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Re:How do you tell if the Routing is Good?
« Reply #75 on: March 07, 2007, 07:26:28 AM »
Yep, getting up here anytime? let me know and we'll grab a beer.

RE: the return less 200 yards, I knew you had me, but I figured I'd take a shot after your wise-ass response to my very sincere, heartfelt question.

See Brian Phillips response, his was a bit too detailed, with the tub referrence and all...maybe somewhere in between...but I wouldn't want you revealing any trade secrets here. Like Wayne says, I'll just get some newbie to do a routing for me and stiff him on the bill...

Did not mean to come off as a wise ass....well maybe...anyway.....I think TD says it best below...don't know how much can be written....
there will always be the "could have done it better crowd" among architects and they will always have a comment on any routing....AND truth is they probably all would work....I guess if one compared routngs to music...that wold be a good way for me to explain....if the routing has many interuptions and walks to the next hole...sort of like choppy music but if it flows from green to tee as well as from tee to green then you may have something....I would say the great routing have stood the test of time much like the great symphonies.
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Jeff Doerr

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Re:How do you tell if the Routing is Good?
« Reply #76 on: March 13, 2007, 02:28:52 AM »
The revised CPC review speaks so well to the genius of the routing there.

"The fact that the golfer walks right and up a dune as opposed to left and up a dune after leaving the 6th green speaks volumes as to how well routed the course is. While many architects might have seen the 7th hole, very few would have found the 8th with its requirement to hit over the shoulder of a dune. Fewer still would have had the courage to follow the 360 yard 8th hole with the 295 yard 9th. With a lesser architect, this three hole stretch would likely never have come into existence, which would have been a crushing blow to the quality of the course."
"And so," (concluded the Oldest Member), "you see that golf can be of
the greatest practical assistance to a man in Life's struggle.


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Re:How do you tell if the Routing is Good?
« Reply #77 on: March 13, 2007, 08:17:20 AM »
A few years ago, I did a series including three parts on routing the Quarry at Giants Ridge. Here are the links.

Two things stand out in a quick re-read:

First some of you will critique some of the methods (ie. the importance of clubhouse location and the idea that I route from tee to green - that example of a stranger talking to a group of gca's really happened and my emphasis on safety.

To quote Bernadette Peters in Blazing Saddles, however, "It's twue, it's twue."

The second thing that stands out is that I cover a lot of items already covered here, but really don't speak about how to evaluate routings.  While many gca's have done different schemes to help evaluate like Thompsons approach shot yardage chart (and Forrest's book has some others, like Dogleg variation charts, uphill downhill charts, wind arrow charts) I think in the end, its still pretty intuitive for gca's.  Even writing it down was kind of hard.  The tendency is to write a bunch of things you have learned not to do, rather than write what you actually do, again, because its so intuitive.

Perhaps judging them should be the same.

Lastly, I have been struck by the fact that routing skill and feature design skill are two completely different things, much like putting and long game in golf.  For example, while I didn't love all Ralph Plummer features, I am hard pressed to find a poor or awkwardly routed hole on one of his courses and they never fail to change directions often and gracefully.

I will say this - routings can't necessarily be judged by the number of catch basins! ;)
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach


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Re:How do you tell if the Routing is Good?
« Reply #78 on: March 13, 2007, 09:36:47 AM »
After thinking about those routing evaluation tools on the way in, it occurs to me that these only can measure routing balance or variety - dogleg, wind direction, uphilld downhill, etc.  The preparing gca must be confident that those, say, dogleg right holes are GOOD dogleg right holes for the balance becomes a deciding factor.

I suppose you could create charts to measure:

Number of holes requiring fw earthmoving (lower number would indicate a more natural routing)

No. of valley, plateau, cross slope L and R, rolling fw, etc. for variety

Uphill/downhill/level holes (or blind shots, generally lower number of uphill holes is better)

Lineal Feet of walk (or cart path) between greens and tees, (lower number is best )

Number of Uphill Walks from green to tee

Doglegs with and against prevailing wind

Long and Short Holes with and against the prevailing wind

Holes playing into the sun

Tight spots or potential safety issues

Number of OB holes

Hook OB vs Slice OB

Number of Natural FW and/or Green Hazards

Total Land Use (once on an oversized site, I had an associate  "pull in" a routing to a similar land form, reasoning that the extra path, irrigation, grassing expense on the more expansive routing didn't justify it)

Number of returns near clubhouse (a la Riv 2)

Number of Creek Crossings/Bridges (lower generally better for reducing forced carries, play, and its certainly cheaper!)

etc., etc., etc.  While all of those would have a place, and it would be easy to do in an Excel spread sheet, I can recall times when I did a series of technical evaluations and still picked a routing intuitively that may have ranked somewhere off the top.  (I actually started, but rarely use an excel spreadsheet to keep track of certain aspects of feature design, which I called "The Mother of All Spreadsheets, so you know what era it was concieved!)

BTW, the typical question I face in routing evaluations (to select one, not after its built) is whether to go for one great hole that requires some average ones to get to that spot, or to use a routing that is more solid overall.  At Cypress, Mac had good land going into 15-16-17, but not so good coming out.  Do you think he considered alternatives to create a better 18th hole?  Probably, and then decided that stretch of holes would be worth it!

I'm not sure the idea of the "best" routing is anything more than a value judgement.  So, if you like the course, its probably a very good routing.

Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach


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