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hhuffines

  • Karma: +0/-0
Greens Committee - Questions
« on: March 13, 2003, 06:57:49 AM »
What course related questions must a Greens Committee
ask of its members before embarking on a course renovation?

What things should they, as a committee, be sure
of before moving to the stage of hiring an architect?

Thanks for any help!

Ran,
I resent no longer being a guest of the world's most
beloved guest on this site.  Insert winking smiley here.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2003, 07:28:58 AM »
hhuffines,

A renovation can mean many things to many people, versus a restoration which has a more clearly defined goal.

What is it that the club wants to do with the golf course ?

And, if the club doesn't know.......
Boy, is the golf course in trouble.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Dave_Miller

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2003, 12:07:59 PM »
hhuffines:
Patrick has hit the nail on the head. Even Tom Paul couldn't disagree. ;D

Be very careful.

Do you want a renovation as in change a bunch of holes; do you want a total redesign as in re-do everything or do you want a restoration.
If it is a restoration there are several threads from this past year that deal with the appropriate questions to ask.

The first question has to be what is the mission or the goal to be achieved.

Be careful this is not being done because a few committee members, i.e., amatuer architects want to change the course to what they believe it should be or to fit their games.

Once the goal is established researching what you desire would be the first step.

Example- If you are doing a restoration identifying and finding the original plans should be undertaken.
Researching and identifying what changes have been made over the years and understanding why these changes were made is important.
Old green committee minutes, newspapers, libraries, aerial photos, pictures, older members should all be thoroughly sought out and researched.
Once this is done and there is an understanding of what should be accomplished find out what architects have a history of the type work you seek in their inventory.
Talk with several and find out their thoughts and ideas. If this a restoration be careful again that you are getting a restoration and not having the architect put his personal stamp on the project.

Best,
Dave
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

CjM111

Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2003, 04:01:25 PM »
The question you posed 'what course related questions must a green committee ask of its members before embarking on a course renovation' is the key.   This needs to be answered with a question...Is this project a mandate from the membership, or a want of the committee, or a few influential members?  Why is this being considered is the first question?  If this is a charge of the Board, the committee needs to evaluate the options, determine what needs to be accomplished, establish a budget and plan based on the needs of the club, THEN go to the membership with recommendations.  If you ask members, unless you can sit down with each individually, you will have some who feel left out, and you will get as many different answers as there are members.  

Having been involved in a couple of these projects, you need to define what the renovation purpose is, then put a program in place to accomplish it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

TEPaul

Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2003, 04:37:52 PM »
Patrick said:

"A renovation can mean many things to many people, versus a restoration which has a more clearly defined goal."

Then Dave Miller said:

"hhuffines:
Patrick has hit the nail on the head.  Even Tom Paul couldn't disagree."

Oh yeah? I couldn't disagree with that? Wanna bet I couldn't? Ordinarily if someone else said that I would agree but that was a statement by Pat Mucci! I think Pat might realize just calling something a restoration doesn't actually gaurantee a thing. I sure do. I've seen some of the worst messes imaginable and they get called a restoration. Actually at GMGC we did a restoration but at first it seemed the membership wasn't liking the sound of that so we came to call what we were doing "improvements".

Want to try again Pat? This time don't put your thumb on top of the nail.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2003, 06:44:19 PM »
TEPaul,

Would you say that the term "restoration" provides a clearer definitional path to its intended goal than the term "renovation", which has no inherent definitional path to its intended goal ?  ;D

And, would you say that your above post, clearly reflects and admits to your inherent BIAS ?  ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

TEPaul

Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2003, 07:05:23 PM »
Patrick:

I say you give me a great restoration plan and I'll find whatever definitional path that membership wants to hear--provided "definitional" doesn't mean they're totally def!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Dunlop_White

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2003, 09:58:42 PM »
I don't mean to skirt the question, but I need to know what exactly needs to be done to the golf course?

You may need to extend tees to keep up with technology. Distance appeals to younger members. Build a consensus! On the other hand, senior members tend to embrace restorations whereby original design elements are revived and your architectural heritage can be reclaimed. While updating the length of your course may not suit the elder statesmen of the club, ordinarily the idea of restoration and preservation will.

However, virtually all golfers, regardless of their age, prefer thriving turf. Because memberships are more concerned with good agronomics than with strategic shot making, it would be good politics to approach change of any kind (restoration/renovation) with the emphasis on the ability of growing healthy, green grass. It is difficult to establish a consensus by preaching the virtues of various architectural principals. They are often unaccepted justifications for change. Agronomic justifications, however, are generally accepted!!!

After the committee has approved the new hybrid bentgrass for the aging greens or the new, super bermudagrass for the moist, disease-ridden fairways, embark on an inexpensive in-house tree "management" program and as an "after-sight", have the committee approve the construction of extra teeing grounds. An architect and a shaper could add extended tees, while your operation is down updating the grasses, at little cost in the full scheme of things. If they will sign off on the grass issues, then likely they will later concede that other improvements need to be taken care of in the process.

Arbitrary, third party experts are often the most persuasive to memberships. Memberships tend to trust those who do not have a personal interest or agenda in club politics. Better yet, hire an educated consultant who does not have a financial stake in the renovations to massage the membership. For instance, an USGA turfgrass specialist or even a consulting editor then could recommend an informed golf course architect with successful like/kind experience.

The facts of the situation often dictate the methods by which you can finesse the landmine of club politics.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:03 PM by -1 »

George Blunt

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Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2003, 10:00:23 PM »
Mr(Ms?) Huffines,

I would add my weight to the argument that you need to clearly define the objective(s) of the program.  If a committee is not clear on Renovation vs Restoration vs "Lets Make It Better" they are on the road to disaster.

I would be reluctant to canvas opinion from the general membership, unless it is a very small and well-educated (architecturally) club.  

Most comments from members relating to proposed course changes have a common theme:
 "Well I do/don't hit it there, so that is a good/bad recommendation".  
(Or worse still, "don't cut down those trees, I love them")

Generally a membership only sees changes to  a course in terms of the effect it has on their own game, and some pre-conceived notion of how the pros would play their course.

The strategic merit, or otherwise, of the proposal is rarely mentioned or understood.

My advice therefore would be to carefully consider the objective of the program, draw up a detailed plan, select the most appropriate architect, and then put the plan and the choice of architect to the membership for consideration.

Hope this helps,

George

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

TEPaul

Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2003, 03:24:28 AM »
I've read all the posts with interest and I think they're all good. I believe it's pretty hard, however, to begin to construct a restoration plan or a master plan in preparation for a restoration of the course without something to pull the whole thing together.

By that I mean something like who the original architect was or any old aerial--what's changed over the years? How well can you document what happened, when, how, who etc. The most important thing to know is the why of it. Sometimes things were changed on a golf course years ago for what the members then thought were good reasons--the right reasons. You have to know those details or you might be in danger of restoring something that the members today would feel was an original mistake (from the original architect). Why would you want to restore that?

But it's hard to bring together a restoration plan by polling a bunch of members even on the green committee about what should be done--they'll be all over the place and you'll have a hard time coming up with a consensus and logical direction to form some kind of plan.

The best thing to do, in my opinion, is find an aerial, for instance, that's around the 1930s (if your course is that old) and use that as a blueprint for a plan and a restoration. If you do that you have a guide from the very beginning and you can begin then to build up pride within the membership to who the original architect was. It's much easier that way. The most dangerous thing to a good restoration, I found, is some very early assumptions on a committee or whatever that takes the whole project down the wrong road from the very beginning. That kind of thing is often hard to go back on track. So watch out for some off the wall "assumptions" in the beginning.

So who was the original architect on this course hhuffines? Was this the Alex Findlay one? If you have an aerial (or photos) from way back when of course you have to be objective about whether the course is worthy of restoration to some former time. You know what Tom Doak has said many time on here that many courses just aren't worthy of restoration because they weren't that great in the first place.

But if it was Findlay--I think this website could probably help you out doing some research. If that's who your original architect was you and the club need to do some collaboration with others for information and I think this site could help. I think Mike Cirba, for instance, might know as much about Findlay as anyone on here. He was basically a Philadelphia based architect, I believe, although he was definitely all over the place. He even tried to interest the Pope in golf. If C.B. Macdonald was "The Evangelist of Golf", Findlay must have been his most active "apostle".
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

hhuffines

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2003, 07:00:11 AM »
Thanks very much for your help!  We had an excellent
meeting last night to focus on what our course needs
for the future.  I can assure you it is renovation - not
restoration.

Success often comes from asking and understanding
the right questions... you guys have helped me
tremendously in that regard.

Dunlop:  Pennington and I would like to talk with you soon.
TEPaul:  I am arranging a visit from the architect you
recommended.  So far I am unable to determine our
original architect, but still trying.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike_Cirba

Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2003, 08:29:26 AM »
Hart;

If I can be of any help, either with possibly determining the original architect, or with anything else, please don't hesitate to contact me at MCirba@aol.com  

I'd be curious to hear what club you're with (I'd assure confidentiality) and I probably know more architectural history trivia than I should. ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Greens Committee - Questions
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2003, 06:34:26 PM »
There is good information here. But PLEASE...

IT IS GREEN COMMITTEE -- not greenS committee. The committee takes care of the GREEN (not greenS). The GREEN is the whole of the course.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

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