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Adam Clayman

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2007, 11:12:59 AM »
The USGA system is likely flawed in the same way as Crane's approach. That is not a slam on the USGA, other than the hubris of relying on a system 'just because' it's the only one available. Throw in a reluctance to adjusting the system, after flaws (mathematical and theoretical) have been brought to their attention, and, you have the wrong road travelled, cubed.

"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

BCrosby

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2007, 11:23:30 AM »
My father used to be a USGA rater (actually it was for the GSGA using the USGA manual). As I recall from his rater book, the similarity is that both Crane and the USGA measure a course as a series of separate, individual shots, each one treated as a distinct, compartmentalized test of golf skills.

Bob

TEPaul

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2007, 11:48:24 AM »
Bob Crosby said:


"Crane started with a group of courses that pretty much everyone acknowledged as being the best. So there was bound to be some overlap.

Crane's reasons for picking the holes he did, however, were not the reasons Behr or MacK would have given.

Take the 16th at PV. Consistent with his larger views, Crane wanted any blindness eliminated by shaving the ridgeline. He disliked trees, so they needed to go. Finally, he thought the approach shot lacked adequate controls, thus he wanted a new diangonal bunker across the front of the green.

Those are huge changes. My guess is that those are not changes that Behr and MacK would have approved. I'm certain Crump, Colt or Alison wouldn't have either."

Bob:

I'm certainly not saying there were no differences of opinions about some of those golf holes on Crane's list between him and the likes of say Behr and Mackenzie. I'm just saying that Crane is using holes that are pretty ideal in the minds of most and probably including Behr and Mackenzie and he certainly didn't make any suggested changes on all of them, just on some of them.

I agree that Crane's seeming fixation against blindness must have been a real differnce of opinion between them though. Behr did write an article in 1926 defending blindness in golf architecture.

Crane's suggestion to make PV's #16 fairway and green visible from the tee is preposterous in my opinion, but his suggestion to cut a diagonal bunker in at the front of the green is actually the very same thing Crump was apparently going to do and Hugh Alison actually recommended to the 1921 Committee.

Interestingly, the committee approved that bunker but I can't see it was ever done for some reason. The same thing was true on #4---it was recommended by Allison and approved by the committee but apparently never done or not done as it was recommended.

Frankly, had George Crump lived #16 may've ended up being a par 5 with the green much farther along. He was still considering that when he died, particularly since he was stuggling with what to do about #15 and perhaps even #14. The latter hole PV pro George Govan said was the idea of his father, Jim Govan, who was Crump's pro and foreman and constant companion on course.

Joshua Crane's use of the term "control" is an interesting one that seems somewhat amorphous in definition, particularly since Crane did not seem to have a problem with some pretty significant fairway width considering some of the holes he picked as ideal.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 11:50:30 AM by TEPaul »

TEPaul

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2007, 11:57:37 AM »
Adam Clayman:

To me there's a huge difference between constructing and using a mathematical rating system for handicap purposes compared to using a mathematically rating system to specifically assess the quality of golf course architecture!!  ;)

RJ_Daley

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2007, 02:04:46 PM »
One of the best threads ever on GCA.com, with some real all-stars discussing.  Unfortunately, I have never played any of the courses within the discussion.  But, on the matter of the expanations of the methods of evaluating courses between Crane and Behr/Mac, the matter rings current enough.  I am quite sure that TEPaul's balanced understanding of the goals of the two camps has fairly brought out the merits of each camp's efforts.  

Yet, from this outsider looking into a great discussion and what has been said so far, I feel quite certain that I associate with the Behr/Mac side of setting aside the mathematical formula or numerical evaluation that Crane sought, and I would rather know/read someone's prose describing a hole or a course and why it inspires and excites or challenges, than know it was an 86.8.

For the well versed gents above who have pointed to the methodology of course rating in the USGA manual of evaluaton;  do any of you feel that selection or presentation of the U.S. Open, PGA, or Masters, vs the presentation and selection of the Open harkens back to this fundamental difference in Crane's numerical vs Behr/Mac's artistic-natural-randomness as a high value, and what seems like Crane's need to quantify a contest and field of play as a numbers 'sport' vs Behr/Mac's possible acceptance of the ebb and flow of the fates of the 'game' as the higher inspiration and entertainment of the player?
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.

BCrosby

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2007, 02:44:23 PM »
TEP -

Fair point. USGA course and slope ratings are not the same thing as rating a course a la Crane.

What they do have in common, however, is that both define out of their systems the strategic virtues many of us think are the most important aspects of a great course. That is, neither system gives any weight to shot options, choices, etc. Or at least Crane's doesn't. (I haven't looked at the USGA manual in a decade, so maybe I'm forgetting something.)

RJ -

I'm not sure I follow your question, but it does seem to me that in many respects Crane wrote the book - some 40 years before the fact - for USGA type setups. Which makes sense. His view of the highest value of golf was testing golfing skills. A lot of Crane's vocabulary is repeated verbatim when the USGA explains its setup philosophy every summer. Shot testing, proportionate roughs, "fairness" (whatever that means) all could have been written by Crane.

MacK and Behr, of course, had a different view. They thought golf courses ought to be designed to give pleasure to the widest range of golfers possible. In line with that was the notion that designing courses to test "tigers" (meant in the Golden Age sense of any expert golfer) made the courses no fun for the everyday golfer.

Fundamentally different views about the ultimate values of the game. Which had direct consequences for the kind of achitecture the two camps preferred.

Bob

Peter Pallotta

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2007, 03:03:07 PM »
RJ
I thought that was a very good post.  For all the complexity I'm probably missing in The Debate, I too tend to "associate with the Behr/Mac side setting aside the mathematical formula or numerical evaluation that Crane sought"....and I too would rather get the prose/poetry than the mathematics.

This is way too simplistic, but my gut reaction is "If you have to describe it like math you probably have to play it like math", while, "If can describe it like poetry it probably plays quite poetically".  The first seems to describe/fit the professional game; the current US Open. The second, well, I don't know what that is...a dream maybe...or someplace in Nebraska

Peter
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 04:06:58 PM by Peter Pallotta »

JESII

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2007, 03:17:56 PM »
Bob,

Isn't that still the greatest challenge an architect faces...creating a course that challenges the top player and appeals to the rest?

JESII

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2007, 03:37:40 PM »
That may not have been worded properly...how about...creating a course that appeals to the emotions of all players while presenting a challenge that is commensurate with the individuals ability level.

BCrosby

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #59 on: November 19, 2007, 03:57:08 PM »
JES -

Something like that. Those sorts of things slide so quickly into marketing babble that I resist going down that road.

BTW, you and I and MacK and Behr might agree to something like that, but I don't think Crane would. I don't think a Fownes would either. So they are not universal principles to which everyone would subscribe.

A propos of this, Geoff Shackelford has the following quote up today:

"Enough perhaps has been said to show that the links should not be regarded exclusively, as they so frequently are, from the point of view of what the superlative players can do on them. The danger is to judge the game by them and by them alone, and so ignore other equally important considerations. Perhaps the blame for this generally accepted but one-sided view that courses should be made entirely for championship players is that so much stress is laid on the more theatrical events of competitive golf."  

TOM SIMPSON and H.N. WETHERED

People have told me that I am losing my mind, but I read in that quote a criticism of the approach Crane took to gca. In fact it's not clear to me who else they might be objecting to. (Maybe J.H. Taylor?) We'll probably never know for sure.  But Crane was the point man for such views throughout the GA.

I thought the passage was interesting in light of this thread. (You think Geoff was peeking in?)

Bob
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 05:24:08 PM by BCrosby »

TEPaul

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #60 on: November 19, 2007, 05:46:01 PM »
I'm glad to see this particular thread on Joshua Crane because in it the issue of championship golf and championship golf architecture has been mentioned.

Also in this thread the idea has been implied that Crane may've been speaking about and also essentially basing his ideas about the quality of golf architecture on so-called championship golf and championship golf design.

Crane may not have initially intended to do this but it appears what he wrote and proposed played out that way.

The likes of Behr and Mackenzie et al apparently may've been concentrating more on another form of golf---eg recreational golf or golf simply for enjoyment and not necessarily strictly for competition. Consequently, that may've led them to look somewhat differently upon golf course architecture.

One of Behr's lesser known articles makes this both abundantly and specifically clear.

And most amazing of all he pretty much bases what he says in that article in this vein on the quotes and sentiments of none other than Bobby Jones and on his revelations about TOC and how different it is in these respects from the pevalently designed far more "scientific" (somewhat synonymous to championship design) American golf courses.

In this article Behr even gets into things like the differences in blindness and fairway width and rough and such between these two apparently different types of designs, represented on one end of the spectrum by TOC and on the other end of the spectrum by the so-called "scientific" American championship golf course that both Jones and Behr explain are very predictable day after day.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 05:50:53 PM by TEPaul »

TEPaul

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #61 on: November 19, 2007, 06:08:36 PM »
As far as I know it was Bob Crosby who first began to gravitate towards this illusive but seemingly seminal debate between Crane and the likes of Behr, Mackenzie, Jones et al with the feeling that there might be so much more there than most anyone today realizes.

I guess I heard him mention it 4-5 years ago. Part of his problem was just finding old articles that dealt with it.

He thinks this debate or at least the basic subject of it just may be one of the most seminal in the history of golf and perhaps architecture. He thinks it was something of a major crossroads even if mostly missed as such at the time.

The real irony is even if those immediately involved in that debate at that time or its fundamental issues, perhaps even including those who were somewhat on the sidelines of this debate but nevertheless very interested bystanders may've wanted it to be clear cut but it appears to have turned out anything but that.

And to complicate things further those involved in golf and architecture at the time were not and apparently can not be classified in all the components of this debate and issue to be specifically on one side or the other.

A good example of one who may've been on both sides, somewhat depending on the naunces of the specific issues was probably Tillinghast or maybe even Flynn or Ross.

We may even find when we have finally hashed this entire issue out that what it was really over was something of a crossroads and perhaps a rift between the oncoming "championship" style golf and golf architecture definitely spawned in and led by America and American architects and the old world recreational amateur golf abroad and the courses over there that type of golf was played on---most all of which preceded American golf and architecture by quite a bit of time.

It just may be that 80 or so years later as much as things change they've really stayed the same.  ;)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 06:20:41 PM by TEPaul »

JESII

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #62 on: November 19, 2007, 07:56:02 PM »
WHAT???



The last sentence rings true...the rest of those two posts make my eyes go round and round in total confusion...

Peter Pallotta

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #63 on: November 19, 2007, 08:43:07 PM »
JES
I liked how you phrased it in post #57, i.e. "Isn't that still the greatest challenge an architect faces...creating a course that challenges the top player and appeals to the rest?"

I'm thinking that IS the greatest challenge, and pulling it off maybe the highest expression of the architect's art and craft.

TE writes: "We may even find when we have finally hashed this entire issue out that what it was really over was something of a crossroads and perhaps a rift between the oncoming "championship" style golf and golf architecture definitely spawned in and led by America and American architects and the old world recreational amateur golf abroad and the courses over there that type of golf was played on---most all of which preceded American golf and architecture by quite a bit of time."

And I wonder, has the rift been bridged yet, even 80 years later? Has the schism been healed? Can it EVER be? Why do I care? Because it just strikes me as magical the thought that I can play on/participate in the highest expression of an artist's art.

Peter

Adam Clayman

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #64 on: November 19, 2007, 10:38:33 PM »
Bob Crosby, It's definitely very cool of you to do all of this research on a subject that clearly has had such a significant impact, not only on the fields but on the definition of what constitutes a great player.

It's this layman's opinion, it's the maintenance regime that has become expected on Championship courses does not hold up as well to the whims of nature, being completely reliant on the hand of man, to make those championship tests acceptable to everyone. (player, viewer etc) One need not look further than Shinney's 04' open to see the dichotomy in the arguments for whether that was a fitting Championship. (Thank You Mark Michaud)
 
As eluded to earlier, mysteries are another difference.

We'll see if any of that makes sense before giving the Tartan boys more laughs.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

JESII

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #65 on: November 20, 2007, 07:57:08 AM »

And I wonder, has the rift been bridged yet, even 80 years later? Has the schism been healed? Can it EVER be? Why do I care? Because it just strikes me as magical the thought that I can play on/participate in the highest expression of an artist's art.

Peter

I don't think so...look at the venom aimed at Augusta National. The root of it all is a disagreement in how to "modify" a course for Championship play.

The powers that be will never settle for a newly manufactured Championship course designed for the express purpose of hosting major championships because they need you and I to relate to the course and to want to go play the course, or join the club...that's the rub with golf...unlike all of the other professional sports, we can touch and feel exactly what it's all about.

TEPaul

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #66 on: November 20, 2007, 09:42:33 AM »
Peter P said:

"JES
I liked how you phrased it in post #57, i.e. "Isn't that still the greatest challenge an architect faces...creating a course that challenges the top player and appeals to the rest?"

I'm thinking that IS the greatest challenge, and pulling it off maybe the highest expression of the architect's art and craft.

TE writes: "We may even find when we have finally hashed this entire issue out that what it was really over was something of a crossroads and perhaps a rift between the oncoming "championship" style golf and golf architecture definitely spawned in and led by America and American architects and the old world recreational amateur golf abroad and the courses over there that type of golf was played on---most all of which preceded American golf and architecture by quite a bit of time."

And I wonder, has the rift been bridged yet, even 80 years later? Has the schism been healed? Can it EVER be? Why do I care? Because it just strikes me as magical the thought that I can play on/participate in the highest expression of an artist's art."


Peter:

I'm thinking of posting what both Behr and Bobby Jones said on that score that seems to indicate what they felt was happening in the late 1920s and had already happened with American architecture and American golf compared to say TOC and we can all decide where we think golf and architecture went from there. In other words, if there really was a rift and a crossroads at that time in their opinions. And using that we can discuss where and in which direction things went in the ensuing 80 years from where they may've felt things should have gone.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 06:07:51 PM by TEPaul »

TEPaul

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #67 on: November 20, 2007, 06:17:08 PM »
Peter Pallotta said:

"JES
I liked how you phrased it in post #57, i.e. "Isn't that still the greatest challenge an architect faces...creating a course that challenges the top player and appeals to the rest?"
I'm thinking that IS the greatest challenge, and pulling it off maybe the highest expression of the architect's art and craft."

Peter and Sully:

That may be the greatest challenge an architect faces and it may be the highest expression of the architect's art and craft.

Donald Ross alluded to that fact. He said as much. Bobby Jones seemed to say as much too, and he certainly said that as he conceived of and created ANGC. His words are there for us to see.

Again, Bob Crosby has been delving into the details of this debate between Crane and the others but I know Bob and I know he's always known ANGC extremely well, particularly the original course and apparently in the back of his mind is the fact that the original intent of ANGC may've been wholly misunderstood in what-all its design was attempting to accomplish which just may've been to deal with that 'greatest' architectural challenge you mentioned---eg to challenge the best and accomodate the enjoyment of the rest, somewhat the way he believed TOC did.

What we need to completely understand is all the design techniques he was trying to use in Georgia to do that.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 06:21:58 PM by TEPaul »

Peter Pallotta

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #68 on: November 20, 2007, 10:00:32 PM »
TE - thanks.

Re Augusta, I don't know about the design techniques, but just to your point about the relationship to TOC, this is from a long article (the only one I have) by Mackenzie describing the ideal golf course he and Bob Jones were building.

"In setting about the task of creating the Augusta National Golf Club course, Mr. Robert T. Jones, Jr. and I have shot at the mark of trying to create the ideal inland course. To accomplish such an aim, one must obviously be equipped with a thorough knowledge of the art of golf course design and be supplied with material with which there is at least a reasonable possibility of attaining that lofty goal....

(Then, after praising Bob Jones' contributions and outlining in general what he'd like Augusta to be, he continues:)

"..Now to get back to our golf course. Doubt may be expressed as to the possibility of making a course pleasurable to everyone, but it may be pointed out that the "Old Course"
at St. Andrews, Scotland, which Bob likes best of all, very nearly approaches this ideal."

Then a little later, here's an interesting tidbit, and it mentions Max Behr too!:

"...It is usually the best holes that are condemned most vehemently by those who fail to solve their strategy. Bob Jones realizes this so strongly that when asked his opinion about the design of Augusta National, he said that the course would differ so markedly from others, that many of the members at first would have unpleasant things to say  about the architects. A few years ago I would have agreed with Bob, but today, owing to his own teaching, the work and writings of C. B. Macdonald, Max Behr, Robert Hunter, and others, Americans appreciate real strategic golf to a greater extent than even in Scotland, the Home of Golf...."

One last neat thing: each hole at Augusta that Mackenzie describes lists two yardages:the "Regular Distance" and the "Championship"...for example, on the then first hole, those were 395 and 420.

Peter

Adam Clayman

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #69 on: November 21, 2007, 05:35:42 PM »
In hindsight, it is the Championship road travelled that has significantly raised all the costs associated with playing/building the modern game. From conditioning, land acquistions to the time involved to partcipate. The warnings intertwined in the Behr school, were prophetic.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

JESII

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #70 on: November 21, 2007, 05:41:38 PM »
Adam,

I would agree with the position that using Championship Golf as the model for all of this has been a mistake, but if you are blaming anything other than those of us that have used Championship Golf as the model for the current state of conditioning, land acquisition costs and time our paths diverge...

Why should a club that will never host a tournament of that nature strive for comparable specifications? 100 years later it's a bigger issue now than ever...

Adam Clayman

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #71 on: November 21, 2007, 08:01:29 PM »
Sully, The Champ course implies to me a need for a softer canvas. Certainly at green end. Would you agree with that?

Pristine conditioning expectations, as we all know, is set at the foot of the Augusta syndrome, color television and a mindset which has evolved from the wrong road travelled.

Another major factor in all of this has to do with score. Recent accounts of members wanting their course to 'hold up to the pros', speaks to the egos of those who aren't even playing in the competition.

How about sub air systems? More costs. The list goes on and on and it doesn't take Carnak to realize that if the word of the Behr school had been heeded, the Golf industry would have a completely different landscape today. Probably better sportsmen, too.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

JESII

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #72 on: November 21, 2007, 10:34:29 PM »
Apologies on the front end for the Mucci treatment, but you make a few points that I would like to address individually...





Sully, The Champ course implies to me a need for a softer canvas. Certainly at green end. Would you agree with that?


No...look at the courses major championships are played on...not until very very recently has the notion of flattening greens entered the equation and my opinion is that #5 and 12 and 15 at Merion would not need to be flattened if they would choose firmness over greenness...
[/color]


Pristine conditioning expectations, as we all know, is set at the foot of the Augusta syndrome, color television and a mindset which has evolved from the wrong road travelled.

Another major factor in all of this has to do with score. Recent accounts of members wanting their course to 'hold up to the pros', speaks to the egos of those who aren't even playing in the competition.


Agree 100%...that is who I blame in most of the issues you will have with losing track of Behr's ideas...
[/color]



How about sub air systems? More costs. The list goes on and on and it doesn't take Carnak to realize that if the word of the Behr school had been heeded, the Golf industry would have a completely different landscape today. Probably better sportsmen, too.


I disagree with the notion of giving one person full reign in setting a course of action...I also refuse to let anyone predict IN HINDSIGHT what the best course would have been.
[/color]



We agree almost universally...almost...
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 10:34:55 PM by JES II »

Sean_A

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Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #73 on: November 22, 2007, 03:45:24 AM »
This is an interesting debate.  However, I am very skeptical if these writings actually influenced (or failed to influence) the architecture of post WWII.  Do folks really think RTJ and D Wilson read these articles and made conscious decisions to do something else?  It could be true, but my guess is that in hindsight, things seem to fall into place quite neatly for the sake of historians.  Like Tommy Mac's theory of Arts & Crafts, what is missing are any crucial pieces of evidence which actually link The Great Debate to future design.  As such, I am not convinced that this debate clearly had a significant impact on design.  This doesn't mean the discussion isn't interesting though.

I believe the changes we have seen are as much due to maintenance practices and raised expectations as much if not more than architecture.  Look at how much time this board talks about fairway widths which in turn brings in the ideas of centreline bunkers and rough.  To me, these are areas where maintenance practices is the culprit.  I think in much later years, the 70 & 80s probably, it became more common to actually narrow fairway corridors (not just the fairways) because there was no need to clear land that was out of play - afterall, the fairways were only going to be 30-35 yards wide.  IMO, this is when the trouble in River City started because its a real shift in  architecture theory and one not easily solved once a course is up and running.  Go up to places like Treetops and you will get the drift.  We are today starting to realize and ironically its due to agronomic reasons (which the ODG were very aware of btw), why large groupings of trees should not be too close to the playing areas of a golf course. Could it be that many people reducing fairway corridors thought that there was an agronomic solution to this potential problem.  Meaning, somebody will come up with a way to grow grass in these situations.  I don't know if this was the case, but its certainly an American mentality to think that technological/scientific advances will solve the problems of today.  

That these tree removal programs are able to be sold to memberships brings us back to players these days having higher maintenance expectations.  All this talk of opening angles etc is not an issue for nearly every player I encounter - they don't care, but they do care about smooth greens and lush fairways.  If you can show a golfer that trees are interfering with these goals then they will agree to bringing out the chainsaw.    

Architecture certainly changed in the RTJ era, but only to the extent of presenting more extreme shot situations on a golf course.  These sorts of shots always existed, but RTJ decided to place more emphasis on heroic type shots and actually go out of his way to build holes which made the player make definite decisions rather than offering hole after hole of oblique options..  I don't see this debate as black (Crane the villain) and white (Behr the hero) difference, merely emphasis placed differently.  They are both talking about shades of the same thing and both  sides should be accepted as essential concepts to make the game better and funner (I like this non-word).  

Ciao  
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 03:48:36 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

TEPaul

Re:Joshua Crane gets Madů
« Reply #74 on: November 22, 2007, 09:24:09 AM »
"This is an interesting debate.  However, I am very skeptical if these writings actually influenced (or failed to influence) the architecture of post WWII.  Do folks really think RTJ and D Wilson read these articles and made conscious decisions to do something else?  It could be true, but my guess is that in hindsight, things seem to fall into place quite neatly for the sake of historians.  Like Tommy Mac's theory of Arts & Crafts, what is missing are any crucial pieces of evidence which actually link The Great Debate to future design.  As such, I am not convinced that this debate clearly had a significant impact on design.  This doesn't mean the discussion isn't interesting though."

Sean:

When you look at this debate we on here are calling the "Crane vs Behr/Mackenzie et al" debate or even the "Penal vs Strategic" debate, I think you need to put the entire gist of it into historical perspective, both back then and in the "Modern Age".

One also needs to recognize that it was Behr who did the vast majority of the writing for one side and that Crane probably did the vast majority of writing for the other side but neither one were the exclusive writers on either side.

Certainly Bobby Jones did some of the best articulating for the Behr side, but others such as Tillinghast may've actually written for the Crane side and apparently previous to Crane's articulated theories and mathematical formulae for testing the quality of architecture. Tillinghast, for instance, may've promoted Crane's side and even previous to Crane with his architectural ideas that were referred to as "modern" architecture which was largely synonymous with what would also be referred to as "scientific" architecture.

But we should recognize that even in Behr and Jones's mind Crane did not invent the style of architecture that Behr, Mackenzie and Jones et al were writing against.

That style had been happening, particularly in America, and quite a while before Crane came along and started to write about his theories.

Behr referred to the entire mentality as "the game mind of man". Crane simply began to articulate, and later, that mentailty and to expand on it via the use of his own mathematical forumlae for testing the quality of architecture. Behr did not call it "The game mind of Crane", and for good reason.

What did Behr mean by "the game mind of man"?

He explained what he meant by that in some detail. He meant the increased use of standardizations through increased rough, greater definition including fairways, scientific bunker placement, the desire to minimize luck and randomness etc. Behr also wrote against the tendency of the Rules of Golf to create these kinds of severe definitions and standardizations.

This was not something that was occuring in America just because of the proposals of Crane. These were things that were happening because of what Behr mentioned were the inherent "game mind of man" to accomplish all of the foregoing and more. And these things were happening before Crane came along as can be seen by some of what Jones said.

The idea promoted by Behr's theory of "the game mind of man" (similar to Crane's philosophy) was to minimize all things that did not have to do with the physical skill of human opponents and competitors. Behr thought, and worried that the direction was towards the ultimate standardizations of something like tennis or a tennis court which he said was OK in tennis and games like that where the entire structure of the contest was with a single ball vied for by human opponents.

But the same is just not so in golf and it never can be. And that's why he felt golf and its architecture needed to maintain its natural randomness, luck, and almost complete lack of any kind of architectural standardization.

I doubt even Behr would've said, had he seen golf in the modern age era, that it simply followed Crane's suggestions. I think he would've said it followed the inherent "game mind of man"---the very thing he and the likes of Mackenzie, Jones et al were warning about and concerned about, and even previous to Crane.

Crane to the likes and Behr et al just became the one who articulated that "game mind of man" philosophy and probably articulated it best and that very much concerned them.



« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 09:32:57 AM by TEPaul »

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