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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2006, 01:53:45 PM »
John

A very common way to make 6300 yard courses more "challenging" is to keep the par 5s to minimum a la Harlech and Rye.  I have not heard too many people claim these are easy.  In fact, the toughest short course I have ever played is Beau Desert-and one of the par 5s is definitely reachable.

Ciao

Sean
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Tommy_Naccarato

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2006, 01:57:57 PM »
Sean,
Would enjoy seeing some pictures of Beau Desert.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2006, 03:31:01 PM »
Tommy Nac

I hope to get more photos of local courses this year.  My problem is that I tend to be playing these during Opens and folks don't take well to standing behind a "bald ass white mother-*^&&%"!", to borrow a phrase one of my students once used.  It is difficult enough to keep an eye on the ball after it hits the turf.  It goes like a stabbed rat at BD.  

Ciao

Sean
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Smokey_Pot_Bunker

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2006, 09:22:09 PM »
Tommy,

Just home from work and golf and thought I might make a few comments.

Mark as a person is one of the most upstanding and genuine nice guys I have ever met in my life.  He is what more people should be like at work and more importantly at home.  He has a passion for all things golf, yet you persist with the loss of principles and golfing soul comments as well as using past tense to insinuate he hasn't learned a thing since you were friendly with him.  I know you are way of base and I believe you should apologize for this.  

Speaking from the experiences at Morgan Creek, Kyle for a lack of better phrases "is the man" in regards to designing the courses and Mark works for him.  
 

Patrick_Mucci

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2006, 09:26:51 PM »

By the way the Leaning Tower of Pisa would NOT be standing today if it wasn't for modern engineering.  

Carmen,

Let it be noted that the Italians chose to preserve the Leaning Tower of Pisa, they didn't dynamite and implode it with the intention of building a modern, more functional structure to take it's place.
   
It may well be that the new course is a pleasure to play, but, from what I'm told, the "fix" was in from the outset and little if any effort was expended in an attempt to analyize the merits of restoring the golf course.

It would seem, with such a unique pedigree, that more effort wasn't made to research the golf course.

I"m not faulting any architect.

As you cited, it's the membership that spoke via their vote.
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Patrick_Mucci

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2006, 09:44:13 PM »

The framers of the constitution understood the dangers of democracy, fads and the repudiation of prior values, that's why they made provisions to prevent sudden changes, like a 277 to 128 referendum

The framers allowed the constituion to be changed through democracy--it's called the amendment process.  I would be very surprised if Del Paso did not have such a provision in their constituion--all the golf clubs I have belonged to have.  Usually they have a 2/3 majority provision.  Del Paso met this criterion with its 277-128 vote.

Rich,

The framers of the constitution provided that a sudden urge would not overcome the status quo, and that the core of the governing body could only change over time and not in an instant, on the wave of popularity.

You'll also note the limited number of amendments in the last 230 years.

In situations like Del Paso the outcome is usually predetermined, the vote usually a formality or rubber stamp.
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The whole purpose of this sort of process is to allow for "the repudiation of prior values."  Sometimes the result is good (e.g. the abolition of slavery) sometimes maybe not (Prohibition).  As Thomas Jefferson once said, in effect:  "'Prior values' sometimes suck."

So, you support the idea of revolving door architecture ?
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If you were on the committee at Muirfield in the early 20th century and some young whippersnapper had come to you and said, in effect:

"Lord Mucci, Sir.  I think we should bulldoze our links and hire this Colt fellow from London to create a completely new course.  Yes, I know we have had many successful championships here and I know that our current track is one of Old Tom Morris' best works, but times have changed, My Lord......"

What would you have responded, and to what effect if your view had prevailed?

It's interesting that you couch the question in the context that the end justifies the means.

Look at all of the wonderful golf courses that have been disigured over the years and then tell me how well the democratic process worked.

Like the constitution, wonderful golf courses need very few amendments.

At any given moment, at almost any golf course, you can find a faction that wants to alter it.

This is a dangerous process, more often resulting in disfigurement than improvement.

There's NO global answer.
I think each club has to make a thorough, unbiased evaluation of their golf course, and if they think it might need alteration, they should make a second thorough, unbiased evaluation in consultation with an "independent" architect that will be paid a consulting fee, but without expectation of being retained, should any work be deemed necessary.

That way, there's no conflict of interest.
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Thanks in advance. :)


You're welcome  ;D
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Tommy_Naccarato

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2006, 10:31:36 PM »
When Mark stands at the foot of the grave of Herbert Fowler, apologizing for defacing one of his life's works--an important one--one of the last original Fowler works left in California, THEN I will make amends to Mark. I will promise you that.

ForkaB

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2006, 12:19:52 AM »
Rich,

The framers of the constitution provided that a sudden urge would not overcome the status quo, and that the core of the governing body could only change over time and not in an instant, on the wave of popularity.

You'll also note the limited number of amendments in the last 230 years.

In situations like Del Paso the outcome is usually predetermined, the vote usually a formality or rubber stamp.
So, you support the idea of revolving door architecture It's interesting that you couch the question in the context that the end justifies the means.

Look at all of the wonderful golf courses that have been disigured over the years and then tell me how well the democratic process worked.

Like the constitution, wonderful golf courses need very few amendments.

At any given moment, at almost any golf course, you can find a faction that wants to alter it.

This is a dangerous process, more often resulting in disfigurement than improvement.

There's NO global answer.
I think each club has to make a thorough, unbiased evaluation of their golf course, and if they think it might need alteration, they should make a second thorough, unbiased evaluation in consultation with an "independent" architect that will be paid a consulting fee, but without expectation of being retained, should any work be deemed necessary.

That way, there's no conflict of interest

Thanks again, Pat

1.  You make assumptions about Del Paso rushing to judgement without any supporting evidence.  I would very much doubt that they made such a major decision on a whim, or without serious discussions over a long period of time.

2.  You look at all of the golf courses in the world that have been "disfigured."  I look at all of them that have been VASTLY improved.  Muirfield is just one of them.  Why does your glass of water always seem to be half-empty, Grasshopper? :)

Rich

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2006, 03:53:58 AM »
I'm a little puzzled on this one guys simply because it goes against everything that I've heard about course changes in the UK.  Here changes seem to be more along the death by tinkering variety, I don't know of any club with a long term plan for the course (could be that Iím new to all this).

I do know of a course that if it surrendered 2 goodish holes (but both par 3 on a very short course) and their clubhouse, they would get in return 2 new holes, a new club house and a practice area (none at present) and for the first time all 18 would be on the same side of the road. The membership rejected it because as a bunch of old guys they didn't want the disruption (it was a 3 year program).

What you appear to be saying is, a few individuals within the club ran the place down (presumably by cutting back on green staff and repairs) to make the case for a complete rebuild.  Then the vast majority of members voted for this.

Things must be very different in the USA.  If I'm right in the methods they employed then the club must have been running an increasing surplus and all the members when voting would have known that substantial increases in dues to meet construction costs were on the way?  Plus for a time they would't have any course. Can a few individuals fool most of the people because of their own plans? Am I missing something?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2006, 03:56:00 AM by Tony Muldoon »
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2006, 04:25:46 AM »
Tony

My club has a long term plan for the course.  It mainly concerns drainage and creating safe footpaths rather than architecture.  As you say with many clubs little changes are made every year or two.  A bunker here or some trees there.  In general, I think most of the architectural changes at my club have been mistakes BECAUSE they don't have a proper long term plan.  Sometimes the ideas have been good, but the execution was poor.  Not a single change has come off as well as it could have if a good professional was in charge.

We have not hired an architect (very shortsighted in my opinion) to present any possibilities of what the course could be like in 10 years depending on membership needs and desires.  Instead we rely on design by committee.  This tends to be a small clique of low cappers revolving around captain, club chairman and greens chairman who think they know best how to spend my money.  I suspect most UK clubs run this way.  Only largish projects being voted on (basically projects that mean increasing subs).

Ciao

Sean
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

ForkaB

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2006, 07:11:40 AM »

Patrick_Mucci

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2006, 10:17:30 AM »

Thanks again, Pat

1.  You make assumptions about Del Paso rushing to judgement without any supporting evidence.

You've made an assumption about my knowledge of Del Paso without any supporting evidence. ;D

I had extended, direct contact with members of Del Paso and was provided with information and details regarding the project.

I would say, to coin a phrase, that "The die was cast" early.
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I would very much doubt that they made such a major decision on a whim, or without serious discussions over a long period of time.

Using an extreme to support your argument, by classifying the vote as one on "a whim" doesn't alter the fact that the outcome was predetermined from the outset.

Perhaps if you had more information on this particular situation you wouldn't be debating the issue just for the sake of debating it with me.
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2.  You look at all of the golf courses in the world that have been "disfigured."  I look at all of them that have been VASTLY improved.  Muirfield is just one of them.  Why does your glass of water always seem to be half-empty, Grasshopper? :)

Probably because of the inordinately high ratio of poor results to good results.

Tony Muldoon referenced "tinkering" as the extent of alterations on golf courses in the U.K.  Radical, wholesale changes are more the norm in the U.S.  Isn't Del Paso the poster child for such alterations ?

When was Muirfield altered ?

Subsequent to that alteration, how many other complete alterations have taken place on Muirfield ?

There;s been a trend in the U.S. to keep up with the Jones's.
To have a golf course that represents the latest fad, in features and designs, and as such, course after course has been altered, and continues to be altered in that pursuit.

In some cases improvements have been made.
In many cases, mistakes have been made.
And, that's why you're seeing a surge in "restorations"

However, in addition to the mistakes that have been made, my biggest concern is the breach in the architectural integrity of the golf course, the break in continuity that a great number of these alterations have produced.

And, as the alteration process continued, again and again, absent the preservation of the original design integrity, the golf course begins to lose its distinctive essence, its unique style which seperated it from the others.

I'm also a believer in the "domino" theory, which is, that once you permit one alteration by a green committee, President, Board or Chairman, it becomes open season on the golf course, and that subsequent alterations will be thrust upon the golf course by succeeding administrations, further disfiguring the golf course.

In my neck of the woods, one doesn't have to look very far to see example after example of ongoing, but misguided alterations to golf courses, most of them done on a piecemeal basis, making the architectural pattern of the golf course look like a quilt rather than monomorphic.
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ForkaB

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2006, 11:29:45 AM »
Pat

One request.  If you or anybody else is privy to information that you cannot or choose not to share with the rest of us, just tell us so when you make sweeping statements that do not seem to be supported by any evidence.  Thanks in advance.

Vis a vis the significant UK courses, most major revisions were done 50+ years ago.  I can't think of one of those cases where the course was not vastly improved (based on what I have read).  They were all "classic" courses for their time before they were remodeled.  Is there any particular reason for us to be sure that a similar amelioration might not happen to courses like Del Paso?  My mind is open on that one.  That is all.

Vis a vis boards being able to ramrod through by 2/3 majority a $9 million expenditure that the membership doesn't seem to want (this seems to be your take on Del Paso), I am astounded!  At the clubs I am currently a member of this would be an impossibility.  Are American memberships really that ovine in nature? :)

T_MacWood

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2006, 11:41:19 AM »

  They were all "classic" courses for their time before they were remodeled.  Is there any particular reason for us to be sure that a similar amelioration might not happen to courses like Del Paso?  My mind is open on that one.  That is all.


Muirfield was considered a 'classic'? I thought it was ciriticized as an old water meadow.

ForkaB

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2006, 11:51:18 AM »
Tom

Don't confuse one man's (Auchterlonie's) off hand comment with fact.  It was good enough for the R&A to hold numerous Championships over the "auld water meadie" before Colt improved it.

Rich

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2006, 02:06:13 PM »
Mr G,
many's the slip twixt mind and keyboard - or, perhaps this is Today's Test of Mental Comprehension??

Shurely you mean Andra Kircaldy???

 ???
FBD
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Patrick_Mucci

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2006, 04:17:14 PM »
Rich Goodale,

It's inappropriate to suggest that the 9 million was for the golf course, it wasn't.

There were other components under the general project.

Sometimes, it's easier to vote for a package rather then disect and vote on each of its component pieces.

ForkaB

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2006, 05:26:14 PM »
Mr G,
many's the slip twixt mind and keyboard - or, perhaps this is Today's Test of Mental Comprehension??

Shurely you mean Andra Kircaldy???

 ???
FBD

You are right, Oh wisest of the drummers.  I can't even claim a tyop even though there are several common letters in the two names.... :'(

I'm surprised Tom MacWood didn't spot it.... :o
« Last Edit: January 17, 2006, 05:31:23 PM by Rich Goodale »

ForkaB

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2006, 05:30:51 PM »
Rich Goodale,

It's inappropriate to suggest that the 9 million was for the golf course, it wasn't.

There were other components under the general project.

Sometimes, it's easier to vote for a package rather then disect and vote on each of its component pieces.

Don't think I ever suggested any such thing, Pat, and wouldn't have, as I knew that all sort of peripheral country club stuff was included, just from reading the publically available information.

You are right about the value of "bundling" products.  It`has made Bill Gates a fair amount of dosh over the years..... ;)

T_MacWood

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2006, 09:24:57 PM »
Rich
Auchterlonie? It was Andrew Kilkardy who made those comments and he wasn't the only one, the course was comdemned by many...read Darwin's 1910 book. By 1910 Darwin said the course had already undergone significant changes...it was no classic. And the Hon. Company took the championship with them from Musselburgh to Muirfield...the quality of its design was not the reason it hosted those early Opens. Poor example.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2006, 09:26:11 PM by Tom MacWood »

Jim Nugent

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2006, 01:44:36 AM »
Patrick -- what is your solution?  Are you saying members shouldn't have the legal right to change their courses...they have the right but shouldn't do so because too often they ruin the course?  If you believe they should have the legal right, then what is the correct procedure they should follow to change or restore their course?

ForkaB

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2006, 02:20:22 AM »
Tom MacW

You're 4 hours late to the Rhic-bashing party.  I'd call that "piling on" but to be expected by someone addicted to the "three yards and a cloud of dust" strategy of argument. ;)

So what were the "classic" courses in those dark days of 1910?  Even the Old Course had undone substantial changes by then.  If I changed the word "classic" to "highly regarded by most people with the exception of Kircaldy and Darwin" would you wipe that sour look off your face?

Have a nice day! :)

T_MacWood

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2006, 06:14:46 AM »
Rich
I'm only trying to set the record straight. Comparing the Old Course to the old water meadie...you really are grasping for straws.

I don't even like the term classic course...you tell me what were the most important designs of 1910.

Patrick_Mucci

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2006, 06:19:32 AM »

Patrick -- what is your solution?  

Are you saying members shouldn't have the legal right to change their courses

I've already answered that question.
Reread reply # 17.
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...they have the right but shouldn't do so because too often they ruin the course?  

Whether they should or shouldn't depends on the merits of the project in the context of having explored all options.
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If you believe they should have the legal right, then what is the correct procedure they should follow to change or restore their course?

Tom MacWood, myself and others outlined our beliefs with  respect to the duty or obligation of clubs that own "classic" or "Golden Age" golf courses, that they, like curators should seek to protect and preserve their courses, and that they should exercise extensive due diligence in researching their golf course rather than discarding it in a cavelier fashion in favor of the latest trend or fad.

The concept of disposing of a golf course because it's old, in favor of a modern design is often undertaken without any attempt to delve into the architectural history of the golf course, thus eliminating the possibility of restoration as a viable option.
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« Last Edit: January 18, 2006, 06:20:28 AM by Patrick_Mucci »

TEPaul

Re:Fowler's Del Paso - update
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2006, 06:54:49 AM »
Regarding the pre-Colt Muirfield I seem to recall a chapter by Harold Hilton on the pre-Colt Muirfield "rota" "championship" course. My recollection is Hilton said it was a pretty bad golf course for a championship "rota" course and was only held on the Open "rota" because Muirfield, the club, as a significant old "rota" championship club, just didn't want to be off that championship "rota". I guess that's completely understandable even if most everyone thought the dog they had in the fight was a broken down old mutt. Apparently somehow the idea was prevailed upon them to get this English Colt fellow to give them a new and improved dog so they could stay in the "rota championship" fight for the rest of time.

Muirfield is a wonderful golf course but my suggestion would be that they at least restore Colt's old bunker in the middle of the first fairway!  ;)

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