News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Jeremy_Glenn.

Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« on: December 03, 2002, 06:30:38 PM »
Ian Andrew's ďHall of ShameĒ post of the cedar hedge was an interesting one, in large part due to the reactions it produced.

While none would argue that the cedar hedge was odd looking and unusual, there seemed to be variances of opinion on the worth of that feature. †Some saw it as a negative, others as a positive.

I, for one, see it as a positive. †And Iíll try to explain why.

There is too great a strive for perfection in the world. †Not just in golf, but in all artforms. †I like to compare it to Rock & Roll vs. Pop. †Today, Pop music is basically a pre-fab industry, with young, beautiful singers performing the latest generic song with digitally enhanced sound and everything choreographed flawlessly.

Rock & Roll, on the other hand Ė particularly in decades past Ė had an inherent imperfection to it. †The singers werenít necessary good looking, the songs had character, the sound wasnít as artificial and ďprogrammedĒ, and those guys couldnít even spell koreografy.

Itís basically akin to the difference between a line drawn by hand and one drawn by computer. †The former is not perfect. †It waves about a bit, itís thinner here and thicker there. †Yet itís a much warmer, softer line than the cool precision of a mechanical line.

Itís also the occasional cracking of the singerís voice. †Itís the brief feedback on the amplifier. †Itís the minute pause on the piano as the artist moves his hand. †Itís the funny shape of a home-made cookie. † Itís the rugged texture of a carpenterís chair. †Itís the little scar on a actorís face. †

And so it is as well the entrance-road cutting across the first hole. †Itís the non-returning nines. †Itís the par 71. †Itís the blind tee shot on the 5th hole. †Itís the ditch running down the 8th fairway. †Itís the overhanging branches on the 11th tee. †Itís the ridiculously small 12th green. †Itís the chainlink fence lining the right side of 14. † Itís the silly looking fairway bunker over on 16. †Itís the large tree smack in front of the 17th green.

Itís the cedar hedge in Ian's post.

All these features, these wrinkles, must not be ironed out of the design. In our endless strive to create the perfect setting, we are killing the very elements that form the true character of the golf course, it memorability and itís charm.

Long live the quirck!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:12 PM by -1 »

A_Clay_Man

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2002, 06:36:29 AM »
Jeremy- I would totally agree with your concept. Afterall how many courses can you remember that are the cookie cutter crap that has pass for GCA over the last 40 years? I know I can't remember much unless there was something of note or different about them.

Is this the real slant and going forward positives about this website, an end to the mundane crap.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Jeff Mingay

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2002, 06:41:15 AM »
Jeremy,

I like your post here. Great analogy. But still, I can't agree that the cedar hedge fits with your other examples!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

redanman

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2002, 07:01:33 AM »
Great post, I am still not so sure about the hedge as part of the one side of the analogy.

Certainly it injects some humor into the equation.  In and of itself it is an enjoyable single laughable quirk, but not worthy of reproduction.

Perfection is an desirable and unattainable goal and I am still searching for the flaws in the young Catherine Deneuve and Grace Kelly. 8)

As for a golf course..........sometimes age enhances, othertimes detracts.  In the case of the hedge, it is the latter.  When they were little bitty hedges, what were they thinking?  Perhaps a club president was losing too many balls in the stream!  Perhaps the hedge replaced a topped shot bunker as the president became more talented.  ::)

What's in them there Cuban cigars you must be smoking up there Jeremy, eh?  ;)  ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike_Cirba

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2002, 07:38:14 AM »
Jeremy;

Excellent post and I really like your creative thinking.  

The hedge, however, hmmmmm....

I'm the same guy who just became enamored last week in seeing a new course that utilized an existing 3-foot high stone wall to protect a green (sits 15 yards in front of it) on a reachable par five.  

However, as much as I LOVE quirk, the wall seems to be a hazard that one can purposefully avoid by laying up, etc.

With the hedge, someone might never make it off that tee!!  It looks like something I have in those recurring "golf nightmares", where I'm trying to play and something (i.e. backswing restricted by a wall, fairway about 1 yard wide, trying to play indoors) is preventing me.

Quirk is great....I'll even settle for fluky and idiosyncratic.  However, I think the hedge falls into the category of horrid.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2002, 11:19:33 AM »
Let's leave the hedge out of it, and ...

... intending no offense to any of the rest of you, who've entertained and informed me with *** insights (many of them JUST AS GOOD) on uncountable occasions over the past year ...

... I don't think I've seen a BETTER post than this (despite -- or perhaps because of -- its own tiny flaws):

"Itís basically akin to the difference between a line drawn by hand and one drawn by computer.  The former is not perfect.  It waves about a bit, itís thinner here and thicker there.  Yet itís a much warmer, softer line than the cool precision of a mechanical line.

"Itís also the occasional cracking of the singerís voice.  Itís the brief feedback on the amplifier.  Itís the minute pause on the piano as the artist moves his hand.  Itís the funny shape of a home-made cookie.   Itís the rugged texture of a carpenterís chair.  Itís the little scar on a actorís face.  

"And so it is as well the entrance-road cutting across the first hole.  Itís the non-returning nines.  Itís the par 71.  Itís the blind tee shot on the 5th hole.  Itís the ditch running down the 8th fairway.  Itís the overhanging branches on the 11th tee.  Itís the ridiculously small 12th green.  Itís the chainlink fence lining the right side of 14.   Itís the silly looking fairway bunker over on 16.  Itís the large tree smack in front of the 17th green.

[Hedge left out of it.]

"All these features, these wrinkles, must not be ironed out of the design. In our endless strive to create the perfect setting, we are killing the very elements that form the true character of the golf course, it memorability and itís charm."

Thank you, Jeremy.


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2002, 11:47:36 AM »
Jeremy, kudos for your fine writing.  Perhaps you should get a poetic sideline going to the GCA you practice.  I also like how you exhol the virtues of the occurence of quirk that can be found on the land and incorporated into a design of a golf course.  But the difference to me, is that it is a natural quirk that belongs to the land.  Not a planted hedge or a pre-existing yet constructed stone wall 15 yards off the front of a reachable par 5.  yeezus chrimini cripes...
that sucks! ::) :-X
« 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.

Eric Pevoto

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2002, 12:38:16 PM »
Dick,

I'd argue that the wall is part of the history of the property and so lends to the sense of place or what Jeremy calls charm. †I'm not saying it has to hold any major historical significance. †It's part of the lore; by using it in the layout, it has continued the story. †

Of course, I've never played the hole so I'm not sure I should comment. †;)

I too think Jeremy's post is one of the best I've seen. †The desire for perfection and a "glossy" finish are all part of the franchise mentality of which I've grown weary. †

Last night, I reread Gil Hanse's "Designing in the Field" from Masters of the Links. †In it, he's got a great quote from Bill Kittleman to the effect that "there's not much home cooking these days, it's all microwave." †

Home cooking and folklore; sounds like a great 19th hole!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:12 PM by -1 »
There's no home cooking these days.  It's all microwave.Bill Kittleman

Golf doesn't work for those that don't know what golf can be...Mike Nuzzo

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2002, 12:48:55 PM »

Quote
The desire for perfection and a "glossy" finish are all part of the franchise mentality of which I've grown weary. †

The franchise mentality: Exactly!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

Andy Hodson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2002, 12:52:48 PM »
Mike C
You have those kind of dreams too? I thought I was the only one. One variation I have is having to hit through a three foot wide doorway or space in the trees or some other such nonsense.

Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in my unconcious weirdness.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike_Cirba

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2002, 12:57:16 PM »
Andy;

EXACTLY!!   ;D

What the dream usually means to me is that my subconscious is needing to get out and play, but something (i.e. time, commitments, etc.) is preventing that!  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2002, 01:02:02 PM »

Quote
One variation I have is having to hit through a three foot wide doorway or space in the trees or some other such nonsense.

Those are DREAMS?

Not the way I play! I LIVE for trying to hit 3-foot-wide holes in the trees! And for failing to pull it off, of course.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

ForkaB

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2002, 01:33:53 PM »
Mr. Glenn's post is superb and reminiscent of previous discussions of the importance of imperfection in art.  The analogy to pop music is particularly solid.  The franchising metaphor is also thoughtful.

As Mr. Cirba well knows, I have had those golfing dreams too.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Bob_Huntley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2002, 01:58:02 PM »
Mike C.

My dream is I am trying to put a tee into a pine table in the Grill room at the club and then drive a ball through an open window. The down swing is never finished. Dr. Katz..... help!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike_Cirba

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2002, 02:13:50 PM »
Bob;

Oh yes, I've also had that dream of trying to put the tee into an inpenetrable surface, with the resulting frustration.  (oh wait...am I thinking of the Pennsylvania winter? ;) )

I also know the one of trying to get the ball from "inside" to "out", and I think we can probably imagine what that one represents to the psyche, even without the good Doctor Katz.  

It's amazing that I never actually get to hit any of the shots in those dreams, Bob.  Sounds as though you're similarly afflicted.

Thinking about it, perhaps Katz does Group Therapy?? ;D

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

Jeremy Glenn,

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2002, 02:29:07 PM »
Itís important for me to mention that I believe that a ďgoodĒ quirk cannot be manufactured.  It just happens.

The cedar hedge, while man-made, just ďhappenedĒ.  Nobody planned for it to grow into the monster it became, and no-one went about planting that hedge with the express purpose of creating a quirk 20 years down the road.

Thatís why I really donít mind the hedge at all.  Itís a funny accident that adds charm to the hole.  I wouldnít design one myself, not only for the reasons mentioned above but also because it does border on silly.  Yet if one compares the picture with the hedge to the one without it, the hedge-free hole, while more standard and traditional, looks quite dull in comparison.  At the very least, itís far less memorable.   (Thatís no slight against Ian!  He didnít design either option!)

But it REALLY is a matter of opinion.  I can certainly understand those who say tear it down.  I promise I wonít chain myself to that hedge!  :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

A_Clay_Man

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2002, 03:27:24 PM »
I am curious as to why people seem to think that that hedge is in play? Sure, if I hit a low shot that isn't in the three foot gap, I'm probably SOL. But don't I deserve some penalty for either missing the shot or choosing the wrong club?

What I'd like to know is who of you dislike it because you feel a GCA imperative is to be able to see the whole hole?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Rick Shefchik

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2002, 04:09:45 PM »
I don't know how much of the hole is visible over the tops of the cedars, but I do think it is a GCA imperative to be able to see more of it than you can through a three-foot peephole.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"Golf is 20 percent mechanics and technique. The other 80 percent is philosophy, humor, tragedy, romance, melodrama, companionship, camaraderie, cussedness and conversation." - Grantland Rice

henrye

Re: Golf Architecture is not a Labour of Perfec
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2002, 05:22:51 PM »
The hedge has character.  There is no doubt that it's in play for a great many golfers.  Could one remove half (one side of) the hedge to maintain some of the hole's nostalgia while reducing its absurdity?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back