I have been outspoken here when posters refer to "restoration", and in return I have received plenty of criticism for my opinion that "restoration" is mostly a falsehood in our great world of golf.
Golf courses are ever-changing, and to "restore" any portion of a course is a near impossibility. "Restore" to what? If you are "restoring" to a particular point in time you are not restoring, you are "partially restoring", and whatever is accomplished is pseudo of the original at best. Often it would have been better if simply re-done in a fresh way. Change is good for golf — so is tradition. Part of the tradition in golf is change.
I also take exception to the notion of restoring based on cryptic plans and written accounts. This is is remodeling under the disguise of "restoration based on interpretation". In my view, it should be called such. We influence history when we refer to such work as "restored".
I was amused at the comments about the Road Hole Bunker being an awful job compared to the original: There never being a green or bunker there in the first place, what has existed for the past 100 years is in and of itself a remodeled addition to The Old Course. Certainly the bunker in its Robertson days was nothing like it was in 1960, 1970, 1980 or 1990. No one has ever restored the Road Hole Bunker, nor ever will. They will change it and this change cannot (should not) be cloaked as "restoration".
Golf course architecture is about designs, holes, conditions, edges, roughness, plant growth and death, changes in terrain, personal influences, green committees, players gripes, preparations for tournaments, changes due to equipment, changes due to the environment, owners wishes, etc. — these affects are what makes the game so interesting. In my view we spend far too much time worrying about "restoring" and too little time finding the new blood; the new frontiers; and, of course, the appropriate links to the past.
So, I ask you each to dig deep and give up some thoughts. Is it possible we are using the wrong word? I await your arrows.