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Tom MacWood (Guest)

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2002, 02:18:31 PM »
grandpa
Why would you want to build a golf course on a site without interesting natural features?

If for whatever reason you decide to build on a site unsuited for golf, you have no choice but to create interest. But I would not consider a completely man-made course as well-routed golf course, although it could be a well-concieved creative result.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

grampa (Guest)

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2002, 03:01:21 PM »
Tom

 I guess that I'm trying to figure out how you use the routing criteria on a site that has minor interesting natural features. Or has one unique feature but the parcel only allows 2-3 holes to benefit. How do you create interest in routing and features throughout the entire round. As the routing is important so is the ability of the architect to create equal features that make the golf course complete. Oakmont isn't full of natural features yet there are several "made" features that make the course great. Merion has 2 excellent natural features yet there are numerous holes that had to be "made". The interest to me is in the architecture of the ground throughout the course and how the man made interact with the natural. All this talk of routing and finding "natural" holes is a great thing but don't you feel that the great architects of yesterday and today have the ability to make you feel as if the entire site were "natural"?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tim Liddy

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2002, 04:06:42 PM »
"Limitations are an architects best friend" Frank Lloyd Wright
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2002, 04:07:35 PM »
The question of routing an unremarkable flat site that needs total manufactured features calls to mind, how much of that flat boring land is necessary to artificially route something that when taken in context and acceptance that it is all man-made, offers a great route?  I think about 240-320 acres on a more rectangular than square site to offer variety of directions and sequencing, with reasonable walks green to tee and features within the boundaries  -lakes-ponds for shaping material, native planting areas and tree planning, a practice range, and good maitenance facility siting and equipment circulation while disguising it to some degree.  I know there are neat courses on as little as 110 acres, but if you have a blank canvas, total discretion on direction-circulation of routing, and a desire to keep enjoyable walking in the picture, a smart guy should be able to do it in 240 plain acres.  Also, one should plan for some empty space on the borders, with a few outside the propert emergency vehicle entrances depending on outside traffic road patterns, incase the thing starts to burn down, or someone needs an ambulance.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
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Tom MacWood (Guest)

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2002, 04:07:48 PM »
grandpa
I didn't say anything about finding natural holes (that is very rare), I said maximizing the use of natural features which includes interesting undulations of the gound. In fact that is the most common natural feature. If you consider ground contours a natural feature, Oakmont and Merion have more than two interesting natural features.

If a site is devoid of interesting ground, why would you want to build there?

Some architects of yesterday and today are able to make courses feel natural, they are also the same architects who maximize the use natural features. The architects who respect, study and incorporate natural features, seem to be the same ones who are able to replicate its vagueries when needed.

On many modern courses I find myself looking to the sides and along the perifery to see what the site was like in its natural state, many times I come away wondering why the architect decided to ignore what was there, instead creating his stylized idea of nature. Often I conclude that routing ability must not be the architect's strong suit.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

JWL>

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2002, 11:11:18 PM »

ByUBengals

You are very correct that a flat, cane field with poor drainage, and heavy soil poses some severe problems not only in routing, but in building an exciting golf course.  If the site is heavily treed and has a high water table, it just becomes more difficult.
Since the land features are all created, I feel they must be located and formed to develop the same setup that would be routed on rolling terrain.  That is, playing into counterslopes and setting up the lows on the inside of the golf holes.  If the golf course is part of residential development, it really magnifies the difficulty because it limits the landforms to the inside of golf holes.  Why, because the residential lots must have as golf course views as open as possible.  Therefore, the land forms must be used to separate holes and utilize the forms in varying ways so not to become predictable or monotonous.
With a high water table, lakes and ponds for drainage will undoubtedly be a big part of the design.  The routing must utilize the placement of the water hazards in as many differing ways as possible, again so not to benefit or penalize any particular type of player.   So a routing should place water on both sides of different holes at the green and also on the tee shots.  If quality trees are found on the site, they should probably be incorporated in to the routing, if possilbe.  
You are probably familiar with the University Club in BR, which has the above mentioned problems.    Without saying, golf course budget plays a big part in what can be accomplished on land of this type.
There are definite limitations with land of this type, and the prairie type grass types are limited also because of the heat and humidity.  
This does not mean that a really fine golf facility cannot be constructed on land of this type if due diligence is maintained.
Sorry for the rambling.  Just typing thoughts.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tom Doak

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2002, 12:33:19 AM »
Tom MacWood:  Even on a featureless site like Texas Tech's, the routing made a big difference.

On the simplest level, we had strong prevailing winds to deal with, and we tried to route the holes to take advantage of them.  We deliberately routed a couple of long par-4's into the prevailing wind so that even the golf team would struggle to reach them on occasion.  We played the shortest par-3 into the prevailing wind (and over bunkers), to see if anyone has a knockdown shot.  There's a short par-4 downwind where the green will be difficult to hold, and a short par-5 downwind with a big contour in the middle of the green, so that players will have to land short of the green and let their ball roll over it to avoid going through.

On the next level, we tried to mix up the routing as much as possible so you wouldn't feel you were playing parallel holes in a shooting gallery.  We must have succeeded at this, because at times during construction I couldn't even tell what hole I was on.

On the final level, on a "core" golf course you can make better use of the earth you do move if you're clever in your routing.  You can build a big hill beside a single hole, or you can build it to serve as the backdrop for two greens, the location of a couple of elevated tees, and the terminus of distant views as well.  Yes this is a result of earthmoving, but if you route the course poorly you lose the chance to create the maximum variety with the earthmoving budget you have.

I've avoided jumping into Jeff's topic because I don't like making rules for such things -- I think a set of rules quickly turns into a formula, and a formula throws out some of the best possible solutions for some pieces of land.  The overriding factor for me is simply to make the most of the property's best features, and to show off the variety of the land itself.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

ForkaB

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2002, 01:53:42 AM »
JWL>

You must be joking in your criticism of Pebble Beach. Even on an isthmus narrower than Panama, it is impossible to get alternating "ocean on the right/ocean on the left" golf holes in any sane sort of routing. You probably don't like Turnberry or Ballybunion either. Sure, Tom Doak did manage to get some latitudinally directional variety in the ocean holes at Pacific Dunes (as did David Kidd at BD). All credit to him, but it is still not a textbook routing, at least in my very unqualified opinion (IMVUO).

Rihc

PS--I hope that this "left! right! left! right!......." mantra is honest and not just an admirably loyal overreaction to the (justifiable) criticisms of some of the creations of your employer (JWN). I personally think that repetition is often a very effective counterpoint to variety. One of the great things about the 17th at Dornoch is its 180 degree shift in direction, after 16 holes of thinking you knew the drill (out into the wind, back with the wind, or vice versa....). Once you know that course, how you are going to play 17 gets into your mind around #12 or so, particularly if the wind is strong (in either direction) and most particiularly if you have a good score going.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:12 PM by -1 »

paul cowley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2002, 07:41:45 AM »
the routing is the skeleton the designer hangs the course on,created from what the site ,[or site constraits],give him.he then 'fleshes' out the features.ones ability to handle both tasks ultimately determines whether the course is a frankenstien or a bo derek.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
paul cowley...golf course architect/asgca

Matt_Ward

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2002, 10:08:42 AM »
I read Tom Doak's last post on this thread with great interest -- I'm glad to see what is being done at Texas Tech is incorporating the daily wind pattern into the elevation of shotmaking. Having long par-4's play into the prevailing wind is one tactic that can keep the strongest players in check. Ditto his mentioning of having a short par-3 that also plays into the wind to force players to "knock" the ball down.

When you avoid predictability you keep the interest of the player always on edge. In addition, when wind patterns are carefully assessed you make sure the full range fo shotmaking is accounted for no matter which way the wind actually blows.

Unfortunately, many routings today suffer because they are nothing more than rudimentary layouts to bolster the sale of housing. My recent trek to Santaluz in SoCal, a Rees Jones layout, shows clearly that a routing was created that mandates long excursions by cart to get to the next hole. The prime territory is kept for the housing and the routing takes you on a long winding adventure no less than what Marco Polo had in venturing to the Far East.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

JWL>

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2002, 06:53:09 PM »

Rich

You and I disagree on the benefit of repetitiveness in routing.
I personally think very highly of PB, but I am not convinced that the best routing for that piece of property was achieved.  However, unless I could study the topography maps and know what the developer wanted to achieve, I can't say it isn't the best routing.   I have always thought that the back nine would have been better played backwards, but that is another thread.
Although I have made it a rule of mine to not be put on the defensive, I would like to know to what you are referring in your P.S.  Could you be more specific so that I can understand the point you are making.  Thanks and HNY.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

ForkaB

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2002, 02:58:31 AM »
JWL>

To one who has mused about "reverse routing" Cypress Point, your ideas about doing the same at Pebble Beach do not cause coniptions. Let us know your thoughts on that interesting mental exercise. But, I do think that if you only reverse the back nine you'd have one helluva walk/cart ride from the 9th green to the new 10th tee back by the lodge........

As for my PS, I am probably guilty of some stereotyping, in implying that Nicklaus tended in the past to build a lot of holes which required (or better accommodated) high fades into most greens. My personal experience with his courses (limited to Gleneagles, Coyote Creek and Pasadera) shows that tendency, and others who have played many more of his courses tell me that this is generally so. However, I have also been told that this tendency appears less so in newer designs (e.g. Mayacama). I think I was also questioning the conventional wisdom, based on Muirfield (the HCEG version, not the Village), that routings with continually shifting directions are somehow preferable to ones which go out nad back. I think it depends.... Apologies and Happy New Year to you too.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:12 PM by -1 »

JWL>

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2002, 01:29:54 PM »

Rich

Thanks for the reply and explanation.   Jack has even acknowledged that early in his career, he designed courses as he saw them in his mind's eye.  He learned the game at Scioto where he felt a fade was the best way play, therefore he began designing holes with what was comfortable to him.
This hasn't been true for quite some time, however.  I have never worked with Jack on a course where we didn't work specifically to balance the shot values, for both right/left and left/right.  That has been over 19 years now, so it is somewhat a pet peeve of mine when I read that criticism.  It has become an overdone cliche for those looking for something to criticize Jack about, imho.  Regarding Pasadera and Mayacama, courses on which I was the design associate, I think that you will discover on review that Pasadera is equally balanced and Mayacama actually has a slight right/left bias.  I am not implying that you are looking to criticize Jack, but there are others do, but that is OK.  They are certainly entitled to their opinion.  I would just like more than cliches, so I can learn where we might have blind spots.
Concerning PB, I agree that that would quite a cart ride.  I have a copy of the original PB routing and with only minimal study, it appears that a clubhouse could have been located somewhere near the existing 14th tee  and the ocean could have been utilized on the present 9 and 10, and played backwards with the ocean of the left.  Number 8 could have been a wonderful finishing hole, with holes 4,5,6, and 7 part of a great finish.  This is just pure speculation on my part.  There may have been very good reasons at the time to start and finish where they did, which dictated the sequencing that we now have.  On somewhat similar situations in Cabo at Cabo del Sol and ElDorado, we made a specific point to route holes on both nines on the ocean, one side on the left and one side on the right.   I am inclined to believe that it could have happened at PB.  But PB is what it is, a wonderful golf experience that doesn't need someone like me to say anything that could be construed as critical.  It is just what designers do, they can't help themselves.  Talk to you again in the New Year and I hope you and all GCA posters have a safe and prosperous 2003.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tom Doak

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2002, 02:23:44 PM »
Jim,

I'll disagree with your analysis of Pebble Beach.  It seems like most designers who get a bit of oceanfront today want to do exactly as you did in Cabo ... put the 9th and 18th on the water, and whatever else fits.  I hate the predictability of that, and can't help feeling that often better holes are missed because of this predilection toward the 9th and 18th.

David Kidd was the one who told Mike Keiser not to do it in Bandon, and Mike went along, partly because he and I had noted how much we liked the pacing of Royal Portrush, with the most spectacular holes in the middle of each nine.

I do agree that Jack Nicklaus' "fade bias" is exaggerated; I play a fade most of the time, and you guys build plenty of holes that give me fits!

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

JWL>

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2002, 04:03:05 PM »
Tom

I don't disagree that is can be very formulaic to look to put the 9th and 18th on water, whether lake or ocean.   That was certainly not our intention with a disregard for the routing of the other holes to achieve such as end.  In fact, at Cabo de Sol, the 5th green, 6th and 7th holes are "on" the ocean on the front nine.  The ninth is inland.  The 16th, 17th and 18th are "on" the ocean on the back nine.  We knew we had some great holes on the ocean, and did make an effort to have what we could on each nine.  We do feel that is superior to having all the holes on one nine, if possible.  At ElDorado, it was the same idea, but the clubhouse/hotel location dictated that the finishing holes would be the ones on the ocean.  There really weren't many options there because of the tunnels/valleys/etc that I am sure you are familiar with.  I am not sure we are really in disagreement here.  Happy New Year!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

ForkaB

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2002, 02:38:32 AM »
JWL>

Thanks for the reply.  You are right about "cliches," which are, in effect, self-referential "comparisons" which are usually "odious."  They can, of course, also be reverentially odious, in the case of the chosen few (you choose), dead or alive.

As I said, I haven't played Mayacama, but I take your (and others') word that it is a fine design.  As for Pasadera, foolishly walking it scrambled my brain so much that my memory of individual holes is imperfect (I know that you were restricted in your routing options , BTW).  My fave, however, was the uphill "short" 2nd (3rd?) which was very definitely a right to left hole.

Getting back on topic, what I do have issue with is using the concept of "balanc(ing) the shot values, for both right/left and left/right" as some sort of standard.  I personally think there is nothing at all wrong with a course having a tendency for any shape of shot, as long as it allows for the other (at higher risk).  One of the characterisitics of the golf course that I know best, Dornoch, is that a controlled draw off the tee and then a controlled high fade to the green works best on most holes.  However, if you are really skilled, you can also do the opposite.  Nicklaus would have no trouble power fading the ball into positon A at that course.  The old pro there, Willie Skinner, who had (still has) a Bobby Locke sort of game, had to contend for many years (when he was a top amateur) with a greenskeeper that didn't like him, and set up right side tucked in pin positons in important competitions.  With Willie's skill, he still managed many famous victories.

To me, if there is any "gold standard" for routing it is "functional flexibility."

Rihc

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

JWL>

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2002, 02:44:37 PM »

Rich

I am in total agreement with your "gold standard" definition.

Regarding the left/right, right/left issue, let me be clear.  The skilled player should be able to negotiate any pin placement, dogleg direction (even with cross winds) and any up/down situations.  The player that I am trying to "protect" is the average guy out there just trying to make solid contact with the ball.  If he fade/slices every single shot because he doesn't have the ability to do anything else, then my point is that if all the hazards are on the right side of the hole/green, then I wouldn't think this player would have a very good time playing or think much of the course design.  The constant criticism of Jack designing shots where only a "high fade" works, is understandable and makes the argument, I think, of why no particular flight pattern should be the only one rewarded on a truly great golf course.  The more shot types that are demanded by a course causes me to think more highly of the design and designer.

Sorry you chose to walk Pasadera, that is a hike!   You are correct about the routing.  The corridors were basically inherited and permitted (California, enough said there).  We were able to make minor movements to improve site line, etc, but the biggest problem was the road system was in place  and caused several headaches along the way.   I think it should mature into a very nice golf course.
Mayacama was like fitting your hand in glove after trying on several that didn't quite feel right.  It is quite mature already and should develop into a special place to play, not unlike SFGC, in that area.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2002, 05:14:58 PM »
Tom D, -- Only when we understand the "rules" that have been written about a subject can we possibly decide that any new and completely fresh undertakings are not a slave to them. I agree: Rules are bunk. But I feel there is also a place for rules, especially when so many courses get partially defined by others prior to the golf architect coming aboard.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

JWL>

Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2002, 07:31:19 PM »
Forrest

I am afraid I didn't explain myself very well regarding "rules" in routing.  My point was referring to "self imposed rules", rather than rules that you might write down or list.  Anyone that has done a number of routings on various sites approaches the process not with "preconceived ideas" but with experience on how golf holes fit or work in topography.  An example of such an idea or "rule", if you will, would be how to incorporate a unique feature of the land in the design.  Architects will have varying opinions on how best to utilize such a feature.  
I was not saying that a set of preconceived rules must apply to every site.  I am saying that every designer, whether they admit it or not, have developed specific ideas on how routings work based on their prior experiences.  As I also stated, the designer will often break any and all "rules" to produce the best golf holes on a piece of property.
Please notice, if nothing else, that "rules" is in quotation marks.  
Happy New Year!!!  It is almost here and I am hoping we all have a banner year.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Top 10 Qualities of a Routing?
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2002, 10:03:10 PM »
Yes. Agreed. On "rules" and also 2003!
« 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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