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TEPaul

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #50 on: June 08, 2003, 09:44:07 AM »
"In your response to Ginger,
You conveniently left out the critical if not vital ingredient.
A knowledgeable leader with vision.
That's what makes the difference."

Patrick:

I realize that, but how many clubs have a knowledgeable leader with real architectural vision? And it appears to me you're still willing to place the blame for architectural mistakes squarely on any golf club and its membership no matter their leadership and you seem to hold all architects, contractors, whatever, blameless no matter how inexperienced memberships and their leaders are. What you say sounds good, it sounds convenient, but architects know better than most of us what goes on with the leadership and memberships of most golf clubs. And all architects and contractors simply don't look at restoration or classic architecture the same way.

I know a couple of clubs who got a really good restoration product and will probably never really understand how lucky they were just because they happened to pick a great restoring architect without knowing it not understanding that all architects aren't basically the same. And I know a few other clubs who really tried hard to do the right thing and were disappointed because they also thought any architect and any contractor could do a great job for them if they just told them what to do.

I don't know why we keep disagreeing about this. A leader with vision is really important of course but you show me a leader of vision that picked any old architect and any old contractor and got a really good restoration on a classic golf course. If a golf club had a leader with the kind of architectural vision you seem to be implying he probably wouldn't even need an architect. But how many people at clubs doing restorations know as much about restoring classic courses as the restoring architects you and I know and respect?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

T_MacWood

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #51 on: June 08, 2003, 10:26:35 AM »
Is your goal to become a target of arrows or do you believe everything that you spew forth? I sense you get some sick pleasure out of being contraversial....a quick way not be taken seriously. :)

1. I've never said the idea of "restoration" is ill-advised; only that in its literal sense it is mostly impossible. You must have an unrealistic definition of restoration.

2. I absolutely support the careful and thoughtful "interpretation" of classic courses, especially those that are so well preserved already and also those that are so worldly admired. We agree.

3. I do not think plans and aerials and written accounts can truly put a golf course back to an exact point in time and the fact that it may get restored only puts it to a specific era, not what it was after the day it opened. Yes golfers believe this many times; thinking they are playing nearly exactly as it was. Who restores golf courses with only plans, aerials and written accounts? I assume most resotrations--especially sensative ones--rely on many tools including walking and studying the site and archiological probing. Archiological probing...I'm not sure that's legal in many small towns in Ohio.

4. Why shouldn't we discuss the terminology of golf architecture? Our language is important and so are written accounts. There is nothing wrong with the terms just the people using them.

5. Future generations of golfers will benefit from a balanced approach to golf architecture in today's world. Existing courses are part of the canvas of designers and really no canvas is totally blank as there are always restraints which are part of the fun and charm. If a course may be improved and "interpretation" made that will bring old looks and strategies into the holes and this is right then it should be done. But also, if there are new ideas and improvements and even daring designs that are right, then these should at least be welcomed with open minds. Ballanced approach--what the hell is that? It sounds like code for I think I might be able to improve the 9th at St.Andrews. I disagree that the important works can be improved and interpretations made --as soon as you start moving hazards from their natural position and imposing your ideas of strategy over the ideas of the architect, the course is on its way to being ruined as the work of that past master architect. Who said that a hazard that effected a shot seventy years ago needs to effect a golfer today? And what about a hazard that was out of play seventy years ago that now dominates. Leave it alone, the architecture has a funny way of adjusting on its own. Most of these old guys understood how the strategy of the Old Course changed as the gutty was replced by the Haskel.

6. Re-read No. 2 above.#5 contradicts #2.

7. Golf courses are living, breathing entities. They are not museums, although some are nearly such as they have been so greatly preserved that they are wonderful to visit and learn from. Most all of these, however, have been "interpretaed", not "restored". Perhaps all of them. The pictures on the walls of the locker rooms are the better history lessons as these give us a better record of what was there than the ground itself. Homes are living breathing entities; Japanese gardens are living breathing entities. Neither one of them are museums...however when they become recognized as great works they are preserved, protected, restored and studied. Golf courses are no different...unfortunately the practioners of the craft...the golf architects....have historically been unable to recognize this, they have been the biggest enemies to their own profession's legacy. Ironic that the best way to preserve great architecture is to keep architects away from it.

8. Regarding the 95% and 5% comment, I find this "talking down" to the world of golf a very disappointing feeling among posters here. Our role should not be to curl up around our collective fireplaces and never venture out. We need to embrace the uninformed and the casual golfer and bring them into our thoughts. We need to show them good, bad and ugly. There may always be a trend to discuss the 5%, but this does not mean we tune out or elevate ourselves.You misunderstood. 5% of the golf courses are what this site is about not 5% of the golfing public.

9. Uninitiated? Hummmm. I am not wild about some of the changes to The Old Course, but I would hardly call the men who spent time "sprinkeling" their thought across it "uninitiated." Many Ross courses have been changed, and many not for the better. Fortunately, some have been changed, and some for the better. There is some great Ross writing and imagery. This, together with the mostly-preserved courses, are fine with me. A student can find out all he wants about Ross much more than most classic era architects.You can learn more about Ross by visiting his untouched 9-hole courses sprinkled throughout Ohio than you can by reading Golf has Never Failed Me. If you have both even better. Hopefully I haven't let the cat out of the bag and I'll find an Arizona liscence plate in Lancaster...Forrest working his 'interpretation' magic.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:06 PM by -1 »

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #52 on: June 08, 2003, 12:33:01 PM »
TEPaul,

I never said that architects and contractors were blameless.

I indicated what was necessary for a successful project, and it starts with a knowledgeable individual, with vision, and control.

I realize that some clubs don't have that resource.
On the other hand, some clubs do, but don't consult with them, and it's not only regarding architecture, but a myriad of issues.  Politics plays a role, sometimes a major role, and determines the final outcome of any project.

Another factor is, what is the collective architectural IQ of the membership, and their connection with their club's architectural history ?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

nperiod

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #53 on: June 08, 2003, 01:05:30 PM »
Forrest, your thread title implies that this a black or white matter.
Now wouldn't that be a tidy package? ;)

Here are the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Its what is agreed upon as a standard and
the best we have for now.

1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.

2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.

3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other properties, shall not be undertaken.

4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.

5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property shall be preserved.

6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.

7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.

8. Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.

9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.

10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

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

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #54 on: June 08, 2003, 01:07:19 PM »
I hesitate to jump in because I really feel that the two Toms and ginger (who I wish would participate more) have eloquently stated many of the things I believe, yet can't express so well.  

But, I don't fail to appreciate the efforts of Forrest to stimulate and hang in with a fascinating debate that really makes this website sparkle.  I fear this comes with Forrest getting a bit of the spanking in the woodshed, as opposed to the stings of arrows.  But, Forrest is a gutsy architect who does have the balls to participate in this website discussion and sometimes take his lumps, and perhaps one of about 2-3% of architects in the wide spectrum who are so engaging.  I dare say most professional archies in the world now know of this site, yet are unwilling for reasons (perhaps fear or ego) to be challenged on their own ideas, (those that have them).

To continue to challenge Forrest's sensitivities further, I will make the observation that he seems to be one who is perhaps contemplating an opportunity to "interpret" via reconstruction techniques a certain classic and  olden age golf course originally done by a recognised master.  If so, perhaps Forrest came to the one place where he is going to get some serious discussion about the ethics, sensibilities and demand for accountability for such work.  

Personally, I think that one should only approach one of the <5% truly historic and traditional restorations/interpretations of one of the masters after gaining experience having done such minor league work on some of the other 95% of good old courses that have elements and flashes of brilliance from the bygone master's days.  One won't know if they have what it takes to lay hands on the tiny few worthy old classics left, unless they develop the skills, techniques, team of constructors-shapers whom the archie can truly communicate with (as Ginger said).  After the archie makes his bones on some of those less than holy yet great old courses in the 95%.  Then and only then can he step into the big leagues.  I think probably Pritchard, Doak, Forse, and Silva have reached that level with the right crews.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #55 on: June 08, 2003, 09:27:07 PM »
Well, Tom, I've checked with my wife and you are, in fact, wrong on most accounts. I am sorry to inform you of this, but that's the way it is sometimes.

And, yes, I do believe everything I "spew" forth, as you put it. At least my spewing seems to have chunks, whereas your's is rather a weak dribble of comparisons pitting golf courses against buildings, Japanese gardens and museums.

Trust me: Trying to restore any portion of a classic golf course using any available means is, at best, a 30% certainty. It will take a professional's input to get it even partially straight. The question is not "why bother", but to what end do we go to restore and be able to call it a restoration?

I do undertstand your opinion and will rest knowing you are firm in your belief that a golf course can be restored. I respect your opinion in this regard, and the others.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2003, 09:29:29 PM »
nperiod,

Did you that edict come from a Monty Python script? Tell me, has The Old Course been "restored"? Give me some examples so I can understand how such a place as TOC has been "restored".
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

Brian Phillips

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2003, 02:25:04 AM »
Forrest,

I agree with you.  

The Old Course has never been restored, it evolves with every change of Head Greenkeeper and still does.  I spoke to one of them last year and his attitude was that they do listen to advice but then go about their business doing whatever THEY feel themselves is right for the course.

The course has changed and has never been restored.  Thank goodness for that or we would still be playing 22 holes up and down and not the 18 holes we have now.  We wouldn't have the 17th hole as it is now or even the first green put in by Old Tom.

These were the professionals of the day in the same way that Architects these days are the men that are the professionals.

What is restoration...?  Restoration to WHAT?  

With a restoration (if we are going to call it that) there will always be a certain amount of evolving as well.  To restore from old drawings is a good start but if people here really believe that all old drawings are accurate then they are GREATLY mistaken.

Do people here really believe that a constructor actually builds acurately to drawings drawn by the architect?  
Yes, most of the time they are close but thank goodness many times they use our drawings as a good start and if they see something better then they go with their instincts.  Many times they get it spot on and the odd time we have to change it.  We produce professional drawings and they are accurate but I still rely on a good shaper and an understanding foreman.

Looking at Ross' drawings in Kleins book there is a lot of guesswork still left to the constructor.  Even the beautiful green drawings are left to intrepretation by a professional constructor.  Speaking from my experience as a constructor I could do a lot with with those drawings that are probably not even close to what Ross would have wanted.  

Can anyone show me drawings of golf courses from the golden age that are As-built..?  I have seen many drawings before construction but I have never seen ANY after construction..

If we were to do a restoration to a MacKenzie course from his drawings...god help us.  His drawings leave so much to intrepretation it is ridiculous to even wonder what he wanted sometimes.  That is why he usually left in the hands of a man he trusted.  

So lets imagine for a minute..Cypress Point is now looking like shit...the greenkeepers have filled in bunkers and the edges have gone and you have MacKenzie's drawings and you have an aerial photo of Cypress Point from when it opened.

Do you really believe you could restore Cypress Point to what it looked like on opening day?  No Way.  It just cannot be done.  

Restoration...there is no such thing.  How can you restore a living thing?  If you cut your hair are you restoring it or are you just looking after it?  If you start training and quit smoking and quit drinking are restoring your body to what it was or are you just looking after your body?

When an Architect is brought in (hopefully one as sympathetic as Prichard)  he will help not to restore a course to it's former glory but help and guide the club to start looking after it again and show them what they had or can have.  

Another good example is Ron Prichard's drawings.  They are much better than Ross' drawings and much more constructor friendly....this is the evolution of our profession.  Look at page 303 of Kleins book and you will understand what I mean.

I don't like the word restoration or renovation.  I don't know what we should call it.  To me we are just doing our job and hopefully making a lot of people happy by showing them what they had and by looking after it correctly it will evolve over time without too much change to the character.  The Old course has changed and evolved but it is still The Old course to me and you.


Brian

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

Reestauration

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #58 on: June 09, 2003, 03:05:51 AM »
Mr. Phillips

What restorations have you seen in person that can back you post?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

T_MacWood

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2003, 03:30:51 AM »
Forrest
You have some very strong opinions on the subject, but you've never defined what you are talking about. What is your definition of restoration? What are some the better restorations you have undertaken or seen?

Your 30% number is similar to the tone of your opening post. "Golf courses are ever-changing, and to "restore" any portion of a course is a near impossibility."

You seem to want to turn restoration into a process of absolutes. It would seem to me that every situation is unique. Is a restoration of a Raynor course comparable to a restoration of a Strong course? Is it a 30% certainity that the superitendent at Chicago GC - I take it you consider some superitendents professionals - could restore it back to a close approximation of 1924? What percentage would you put on Pebble Beach (1929), Bel-Air (1927), Oakmont (1935), Timber Point (1927), Merion (1930) or Lawsonia (1933)? Any of these higher or lower than 30%?

IMO each of these courses would present different challenges.

Brian
Do you believe the current in-house restoration at Cypress Point has been a failure?

Is a Raynor bunker a living thing? Is a Travis mound a living thing? What about expanding the surface of a Ross green....is that impossible because the green is living? What's your thought on choping down Old Gramps tree....impossible because a golf course is a living thing?

I personally do not believe the ability to draw is the key to restoration (or new work for that matter). I would think craftsmanship and an intimate familarity with the subject matter would be key.

Other than Prichard who has said they restore a golf course by following an old architect's drawings?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:06 PM by -1 »

T_MacWood

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #60 on: June 09, 2003, 03:46:48 AM »
No one wants to restore the Old course. No one has ever wanted to restore the Old course. The Old course has been about preservation for the last 50 or more years. To bring into a converstaion regarding restoration it seems to me just muddies the water.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Brian Phillips

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2003, 03:48:40 AM »
Reestauration,

I have never seen a restoration as they don't exist...

I played Aronimink last year and would not class it as a restoration more of an interpretation of a classic and isn't that what Prichard also stated..?

Not that I know much about the course but I do understand how a golf course is built and designed.

I think some of you are missing the point Forrest is making.  

Can anyone really restore a course back to it's ORIGINAL design?

With new greenkeeping practices and the way golf is played today is it possible and where is the proof that a perfect restoration has taken place?

When someone shows me an As-built drawing from a course that is older than my Dad with all the heights and distances on it then I will believe that a course might be restored.

Tom,

Is putting concrete underneath the bunkers to retain the shape a restoration or an improvement?  I haven't seen the changes so I cannot comment.

How can we ever prove that a restoration is possible and what is the definition of it in golf terms?

I agree that drawings are not the only important thing during construction but without them how is an architect supposed to restore something?  Investigate as much as you want but without accurate drawings you will always come down to INTERPRETATION of photos and hearsay from old members and greenkeepers.

Brian


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

Brian Phillips

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #62 on: June 09, 2003, 03:54:23 AM »

Quote
No one wants to restore the Old course. No one has ever wanted to restore the Old course. The Old course has been about preservation for the last 50 or more years. To bring into a converstaion regarding restoration it seems to me just muddies the water.

The Old course is not about preservation.  It changes more than people even realise..It evolves every year and new tees are put in all the time without most visitors actually knowing anything about them.

Bunkers have been filled in and dug up again, hotels have had extensions on them the greens have been top dressed, the cutting edges have changed on the greens and only until recently did they decide accurately where they where.  Why?  Because the course evolved and installed irrigation and now use the heads as guides to where the greens should be cut.

Brian
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

T_MacWood

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #63 on: June 09, 2003, 04:17:46 AM »
Brain
Regarding CPC, I believe you said ' No Way. It just cannot be done.'   So I guess you would characterize their on going attempt as a futile. Correct?

Are you saying you can not look at a shrunken Ross green and with the assistance of an old aerial restore the green to its former size?

Why did they rebuild the bunkers every so often at the Old course....I thought it was in an attempt to preserve them?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

TEPaul

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2003, 04:27:42 AM »
Since it seems semi-impossible that anyone will come to terms or any kind of agreement about what restoration is or can be I'd like to list a number of courses that've gone through what's been called restoration and tell you what I think about those projects.

1. Merion. Plays better than it did pre-restoration although I've been on record for a long time as saying I think the "look" of the bunkers missed the mark. The rest of the restoration has basically been very strong though.

2. Philadelphia C.C. A restoration that's made the course play better than previous and also look better.

3. Lancaster C.C. Same as #2

4. Gulf Stream G.C. The course plays much better than it did as long as I've known it although I'm not certain what was removed in the intervening years that was original Ross before the restoration. The course looks too clean to me though.

5. Mountain Lake C.C. The course plays much better than it did previous although like #4 I don't really know what the club did in intervening years that altered original Raynor before the restoration. The look of the restoration seems pretty interpretive to me and almost a Raynor carricature but again it plays much better.

6. Fox Chapel G.C. Plays better than previous although the look may be a bit the same as #5 but again plays better.

7. Oakmont. Both plays better and looks better than it did previous.

8. Huntingdon Valley G.C. Plays better and looks better than it did previous.

9. Plainfield G.C. Plays better and looks better than previous.

10. Aronimink G.C. Plays much better and looks much better than previous.

So I'm not real sure what anyone wants to call those projects exactly although all the clubs seem to call them restorations to some time or another. But all in all I think the projects should have been done and in most cases should be considered a success.

But there're are some others that I can't get so sanguine about such as Sunnybrook, Riviera, perhaps what Manor is about to do. I wish the C.C. of Cleveland the very best of luck and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. And I really wish despite even the up-coming US Open that Shinnecock would leave their "look" alone (and restore some of Flynn's sandy waste areas) although it's fine with me that they're using up some of the remainder of Flynn's elasticity where they should and the way they should.

A couple of other excellent restorations in my opinion are TCC and Kittansett. And my own club GMGC seems to have come through its first phase very well.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2003, 05:03:02 AM »
Forrest,
I've enjoyed following this thread and reading the spirited debate.  This is another one of those "no one is right and no one is wrong" situations.  It's all a matter of personal opinion and intrepretation.

My own feeling is that we all know it is near impossible to take something that naturally evolves and return it back to exactly what it once was.  Something that naturally evolves will by definition, change.  Sometimes those changes are for the better, sometimes for the worse.  

The key to me is understanding (as best one can) the design intentions of the original layout and deciding if what was originally there was a better and more interesting design then the present.  An architect who studies a course in that manner, who has an appreciation for what the orginial architect was all about, and who utilizes all the information he can gather, at least gives "some respect" to the past design and then can proceed accordingly in the best interest of everyone.  

I have a problem when someone comes to a course ready to make a presentation on how the place should be improved and states, "Now who was it who designed this course"!  It's a total lack of respect.   Unfortunately, most guys are looking to leave their own mark and couldn't really care what was there in the first place.  

The secret to a successful "course improvement project" is to find someone willing to study and properly intrepret the evolution of the design and make recommendations from there.  At the end of the day, it is still a judgement call what gets done but at least most bases were covered in the assessment.

The beauty about dirt, is that though expensive, you can always move it again.  
Mark

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

T_MacWood

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #66 on: June 09, 2003, 05:23:18 AM »
Mark
When I hear an architect claim he undrestands the original architects 'design intentions' we are on the road to destruction of that golf course. Trent Jones claimed he understood what Ross was doing at Oakland Hills, same with the Fazio group at Riviera, didn't Rees say he was going to finish Bethpage for Tillinghast?

The secret to a successful "restoration project" is to find someone willing to leave his design and interpretations skills at the door.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:06 PM by -1 »

nperiod

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #67 on: June 09, 2003, 05:30:37 AM »
Forrest,
 
I am not suprised that you, with your hard posed opinions, are unfamiliar with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards of Rehabiltiation. This path is worn from the travel of many before you. I have offered you guidlelines and definitions already established and in use and you dismiss this as comedy.  

I hope you will consider this to help give you comfort...there is such a thing as an "historic adaptation of the orginial property" where "a property can be significant not only for the way it was orginally constructed or crafted, but also for the way it was adapted at a later period, or for the way it illustrates changing attitudes, and uses over a period of time."

One other thing, one can assume the impossiblity of creating an exact and true restoration of anything. That understood one can move beyond the nitniod into the world of adapations and rehabiltiations, of which there are both good and bad examples.

Herein lies the arbiters' bounty.    

Enjoy!

Wink, I'll do the rest.

  

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

GeoffreyC

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #68 on: June 09, 2003, 06:08:24 AM »
I'd appreciate a simple answer to a question from the architects and people in the business who think they can improve old classic golf courses.

Why don't you just use those talents to build great modern golf courses from scratch and leave the work of others alone? Why the need to touch and improve upon the work of others when you can build greater courses yourself?  Why the "need" to do renovation work at all?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #69 on: June 09, 2003, 07:01:01 AM »
Tom,
I hear what you are saying and you are right in many circumstances.  At the end of the day, however, if any changes/improvements/restorations call them what you want, are going to be made to a course, someone has to oversee that work and make a judgement what should be done and what the finished product should look like.  There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that need close review and intrepretation.  

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

Brian Phillips

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #70 on: June 09, 2003, 07:13:47 AM »
Tom,

If the intention of CPC was to 'restore' the bunkers to the same as opening day then yes they are attempting something futile and pointless.  If they are attempting to preserve or protect something like bunkers then they are not restoring then they are protecting or preserving.  The work at CPC (from what I have heard) is not a restoration project but a protection project.

The bunkers at TOC have to be resodded every 5 years or so because of wear and tear.  The current (as in the last twenty years) Road hole bunker looks NOTHING like the original road hole bunker it has evolved.  The original bunker was not even that high it looked more like a Royal County Down bunker than a real sodded bunker.  The bunkers at TOC change all the time.  Hell bunker is not as high as it used to be this year as they struggled with the construction this year.  It fell down once..so rather than risk lives it is not as high as it normally is.

Did you know that there are sprinkler heads in the turf of the wall on this bunker to keep it moist?

Geoffrey,

If as a mechanic you were asked to fix an old car that looked tatty and you knew or thought you could make it look better would you not attempt to do it?  The problem with many of the human race especially us architects is that we sometimes have too much confidence in our own work.

I think this website helps and now the interaction between architects is improving that we might see a change over the next coming years.

I don't think all architects should involve themselves in trying to improve the classics but how many of us have the balls or the honesty to turn down work like that?

I think Pat is right on many accounts but the most important point is the CHOICE of architect and the reasons for choosing the architect.  To improve without an ego trip is the most important message I would like to give anyone.

Brian
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #71 on: June 09, 2003, 07:13:54 AM »
Thank each of you for your comments.

nperiod I do realize that the historic restoration of property is a legal term in the U.S. In 1985 we had an option to restore an old farmhouse, but it was so far gone at the time that the technical restoration was futile. So we embraced a plan to put back what we could, use historic colors, etc. It went very well and, when done, we had a nice farmhouse that did not fall down. I officed there until 1998. I guess I "Interpreted" the charm and details of 1917, but did not follow the guidelines of "restoration". I also paid a higher tax rate!

Mark Fine, you make good points. The comments about architects who do not even know who designed the original are obviously malpractice-based. I do not think anyone suggests this is good policy, or acceptable behavior. Now, if the course's history is so confusing and chopped up, I can see whay, at some point, one might opt to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak.

Brian, thank you for clarifying some of my points. You are an excellent editor! Regarding CPC, just for the fact that trees, some of which are now "sacred", and drifts, and erosion (water and wind) have changed the course; putting bunkers or some areas back to the original would be, yes, "futile". Is what they are doing currently "futile" no! But they are not as much restoring as they are renovating and improving and adapting and interpreting changes based on what MacKenzie and Hunter left behind. And they are doing this with great regard for TODAY's conditions and needs. MacKenzie himself would not come back and profess to be able to put things back exactly not only would he have forgotten many things, but he also would recognize the need to make it better, play more to today's game, and place less stress on the greenkeeper wherever possible.

Let me share a story:

At Oakmont just a few weeks ago, Jack Snyder gave a short talk about his time there in 1950-52, and also about his dad's time on the crew beginning in 1907 (caddying) and later working to build features and take care of the course. Here, some fifty years after Jack's tenure as Superintendent of Grounds, the Oakmont historians had the story behind the No. 8 green pretty much wrong. How is this possible? This is a big club with historians, records, some drawings, about $20,000 worth of aerial photographs, a line of architects who have done work (many living still) and, without question, a bunch of very smart individuals at the helm. But even with all this they held the idea that the No. 8 green was re-built to accommodate the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Hogwash! Snyder re-built the No. 8 green because it was simply too difficult for people to hold a ball when played as a par-3. Even the pros who played there were at 1-in-4 when facing the 8th. So, Snyder carefully created a rise at the right side, re-shaped the surface so one might be able to better hold a shot, and put in a new forward tee for the ladies. It was not so subtle, either. But no drawings and very little record keeping. So, now we have people thinking one thing about an area of the course that is but only 1/18 or less of the total. Imagine the stories of all the other areas.

Golf is about CHANGE. Brian's comments about The Old Course are well written to support this. We can call it "restoration" if you all think that is fair and representative...but to me, the honest and most appropriate term has not yet been offered here. Golf is unlike any other pastime it is my viewpoint that we need to describe what we do to golf courses this "restoration / interpretation / change / betterment / etc." with a term (or terms) that have been carefully chosen so we do not leave a false impression of what has been done. I say this because I see what happens we later generations take literally some of the accounts we leave behind. Will it be assumed in the year 2042 that CPC was, in 2003, put back exactly like it was originally? Well, it might if we call what is going on today a "restoration".
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

GeoffreyC

Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #72 on: June 09, 2003, 07:43:07 AM »
Brian

Myopia Hunt Club is an old relic, a museum piece if you will.  Its greens are for the most part disks on the land cut to greens height. To use your analogy, its like a Model T car.  As a mechanic I could absolutely improve its performance by installing a Corvette engine, some new brakes, a firm suspension and racing tires. Why not just buy a Corvette and leave the museum piece alone or better still fashion custom parts to restore its original engine, replace the leather on its seats, custom fit the old tires to factory specs and give it a nice new paint job?

Your statement "I don't think all architects should involve themselves in trying to improve the classics but how many of us have the balls or the honesty to turn down work like that?" is pretty telling and dangerous. Brian, please go out and build your own/ the next modern Sand Hills, Pac Dunes, Harbortown or set the next modern trend with your original work. Don't touch the Myopia Hunt Clubs unless you have the patience and thoughtfullness to keep a model T as a Model T and NOT make it into a Corvette.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #73 on: June 09, 2003, 08:11:39 AM »
Geoff,

I'm all for keeping Myopia Hunt Club in its current state and with its charm of old. While I've never visited but would like to I have an appreciation for it and other clubs with the same great attributes. But, from what I can discern, even it has evolved over the years. Are you for keeping it the way it is because it exists as it is now during your generation here on earth? Or, do you think the current evolution is the very best it has ever been and it would not be better to go back to another point in time and change it back? And, finally, if you do believe it has never, ever been altered, explain how you have come to this belief.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Restoration: Bunk or not?
« Reply #74 on: June 09, 2003, 08:15:53 AM »
Geoff,

I forgot an analogy: My father, who passed away a few years ago, spent his life as an engineer and restoring cars. Front-wheel drive Cords, mostly. He improved them, but always kept the original intest. But, even if he were to 100% RESTORE a Cord, he would have a good chance as it is made up of gears, metal, interlocking parts, and a bit of wood. All elements which can, with exactness, be re-created and truly RESTORED. A golf course is, by design and magic, none of these parts and none of this exactness. So, I think your Model T comparison is no better than Tom's reach to Wright buildings or museum collections. I have other thoughts on this, but later.
« 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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