Golf Club Atlas

GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: David_Tepper on September 02, 2020, 12:08:18 PM

Title: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: David_Tepper on September 02, 2020, 12:08:18 PM
Bye, bye Utah!
https://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2020/9/1/blair-ditch-project-buck-club-to-be-built-near-aiken
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on September 02, 2020, 12:23:05 PM
We've known this for awhile.  https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,68395

Not sure i'm buying the land and build costs explanation thou.  Wages and land cost are both very inexpensive here in Utah, especially in the semi-remote location he was looking at.  Guess he couldn't just say, who wants to fund a project like this in F'ing BFE Utah...  ;D
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Matt_Cohn on September 02, 2020, 12:33:07 PM
My thread about longest  on-tee-shot forced carries was inspired by his plan for the fifth hole at the far right of the map heís holdingóa 600 yard par five with at least 150 yards of broken ground to be carried on the second shot.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Alex Miller on September 02, 2020, 12:41:12 PM
My thread about longest  on-tee-shot forced carries was inspired by his plan for the fifth hole at the far right of the map heís holdingóa 600 yard par five with at least 150 yards of broken ground to be carried on the second shot.


I noticed this too... surely there will be changes before it ends up on the ground.


Related to that, the routing looks interesting but it seems odd to return to the clubhouse 3 times and not return at 9, especially when there is a 9 hole returning routing on the south side of the property.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on September 02, 2020, 12:46:28 PM
We've known this for awhile.  https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,68395 (https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,68395)

Not sure i'm buying the land and build costs explanation thou.  Wages and land cost are both very inexpensive here in Utah, especially in the semi-remote location he was looking at.  Guess he couldn't just say, who wants to fund a project like this in F'ing BFE Utah...  ;D


less than $1950 an acre?(the listed price for years)
sandy site makes for low construction$$ as well.


12 minutes from Aiken private air/jetport
35 minutes to Columbia(nonstops to major NE cities) or Augusta airport.


It's an incredible site, one I'm intimately familiar with having looked at it many times over the past 10 years with an interested party.(sadly he passed away last November)
The property revealed itself(to me as an 18 handicap amateur topo map reader) much more clearly when they thinned the timber a couple of years ago.
Very excited someone with Zac's passion, interest, following,contacts and GCA background is driving the bus.


Augusta/Aiken area just got even more attractive as an fall/winter/spring hangout.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on September 02, 2020, 02:14:46 PM
Hey Jeff,

That is certainly damn cheap, even if Utah is still inexpensive relatively speaking.  I'm not sure how much the deal was going to be in Morgan for the existing course, but I looked up some other large parcels in the area and they're 4-5k per acre, so that's understandable. 

And Aiken makes all the sense in the world with better year round temps and other great offerings close by, but no doubt it would have been nice to see what they would have done in Utah.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: MCirba on September 02, 2020, 02:17:29 PM
Very exciting news.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on September 02, 2020, 02:22:36 PM
Hey Jeff,

That is certainly damn cheap, even if Utah is still inexpensive relatively speaking.  I'm not sure how much the deal was going to be in Morgan for the existing course, but I looked up some other large parcels in the area and they're 4-5k per acre, so that's understandable. 

And Aiken makes all the sense in the world with better year round temps and other great offerings close by, but no doubt it would have been nice to see what they would have done in Utah.


winter perhaps a bit better in Aiken.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Daryl "Turboe" Boe on September 02, 2020, 02:37:12 PM
Wow!!   Very cool news for this part of the country!!   


This old guys eyes are not good enough to make out everything on the routing, but it will be cool to see that in more detail as this moves forward.   



Looking forward to keeping up with this.



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on September 02, 2020, 02:45:43 PM
I am curious to see how he is able to fund the course. 


Buying the land is definitely a positive step -- it shows commitment and gives you options if one source isn't working out.  But building the course and getting to opening day is another $5 million or more, when you include a maintenance building and equipment.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Buck Wolter on September 02, 2020, 03:13:23 PM
I am curious to see how he is able to fund the course. 


Buying the land is definitely a positive step -- it shows commitment and gives you options if one source isn't working out.  But building the course and getting to opening day is another $5 million or more, when you include a maintenance building and equipment.


One of his Utah golf buddies sold his business for $8B in 2018 -- don't know if there's a connection but I saw him congratulate ZB on twitter when he announced the land sale closed. That's F everybody money.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on September 02, 2020, 03:48:47 PM

One of his Utah golf buddies sold his business for $8B in 2018 -- don't know if there's a connection but I saw him congratulate ZB on twitter when he announced the land sale closed. That's F everybody money.


Hope he likes Aiken, then!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Emerson on September 03, 2020, 07:17:42 AM
We've known this for awhile.  https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,68395 (https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,68395)

Not sure i'm buying the land and build costs explanation thou.  Wages and land cost are both very inexpensive here in Utah, especially in the semi-remote location he was looking at.  Guess he couldn't just say, who wants to fund a project like this in F'ing BFE Utah...  ;D


I donít understand this either. Seems like a cop out. Wasnít his original desire for this course was to give back to Utah golf?  To give the state a unique course to be proud of and enjoy. Guess he didnít know it cost quite a chunk of change to build a course?  So you want to give back, but if it cost money youíre out?  Iím very confused here. 
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Shane Wright on September 03, 2020, 08:26:47 AM
Hey Jeff,

That is certainly damn cheap, even if Utah is still inexpensive relatively speaking.  I'm not sure how much the deal was going to be in Morgan for the existing course, but I looked up some other large parcels in the area and they're 4-5k per acre, so that's understandable. 

And Aiken makes all the sense in the world with better year round temps and other great offerings close by, but no doubt it would have been nice to see what they would have done in Utah.


While I think it is super cool that Zac is moving this forward, even in the midst of having their first child (congrats!), I want to make one thing clear.


Utah land is nowhere near cheap.  Utah has some of the most expensive land prices I've come across anywhere in the country.



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Mayhugh on September 03, 2020, 08:27:52 AM

I donít understand this either. Seems like a cop out. Wasnít his original desire for this course was to give back to Utah golf?  To give the state a unique course to be proud of and enjoy. Guess he didnít know it cost quite a chunk of change to build a course?  So you want to give back, but if it cost money youíre out?  Iím very confused here.
Perhaps Mr. Blair adjusted his dream to improve its chance of success?  He wouldn't be the first person to do that.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jim Sullivan on September 03, 2020, 08:57:23 AM
Yes...and perhaps the guy with the actual money wanted a small say in how it was spent...perhaps...
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: JMEvensky on September 03, 2020, 09:20:00 AM



Yes...and perhaps the guy with the actual money wanted a small say in how it was spent...perhaps...




Exactly--seems pretty clear.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on September 03, 2020, 10:47:27 AM
Hey Jeff,

That is certainly damn cheap, even if Utah is still inexpensive relatively speaking.  I'm not sure how much the deal was going to be in Morgan for the existing course, but I looked up some other large parcels in the area and they're 4-5k per acre, so that's understandable. 

And Aiken makes all the sense in the world with better year round temps and other great offerings close by, but no doubt it would have been nice to see what they would have done in Utah.

While I think it is super cool that Zac is moving this forward, even in the midst of having their first child (congrats!), I want to make one thing clear.

Utah land is nowhere near cheap.  Utah has some of the most expensive land prices I've come across anywhere in the country.


It always depends specifically on the where.  In a heavily populated area, of course land prices will cost more relatively speaking.

However it hasn't been an accident that Utah's economy has been growing like gangbusters compared to most other places in the last 10 years. With cheap land acquisition costs, cheap labor, cheap rents, and inexpensive housing (which has finally started to catch up in the last 5 years), companies have been relocating here from all over the Western US.  They even have a new area just south of here called Silicon Slopes in Lehi with tech companies moving in from everywhere. 

P.S.  4-5k per acre just minutes away from heavily populated areas is some of the most expensive in the US? And if you're willing to go more remote Utah, just found a spot near Monticello at less than $1k per acre.


Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on September 03, 2020, 03:49:52 PM
I don't know anything about the land or prices in Utah.
But I know very well how good this piece of land is in SC, and that it was priced right, with low construction costs due to sand, and excellent natural drainage.


I also know the HIGH in Ogden Utah averages 37 degrees in January and Aiken's  average is 58.
In December, Ogden's average high is 38 degrees and Aiken's is 60 degrees.
In November, Ogden's average HIGH is 49 degrees, Aiken's is 69 degrees.


Zac plays the PGA Tour Mid January-November.
During the closest thing the PGA Tour gets to an off season , it's freezing in Ogden.
Aiken SC is a really cool town. that's 20 minutes from the site.


Some of you are really over thinking this.


Did I mention how good the land he selected in SC?
I don't hear comparisons to Swinley, Pine Valley or Pinehurst when I hear discussions of Utah land. (I could be way off base here as I know little of Utah other than its spectacular National Parks and epic Ski mountains)


Zac is 30 years old and passionate about golf architecture and being involved in design. There's plenty of time to build his dream course in Utah.
Perhaps rather than a "cop out"(as mentioned above),it's just another step along a long journey.

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: JC Jones on September 03, 2020, 04:22:05 PM
we sure have come a long way on this site from everyone loving Zac Blair because he said he liked Raynor courses.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on September 03, 2020, 04:40:02 PM
I don't know anything about the land or prices in Utah.
But I know very well how good this piece of land is in SC, and that it was priced right, with low construction costs due to sand, and excellent natural drainage.

I also know the HIGH in Ogden Utah averages 37 degrees in January and Aiken's  average is 58.
In December, Ogden's average high is 38 degrees and Aiken's is 60 degrees.
In November, Ogden's average HIGH is 49 degrees, Aiken's is 69 degrees.

Zac plays the PGA Tour Mid January-November.
During the closest thing the PGA Tour gets to an off season , it's freezing in Ogden.
Aiken SC is a really cool town. that's 20 minutes from the site.

Some of you are really over thinking this.

Did I mention how good the land he selected in SC?
I don't hear comparisons to Swinley, Pine Valley or Pinehurst when I hear discussions of Utah land. (I could be way off base here as I know little of Utah other than its spectacular National Parks and epic Ski mountains)

Zac is 29 years old and passionate about golf architecture. There's plenty of time to build his dream course in Utah.
Perhaps rather than a cop out,it's just another step along a long journey.

Jeff,

You are exactly right about all of that, and it certainly seems like he made the right move overall.  It was the excuse to go away from Utah giving the impression that its expensive to buy and build here, which compared to most places in the US, it is certainly not, even if the Aiken site is a sweetheart deal.

P.S. I noticed however you didn't discuss summer temps which only average in the mid 80s in Morgan..and its a dry heat to boot so its not that bad. :) I'm guessing summer golf in Aiken is nothing short of brutal. Fall in Northern Utah is also glorious with the cool temps, turning leaves, etc..not to mention there are multiple resorts for world class skiing all within an hour of the proposed site.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John_Cullum on September 03, 2020, 05:29:45 PM
July and August in Aiken is pretty brutal. Outside of that it's liveable.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on September 03, 2020, 05:45:12 PM
Utah doesnít fit SMM culture. Iím done underestimating Zac Blair.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tim Martin on September 03, 2020, 07:47:50 PM
A lot more people will get to play it in Aiken.



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: William_G on September 03, 2020, 09:53:30 PM
I could live in Aiken, nuclear waste or not
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on September 03, 2020, 09:55:27 PM
I could live in Aiken, nuclear waste or not


What makes you think they're wasting it? ;) ;D
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: William_G on September 04, 2020, 02:48:56 PM
I could live in Aiken, nuclear waste or not


What makes you think they're wasting it? ;) ;D


hahaha
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ronald Montesano on September 05, 2020, 09:53:44 AM
ZB was very public about what he wanted to do, and where he wanted to do it. Contrast that with Dick Youngscap and Mike Keiser, who play things close to the vest, until an announcement is ready. No one should jump off the Good Ship ZB.


You want a sad story? Amazon just backed away from a massive distribution center on my island. Located in a remote part, already industrial, adjacent to an Eisenhower interstate.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on September 05, 2020, 10:37:50 AM
ZB was very public about what he wanted to do, and where he wanted to do it. Contrast that with Dick Youngscap and Mike Keiser, who play things close to the vest, until an announcement is ready. No one should jump off the Good Ship ZB.


You want a sad story? Amazon just backed away from a massive distribution center on my island. Located in a remote part, already industrial, adjacent to an Eisenhower interstate.


Sorry to hear that, you would have made one hell of a packer.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on September 05, 2020, 10:45:04 AM
That's a bummer indeed .  ;D

Back in my warehouse days I used to drive one of these guys, it was a lot of fun..

https://www.raymondcorp.com/forklifts/swing-reach-trucks
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jonathan Mallard on September 06, 2020, 11:27:37 AM
Didn't Zac have an account on the board?


Does anyone wonder why he doesn't post anymore given the tenor of some of the comments on this thread?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Buck Wolter on September 07, 2020, 08:05:18 PM
Didn't Zac have an account on the board?


Does anyone wonder why he doesn't post anymore given the tenor of some of the comments on this thread?


Paging Tom Lehman -- who could forget his 2 hours here.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom Bacsanyi on September 07, 2020, 08:14:02 PM
^^^^^Please tell us the story of Tom Lehman on GCA o wise sage!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Buck Wolter on September 07, 2020, 08:22:41 PM
^^^^^Please tell us the story of Tom Lehman on GCA o wise sage!


Wise Sage -- I may replace my dystopian signature line.


My memory:


Tom Lehman: Hi everybody glad to be on board


500 GCA'ers: WTF were you thinking when you did X, Y, Z? You are a hack, stick to golf and leave GCA to the Old Dead Guys.


Tom Lehman:



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: PPallotta on September 07, 2020, 08:40:13 PM
I know the Zac Blair 'story', and it's a good and appealing one, ie his love of classic architecture and The Buck Club etc -- but I still would've preferred the thread title to be 'New King-Collins, near Aiken'.
Partly a matter of personal taste, yes, but also -- I think -- more than merely 'symbolic'.
There was a short period in Hollywood from the late 60s to the mid 70s when the 'power' resided with the creative talents instead of the suits/producers. What did we get in that period? Easy Rider, The French Connection, Mean Streets, Godfather I, Taxi Driver, Godfather II, The Conversation, Deer Hunter, Straw Dogs, The Last Picture Show, 2001-A Space Odyssey etc. 
When the focus is on those skilled artists-craftsman who actually 'make' instead of on those who 'plan-promote-finance', the results are usually pretty good.
Again, I understand the appeal of
'the story', and of the 'making-of narrative'; but it's a bit strange to go through a two page thread and not see the name(s) of the architects mentioned even once (save for in the link in the first post).



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Emerson on September 07, 2020, 08:58:54 PM
I know the Zac Blair 'story', and it's a good and appealing one, ie his love of classic architecture and The Buck Club etc -- but I still would've preferred the thread title to be 'New King-Collins, near Aiken'.
Partly a matter of personal taste, yes, but also -- I think -- more than merely 'symbolic'.
There was a short period in Hollywood from the late 60s to the mid 70s when the 'power' resided with the creative talents instead of the suits/producers. What did we get in that period? Easy Rider, The French Connection, Mean Streets, Godfather I, Taxi Driver, Godfather II, The Conversation, Deer Hunter, Straw Dogs, The Last Picture Show, 2001-A Space Odyssey etc. 
When the focus is on those skilled artists-craftsman who actually 'make' instead of on those who 'plan-promote-finance', the results are usually pretty good.
Again, I understand the appeal of
'the story', the making-of narrative; but it's a bit strange to go through a two page thread and not see the name(s) of the architects mentioned even once (save for in the link in the first post).


I agree somewhat with your sentiment.  I completely disagree that the ZB story is appealing.  I think itís well understood and agreed here the talents of Tad and Rob.  Whatís not understood is why essentially a King/Collins hype-man is seemingly getting all the credit so there we agree.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tim Martin on September 08, 2020, 07:03:24 AM
Does anyone know where to get some Buck Club swag? ;)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: ChipRoyce on September 08, 2020, 07:49:25 AM
Does anyone know where to get some Buck Club swag? ;)
I suspect TBC releases aren't as difficult to get as they once were...
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313&_nkw=buck+club&_sacat=0

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Buck Wolter on September 08, 2020, 09:26:55 AM
I know the Zac Blair 'story', and it's a good and appealing one, ie his love of classic architecture and The Buck Club etc -- but I still would've preferred the thread title to be 'New King-Collins, near Aiken'.
Partly a matter of personal taste, yes, but also -- I think -- more than merely 'symbolic'.
There was a short period in Hollywood from the late 60s to the mid 70s when the 'power' resided with the creative talents instead of the suits/producers. What did we get in that period? Easy Rider, The French Connection, Mean Streets, Godfather I, Taxi Driver, Godfather II, The Conversation, Deer Hunter, Straw Dogs, The Last Picture Show, 2001-A Space Odyssey etc. 
When the focus is on those skilled artists-craftsman who actually 'make' instead of on those who 'plan-promote-finance', the results are usually pretty good.
Again, I understand the appeal of
'the story', the making-of narrative; but it's a bit strange to go through a two page thread and not see the name(s) of the architects mentioned even once (save for in the link in the first post).


I agree somewhat with your sentiment.  I completely disagree that the ZB story is appealing.  I think itís well understood and agreed here the talents of Tad and Rob.  Whatís not understood is why essentially a King/Collins hype-man is seemingly getting all the credit so there we agree.


This is ridiculous -- all the credit for what?  It's a piece of land and ZB has made that happen -- I think its foregone conclusion its going to be King/Collins but why should an architect get credit before anything happens on the ground.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Mark Pritchett on September 08, 2020, 10:26:01 AM
I am guessing John Emerson has a personal issue with ZB.  What's not to like about a new golf course/club project?   Especially when said project is from a tour player with an avid interest in golf course architecture.   



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Emerson on September 08, 2020, 11:18:43 AM
I am guessing John Emerson has a personal issue with ZB.  What's not to like about a new golf course/club project?   Especially when said project is from a tour player with an avid interest in golf course architecture.   


No, no personal issue.  Never met the guy.  Just donít find him personally interesting. But, the real hero is Tad and Rob.  They parlayed Sweetens into something good for their business and exposure.  Thatís the story, not ďanother tour pro Ďbuildsí a courseĒ.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Buck Wolter on September 08, 2020, 11:36:33 AM
I am guessing John Emerson has a personal issue with ZB.  What's not to like about a new golf course/club project?   Especially when said project is from a tour player with an avid interest in golf course architecture.   


No, no personal issue.  Never met the guy.  Just donít find him personally interesting. But, the real hero is Tad and Rob.  They parlayed Sweetens into something good for their business and exposure.  Thatís the story, not ďanother tour pro Ďbuildsí a courseĒ.


That's a completely different story and a great one --not sure why there can't be two good stories.


I guess I've missed all the Tour Pros that love golf enough to put their time energy and money into building their own course/club. Jackie Burke, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw are the only ones I can think of that are still alive.

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on September 08, 2020, 02:20:51 PM
Zac is profiting by his cleverly massaged persona. Loving or hating him is virtual blood sport. Once you put down the phone no one cares either way. Itís all great fun.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Buck Wolter on September 08, 2020, 03:51:24 PM
Zac is profiting by his cleverly massaged persona. Loving or hating him is virtual blood sport. Once you put down the phone no one cares either way. Itís all great fun.


I'm sure I'm the rube but cleverly massaged is the last way I'd describe his persona. Was he smart enough to embrace his Social Media following and develop a 'brand' around  TBC -- yes but I doubt its been any kind of huge money maker, it will probably make the odds of TBC being successful more likely but I think it was pretty organic and not some kind of long con.


BTW if you have the XM app download Jeff's Golf School episode from last week where he interviews Zac mainly about TBC but also about his golf game, I caught a repeat of the last 30 minutes Sunday in the car. He's the anti-Dechambeau.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on September 08, 2020, 04:02:16 PM
I follow ZB on every round of every tournament he plays. I have also bought TBC merchandise directly from his site. Pretty amazing considering I'm not on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I believe that is how celebrities and athletes monetize their brand these days.

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ira Fishman on September 08, 2020, 05:20:06 PM
I follow ZB on every round of every tournament he plays. I have also bought TBC merchandise directly from his site. Pretty amazing considering I'm not on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I believe that is how celebrities and athletes monetize their brand these days.


Are you on Tik Tok which is the MySpace of this year?


Regarding Zac Blair and TBC, why isn't this great for gca? Do we really hope he fails? For what reason?


Ira
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on September 08, 2020, 05:35:04 PM
I don't think anyone wants TBC to fail. Sweetens Cove is centered around many of these discussions because of it hosting a Ringer and the architects of choice. As long as Zac stays out of the Bourbon business he, like Sweetens will get nothing but love once the course is in the ground. As a matter of fact this might wash down the crow most haters will be serving up to themselves.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnVzkRR6XcA
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Blake Conant on September 08, 2020, 05:53:19 PM

I know the Zac Blair 'story', and it's a good and appealing one, ie his love of classic architecture and The Buck Club etc -- but I still would've preferred the thread title to be 'New King-Collins, near Aiken'.

Shouldn't it be considered a Zac Blair course since, at least from my understanding, he did the routing?  I'd like to hear more about the set-up, honestly.  Is KC the builder? co-designers? was the routing Zac's or is it collaborative?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on September 08, 2020, 08:36:18 PM
So we're not "crediting"
...Bobby Jones for ANGC,
....Crump for Pine Valley,
.....Bakst for Friar's Head,
.....Youngscap for Sand Hills,
....Keiser for Bandon...
Obviously all chose great architects, but a lot has to happen in order for the architects to get their chance to shine.


As far as the SC land there's no "credit" to give to any architect yet, as there's no course, just some purchased land and a vision.


and Blake is correct that Zac has done the routing, which has changed multiple times, and no doubt will change some more.
And I have no doubt KC ,Zac, and others will make many more collaborative changes in the field.


How anyone can find a Tour player finding a unique piece of ground, raising some money and having a cool vision of providing an affordable destination course "unappealing" is beyond me.


I look forward to "crediting" KC and Zac when the course is complete.









Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on September 08, 2020, 08:52:25 PM
So we're not "crediting"
...Bobby Jones for ANGC,
....Crump for Pine Valley,
.....Bakst for Friar's Head,
.....Youngscap for Sand Hills,
....Keiser for Bandon...
Obviously all chose great architects, but a lot has to happen in order for the architects to get their chance to shine.


As far as the SC land there's no "credit" to give to any architect yet, as there's no course, just some purchased land and a vision.


and Blake is correct that Zac has done the routing, which has changed multiple times, and no doubt will change some more.
And I have no doubt KC ,Zac, and others will make many more collaborative changes in the field.


How anyone can find a Tour player finding a unique piece of ground, raising some money and having a cool vision of providing an affordable destination course "unappealing" is beyond me.


I look forward to "crediting" KC and Zac when the course is complete.


Why do we then fail to question the doubters who spew venom when a billionaire hires Rees Jones?  Who exactly chooses our heroes now?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom Bacsanyi on September 08, 2020, 09:00:33 PM
I'm holding out for the DeChambeau National project before I get excited. 9,000 yards at sea level with 1100 bunkers.


But for real though: I hope ZB's vision becomes a reality. A question: Is this going to be called the Buck Club? or is it the Tree Farm? I hope to god it's not the Tree Farm at the Buck Club. I hate overly complicated names and I break out in hives when I hear stuff like the "Greg Mastriona Courses at Hyland Hills."
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on September 08, 2020, 09:07:17 PM



Why do we then fail to question the doubters who spew venom when a billionaire hires Rees Jones?  Who exactly chooses our heroes now?


I know one who did more than OK, though far from ever a billionaire
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on September 08, 2020, 09:17:45 PM
There is good reason for the man who first saw the Emperor wore no clothes to sport the darkest shades.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on September 08, 2020, 09:29:31 PM
There is good reason for the man who first saw the Emperor wore no clothes to sport the darkest shades.


;)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on December 29, 2020, 09:15:15 AM
Bump.
Happy Holidays  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Adam G on January 25, 2021, 08:28:27 PM
https://thefriedegg.com/zac-blair-the-buck-club-hires-tom-doak-kye-goalby-to-design-the-tree-farm/


Doak did the routing, Goalby will build it.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Paul Carey on January 25, 2021, 08:40:02 PM
Thatís great for Kye Goalby.  One of the (many) good guys in this business.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: JR Potts on January 25, 2021, 10:07:18 PM
https://thefriedegg.com/zac-blair-the-buck-club-hires-tom-doak-kye-goalby-to-design-the-tree-farm/ (https://thefriedegg.com/zac-blair-the-buck-club-hires-tom-doak-kye-goalby-to-design-the-tree-farm/)


Doak did the routing, Goalby will build it.


A replica course with homesites and a faux Buck Club. 


Didn't see that coming in 2021.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Terry Lavin on January 25, 2021, 10:21:23 PM
Thatís great for Kye Goalby.  One of the (many) good guys in this business.


Iíll second that emotion. Great news for a good man.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 25, 2021, 10:58:06 PM
An engineered replica course with homesites and a faux Buck Club.

Didn't see that coming.


But it's 2021, didn't see a lot of this coming.


You mean the two most talked-about projects in the business?  Why not?  It's fun to make people's heads explode.


Besides, Zac's deal makes up for the fact that I couldn't really ask to get paid for a routing for Lido.   ;)


Seriously, though, I have always thought that I would enjoy working on routings in my spare time [and especially if I get paid for them], or when I am semi-retired.  It is all the site visits clients expect of me when I commit to a new project that take their toll on my body, and limit my workload.


This fit perfectly for me, because there is no long term commitment.  I had the time to take it on now, and I don't have to worry about whether it will overlap too much with Te Arai or wherever.  And I don't have to feel guilty about letting it go after this, because Zac wants to be the one making decisions about building golf holes anyway, and he's enlisted good help for that.  Maybe I'll wind up being a little involved in that part, if I have time when they get to it.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Zac Blair on January 25, 2021, 11:26:17 PM
An engineered replica course with homesites and a faux Buck Club.

Didn't see that coming.


But it's 2021, didn't see a lot of this coming.


You mean the two most talked-about projects in the business?  Why not?  It's fun to make people's heads explode.


Besides, Zac's deal makes up for the fact that I couldn't really ask to get paid for a routing for Lido.   ;)


Seriously, though, I have always thought that I would enjoy working on routings in my spare time [and especially if I get paid for them], or when I am semi-retired.  It is all the site visits clients expect of me when I commit to a new project that take their toll on my body, and limit my workload.


This fit perfectly for me, because there is no long term commitment.  I had the time to take it on now, and I don't have to worry about whether it will overlap too much with Te Arai or wherever.  And I don't have to feel guilty about letting it go after this, because Zac wants to be the one making decisions about building golf holes anyway, and he's enlisted good help for that.  Maybe I'll wind up being a little involved in that part, if I have time when they get to it.


Tom brings an experience that literally covers the world and we are all very excited to have him on board!!! It has been really cool to see the process and learn some things along the way. Pumped to see it take shape - he founds some really awesome holes!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Peter Flory on January 26, 2021, 12:04:37 AM
Zac- congrats on this step.  The undulations look pretty nice out there, so it will be cool to see how the routing fits over the land. 
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Zac Blair on January 26, 2021, 12:14:19 AM
Zac- congrats on this step.  The undulations look pretty nice out there, so it will be cool to see how the routing fits over the land.


Thanks so much! Itís very cool to have this team involved.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Peter Flory on January 26, 2021, 01:03:53 AM
#1 looks like a blast with the huge bank on the fairway.  And from the alt tee after the bye hole, it's almost like a reverse version of 14 at Mammoth. 

The tee shots over the hills on 2 and 5 look exciting.  5 seems especially like one that Tom would have seen.

The approach to the horizon green on 13 and then downhill tee shot on 14 seem like a definite highlight on the back. 

I'm convinced that this is going to turn out great. 
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Mike Sweeney on January 26, 2021, 04:56:56 AM
#1 looks like a blast with the huge bank on the fairway.  And from the alt tee after the bye hole, it's almost like a reverse version of 14 at Mammoth. 

The tee shots over the hills on 2 and 5 look exciting.  5 seems especially like one that Tom would have seen.

The approach to the horizon green on 13 and then downhill tee shot on 14 seem like a definite highlight on the back. 

I'm convinced that this is going to turn out great.


Peter,


Are you seeing this from the routing posted in The Fried Egg interview, or other?


https://thefriedegg.com/zac-blair-the-buck-club-hires-tom-doak-kye-goalby-to-design-the-tree-farm/


Zac/Tom,


Is there a physical address for the property? I am curious to its location in Aiken, SC and in relation to Palmetto GC and Aiken GC.


In addition, Mike Whitaker does not post here often these days, but he is a great resource for all things South Carolina golf. I played with him right before Thanksgiving at Furman University GC, and one day with Whit on a golf course in South Carolina is a really fun day.


I dare say that Zac is "Pulling a Crump" in that his real expertise may be getting all these "unique golf people" to work together on his project - https://golfclubatlas.com/in-my-opinion/thomas-macwood-george-arthur-crump-portrait-of-a-legend/
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Adam G on January 26, 2021, 08:53:50 AM

Tom brings an experience that literally covers the world and we are all very excited to have him on board!!! It has been really cool to see the process and learn some things along the way. Pumped to see it take shape - he founds some really awesome holes!


Any way you could post a larger topo map with a description of the land, the original routings, and Tom's new routing and describe what Tom changed and saw, "Getting to 18" style? Would be really interesting to see all the iterations and scratch my routing itch before Tom writes Volume 2 :)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Zac Blair on January 26, 2021, 09:26:41 AM

Zac/Tom,


Is there a physical address for the property? I am curious to its location in Aiken, SC and in relation to Palmetto GC and Aiken GC.


In addition, Mike Whitaker does not post here often these days, but he is a great resource for all things South Carolina golf. I played with him right before Thanksgiving at Furman University GC, and one day with Whit on a golf course in South Carolina is a really fun day.


I dare say that Zac is "Pulling a Crump" in that his real expertise may be getting all these "unique golf people" to work together on his project - https://golfclubatlas.com/in-my-opinion/thomas-macwood-george-arthur-crump-portrait-of-a-legend/ (https://golfclubatlas.com/in-my-opinion/thomas-macwood-george-arthur-crump-portrait-of-a-legend/)



the property is about 26 minutes door to door from palmetto.
Similar to Crump I did seek out the help of one the best architects of this generation to help with the routing (hopefully Tom will stick around for a bit more help once we begin).


Im also very happy with the team and how its shaping up regarding the build. Kye has a lot of experience working on some of the best courses around the world (many of which he was working with Tom). I believe he is going to put together a great group of people to bring this routing/vision to life.

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: David Wuthrich on January 26, 2021, 10:06:56 AM
Zac you are a wise young man, congrats and best of luck moving forward!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Matt MacIver on January 26, 2021, 11:09:17 AM
Zac - congrats on making a great stride on what youíve been working towards for a long time. A few questions if you please?


I see one set of tees on the routing - is this purposeful or will a few others come about throughout the process?


How ďhardĒ do you want this course to be?  Playable for all or just tour / low HC friends?  Iím running low on golf balls over here...


Assume the clubhouse goes in the middle of the property near #1 and 10?  Any driving range / short game?


Looking forward to its evolution.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Brett Wiesley on January 26, 2021, 11:12:26 AM
Congrats Zac and team.  Have fun with the build from here...super jealous.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Buck Wolter on January 26, 2021, 11:21:13 AM

Episode 201: Zac Blair, The Tree Farm - The Fried Egg (https://thefriedegg.com/fried-egg-podcast/episode-201-zac-blair-the-tree-farm/)





Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 26, 2021, 11:26:45 AM

I see one set of tees on the routing - is this purposeful or will a few others come about throughout the process?





I generally don't think much about all the forward tee locations at such an early stage, other than making sure there aren't any holes where there is no good location for one, because of a deep valley between the tee and the landing area.  That's actually a factor on the first hole on this plan, but my recommendation is to fill across the valley, creating a pond to the left for the 19th hole and softening the abrupt bank right at the landing area [while leaving a deep nasty bunker on the inside of the dogleg].


There are a couple of holes up top [12 and 17-18] where I envisioned making major cuts to add interest to the fairway [or visibility and playability in the case of the 12th].
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Zac Blair on January 26, 2021, 11:51:25 AM
Zac - congrats on making a great stride on what youíve been working towards for a long time. A few questions if you please?


I see one set of tees on the routing - is this purposeful or will a few others come about throughout the process?


How ďhardĒ do you want this course to be?  Playable for all or just tour / low HC friends?  Iím running low on golf balls over here...


Assume the clubhouse goes in the middle of the property near #1 and 10?  Any driving range / short game?


Looking forward to its evolution.


I think Tom, Kye and the team will get all the tee locations sorted out in the next few visits down to the site. Ive never built a course so im not sure exactly when those decisions get set in stone, I would assume some decisions are made in the field as well (maybe you shift a tee or green site to make the hole or transition better etc.)


I have also envisioned a lot of tees where you can share the same box ... trying to keep different classes of players together as much as it makes sense. I love going to play with different handicaps but its such a drag when im continually going back to a different world and I never get to see them. this course definitely has everyone in mind. The goal is to make a bunch of great holes where everyone can have fun (im not too concerned about the TOUR players shooting low scores .. if they play good great). I think Tom has laid out a very exciting course with a very fun finish (short par 3 17th with a drivable 18 with the valley to the left ... I've always like the idea of the drivable finisher so It was awesome that Tom was able to make this work).


our team likes the idea of having the clubhouse/back porch right up close to the 18th green ... shot provide a great view and some cool spectating.


range plans are still TBD I think we can have some sort of cypress style warm up range near the first tee and possibly a more traditional practice range somewhere a little more remote (ive personally always loved the idea of the remote range so you can get away and work on your game ... but some warm up area next to the action is obviously more convenient)


Ive also always envisioned a big putting green near 1/18/Bar to get everyone hanging out close to the action and provide a place in the evenings to have some fun!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: PCCraig on January 26, 2021, 11:57:20 AM
Congrats to Zac...glad his course is getting off the ground.


I'm also glad that Zac is using someone like Mr. Goalby for the construction. His original work nearby at Pinehurst #3 is spectacular. I know there is a lot more work to do, but looking forward to seeing what you guys put in the ground.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Scott Senior on January 26, 2021, 12:05:51 PM
Zac - congrats on making a great stride on what youíve been working towards for a long time. A few questions if you please?


I see one set of tees on the routing - is this purposeful or will a few others come about throughout the process?


How ďhardĒ do you want this course to be?  Playable for all or just tour / low HC friends?  Iím running low on golf balls over here...


Assume the clubhouse goes in the middle of the property near #1 and 10?  Any driving range / short game?


Looking forward to its evolution.


I think Tom, Kye and the team will get all the tee locations sorted out in the next few visits down to the site. Ive never built a course so im not sure exactly when those decisions get set in stone, I would assume some decisions are made in the field as well (maybe you shift a tee or green site to make the hole or transition better etc.)


I have also envisioned a lot of tees where you can share the same box ... trying to keep different classes of players together as much as it makes sense. I love going to play with different handicaps but its such a drag when im continually going back to a different world and I never get to see them. this course definitely has everyone in mind. The goal is to make a bunch of great holes where everyone can have fun (im not too concerned about the TOUR players shooting low scores .. if they play good great). I think Tom has laid out a very exciting course with a very fun finish (short par 3 17th with a drivable 18 with the valley to the left ... I've always like the idea of the drivable finisher so It was awesome that Tom was able to make this work).


our team likes the idea of having the clubhouse/back porch right up close to the 18th green ... shot provide a great view and some cool spectating.


range plans are still TBD I think we can have some sort of cypress style warm up range near the first tee and possibly a more traditional practice range somewhere a little more remote (ive personally always loved the idea of the remote range so you can get away and work on your game ... but some warm up area next to the action is obviously more convenient)


Ive also always envisioned a big putting green near 1/18/Bar to get everyone hanging out close to the action and provide a place in the evenings to have some fun!




Zac,


How about the 18th green and practice green share similar space (ie. Garden City Men's Club). Also, always a good feel when the practice green is also the first tee....
I realize these aren't ground breaking ideas but might fit into your vision.


Best of luck!!
Scott 
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 26, 2021, 12:10:55 PM

Zac,


How about the 18th green and practice green share similar space (ie. Garden City Men's Club). Also, always a good feel when the practice green is also the first tee....
I realize these aren't ground breaking ideas but might fit into your vision.


Best of luck!!
Scott


Actually he already sent me a drawing that looked like that.


It reminded me that Pete Dye did the same thing on the 18th holes at Crooked Stick and The Golf Club, in their original form.  I often forget that Garden City does it, too -- I tend to remember it about the 9th at Oakmont first.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 26, 2021, 12:19:32 PM


Ive never built a course so im not sure exactly when those decisions get set in stone, I would assume some decisions are made in the field as well (maybe you shift a tee or green site to make the hole or transition better etc.)



It isn't set in stone until you put the irrigation in the ground.  That is less comfortable for you at this stage, because you're still in the mode of doodling ideas, which is fine, but at some point it will switch to 3-D and the doodles are less useful then!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Zac Blair on January 26, 2021, 12:32:30 PM


Ive never built a course so im not sure exactly when those decisions get set in stone, I would assume some decisions are made in the field as well (maybe you shift a tee or green site to make the hole or transition better etc.)



It isn't set in stone until you put the irrigation in the ground.  That is less comfortable for you at this stage, because you're still in the mode of doodling ideas, which is fine, but at some point it will switch to 3-D and the doodles are less useful then!


see you're teaching me new stuff everyday  ;)  im sure you're getting sick of all my doodles that are sent your way. you'll be relieved when the irrigation is in the ground!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Brett Wiesley on January 26, 2021, 12:38:14 PM
Taconic GC in Mass also has the shared 18/practice green.


Zac,


Where will the entrance road be?
Lodging?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on January 26, 2021, 01:08:42 PM
While i'm a little bummed this isn't happening in Utah, very cool to see this gaining traction!  I've driven by the location a few times and its a good spot, (at least in context to Northern Utah)

Good luck Zac!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Peter Flory on January 26, 2021, 03:20:59 PM

Peter,

Are you seeing this from the routing posted in The Fried Egg interview, or other?

https://thefriedegg.com/zac-blair-the-buck-club-hires-tom-doak-kye-goalby-to-design-the-tree-farm/ (https://thefriedegg.com/zac-blair-the-buck-club-hires-tom-doak-kye-goalby-to-design-the-tree-farm/)

I just laid that routing over the terrain to see it in 3D.  Here is #1 and #2 in Google Earth.  GE isn't always perfect, but it gives you the gist of what is happening, especially with the topo lines showing as well. 
(https://i.imgur.com/yqjkLesl.jpg)

Just zooming around the routing like this and looking at all the banks and ridges, it looks like a great "found" golf course.  It really minimizes the amt of earth moving that they would have to do.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jay Mickle on January 26, 2021, 06:39:14 PM
Glad that you are getting the golf experience that most of us can only dream of. Looking forward to following the progress.

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Paul Jones on January 26, 2021, 07:16:21 PM
Zac,


What is the timeline?  When do you hope to have following finished:


Golf Course
Clubhouse
Cottages
Practice Area


Do you plan on having everything complete for opening day?


Congrats to everyone involved !!!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: David_Elvins on January 27, 2021, 02:45:45 AM
I just laid that routing over the terrain to see it in 3D.


Pretty amazing how far technology has come since this message board started.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 10:23:17 AM
I just laid that routing over the terrain to see it in 3D.


Pretty amazing how far technology has come since this message board started.




I still can't do it, but luckily I can visualize without the tech.  However, the tech is going to make it easier for other people to try their hands at design.


Last night someone on Instagram wanted me to post the blank topo so that everyone could try their own version of the routing, but I declined.  I want to see those as much as Zac wants guys to send him videos of their golf swings.  ;)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ben Hollerbach on January 27, 2021, 11:24:11 AM

I have to imagine this is a unique opportunity to compare publicly released routings from 2 different architects on the same plot of land.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/FhPx81m1tTb1TcLVg3hBiGygO_Rb6PRpyVMsOMq41Y-l7RUU1d8SZCpR6-4uiWeQdPM9OTeaYEU8asfc1FX41TgZ_znSUS2-ZXu8u4PyQv53-ylSGW-uwThXbMGFsYKLCCPNluCCXc4=w2400)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 01:29:55 PM
Ben:


Sorry, but I'm not going to participate in your proposed comparison, and I hope it does not become a "thing" here.  Which of them is better is strictly a matter of opinion, and the only opinion that matters is the client's.


I had not seen the other plan previously but I am glad to see that it was very different than mine, so nobody can accuse me of stealing their ideas   ;)    But, this was not an open competition.  Zac hired the other guys, then dropped them, then contacted me a few months later.  We did not even discuss the project until the week before Christmas.  [I work fast.]




Also, are you sure you've overlaid the plans correctly?  If those blue blobs were supposed to be ponds, I don't understand them as one is on the side of a hill, and the other on top of the ridge but just hanging over the edge.  Also the pond you've drawn on my plan is not really like what I've recommended.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ben Hollerbach on January 27, 2021, 02:09:49 PM
Tom,


I was/am not expecting you to participate, that would be greatly unfair to you at this time. Nor do I desire people to directly nit pick a perspective plan and rule some level of verdict, especially since so few people have actually seen the land in question. That exercise would fall more on one's ability to read a topo than anything else.

But...with so much conversation on this site directed at routings of golf courses I still felt it valuable to showcase how one piece of property can generate greatly different routings when viewed from two different perspectives. This is not something we can see all that often and could be a valuable peek behind the curtain.

The overlays were created by adjusting the scale and orientation of each routing to match each other and the source 5' contour map. The feature locations and shapes were traced to match and are correct based upon the original drawings. I believe the pond on your routing may look strange to you due to a discrepancy between the 5' contour map I sourced from Aiken County and the 1' contour map you used. I noticed that the fidelity of your map is of a higher degree and in certain locations deviates from the 5' contour map.

For Reference, here is your routing overlaid on the 5' Contour map, with my line tracing on top:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QFspEwRDz6vSHLAPOPetXWfhHtNQwMWMEqk2cIw9SWBFF7uCZRyNYaJGj5i7kXkm-PYuljo-8_SwnA9gHqg2eoMBAXU4u8IF7MMLn9r66UqpW7hfVe-mNOiVLVPAV-7hApJ_WDDSHPU=w2400)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 02:48:24 PM

The overlays were created by adjusting the scale and orientation of each routing to match each other and the source 5' contour map. The feature locations and shapes were traced to match and are correct based upon the original drawings. I believe the pond on your routing may look strange to you due to a discrepancy between the 5' contour map I sourced from Aiken County and the 1' contour map you used. I noticed that the fidelity of your map is of a higher degree and in certain locations deviates from the 5' contour map.

For Reference, here is your routing overlaid on the 5' Contour map, with my line tracing on top:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QFspEwRDz6vSHLAPOPetXWfhHtNQwMWMEqk2cIw9SWBFF7uCZRyNYaJGj5i7kXkm-PYuljo-8_SwnA9gHqg2eoMBAXU4u8IF7MMLn9r66UqpW7hfVe-mNOiVLVPAV-7hApJ_WDDSHPU=w2400)




Ben:


Okay, but if you're going to overlay the two maps here and start discussing them on a forum where I'm an active participant, it's hard for me to participate and hard for me NOT to participate when others misinterpret something I've suggested [such as my last paragraph below].  So personally I'd prefer you compared designs on Twitter, or some other forum I don't care about.


I still don't understand the two ponds on the other design and how they hit the topo, so I'm guessing something is lined up incorrectly, but that's none of my business.


As to my pond, I was thinking actually of two ponds:  A higher one that comes into play back left of 8 green and right up to the edge of the fairway on #9, feeding a lower one that goes across #3 as on the 5th at Pine Valley, which Zac had mentioned he admired.  Maybe with a small waterfall in between them.   :D
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on January 27, 2021, 02:58:39 PM
Doakís Achilles are ponds. Thank God for Goalby.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 03:02:31 PM
Doakís Achilles are ponds. Thank God for Goalby.


That one would be pretty good -- it even goes around the corner and out of sight, as Jeff B. taught me on this forum.


Plus copying the one at Pine Valley would be pretty easy to get right.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on January 27, 2021, 03:22:06 PM
Fine template to copy.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on January 27, 2021, 03:23:21 PM
Tom,


Good memory, LOL.


I took a quick look, and being able to read topo, and having no horse in this race, it seems pretty clear to me Tom's is better. The other one has a few pretty awkward holes.


I do have to ask if this is really conceptual, or specifically, in that third hole, the green is20+ feet above the back tee, and more above any forward tee, when the entire hole could have been shifted toward the bottom/bottom right of the page and had the green and tee at similar levels.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ben Hollerbach on January 27, 2021, 03:24:45 PM
Tom,

Based on your last paragraph it sounds like you did not create the routing document that was posted on The Fried Egg?

It's a given that the routing ideas today will inevitably evolve and change as the course begins construction. So these documents really on capture the thoughts in a moment in time. As this drawing is being promoted as your routing,  I'm then curious what level of accuracy it still holds today? Is the spit pond idea a new one, or was it misinterpreted in the creation of the Merry Land Timber plan?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jim Sullivan on January 27, 2021, 03:30:14 PM
Tom,


GCA is a golf architecture site that generally discusses a bunch of far off stuff. Here is an opportunity for many folks to really see something take shape and you want it to go to twitter?


I have no dog in this either, other than a sincere hope that it works out great for everyone involved...so for my $0.02 you just might have to figure out how to let people misinterpret something for a change. If this thread goes anywhere, it could become required reading for anyone with a vague interest in the subject.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jim Sherma on January 27, 2021, 03:38:56 PM
I for one think a Doak designed waterfall would be absolutely great. The expected post-build entertainment value alone should far outweigh any reason for not having it.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 03:42:35 PM


I took a quick look, and being able to read topo, and having no horse in this race, it seems pretty clear to me Tom's is better. The other one has a few pretty awkward holes.

I do have to ask if this is really conceptual, or specifically, in that third hole, the green is20+ feet above the back tee, and more above any forward tee, when the entire hole could have been shifted toward the bottom/bottom right of the page and had the green and tee at similar levels.


Jeff:


When I looked at the topo and saw that site, I thought it was too steep and we'd probably have to cut it down to make it work.  But then I checked with my friend Jeff Bezos Google Earth [duh, Jeff Bezos does not own Google yet], and pulled off these elevations for the 5th hole at Pine Valley:


Tee - 107 feet
Pond - 95
Top of cross bunker - 122 feet
Back of green - 135


It's 65 yards from the cross bunker to the back of the green, so that's 6.5%, but of course they've built up the front of the green so it's only 3-4% to there.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 03:45:06 PM
Fine template to copy.


Thank you!  I've never seen an attempt to build that hole somewhere else.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 03:57:44 PM
Tom,

Based on your last paragraph it sounds like you did not create the routing document that was posted on The Fried Egg?

It's a given that the routing ideas today will inevitably evolve and change as the course begins construction. So these documents really on capture the thoughts in a moment in time. As this drawing is being promoted as your routing,  I'm then curious what level of accuracy it still holds today? Is the spit pond idea a new one, or was it misinterpreted in the creation of the Merry Land Timber plan?




Ben:  It's my routing, but I think Zac is actually the one to put it onto that base map.  The only version I've sent to him is the one I posted on my Instagram last night, which was drawn straight on the topo and texted to him in pieces over Christmas, to build suspense.  :D   I didn't draw the pond onto it, so he probably just didn't quite understand what I had described, or maybe he's decided to do it differently.



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ben Hollerbach on January 27, 2021, 04:04:44 PM
That makes sense, thank you for clearing that up.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 04:20:36 PM


GCA is a golf architecture site that generally discusses a bunch of far off stuff. Here is an opportunity for many folks to really see something take shape and you want it to go to twitter?


I have no dog in this either, other than a sincere hope that it works out great for everyone involved...so for my $0.02 you just might have to figure out how to let people misinterpret something for a change. If this thread goes anywhere, it could become required reading for anyone with a vague interest in the subject.




Jim:


I'm just concerned that if I participate, inevitably I will get dragged into commenting on some hole on the other plan, and that someone else might view that as a personal attack.


Also, I'm aware that Zac has been put through the wringer [pun definitely intended] over his decision to switch architects, and I don't want him to have to endure any more of that, here.  Apparently there are some people who think the client shouldn't make the call on the designer?


I am happy to describe my own design and how I got to this plan, if anyone cares.  I don't want to compare it to anyone else's plan.  Or have I got this wrong and the King-Collins plan was actually Zac's routing?  I probably shouldn't criticize his, either, but I would do it with his permission.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: PPallotta on January 27, 2021, 04:44:05 PM
All I know is how ironic it would be if in fifty years, and on the strength of this one thread (all others having been purged in a global-wide internet accident), Tom was remembered as architect who 'mailed in his designs' and had others build them!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ira Fishman on January 27, 2021, 04:44:35 PM
To shift gears a bit, I think that Zac deserves serious kudos for not giving a whit what anyone else thinks. When he first proposed the Buck Club, a lot of people here ridiculed him. When he shifted to SC, the same. When he chose King-Collins, the heavens here opened with praise. When he dismissed them, there was puzzlement and dismay. Now, he has turned to Doak--one of his original skeptics--and this thread will go on for more pages than one about changes at ANGC or Seth Raynor. At the end of the day, Zac Blair has proven a quiet, unassuming confidence that deserves kudos.


Ira
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 05:04:37 PM


 Now, he has turned to Doak--one of his original skeptics--



I believe I suggested that he not try to do it all by himself, though of course some people here tried to twist that into some kind of personal attack [one reason I am wary of Ben's suggestion].  I certainly had no thought of him asking me for help; I was thinking more along the lines of him finding someone like Kye, or one of my associates.  But I have learned to keep my options open.



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ben Hollerbach on January 27, 2021, 05:30:28 PM
I can't help but relish in the unique distinctions between each architect's solution to the same problem. For the lay golfer, they may look at the work of these two architects as similar in style, but in a lot of ways their approaches are fundamentally very different.


For each routing to existing on the same piece of land, each final course would have a dramatically distinct feel compared to the other, almost a Pine Valley vs. Pinehurst type comparison.


One approach feels much more adventurous, attacking the landforms head on and creating a routing with a series of interconnected loops of holes. While the other routing demonstrates a greater level of restraint and joins hole in a flowing chain, smoothly traverse the property.


This, quite simply, is one of the most fantastic elements of design. There is never just one solution to a design problem and the character in varied approaches makes the study of the act so much more enjoyable. 
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: David_Elvins on January 27, 2021, 05:33:09 PM
..
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Zac Blair on January 27, 2021, 05:35:32 PM
Tom,

Based on your last paragraph it sounds like you did not create the routing document that was posted on The Fried Egg?

It's a given that the routing ideas today will inevitably evolve and change as the course begins construction. So these documents really on capture the thoughts in a moment in time. As this drawing is being promoted as your routing,  I'm then curious what level of accuracy it still holds today? Is the spit pond idea a new one, or was it misinterpreted in the creation of the Merry Land Timber plan?



Ben:  It's my routing, but I think Zac is actually the one to put it onto that base map.  The only version I've sent to him is the one I posted on my Instagram last night, which was drawn straight on the topo and texted to him in pieces over Christmas, to build suspense.  :D   I didn't draw the pond onto it, so he probably just didn't quite understand what I had described, or maybe he's decided to do it differently.


ill take full responsibility for the pond right of 9 ... im not the one doing it on the computer so its hard to get it right without me actually seeing a drawing or physically drawing it myself .. apologies to everyone ;)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Zac Blair on January 27, 2021, 05:45:46 PM
Also the routing was my attempt (although it had changed considerably by the time tom was involved .. and included some holes very similar to 1, 19 and 20 which are some of the my favorites) ... I am not ashamed of my routing, I have since learned it did have some awkward areas and some tough climbs ... untimely Tom's is much much better which is the main reason I sought out his help.


I fully understand that the routing is a fundamental aspect to building a great golf course ... and understand you want to get it right the first time (again why I hired Tom to assist in this area).


It has been very cool to see his process, holes and descriptions ... and im extremely excited to go walk it with him in the future. Ive learned a lot more than I ever thought I would about the routing process in the last few months which has been amazing.



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on January 27, 2021, 05:49:05 PM
Its pretty awesome to see the overlay of the routings as well.  No doubt its fascinating to have a look at how two different professionals see and interpret the same property.

However, as I would also like to continue to see details on this (and other) projects...I would hope attempts to scrutinize, criticize, or otherwise from the peanut gallery will not be a deterrent to future sharing.  In my few feeble attempts in the ArmChair QB Routing threads from a few years back, I certainly learned how difficult a task it is...
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 06:53:15 PM
I can't help but relish in the unique distinctions between each architect's solution to the same problem. For the lay golfer, they may look at the work of these two architects as similar in style, but in a lot of ways their approaches are fundamentally very different.


For each routing to existing on the same piece of land, each final course would have a dramatically distinct feel compared to the other, almost a Pine Valley vs. Pinehurst type comparison.


One approach feels much more adventurous, attacking the landforms head on and creating a routing with a series of interconnected loops of holes. While the other routing demonstrates a greater level of restraint and joins hole in a flowing chain, smoothly traverse the property.


This, quite simply, is one of the most fantastic elements of design. There is never just one solution to a design problem and the character in varied approaches makes the study of the act so much more enjoyable.




So, Ben, I think you are projecting a lot there in your descriptions.  Why is it more "adventurous" to attack the landforms more head on?  The adventure is how you make your way around the property and what you see as you go, and while these were certainly different I don't think "adventurous" is the reason.


Likewise I don't see how I am routing the course as "restraint" -- this is a pretty dramatic routing and deliberately so.  What I was trying to minimize was climbing up and down hills, because Zac said right off he wanted the course to be as walkable as possible despite the ridge-and-valley nature of the property.


Moreover, if the one routing is really Zac's, does it make as much sense to compare them?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Terry Lavin on January 27, 2021, 07:00:44 PM
Iím confident that the golf will be great. The location is very solid. I only hope that the ďlodgingĒ leans more toward spartan than haughty.


Minimalism in both respects is important even though a handful of holes can (and should) be jaw droppers.


Iím  excited at the prospects.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ira Fishman on January 27, 2021, 07:38:32 PM


 Now, he has turned to Doak--one of his original skeptics--



I believe I suggested that he not try to do it all by himself, though of course some people here tried to twist that into some kind of personal attack [one reason I am wary of Ben's suggestion].  I certainly had no thought of him asking me for help; I was thinking more along the lines of him finding someone like Kye, or one of my associates.  But I have learned to keep my options open.


I chose the term "skeptic" carefully and charitably.  But my basic point stands: Zac Blair is doing what he thinks best to pursue his vision. For that he deserves kudos.


Ira
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: David_Elvins on January 27, 2021, 08:07:57 PM
I really liked Zac's comparison of the routings on the podcast when he said something along the lines of "with my routing I talked to my buddies about what sort of green complex to put on each hole.  With Tom's routing you could see what sort of green complex went at the end of each hole"


A really interesting and illuminating observation imo.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ben Hollerbach on January 27, 2021, 08:25:45 PM

So, Ben, I think you are projecting a lot there in your descriptions.  Why is it more "adventurous" to attack the landforms more head on?  The adventure is how you make your way around the property and what you see as you go, and while these were certainly different I don't think "adventurous" is the reason.


Likewise I don't see how I am routing the course as "restraint" -- this is a pretty dramatic routing and deliberately so.  What I was trying to minimize was climbing up and down hills, because Zac said right off he wanted the course to be as walkable as possible despite the ridge-and-valley nature of the property.


Moreover, if the one routing is really Zac's, does it make as much sense to compare them?


Tom,


I was careful to not specifically label the routings in my post. I felt it was best to share a more top level perspective in regards to the design direction of each course. Allowing others to form their own opinions, rather that potentially influence them base on my own perspective.


Which makes me curious what lead you to associated the two descriptions the way you did?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 27, 2021, 08:32:51 PM

Which makes me curious what lead you to associated the two descriptions the way you did?


I'm very used to golf writers using particular adjectives for particular designers.  The opening of two courses side by side at Streamsong was a case study of that.  But you aren't part of that crowd, so I may have misinterpreted your descriptions.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Terry Lavin on January 27, 2021, 09:24:46 PM
These a days itís flatter tee boxes, more green to tee walk-offs, fewer trees, more fescue, bigger bunkers and more rescue.

Or as Tom T. Hall famously sang:

I knew I had to ask him about the mysteries of life
He spat between his boots and he replied:

"It's faster horses, younger women,
Older whiskey More money"

Letís slug a shot or two and remember that thereís a lot in marketing that involves forgetting what they used to be marketing. Given all of the morbidity and mortality across the world from this golf-saving virus, letís all not get so serious about the ifs or buts in this fun sounding stuff. I hope to be there when it opens with three foursomes. Be there or be square.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Adam G on January 27, 2021, 11:04:45 PM

I am happy to describe my own design and how I got to this plan, if anyone cares. 


Yes please!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 28, 2021, 12:13:32 AM

I am happy to describe my own design and how I got to this plan, if anyone cares. 


Yes please!


It may be a couple of days, as my grandson has arrived in town this evening and seems to have big plans for me.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Adam G on January 28, 2021, 09:02:37 AM

I am happy to describe my own design and how I got to this plan, if anyone cares. 


Yes please!


It may be a couple of days, as my grandson has arrived in town this evening and seems to have big plans for me.


Take your time. Some things are much more important than any internet forum :)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Peter Sayegh on January 28, 2021, 10:40:32 AM
It may be a couple of days, as my grandson has arrived in town this evening and seems to have big plans for me.

"Big plans?" Does he have just topos or a complete routing as well?
Twitter: "Doak and family planning future project."
Enjoy your time together.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on January 28, 2021, 11:59:45 AM
I can't help but relish in the unique distinctions between each architect's solution to the same problem. For the lay golfer, they may look at the work of these two architects as similar in style, but in a lot of ways their approaches are fundamentally very different.


For each routing to existing on the same piece of land, each final course would have a dramatically distinct feel compared to the other, almost a Pine Valley vs. Pinehurst type comparison.


One approach feels much more adventurous, attacking the landforms head on and creating a routing with a series of interconnected loops of holes. While the other routing demonstrates a greater level of restraint and joins hole in a flowing chain, smoothly traverse the property.


This, quite simply, is one of the most fantastic elements of design. There is never just one solution to a design problem and the character in varied approaches makes the study of the act so much more enjoyable.


Quite high level thinking.....


I know TD will probably roll his eyes, but in my simplistic gca mind, I evaluated the routing in terms of more specific criteria, like I did the third hole.  Specifically, I noted the elevations of each tee, LZ, and green on every hole.  If the tee was at least close to the LZ in elevation, I presumed it would not be blind, one of the general rules of gca.  Ditto LZ to green.  Also, not hard to walk, if you are in the "golf should be an easy walk" camp.  (I am)


I also look as a double check at the number of hole centerlines that parallel the contour lines, as opposed to crossing them (although, crossing in the downhill fashion is fine, but not uphill) I also look at the number of hills a hole has to cross, and the blue routing has more of both uphill and ridge crossings, which aren't really natural golf holes.


If I read TD's routing correctly, and I think I am, TD also has about half a dozen wonderfully approach shots over valleys, with is always pleasant, and I mean always!  His fw seem to hug ridgelines nicely.  Yes, I see a few areas that I expect he would tweak very slightly on a site walk, but the basic pattern is there already.....until he sees a better one, of course.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 28, 2021, 12:11:53 PM

I also look as a double check at the number of hole centerlines that parallel the contour lines, as opposed to crossing them (although, crossing in the downhill fashion is fine, but not uphill) I also look at the number of hills a hole has to cross, and the blue routing has more of both uphill and ridge crossings, which aren't really natural golf holes.


If I read TD's routing correctly, and I think I am, TD also has about half a dozen wonderfully approach shots over valleys, with is always pleasant, and I mean always!  His fw seem to hug ridgelines nicely.  Yes, I see a few areas that I expect he would tweak very slightly on a site walk, but the basic pattern is there already.....until he sees a better one, of course.


Jeff:


I'm always looking for a relatively easy walk.  High Pointe was not, and it didn't help their business, even if only a fraction of players choose to walk.


In my latest book, I mention that one thing I almost always do is to run a highlighter over the tops of any prominent ridges, so I will know that anywhere I'm routing a hole over one of those lines, I am dealing with a potential blind shot. 


The 5th hole on my plan is deliberately blind; it will take a very long drive to get up to the top of the ridge, and I was thinking Zac would put bunkers on the direct line to the green so you had to carry them to get home.  [I guess template people would call it a longer modern-day Sahara hole though I only thought of that just now.]  The 12th hole is a long par 5 that goes up and over at the landing area, but I was thinking of cutting through that ridge so you would have the long view from the tee all the way to the green.  And the 16th is uphill off the tee and down into a bowl on the second shot, so a guy who hits a short tee shot may be blind for his second into the bowl.    Everything else is quite visible.


I also mention in the book that the plan Mr. Dye used to show me about routing was The Honors Course, which is laid out on the side of a 6-8% slope.  Nearly all of the holes play across the slope [instead of 50-80 feet up and down], so I learned to get the landing areas on the ridges by playing diagonally across the valleys as needed.  That's still my go-to approach for "washboard" terrain, if anything I do it too much of the time.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: PPallotta on January 28, 2021, 12:11:53 PM
I'm telling you, that's a skill I definitely do not have: I wish I could read street maps as well as you guys read topos! [No GPS for me. I'm always afraid that the lady giving directions will get mad at me for some reason and suddenly stop talking!]
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on January 28, 2021, 12:21:46 PM
TD, I noticed that one, but it's narrow and a nice valley cut through there would be nice.  Besides, if you are right, and Zac has the ponds on some sidehills, which might take more fill than cut to build, you have to get some cuts from somewhere to build features.  I have had that happen occasionally - not enough cut because all the holes were pretty natural, and I expect you have it pretty often.


BTW, I highlight ridges in yellow, and creek bottoms or valleys in a pale blue.  My wife wonders why I buy so many highlighters when I really don't read that much......


I trust the term Pete was trying to get across was "sliding up (or down) the contours, which does yield better holes than perfectly paralleling them in many cases.  This routing does it quite nicely, and even when tee shots go over big valleys, you leave room for alternate tees and routes that don't require the carry.


Having hung with many gca's and near gca's over the years, I can tell it's true, some folks really understand topo maps in 3D, while others really don't, despite their job title.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: JMEvensky on January 28, 2021, 12:21:50 PM

I'm telling you, that's a skill I definitely do not have: I wish I could read street maps as well as you guys read topos! [No GPS for me. I'm always afraid that the lady giving directions will get mad at me for some reason and suddenly stop talking!]





Same here. Reading a topo is for me as foreign as reading a Russian newspaper.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on January 28, 2021, 12:24:00 PM
The quick lesson is, if the contours are labeled with elevations, make sure you are looking at the feature from top down, i.e. downhill by the numbers.  If you do, the cross section shape of the contours will show you what the land form looks like.  A valley will show with the center of the contours low, and a ridge will look like a hump.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 28, 2021, 12:36:58 PM

I'm telling you, that's a skill I definitely do not have: I wish I could read street maps as well as you guys read topos! [No GPS for me. I'm always afraid that the lady giving directions will get mad at me for some reason and suddenly stop talking!]



Same here. Reading a topo is for me as foreign as reading a Russian newspaper.




It really is not nearly that hard, although I suppose some people would never get it.  If you spent a week at it with someone's help, I think you would be able to read them.


Where I went from good at it to great at it was when I was working on the routing for High Pointe.  It was the first time I had a good two-foot topo of an interesting piece of land that was mostly clear of trees, that I could go out and walk around as much as I wanted.  So I would go out there with the map and find that the little bump for the third green was right there on the topo map and what that looked like as a bunch of lines . . . and then find a wiggle of lines that looked interesting on paper and go see what that meant on the ground.


After that, it was easy  . . . anytime I could find a pattern of wiggles on the map that looked unusual, that probably meant an unusual feature on the ground I should utilize.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on January 28, 2021, 02:49:39 PM
I'll disagree to a degree.  I look for those little squiggles, too.  It does seem to me that routing first deals with the really big picture and the broader rolls of a site.  If you can use some Diddle bump (surprised Bill Diddel didn't claim that as his intellectual property.....) without sacrificing the general flow, so much the better.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 28, 2021, 02:56:19 PM
Jeff:


I was just talking about learning how to read a map, not so much about routing a course.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Bill Shotzbarger on January 29, 2021, 02:59:24 PM
Tom and Zac,


This seems like an incredibly exciting project and one I have been, and will be, closely following.


Tomóit looks like this will be your first new course project in the Carolinas since very early in your design career. Are you excited to get back there for a new build?


Also, I think the site has sandy soil which lends itself beautifully to ideal playing conditions most golfers on here love. Am I correct about that? Does that type of soil make construction easier or more difficult for your team?


Bill
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 29, 2021, 05:29:31 PM

Tomóit looks like this will be your first new course project in the Carolinas since very early in your design career. Are you excited to get back there for a new build?

Also, I think the site has sandy soil which lends itself beautifully to ideal playing conditions most golfers on here love. Am I correct about that? Does that type of soil make construction easier or more difficult for your team?



Bill:  I've only been hired to do the routing of the course, not to build it.


As for the soils, I haven't dug around to see exactly what is there.  I doubt it is pure sand like Pinehurst or Ballyneal, but sandy soil is much easier than clay just due for minimizing weather delays during construction.  The sooner the site dries up the quicker you can get going again.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Michael Whitaker on January 29, 2021, 05:52:55 PM
Here is a map of the ancient coastline. It explains why there is so much sand so far inland. I went to school in Columbia. When we would dig a pit out back of our apartment to cook BBQ we would turn up sea shells. Just sayin'  ;)

(https://water.usgs.gov/ogw/gwrp/activities/images/SE-Coastal-pp1773-large.jpg?epik=dj0yJnU9d2xqdUhlUG1abGVaNGw2NHdSV05PNUt1TFRReWxhbUgmcD0wJm49V1NUQ0tRSjFmeW1lRzl6bXdSS3djZyZ0PUFBQUFBR0FVa0g4)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Michael Whitaker on January 29, 2021, 05:53:41 PM
.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on January 29, 2021, 06:25:02 PM
Here is a map of the ancient coastline. It explains why there is so much sand so far inland. I went to school in Columbia. When we would dig a pit out back of our apartment to cook BBQ we would turn up sea shells. Just sayin'  ;)

(https://water.usgs.gov/ogw/gwrp/activities/images/SE-Coastal-pp1773-large.jpg?epik=dj0yJnU9d2xqdUhlUG1abGVaNGw2NHdSV05PNUt1TFRReWxhbUgmcD0wJm49V1NUQ0tRSjFmeW1lRzl6bXdSS3djZyZ0PUFBQUFBR0FVa0g4)


I had no idea that the sand went so far inland down there.  Why aren't there good courses around Columbia?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Mike_Trenham on January 29, 2021, 08:07:52 PM
In my time as a Gamecock and resident of Columbia SC all I found was red clay, but I was not informed enough to know to look for sand.


Mike W.  I am really curious about this topic, as examples would you say Camden or Orangeburg benefit from a percentage of sandy soils?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Steve Lang on January 29, 2021, 09:06:26 PM
 8)  If one looks, for extent and origin of the Sand Hills, its border is essentially The Fall Line of the Piedmont, though there was some intrusion of the coastal plain up the north flank of the Congaree River to Columbia, SC it looks isolated from one mapping I found.  The sand is windblown, not unlike the Great Sand Dunes out in Colorado  ;D


From Wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_Regions_of_South_Carolina


Sandhills[edit (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Geographical_Regions_of_South_Carolina&action=edit&section=4)]The Carolina [/color]Sandhills (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandhills_(Carolina)) is a 10-35 mi wide physiographic region within the innermost part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain province.[/color][1] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_Regions_of_South_Carolina#cite_note-1) The northern extent of the Carolina Sandhills is located near Fayetteville in North Carolina, and the Carolina Sandhills extend south and southwestward into South Carolina and Georgia. The Sandhills is home to [/color]Sand Hills State Forest (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sand_Hills_State_Forest&action=edit&redlink=1), part of the Congaree River (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congaree_River), and the state capital of Columbia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia,_SC). The Carolina Sandhills are interpreted as eolian (wind-blown) sand sheets and dunes that were mobilized episodically from approximately 75,000 to 6,000 years ago. Most of the published luminescence ages from the sand are coincident with the last glaciation, a time when the southeastern United States was characterized by colder air temperatures and stronger winds.[/color][2] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_Regions_of_South_Carolina#cite_note-2)[/color][/font][/size]References[edit (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Geographical_Regions_of_South_Carolina&action=edit&section=5)][/font]

^ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_Regions_of_South_Carolina#cite_ref-1) Swezey, C.S., Fitzwater, B.A., Whittecar, G.R., Mahan, S.A., Garrity, C.P., Aleman Gonzalez, W.B., and Dobbs, K.M., 2016, "The Carolina Sandhills: Quaternary eolian sand sheets and dunes along the updip margin of the Atlantic Coastal Plain province, southeastern United States": Quaternary Research, v. 86, p. 271-286; www.cambridge.org/core/journals/quaternary-research
[/font]
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on January 29, 2021, 09:55:05 PM
Here is a map of the ancient coastline. It explains why there is so much sand so far inland. I went to school in Columbia. When we would dig a pit out back of our apartment to cook BBQ we would turn up sea shells. Just sayin'  ;)

(https://water.usgs.gov/ogw/gwrp/activities/images/SE-Coastal-pp1773-large.jpg?epik=dj0yJnU9d2xqdUhlUG1abGVaNGw2NHdSV05PNUt1TFRReWxhbUgmcD0wJm49V1NUQ0tRSjFmeW1lRzl6bXdSS3djZyZ0PUFBQUFBR0FVa0g4)


I had no idea that the sand went so far inland down there.  Why aren't there good courses around Columbia?


The era they were built.
Camden being the noteable exception
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on January 29, 2021, 10:02:55 PM
There is a ton of sand around Columbia/Aiken, BUT individual properties can vary widely.
And though often the soil  on top is sand, 3-8 lower it can be some or mainly clay.


Across the street from the Tree Fam, a former portion of the property was a kaolin mine(clay)and it has crazy 40 foot tall wild dune buggy/dirt formations in the leftover clay.
There are several kaolin mines just barely west of the property as well
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Michael Whitaker on January 30, 2021, 12:24:59 AM
Here is a map of the ancient coastline. It explains why there is so much sand so far inland. I went to school in Columbia. When we would dig a pit out back of our apartment to cook BBQ we would turn up sea shells. Just sayin'  ;)

(https://water.usgs.gov/ogw/gwrp/activities/images/SE-Coastal-pp1773-large.jpg?epik=dj0yJnU9d2xqdUhlUG1abGVaNGw2NHdSV05PNUt1TFRReWxhbUgmcD0wJm49V1NUQ0tRSjFmeW1lRzl6bXdSS3djZyZ0PUFBQUFBR0FVa0g4)


I had no idea that the sand went so far inland down there.  Why aren't there good courses around Columbia?
Tom - think about this... there are numerous Ross courses in NC and Florida, but only one or two in SC. Why? Money. SC was a very poor agricultural state and there was no money or interest in golden age golf... except by the northerners who wintered in the south. So, they brought down the designers who they were familiar with. Thatís why we have two Raynor courses, one remodel by Mackenzie, and one Ross hybrid in Camden. They were all built for northern enclaves. You can count the courses built here before WW2 on one hand. By the time golf became popular in SC courses were mostly created for tourism or real estate sales. The ďbuild it and they will comeĒ philosophy didnít exist back then. Glad to see itís finally making its way to SC. Long overdue.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on January 30, 2021, 01:12:51 AM
Here is a map of the ancient coastline. It explains why there is so much sand so far inland. I went to school in Columbia. When we would dig a pit out back of our apartment to cook BBQ we would turn up sea shells. Just sayin'  ;)

(https://water.usgs.gov/ogw/gwrp/activities/images/SE-Coastal-pp1773-large.jpg?epik=dj0yJnU9d2xqdUhlUG1abGVaNGw2NHdSV05PNUt1TFRReWxhbUgmcD0wJm49V1NUQ0tRSjFmeW1lRzl6bXdSS3djZyZ0PUFBQUFBR0FVa0g4)


I had no idea that the sand went so far inland down there.  Why aren't there good courses around Columbia?
Tom - think about this... there are numerous Ross courses in NC and Florida, but only one or two in SC. Why? Money. SC was a very poor agricultural state and there was no money or interest in golden age golf... except by the northerners who wintered in the south. So, they brought down the designers who they were familiar with. Thatís why we have two Raynor courses, one remodel by Mackenzie, and one Ross hybrid in Camden. They were all built for northern enclaves. You can count the courses built here before WW2 on one hand. By the time golf became popular in SC courses were mostly created for tourism or real estate sales. The ďbuild it and they will comeĒ philosophy didnít exist back then. Glad to see itís finally making its way to SC. Long overdue.
There was also Aiken GC circa 1912 I think, and North Augusta(SC) had a NLE around 1900ish.
And Augusta,like Aiken and Pinehurst a winer resort area, just across the river in GA had ACC, Forest Hills, ANGC
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jeff Schley on January 30, 2021, 01:18:18 AM
So according to Mike's map, Augusta has sandy soil? I thought it was clay.

Or does the map only give possibility of having native sandy soil?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on January 30, 2021, 01:35:12 AM
So according to Mike's map, Augusta has sandy soil? I thought it was clay.

Or does the map only give possibility of having native sandy soil?


parts-the Hill area of Augusta has sand,ACC-less so, Forest Hills, Augusta Golf Club(patch)

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: David_Elvins on January 30, 2021, 06:57:12 AM
So according to Mike's map, Augusta has sandy soil? I thought it was clay.

Or does the map only give possibility of having native sandy soil?


Augusta isnt on the sand.  you can see much more detail here.
Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data: Geologic maps (usgs.gov) (https://mrdata.usgs.gov/geology/state/map-us.html#home)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Don Mahaffey on January 30, 2021, 11:47:50 AM
Bored?  Want to find the next great sandy site in some far off corner of the US....this is your site:
https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx (https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx)


Not sure why the link is microscopic...or only on my computer.  But click on it...I promise its not hazardous.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on January 30, 2021, 11:50:18 AM

Bored?  Want to find the next great sandy site in some far off corner of the US....this is your site:


https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx (https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx)

Not sure why the link is microscopic...or only on my computer.  But click on it...I promise its not hazardous.

Here you go Don.  And it is secure http, so thats a plus! ;)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jeff Schley on August 07, 2021, 05:04:09 AM
Any update on the progress of Zac Blair's Tree Farm?  Haven't seen anything lately. Did he get the funding in place to start yet?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ben Hollerbach on August 07, 2021, 07:31:06 AM
Zac's been posting pictures recently of hole corridor clearing on site.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on August 07, 2021, 10:02:49 AM
Any update on the progress of Zac Blair's Tree Farm?  Haven't seen anything lately. Did he get the funding in place to start yet?


I believe the funding is in place.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Lou_Duran on August 07, 2021, 11:57:33 AM
I suppose an important question might be, have you been paid for your routing?

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on August 07, 2021, 12:55:35 PM
I suppose an important question might be, have you been paid for your routing?


Do you really think that's any of your business?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on August 07, 2021, 01:00:16 PM
Any update on the progress of Zac Blair's Tree Farm?  Haven't seen anything lately. Did he get the funding in place to start yet?


Zac's been posting updates on clearing for the past couple of weeks
https://twitter.com/z_blair/status/1422706314145198084
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on August 07, 2021, 02:24:53 PM
I suppose an important question might be, have you been paid for your routing?


Do you really think that's any of your business?


It does seem like kind of an offensive question, though I can't tell to whom the offense was intended.


Anyway, though it's none of your business, yes, I've been paid in full.  The last part of my fee was due when the funding was in place, so that's why I presume the funding is fully in place, even though that was really none of my business, so I had the good manners not to ask.  :D
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on August 07, 2021, 08:42:54 PM

Tomóit looks like this will be your first new course project in the Carolinas since very early in your design career. Are you excited to get back there for a new build?

Also, I think the site has sandy soil which lends itself beautifully to ideal playing conditions most golfers on here love. Am I correct about that? Does that type of soil make construction easier or more difficult for your team?



Bill:  I've only been hired to do the routing of the course, not to build it.


As for the soils, I haven't dug around to see exactly what is there.  I doubt it is pure sand like Pinehurst or Ballyneal, but sandy soil is much easier than clay just due for minimizing weather delays during construction.  The sooner the site dries up the quicker you can get going again.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/hiLRNSjbvH7hoj8t4gQmpfRclzoAnPYkPVgdD3-ZjLJfuo89HirPQEBjaZhBRlKqMLbUGQQhKdT4Y07ynP0zbyBGLzCTJp3iA1l1_m8kQRXFyOL9VAgLiPJ_hidKr56Kxha0Mu6vPzrsls2a9Z5zKg2-SB_B99kTkXrO7mnFUXDUslcMWKEJ9_jaj_KPiHyPDHhS1dD1Pwx0cPKUpMH-qWP1gv8JmxPUcWaVT3OrOOBGk1kxqIIyF4mbhKqdFrNhtJIq8LKe8kx83QNufRfbiGAkm8xJqe7FHCYJYE2UFTXYjCVgCSHets8CzfR7EMymo22q3QmKRg1htXCsmj-qTPKbd3D5latoJL23t9t616D3ye8Cv0vf-qiDsRb88fIImaJorudpTs36YVkebWC0vwgdE9rmTQxmpouY-9-b8rCdjxZyfC_yS3D_vDVpCAAQj1pclGHmN7yMV31WHPSYF9Fl5D5IhGCPmatxwbWWTYzWJbmhUPzjeq_QMaiV8AR8E16SzNPpZao6xOsIOubrdqaopZvK9KEsu2OI6UN3LaxXHpaPttqJz6nN2hzqmXgyntDeyn8XWuYzeDQTyDl_sYCiybTO4ZshHZlT3PsShCw8qIvfV05qp63QQ5kSywL4ovn-ZzVuQLMwwBflDLWu-CztuylxTnqeuNm5d3FqjeSaln9zVU9Z0C6ieivN8WNBW09kT7Fp34Z_J6UqlZy_OBa2=s1085-no?authuser=0)



















Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ira Fishman on August 07, 2021, 08:53:09 PM
For a number of years on here, Zac Blair and the Buck Club have been the subjects of skepticism at best and ridicule at worst, including by the guy who ended up doing the routing. Zac deserves a whole lot of credit for his passion, vision, adaptability, and confident decision making.


Ira
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Brad Engel on August 07, 2021, 09:38:37 PM
For a number of years on here, Zac Blair and the Buck Club have been the subjects of skepticism at best and ridicule at worst, including by the guy who ended up doing the routing. Zac deserves a whole lot of credit for his passion, vision, adaptability, and confident decision making.


Ira


Having followed along for the last couple of years, Zac is the epitome of author Angela's Duckworth's definition of grit. The power of passion and perseverance!
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Chris Mavros on August 07, 2021, 09:54:40 PM
I think Zac has evolved and grown a lot over the years with this project, or at least that's my take.  I've always admired his passion and commitment and wished him success, but the road has not been without its rightful questions and skpeticism.  Personally, I initially really liked everything I saw and inquired a couple times about investing in an initial/founding membership but there was a lack of response of any kind, which made me re-think my thoughts to some degree.  Maybe I didn't make the cut, I don't know.  It did make me wonder how substantial everything really was.  Or perhaps it's like Groucho Marx said, I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member lol.

Anyone with the commitment and dedication Zac has shown should be applauded.  Conversely, that journey doesn't come with its learning points and criticisms, just like countless projects before it that have withstood those and the test of time to rise to the occasion.   

I'm happy to hear things are progressing and Tom Doak's involvement is obviously a very strong attribute.  Looking forward to what happens next.     
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on August 07, 2021, 09:55:13 PM
For a number of years on here, Zac Blair and the Buck Club have been the subjects of skepticism at best and ridicule at worst, including by the guy who ended up doing the routing. Zac deserves a whole lot of credit for his passion, vision, adaptability, and confident decision making.



Ira:


I was indeed skeptical of Zac's mission at first, when it was reported here that he was going to buy land in Utah and design and build a course on his own.


As it turns out, that's not what he did at all.  Please don't cast too much shade in my direction.  Mostly, I believe that I suggested he get some good help, and he has done just that, not just from me but from Kye Goalby and Bard Reynolds and others.  8)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Scott Warren on August 08, 2021, 04:03:48 AM
For a number of years on here, Zac Blair and the Buck Club have been the subjects of skepticism at best and ridicule at worst, including by the guy who ended up doing the routing. Zac deserves a whole lot of credit for his passion, vision, adaptability, and confident decision making.


Ira

This is a dumb take. Zac was on record here saying he didnít need an architectís help to design and build a course to rival PV and Sand Hills on the site he had selected in Utah.

Thereís still no Zac Blair golf course on that land. Letís judge it when there is.

He hasnít ďproven the haters wrongĒ, heís moved on to a different project with a different model on the other side of the country on a site far more conducive to great golf and benefited from the expertise of not one but three professional golf course architects.

Itís great heís doing his thing and pursuing his dreams, but itís overly revisionist to suggest that this is a windmill dunk on everyone who said he couldnít do the thing that he still hasnít taken a meaningful step towards doing.

If Zac had lobbed on here in 2017 and said ďIím gonna hire Tom Doak, Rob Collins and Kye Goalby to design, route and build a course on a sandy site in South CarolinaĒ, Iím sure he would have received an entirely different response.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on August 08, 2021, 08:17:51 AM
For a number of years on here, Zac Blair and the Buck Club have been the subjects of skepticism at best and ridicule at worst, including by the guy who ended up doing the routing. Zac deserves a whole lot of credit for his passion, vision, adaptability, and confident decision making.


Ira

This is a dumb take. Zac was on record here saying he didnít need an architectís help to design and build a course to rival PV and Sand Hills on the site he had selected in Utah.

Thereís still no Zac Blair golf course on that land. Letís judge it when there is.

He hasnít ďproven the haters wrongĒ, heís moved on to a different project with a different model on the other side of the country on a site far more conducive to great golf and benefited from the expertise of not one but three professional golf course architects.

Itís great heís doing his thing and pursuing his dreams, but itís overly revisionist to suggest that this is a windmill dunk on everyone who said he couldnít do the thing that he still hasnít taken a meaningful step towards doing.

If Zac had lobbed on here in 2017 and said ďIím gonna hire Tom Doak, Rob Collins and Kye Goalby to design, route and build a course on a sandy site in South CarolinaĒ, Iím sure he would have received an entirely different response.


Wouldn't it be great to predict exactly what the future holds four years ahead.
A large part of Zac's success has come from his courage and willingness to share his thoughts and ask feedback from a large variety of experts, as well as anyone following along on Social Media.
Sure you pick up a few haters along the way, people who are bitter because they never had the courage to act on their own dreams and enjoy seeing a project fail.
All dreams that hope to become plans require flexibility and adaptation, and yes even a dose of realism.


If you don't think he's "taken a meaningful step towards doing"(at The Tree Farm) you're simply not in the loop, or simply not paying attention, or are unaware of the steps he has taken to educate himself and follow through on the process to get the project:
conceived(check),planned/researched(check),Land plots purchased/additional(check), permitted(check),Final routing(check after many many versions), designed(check plus design work in field), completely funded-not just the course-(CHECK).


There have been some great projects in the last 20 plus years, fortunately backed by some DEEP POCKETED really good people who hired great people.
Isn't it OK for someone who is not a professional developer WITHOUT deep pockets to conceive and plan a project from start to finish to have a few twists, turns and adjustments along the way?
especially if the revised product is on better land with a better location and the leading/most experienced course router in the business(along with multiple other contributors) being on board?
Especially if no animals were harmed in the process of his dream adapting ;) (i.e. nobody lost any money)


I'm guessing Mike Keiser had a few unpredictable twists and turns in launching his greeting card company.
To be fair he didn't have social media to benefit from or contend with, but kudos to Zac for leveraging the platform to accelerate the process for a NON deep pocketed guy(hint:it's not being funded by a deep pocketed investor, but rather many, many like minded individuals)


No one need praise the course yet, but it is most definitely happening as we type.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kyle Harris on August 08, 2021, 09:01:27 AM
A professional golfers job is to use their ability to play golf to make money.


Zac does that.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Zac Blair on August 08, 2021, 11:32:55 AM
For a number of years on here, Zac Blair and the Buck Club have been the subjects of skepticism at best and ridicule at worst, including by the guy who ended up doing the routing. Zac deserves a whole lot of credit for his passion, vision, adaptability, and confident decision making.


Ira

This is a dumb take. Zac was on record here saying he didnít need an architectís help to design and build a course to rival PV and Sand Hills on the site he had selected in Utah.

Thereís still no Zac Blair golf course on that land. Letís judge it when there is.

He hasnít ďproven the haters wrongĒ, heís moved on to a different project with a different model on the other side of the country on a site far more conducive to great golf and benefited from the expertise of not one but three professional golf course architects.

Itís great heís doing his thing and pursuing his dreams, but itís overly revisionist to suggest that this is a windmill dunk on everyone who said he couldnít do the thing that he still hasnít taken a meaningful step towards doing.

If Zac had lobbed on here in 2017 and said ďIím gonna hire Tom Doak, Rob Collins and Kye Goalby to design, route and build a course on a sandy site in South CarolinaĒ, Iím sure he would have received an entirely different response.








Scott you're right I absolutely made some mistakes along the way - mainly talking about building a course in Utah that I believed could be great (by the way I still believe I/we can build something great in Utah and definitely plan on doing so eventually). Early on all I ever wanted was to show the "process" and everything involved in getting something like this going.


As I learned more about a project like this (through the help of people that have been there done that) it was evident that Utah wasn't the right place to start - the Utah project never failed nor did I give up on that idea - I simply decided the project in Aiken was a better place to start for several reasons. Over the years I have been fortunate to meet a lot of different people that helped fine tune this entire dream and non of it would really be possible without them.

ZB[/size][size=78%] [/size]
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Zac Blair on August 08, 2021, 11:38:12 AM
I think Zac has evolved and grown a lot over the years with this project, or at least that's my take.  I've always admired his passion and commitment and wished him success, but the road has not been without its rightful questions and skpeticism.  Personally, I initially really liked everything I saw and inquired a couple times about investing in an initial/founding membership but there was a lack of response of any kind, which made me re-think my thoughts to some degree.  Maybe I didn't make the cut, I don't know.  It did make me wonder how substantial everything really was.  Or perhaps it's like Groucho Marx said, I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member lol.

Anyone with the commitment and dedication Zac has shown should be applauded.  Conversely, that journey doesn't come with its learning points and criticisms, just like countless projects before it that have withstood those and the test of time to rise to the occasion.   

I'm happy to hear things are progressing and Tom Doak's involvement is obviously a very strong attribute.  Looking forward to what happens next.     




Chris,


like I've mentioned a handful of times on here - I absolutely made some mistakes along the way ... including not having something in place besides social media to collect/talk to people like yourself that were interested in being involved/investing....


Luckily the team has come a long way and I feel like we are in a better place now. Happy to chat or have you out to the site sometime. feel free to shoot me an email -- zblair@thetreefarm.golf -- sorry I missed you before


ZB
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ira Fishman on August 08, 2021, 03:28:04 PM
For a number of years on here, Zac Blair and the Buck Club have been the subjects of skepticism at best and ridicule at worst, including by the guy who ended up doing the routing. Zac deserves a whole lot of credit for his passion, vision, adaptability, and confident decision making.



Ira:


I was indeed skeptical of Zac's mission at first, when it was reported here that he was going to buy land in Utah and design and build a course on his own.


As it turns out, that's not what he did at all.  Please don't cast too much shade in my direction.  Mostly, I believe that I suggested he get some good help, and he has done just that, not just from me but from Kye Goalby and Bard Reynolds and others.  8)


Tom,


I was throwing some shade and some sun. When I used the terms adaptability and confident decision making, I had in mind among other things changing his team to best pursue his vision. And as usual, Jeff Warne does a much better job than I in making my overall point.


Ira

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Scott Warren on August 08, 2021, 05:38:51 PM
Hi Jeff,

It seems that your response relates to the course in SC (The Tree Farm), which absolutely is taking all sorts of meaningful steps towards fruition. I was replying to Iraís comment about The Buck Club, which is the course Zac had expressed he would design and build himself in Utah that would rival Pine Valley and Sand Hills.

Itís clear ó noting Zacís reply above ó that he has learned 1000 things about pursuing projects like these since he went public with his ambitions in 2017 and seemingly understands that some of his early proclamations were wide of the mark, or at the very least extremely premature. Thatís life, we learn as we go and we try to refine our approach for next time. Heís not shy about owning that.

My frustration is not with Zac, who has been an open book throughout for better and for worse, it is with the people like Ira who decided anyone who was dubious about Zacís initial comments was a ďhaterĒ rather than just understandably dubious that a professional golfer in his mid-20s was going to design and build one of the greatest golf courses in the world on an unlikely site in an unlikely location without professional help on his first go.

And my issue is that now that Zac is building a course, the Ira Fishmans of the world want to dance around like heís proven wrong all of those ďhatersĒ who doubted those claims about The Buck Club.

SC isnít Utah. Sand and pine isnít a mountainside. Collins, Doak & Goalby isnít DIY. The Tree Farm looks really cool, but The Tree Farm isnít The Buck Club.

And everyone I know who doubted TBC is happy that someone so clearly passionate about building his own course is getting to do so and hopes itís a good golf course. These are not ďhatersĒ and itís ridiculous to pigeonhole all TBC doubters that way.

If and when TBC gets built, Zac will be a lot better placed to deliver on his goals for having learned from Rob, Tom, Kye and the irrigation, earthmoving and agronomy experts on the team for TTF. Thatís all experience and knowledge he didnít have in 2017.

Finally, because ďyou have no idea what goes into a project like thisĒ is a common feature of these TBC-related discussions to minimise the criticís voice as uneducated or ignorant, itís probably relevant to note that my work is in major infrastructure development and so I do ó and this is rare ó actually have some basis for my opinions on why TBC was a moonshot & TTF is unsurprisingly moving quickly through concept & business case into pre-construction.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Ira Fishman on August 08, 2021, 06:24:00 PM
Scott,


I was imprecise in my use of the term Buck Club to describe Zacís initiative to develop a course. I was picking up the thread title which started before the new name was chosen. I was precise and accurate in choosing the terms skeptical and ridicule in my post. I never called anyone a hater.


Ira
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Mike Sweeney on August 08, 2021, 08:28:56 PM
The fact that Zac comes back to take responsibility says much about his character. I spoke to him one day and his baby was crying in the background. Sure he took on a big ask, but that is something that is admired by me and Admiral Rickover:


ďAll new ideas begin in a non-conforming mind that questions some tenet of the conventional wisdom.Ē

Hyman Rickover
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Mike H on August 08, 2021, 09:01:34 PM
People grow all the time.  I think we should be applauding what Zac has been able to do.  Not only with his vision for TBC but The Tree Farm.  Why are people focused on things that were done and said in the past?  We should be thrilled a new project like this is taking place.  Isn't there a part in all of us that want to build and design our own course?  Zac has been able to cultivate a brand "TBC" to help build his dream. 


Personally, I don't know much about The Tree Farm but can't wait to see his dream come into a reality.  Frankly, I wish there were more projects like this taking place in the USA. 
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on August 09, 2021, 01:08:37 PM
Its been 4 years since the original Buck Club thread which be a good refresher:

https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,65142.0.html

The original location does have several positives going for it, so IMO Zac was not off-point in many of his initial thoughts/claims:

1)  Proximity to SLC International, 45 minutes door to door, with downtown Salt Lake City and Park City even closer.
2)  Very secluded location despite only being 5 minutes off the highway.
3)  River flowing thru the entire length of the property with a handful of large mature trees.
4)  In a decent temperature zone by Utah Standards.  5-7 degrees cooler on average than the hot valley floors in the summer and still low enough to not be impacted by deep winter snow that affects other mountain courses.
5)  2-3 month longer playing season over Park City courses based on #4.
6) Contrary to prior comments, most of the land for the proposed course is very flat and not mountainous.
7) The site butts up to a large area of state owned forest land for hiking and other activities.
8) A golf course already occupies most of the proposed hole corridors, which I would think would make the approval process far easier.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Dan Smoot on August 12, 2021, 10:53:59 AM
Its been 4 years since the original Buck Club thread which be a good refresher:

https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,65142.0.html (https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,65142.0.html)

The original location does have several positives going for it, so IMO Zac was not off-point in many of his initial thoughts/claims:

1)  Proximity to SLC International, 45 minutes door to door, with downtown Salt Lake City and Park City even closer.
2)  Very secluded location despite only being 5 minutes off the highway.
3)  River flowing thru the entire length of the property with a handful of large mature trees.
4)  In a decent temperature zone by Utah Standards.  5-7 degrees cooler on average than the hot valley floors in the summer and still low enough to not be impacted by deep winter snow that affects other mountain courses.
5)  2-3 month longer playing season over Park City courses based on #4.
6) Contrary to prior comments, most of the land for the proposed course is very flat and not mountainous.
7) The site butts up to a large area of state owned forest land for hiking and other activities.
8) A golf course already occupies most of the proposed hole corridors, which I would think would make the approval process far easier.


These are all good points but the Aiken SC seems to be a better site based on year round weather, site potential and an easier access for members relative to the large eastern population base.  The Morgan golf course which is nothing special in terms of terrain or routing, even though it is in a pretty canyon bottom setting.  Without personally seeing the site, the SC site appears to provide more options in terms of a more interesting routing relative to the Utah location and existing corridors. Isn't the Aiken site on sand?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on August 12, 2021, 12:59:28 PM
Correct Dan, the SC site does look better in many ways like sand based, cheaper, better location, etc.

The point with my last post was to suggest its not like Zac was off in the weeds with his original plan, it was a good first swing.  The site continues to have a lot of positive things going for it.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Don Mahaffey on August 12, 2021, 06:26:20 PM
Zac is more than just a client as I think he'll be involved in the design more than most clients, and I think that's great as he obviously knows golf. I like that he got routing help from Tom Doak, but also that he stopped there and retained quite a bit of the feature design. I like that he has Kye on his team, but also like that he seems to retain much of the ultimate decision making. It would seem the buck stops with Zac, no pun intended, and I think that's great as it is clearly his place. Golf is full of one hit wonders and great courses on a designers first or only go at it.  To me there is real beauty in the ignorance of not having done it before. Its freeing. Zac will learn soon enough that the world of golf is full of those experienced in design and construction who will say "you cant do that"  I hope he stays away from that and takes a few swings at the fences. Greatness comes with taking chances. I hope he takes a few. 
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: M. Shea Sweeney on August 13, 2021, 07:47:52 AM
Greatness comes with taking chances. I hope he takes a few.


As someone observing from a far, but paying attention, I am rooting for Zac and hope he takes some chances with his model.

I am not certain what golf should cost these days, but perhaps it doesn't have to be $1,000.00 a day or 10's of thousands of dollars in initiation fees and subsequently the spirit, construction, architecture, infrastructure, and maintenance meld could allow for that.

But maybe that just isn't possible and new projects are destined for high end private/high end daily fee/resort.



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Lou_Duran on August 13, 2021, 02:09:03 PM
I suppose an important question might be, have you been paid for your routing?


Do you really think that's any of your business?


It does seem like kind of an offensive question, though I can't tell to whom the offense was intended.


Anyway, though it's none of your business, yes, I've been paid in full.  The last part of my fee was due when the funding was in place, so that's why I presume the funding is fully in place, even though that was really none of my business, so I had the good manners not to ask.  :D


Offensive question?  How many times has the issue of getting paid for your work come up in this DG?  I don't know how many routings you have done for which you received zero compensation, but I know several of your competitors who have confessed to me that working on the come, as distasteful as it is, comes with the territory.  As a commercial real estate broker who also dabbled in the golf development business, the number of proposals (at least three which included fairly well-developed routings) that generated zilch far outnumbered those which came to fruition, i.e. getting paid.


My question to you, a mistake I will not make again, was to learn how far along this proposed golf development has really gotten.  I've seen deals where funds were "in place" but the developer couldn't get across the line.  That you got paid, is a positive sign.  And as a golfer who cares about the future of the game and the industry, I hope that the course is a resounding success.


RE: jeffwarne's questioning my question, are you Tom Doak's official secretary or self-appointed protector?  Tom, and you as well, have on more than a couple occasions touched upon sensitive subjects with such finesse that accusing me of being out-of-line or lacking proper manners is akin to the pot calling the kettle black.   


 
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jeff Schley on August 13, 2021, 02:32:31 PM
Lou as comfortable as we are in the DG, asking if someone got paid seems like other's business. At least it wasn't "how much?"  :D
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Lou_Duran on August 13, 2021, 02:55:48 PM
Jeff,


While "how much" has not been asked on this site directly of an architect who gives this site the time of day, speculation on the fees charged by Fazio and Nicklaus has appeared numerous times.  We do seem to have our own version of a protected class, though behind the scenes, the preferred gentlemen too are at times ravaged by opposing factions.  I am ok with you and others believing I was out-of-line.  For my purposes, the question and answer did advance the subject matter: verification that a potentially exciting project is moving forward.



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on August 13, 2021, 03:07:21 PM
I suppose an important question might be, have you been paid for your routing?


Do you really think that's any of your business?


It does seem like kind of an offensive question, though I can't tell to whom the offense was intended.


Anyway, though it's none of your business, yes, I've been paid in full.  The last part of my fee was due when the funding was in place, so that's why I presume the funding is fully in place, even though that was really none of my business, so I had the good manners not to ask.  :D





RE: jeffwarne's questioning my question, are you Tom Doak's official secretary or self-appointed protector?  Tom, and you as well, have on more than a couple occasions touched upon sensitive subjects with such finesse that accusing me of being out-of-line or lacking proper manners is akin to the pot calling the kettle black.   




Lou,
My answer had nothing to with Tom Doak, nor did I find your comment offensive.
I still think that it is none of your business, nor appropriate for a Discussion Board.
It MIGHT be a reasonable question if a significant amount of time had passed since Tom visited and did the routing. But again, I didn't find your comment offensive, just not something I would answer on a message Board(at least not in the negative if minimal time had passed).
And as you mention, you DID spur discussion that verifies the project is going forward, so there is that.



I'm am curious as to what sensitive subjects I've been out of line on or lacked proper manners on and I would be more than happy to make amends.

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on August 13, 2021, 03:33:22 PM
Jeff,

While "how much" has not been asked on this site directly of an architect who gives this site the time of day, speculation on the fees charged by Fazio and Nicklaus has appeared numerous times.  We do seem to have our own version of a protected class, though behind the scenes, the preferred gentlemen too are at times ravaged by opposing factions.  I am ok with you and others believing I was out-of-line.  For my purposes, the question and answer did advance the subject matter: verification that a potentially exciting project is moving forward.


Lou,

I think there is a world of difference between speculating how much architects like Fazio and Jack make for their standard design fees vs asking an architect who happens to be a member of the DG if they got paid for a specific project.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Lou_Duran on August 13, 2021, 05:53:55 PM
Kalen,


Why am I not surprised.  We live in very different worlds.


We have on occasion discussed people on this board NOT getting paid for their work.  I am fairly sure that Tom Doak has lamented doing work for free, and I know that Jeff Brauer has.


My simple question was only to qualify what Tom meant when he offered that the project had funded.  I didn't ask how much he was paid, that would not be any of my business.


I won't go into your distinction for members in this DG, other than to say that if we only have to play nice with those who give us the time of day while often savaging those who do not, maybe this isn't such a good site.  I know two or three architects who won't have anything to do with gca.com because the "open and frank" discussions seldom remain within the bounds of manners referenced earlier by Tom Doak.


jeffwarne,


I understand that you are the head professional of a well-known golf club in the Northeast.  Your several posts in this open Discussion Board castigating the USGA and presenting raters and the rating process in a very negative light are probably fine if you were a Joe Blow, but are they in your role as a club official?  Are such comments expressed in an open forum no matter how heartfelt they may be in the best interest of your club and your members?  Is there an objective in getting sideways with one of the two major ruling and organizing institutions in golf?  Judging by what you say about trying to accommodate raters, I must assume that your club wishes to be rated.  What purpose does relating your negative experiences with raters and rating panels on this open Discussion Group serve for your club.  I can see contacting the relevant folks at the USGA and the magazines with your informed insights, but pasting them here?


Having said all this, I am not offended by what you write- I do wonder about your judgement- or much care whether you accept my reason for asking Tom Doak if he got paid.  I just find it rather cheeky that you scold me for asking a short, simple question when you yourself delve in detail into subject matters which in your professional capacity are potentially offensive and damaging to your employers.


BTW, if your admonishment was not about Tom Doak, was it to protect the purity of this site?  Don't you think that that ship has sailed more than a decade ago?


We tolerate a lot here, and rightfully so.  I've been publicly savaged in this DG a couple of times to the extent of receiving several IMs, emails and calls asking me to take action.  But I am not one to censure or cancel.  Perhaps you missed those posts since I didn't see your comments to knock it off. 


           


 



Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Kalen Braley on August 13, 2021, 06:08:06 PM
Kalen,

I won't go into your distinction for members in this DG, other than to say that if we only have to play nice with those who give us the time of day while often savaging those who do not, maybe this isn't such a good site.  I know two or three architects who won't have anything to do with gca.com because the "open and frank" discussions seldom remain within the bounds of manners referenced earlier by Tom Doak.
 


Lou,

This DG is one thing, but there is no double standard with me.

You haven't seen anything in the way of "savage" from me unlike a few co-workers who I lit into for asking similar questions in the work place concerning salary and bonuses.  My wife is the only one I've given such information but I figure she has a right to know.

However, that being said, I have seen some in the golf building biz come on here and offer up information like "Such and such project went under and I never got paid".  But once again, they volunteered that information....completely different scenario.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on August 13, 2021, 08:27:32 PM



jeffwarne,


I understand that you are the head professional of a well-known golf club in the Northeast.  Your several posts in this open Discussion Board castigating the USGA and presenting raters and the rating process in a very negative light are probably fine if you were a Joe Blow, but are they in your role as a club official?  Are such comments expressed in an open forum no matter how heartfelt they may be in the best interest of your club and your members?  Is there an objective in getting sideways with one of the two major ruling and organizing institutions in golf?  Judging by what you say about trying to accommodate raters, I must assume that your club wishes to be rated.  What purpose does relating your negative experiences with raters and rating panels on this open Discussion Group serve for your club.  I can see contacting the relevant folks at the USGA and the magazines with your informed insights, but pasting them here?


Having said all this, I am not offended by what you write- I do wonder about your judgement- or much care whether you accept my reason for asking Tom Doak if he got paid.  I just find it rather cheeky that you scold me for asking a short, simple question when you yourself delve in detail into subject matters which in your professional capacity are potentially offensive and damaging to your employers.


BTW, if your admonishment was not about Tom Doak, was it to protect the purity of this site?  Don't you think that that ship has sailed more than a decade ago?


We tolerate a lot here, and rightfully so.  I've been publicly savaged in this DG a couple of times to the extent of receiving several IMs, emails and calls asking me to take action.  But I am not one to censure or cancel.  Perhaps you missed those posts since I didn't see your comments to knock it off. 
         
 


As far as your original query about Tom being paid, I was "protecting" myself(and Zac), not Tom, as I'm pretty close to the project in question.
I once asked a poster to lay off Tom because I appreciate his participation here as an architectural expert, and would like him to continue to paricipate and engage with us amateurs.
You're correct that I have not defended others who have been unfairly maligned, perhaps because I value their input on this architectural forum less than I do a highly successful architect and willing participant.


To your comments on my judgement as it relates to my duty to my owner and club(which are fair)
I was first introduced to GCA by the owner of my club who suggested I read the famous thread of 2002 trashing my club.
I lurked for awhile then joined GCA in '04, where I met many of the Treehouse regulars at The Dixie Cup at Cuscowilla.
Upon reading the now deleted thread, I was amazed at the vitriol and emotion spewed, by people who simply were disapointed by a golf course. Many of the comments about the course were accurate, a few of the the other personal comments were not. Many of their course concerns were addressed and enhanced in our work on the course over the years.
Rather than wade into those threads, I mostly just read and observed, and actually contacted a few with negative opinions to get their thoughts.
In fact. several I contacted have since visited and loved the changes we made, many of which were inspired by their comments.
For the record, we still have many flaws, and make many mistakes, like any business, and despite our substantial cultural and financial success, we are constantly working to make the course and club better.


As far as the USGA and GD course raters, I have have contacted both organizations about my specific issues, citing many of the same issues I have posted here in print(Topsy Siderowf was particularly responsive and was thrilled to take action after my email, saying she had had multiple comments about one rater in question and that it was the straw that broke the camels' back for him)-and yes I do get frustrated by the many raters who live an hour away that can only rate the course on a weekend morning in early July). But a vast majoritty of raters are fantastic people and I thoroughly enjoy my conversations and email exchanges with them on the topic of architecture.


I am not comfortable at all with the direction the game has taken in recent years due to technology, with the scale of the game changing dramatically and the costs/difficulty of the game and the time it requires going up, not down- due to perceived "improvements".
The most surprising part of these polite exchanges via email/letter is that the recipients (USGA/local Golf associations) are often in agreement, perhaps not entirely, but certainly in principle.
I also learn a lot from their responses, as they are generally very accomodating, polite and informative. From the responses I get, they just aren't sure what to do(equipment), and I would think having more stakeholders in the industry such as myself weighing in honestly, rather than with their pocketbook, would be good, not bad.
I just don't believe "growing the game" should kill the game we all grew up loving, especially in an era where sustainability and scaling down are the way of the future.
But I also repect the opinion of those who grew up in, or appreciate a different game and want to have a friendly back and forth on the topic.

As far as expressing an opinion about the state of the game while being the HP at a "well known" NE course, if not us "well known"(moderately) in the industry then who?
I will never allow my position as a HP, Radio Show Host,or GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher(or the politics of) to keep me from speaking out about what I believe can be better about this game that has given me so much.There are things that disturb me about the direction of the game, and increasingly there are many, many more expressing similar opinions, and not just on this forum. It is particulalry gratifying to see similar positions from such respected experts as Mike Clayton, Brian Schneider,Jim McLean and yes, Tom Doak, as well as many other well know industry people.
That encourages me and yes it probably emboldens me.
I have never once heard negatively from my sponsors, or had my on air conversations(where I express similar opinions) censored.But if I did, I would not change my expression of opinion, even if it meant losing a future contract.


Perhaps I type here a bit more tongue in cheek, but my message rarely changes.
My owner is doing just fine BTW-you'd like him a lot.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Joel_Stewart on August 13, 2021, 08:57:07 PM
Has Zac given up on playing the tour again?  I suspect he has some status after he went on the injury list.  With a child now, maybe he doesn't want to travel.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tom_Doak on August 13, 2021, 09:59:13 PM
Has Zac given up on playing the tour again?  I suspect he has some status after he went on the injury list.  With a child now, maybe he doesn't want to travel.


Perhaps better for Zac to answer, but as I understand it, the Tour's rules for medical exemptions encourage players to take as long as they need to get back to 100%, because once they start playing again, the clock starts ticking on how much they need to make to retain their exemption.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: David_Tepper on November 15, 2021, 01:43:13 PM
Zac Blair did a podcast with Cookie Jar Golf last month. You can find it here:

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS83OTE4NzkucnNz/episode/QnV6enNwcm91dC05NTIzOTE5?ep=6&hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwjW--SxsJH0AhXhRTABHSIqBwUQjrkEegQIAhAF
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Michael Chadwick on November 18, 2021, 06:13:27 PM
Per Instagram, flags were placed in the dirt this week, and the Tree Farm hosted its founding members to see firsthand the freshly bulldozed playing corridors. Already there's a clear sense of scale to the routing, and the redan certainly won't be mistaken for being a softened replica. I for one appreciate that social media, and Zac and members' prowess using it, provides an opportunity for non-members to track the progress of what should be a compelling new design, given all who are involved. It's simultaneously enticing content as well as native advertising for filling memberships. Though not without risks, what a unique opportunity it must be for those participating in the genesis of a new club. 
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tim_Weiman on November 19, 2021, 12:12:16 PM
Lou Duran,


I didnít read this thread until this week, but I had the pleasure of meeting and briefly talking with Zac at Tom Doakís annual Renaissance Cup, held at Memorial following the Houston Open.


FYI, I was impressed with how personable Zac is. He comes across as someone people would like, whether they are golfers or just neighbors. You canít help but wish him well.


Based on input from others people at the Renaissance Cup, I plan to go have a look at the Tree Farm sometime next year, maybe in the May - July timeframe. It sounds like it might be something special.

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Peter Flory on November 19, 2021, 12:25:16 PM

FYI, I was impressed with how personable Zac is. He comes across as someone people would like, whether they are golfers or just neighbors. You canít help but wish him well.


He couldn't be nicer.  Also, a VERY fast golfer.  Great combination. 

Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Scott Warren on December 04, 2021, 10:01:06 PM
When I am bored, I'll often just load up Google Maps, click somewhere I'm curious about and "drive" around the area on Streetview.


Ahead of a NC/SC/GA trip next April I am starting to look for non-golf diversions between my main bases of Pinehurst, Charleston, Aiken and Atlanta and clicking on the Streetview of small towns along the way to see if they seem charming or unsettling.


Somehow I ended up on a dirt road about 12 miles north-west of Orangeburg SC and the soil, terrain and vegetation looks terrific.


Take Plumtree Road from Bull Swamp Rd to Az Rd (https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/33%C2%B038'06.9%22N+81%C2%B000'29.9%22W/@33.6352663,-81.0104846,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x7aced045c88f0c38!8m2!3d33.6352619!4d-81.0082959!5m1!1e4) and see for yourself.


(I chose this thread to dump this brain fart in because it was about developing courses in SC and there was some question further upthread about the suitability of land arounbf Orangeburg)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on May 06, 2022, 08:10:29 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FSG1L5gVEAAokkI?format=jpg&name=small)
Taken from Zac Blair's Twitter page-Hole 15 sodded and awaiting sprigging
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tommy Williamsen on May 06, 2022, 09:45:00 PM
Love the terrain.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Peter Flory on May 08, 2022, 12:59:11 PM
Good looking hole.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on May 09, 2022, 09:56:04 AM
Is this the angle of play or just a pretty picture? I'm not seeing options for the infirmed.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Paul Jones on May 09, 2022, 12:13:33 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FSG1L5gVEAAokkI?format=jpg&name=small)
Taken from Zac Blair's Twitter page-Hole 15 sodded and awaiting sprigging


The image is not working for me  :(
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on May 11, 2022, 09:41:15 AM
Is this the angle of play or just a pretty picture? I'm not seeing options for the infirmed.


Taken from tee.
Redan.
Fairway and green not sprigged yet, that's just the sodded approach area surrounding the green
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: John Kavanaugh on May 11, 2022, 10:28:13 AM
Thanks. Will Doak admit this is a Redan?
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on May 11, 2022, 12:15:34 PM
Thanks. Will Doak admit this is a Redan?


I'd say given that Doak pointed it out as a "Redan" in his initial email/routing plan to Zac, using the phrase
"If you're into that sort've thing"(a phrase Zac uses often when describing the hole-used in the Twitter post I lifted the picture from)
 that yes, Doak would admit it was a Redan....
Probably didn't hurt that the primary shaper on that hole was Ben Warren, who grew up in North Berwick...
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tim Gallant on May 11, 2022, 04:11:05 PM
Jeff,


Thanks for posting the photo. I like how it appears to play uphill. I'm obviously a homer, but I believe Redan holes play better level or slightly uphill like the original. That's why I'm not a big fan of the redan at Yale (maybe the only hole there I don't love!). I also really like the interpretation of the bunker before the green. You'll know this, but the Redan at one point played as a par-4. I know Zac likes variety and flexibility in courses, I wonder if he'd ever consider putting a teeing ground somewhere to play it as a drive and pitch par-4 where that bunker influences decisions off the tee :)
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Jeff Schley on May 11, 2022, 04:27:15 PM
I like that Zac/TD took a concept of the Redan and made it his own, isn't that a more unique hole than simply checking boxes on copying the templates? For a new course I like the variety and freedom to try new things.
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: jeffwarne on May 11, 2022, 04:35:49 PM
Jeff,


Thanks for posting the photo. I like how it appears to play uphill. I'm obviously a homer, but I believe Redan holes play better level or slightly uphill like the original. That's why I'm not a big fan of the redan at Yale (maybe the only hole there I don't love!). I also really like the interpretation of the bunker before the green. You'll know this, but the Redan at one point played as a par-4. I know Zac likes variety and flexibility in courses, I wonder if he'd ever consider putting a teeing ground somewhere to play it as a drive and pitch par-4 where that bunker influences decisions off the tee :)


Net, the hole overall plays downhill.
Perhaps the image wasn't from back tee which is north of 200 yards(I didn't take it-lifted it from Zac's twitter)
Not really room for a drive and pitch par 4 as the hole could probably only go back another 30-40 yards before you'd be heading down towards the lower elevation of the 14th green and hence the tee shot would be blind/awkward-perhaps if moved left towards 14 fairway..
That said, it may well be a drive and pitch for me soon enough....
Title: Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
Post by: Tim_Weiman on May 11, 2022, 05:20:41 PM
I like that Zac/TD took a concept of the Redan and made it his own, isn't that a more unique hole than simply checking boxes on copying the templates? For a new course I like the variety and freedom to try new things.
Totally agree. One doesnít want to travel the world of golf to see the exact thing repeated over and over again. Better to employ the concept, but with the hole having its own character.