortunately, those bunkers look nothing like Southern Hills or Colonial, which I think that they should to keep the Maxwell feel. Maybe the memberhsip isnt aware of what they have?

Tony, I wait to be corrected, but my understanding is that there is no 'typical' Maxwell bunker as his style evolved over time. 

I'll have to see what it says in The Midwest Associate, but I'm curious as to whether the generic look of the bunkers at Southern Hills are as Maxwell designed.

Trey Kemp

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 10:54:25 AM »
We did a Master Plan for OCGCC in 2007 and have done several projects on the course since then with the latest being the Bunker Renovation.  While doing research for the Master Plan we came across several photos and an aerial from the 1930's and even more photos from the 1950's.  The bunker renovation was an effort to get the golf course back to the original look.  Below are several of the historic photos:

Hole 2:


Hole 11: (Originally this was the 13th hole)


Hole 16:


Here is a progression on the 12th hole (originally it was the 14th):

1930's


Before Bunker Renovation


After Renovation


Here is a before and after of the 8th hole:





When I have more time I can post more photos if anyone is interested.
twitter.com/TreyKempGCA

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 11:07:14 AM »
T Kemp, I am very interested to see more!

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 12:15:52 PM »
Mark:

Thanks for another great photo tour.

Two questions on OKCC -

1.  The Maxwell/MacKenzie partnership has been noted as being "in contract only."  Does anyone know exactly what this means?

2.  Tillinghast came through in 1935 and did a complete examination of the course.  It appears that he was highly impressed with what was there, as he noted there was "little to change" and the only work that resulted from his visit was a recontouring of the 3rd green.  I'd be interested in knowing what exactly was done to the 3rd.

Sven
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Gene Greco

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 04:16:43 PM »
   T:

      Would love to see more pics!

                                              Gene
"...I don't believe it is impossible to build a modern course as good as Pine Valley.  To me, Sand Hills is just as good as Pine Valley..."    TOM DOAK  November 6th, 2010

Jay Flemma

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 05:34:27 PM »
Here's a pic of the routing someone gave me when I did my GCA.com article with Chris Clouser.

Mackenzie, MacRayBanks, Maxwell, Doak, Dye, Strantz. @JayGolfUSA, GNN Radio Host of Jay's Plays www.cybergolf.com/writerscorner

Jay Flemma

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 05:35:27 PM »
And while I'm not that into "just a pretty picture," I have a soft spot for this shot of four green:)

Mackenzie, MacRayBanks, Maxwell, Doak, Dye, Strantz. @JayGolfUSA, GNN Radio Host of Jay's Plays www.cybergolf.com/writerscorner

Brian Krex

Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2012, 05:02:48 PM »

I haven't been there for a very long time--at least 15 years, but at one point, aside from having a very fine golf course, they also had arguably the best burger on the planet at the halfway house.


Chris Clouser

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Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2012, 10:01:15 PM »
Anthony,

The bunkers that exist at Southern Hills and Colonial are not in the style of what Maxwell originally built there.  The bunkers at Oklahoma City had taken on a similar look.  I'm not surprised that they wanted a bunker renovation. 

Sven,

There has not been any evidence that pointed to the club ever doing the recommended work from Tillinghast that I'm aware of. 

I think the bunkers in the older photos have a strong resemblance to the bunkers at Dornick Hills when it was completed.  I think the photos in my article that Ran posted recently show that.

BCowan

Re: Oklahoma City G&CC (Maxwell/Mackenzie) - A Photo Tour!!!
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 09:45:38 AM »
We did a Master Plan for OCGCC in 2007 and have done several projects on the course since then with the latest being the Bunker Renovation.  While doing research for the Master Plan we came across several photos and an aerial from the 1930's and even more photos from the 1950's.  The bunker renovation was an effort to get the golf course back to the original look.  Below are several of the historic photos:

Hole 2:


Hole 11: (Originally this was the 13th hole)


Hole 16:


Here is a progression on the 12th hole (originally it was the 14th):

1930's


Before Bunker Renovation


After Renovation


Here is a before and after of the 8th hole:





When I have more time I can post more photos if anyone is interested.

Trey,

   Nice work.  Do you have anymore photos?  Has all of the master plan been completed? 

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