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Kenbrook

Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« on: April 17, 2003, 09:28:19 AM »
Several Seth Raynor designed courses have in recent years been altered by Cornish, Silva, and Mungeam, with Brian Silva the chief operative. Included are Fox Chapel in Pittsburgh, Mountain Lake in Lake Wales, FL,, Everglades in Palm Beach, Lookout Mt, GA, and St. Louis CC., or so I have read. ::)
I'd like to know what "restoring" the original designs means. I read that Raynor used cross bunkering, but some of the restorations include huge, absolutely rectangular traps with typically two foot high, vertical lips in front so you can't hit the ball any distance, and in back so it's hard to step in. Also, there are some new fairway traps which unnecessarily complicate driving.
I know only two of these reworks first hand, Fox Chapel and Mt. Lake, and at both places they are quite controversial. What I would like to know is more about Raynor's original designs, as I'm slightly suspicious that Silva's firm is putting its own ideas into place rather than returning to Raynor's. I just don't see how an eight foot high vertical bank at the front of a greenside trap would, over the years, morph into a five foot high slope from which one could play a shot, and therefor need "restoring" to the more draconian version.
Any thoughts or sources on this? Or experiences at other Raynor courses? Thanks
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

GeoffreyC

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2003, 10:04:00 AM »
Kenbrook

First order of business would be for you to order a copy of "The Evanglist of Golf" by George Bahto. If you like Raynors work and want to learn more about it this is a must read. I hope George will get on line and answer your question as well.

There is a huge amout of photographic evidence from construction as well as aerials of many of Raynors courses. These are invaluable tools for restoration. In addition, digging out old bunkers can reveal their original boundaries and depth. It was very common to eliminate bunkers and make them much shallower all in the name of fairness or maintenance. Don't be at all surprised that a 9 foot deep bunker (original) was subsequently raised to a 5 foot deep one. It happened all the time and in fact as an example only a few years ago the short hole at Yale had the bunkers (originally 12 feet deep) made 5 feet shallower by Roger Rulewich during his "restoration/butchering".

I have only seen the photos of Mountain Lake and Fox Chapel after Brian Silva restored them. I would not at all doubt that the increased difficulty of the bunkers is a faithful representation of how they were built by Raynor. I agree with you that they have a much more artificial and linear look then any original old photos I've seen of Raynors work. They almost look like a caricature of the style. George Bahto has been restoring the bunkers at Essex County CC and they follow his motto "deep and steep". They look great and perhaps he'll post a few for you. In addition to George, Tom Doak has done some really well received restorations of Raynors work. See the course profiles done by Ran for some pictures and comments. My only additional suggestion is to never let Roger Rulewich near a Raynor course!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:04 PM by -1 »

John_D._Bernhardt

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2003, 11:00:43 AM »
Ron Forse is restoring a Raynor course in New Orleans called Metairie CC as we speak.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike_Cirba

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2003, 11:33:58 AM »
Kenbrook;

Geoffrey put you onto some GREAT sources in his reply!

However, what I'd like to ask you is what you mean by "there are some new fairway traps which unnecessarily complicate driving"?  

I would think that the purpose of fairway bunkering is by definition to complicate driving.  Could you explain why these do so "unnecessarily"?  

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

JohnV

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2003, 12:31:38 PM »
I played Fox Chapel for the first time this past Monday and I don't think that there were any fairway bunkers that "unnecessarily" complicated the driving.  I don't remember even seeing any true cross bunkers, although there are a couple that stuck out into the fairway a bit.  If you get in a bunker, you are challenged to get out without giving up a lot of distance.  The greenside bunkers are very deep in places and definitely require skill to escape from.

All in all, it is an absolutely wonderful course that is ranked too low by Golfweek at #73 in the classical list and especially by Golf Digest which has it #20 in the state of Pennsylvania.

It has some of the best greens I've seen anywhere, especially in that they are incredibly interesting older greens without being over the top at today's green speeds.

The four classic par 3s are all very well done, with the Redan (#6) being a reverse one that has a huge lip to the left that kicks the ball across the green towards the hole and an even bigger bunker behind the lip for one who just over does it.

#3 which is the Eden has the steepest green on the course with the Strath bunker being terrifying.  The bunkers behind and left leave you with very little chance to get the ball anywhere but the bottom of the green.

#11 is an very good Short, although the bunkers might want to be a little deeper.  The green has lots of interesting undulation to it.

#17 is the best Biarritz I've seen (yes Geoff, better than Yale's).  A huge green at 231 yards with two nasty bunkers on the sides.  And a perfect spot in the round.

The only holes that weren't outstanding to me were the Alps which seemed to need larger mounding in front, but also added the opportunity to play over a fairway bunker to get an open shot at the green and the 14th which has OB all down the right and a fairly narrow fairway that used to be wider from the pictures I saw.  While there isn't much else about it that is special, the green is very good with a narrow neck up front.

There is a wonderful short Punchbowl par 5 and another shortish but good Plateau one.  The final par 5 is a 580 yard beast with a creek down the right off the tee and crossing to mess with all but the longest hitters on the second.  The green is one of most interesting on the course with a middle hole location being as tough as it gets.

All in all, Fox Chapel is definitely the second best course in the Pittsburgh area according to those who know and probably is more fun for the average player than Oakmont.  I don't know exactly how faithful Silva's restoration was, but it looked pretty good from the aerials I saw around the clubhouse.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Kenbrook

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2003, 09:30:50 AM »
Thanks so much for all the replies - can't believe how much you all know! I'll start by following Geoffrey's advice and look for "The Evangelist of Golf". Such an interesting comment, too, about how traps might have been shallowed over the years. Mike's comment about my complaint over fairway bunkering is fair. I should probably have said that some bunkers "unfairly" complicate driving. At #13 at Mountain Lake, for example, there are three large bunkers across the fairway. From the men's tee a 220 yard carry gets you over and in good shape, but from the forward or women's tees there is just no place to drive it unless they can hit a 180 yard fade. And I don't see the need for steep banks in fairway traps - a player ought to have a chance to advance the ball with something other than a wedge, I think, penalizing him maybe a half shot rather than a full one.
I'm so glad John V liked Fox Chapel, my home course from 1949 to 1963. I agree it's the second best in an area full of worthy courses. I'd say the cross bunkers there are not very intrusive (at say, #2 and #7), and you can hit away from them.
I'm off to the bookstore.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

TEPaul

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2003, 12:53:54 PM »
Kenbrook:

Firstly, let me be the first to congratulate you for not being in the slightest bit defensive when a few of our regular contributors seemed to mildly take you to task for mentioning---"Also, there are some new fairway traps which unnecessarily complicate driving."

As I'm sure you can now tell we have a number of purist architectural analysts on here who believe that "complicating" tee shots and other shots merely makes any golfer think more and consequently makes the game more interesting, fun and thoughtful. And they're unquestionably right about that. In that sense "complicating" things might be looked at as good, better or best in a "strategic" sense which many of us think of as sort of the elemental essence of good golf and good golf architecture.

But perhaps they failed to see that you said 'unnecessarily complicate driving'. And assuming "unnecessarily" is exactly what you meant, your follow up example of #13 Mountain Lake for ladies is not a bad example at all. Apparently a number of the lady members there feel the bunkering on that hole leaves them no real place to hit their drive, even a good one.

I was down there last weekend and spent a lot of time on that hole looking at the bunker placements. I didn't look at it only from the ladies perspective but I would sort of doubt that it really is an 180 yard carry over the left portion of those fairway carry bunkers from the ladies tees. But even if it isn't I know what you mean as the ladies probably feel if they hit the drive somewhat left over the lefthand portion of those carry bunkers they run too much of a risk of having their ball end up in the leftside fairway bunker farther out!

First of all one of the interesting things about that tee shot after Brian Silva's restoration isn't really that there isn't room to drive the ball with that bunkering only that it looks that way from the tees. From the black tees (tips) it appears there's almost no fairway area out there at all because its well hidden by the fairway carry bunkering as well as the left-side fairway bunkering farther out that combined creates a very interesting "stacked" look. All that I'd only call good visual deception on Brian's part and something that any golfer should figure out after playing the restored course once. (I did ask my playing partners where to hit the tee shot because I certainly couldn't see the fairway either).

But that's from the tip tees and they're quite a bit to the left of the line of the ladies tees.  If the hole's fairway bunkering really isn't working well for the ladies though, I'd recommend that be corrected by repositioning the ladies tees and not the fairway bunkering.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

TEPaul

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2003, 02:00:00 PM »
Kenbrook:

Your other question was whether or not Brian Silva did a real exact Raynor restoration at either Mountain Lake or Fox Chapel. I looked at some of the old aerials of Fox Chapel after playing the course last fall but I wasn't really paying attention as to how exactly Brian restored everything.

But I can say that the way the course plays now after the restoration is a good deal more interesting and probably demanding than the course used to play maybe 10-12 years ago in a state amateur. Some of the bunkering appears deeper (higher vertical faces etc) than it probably ever had, even originally. The kicker on the reverse redan was never quite so steep or severe as it now is, for instance.

I did pay closer attention to that at Mountain Lake though and he didn't exactly restore as to some bunker placements and shapes and a few of the greens. I was talking to George Bahto about how squared off all the corners are on much of the bunkering at Mountain Lake and George said he's not aware that Raynor ever did those types of super squared edges and neither am I. Some early Mountain Lake aerials and onground photos reveal that the fairway bunkering particularly didn't really even have those vertical front faces. It can be seen that the some of the fairway bunkering actually had a bit of "laciness" to the grass/sand juxtaposition.

But having said all that I was really impressed how well Mountain Lake and Fox Chapel play after the Silva work--restoration or interpretive restoration or whatever anyone wants to call it. There're a couple of things that need tweaking after the restoration at Mountain Lake and I believe the membership and probably Brian are aware of that.

I've seen a number of Silva restorations now including those two and also Gulf Stream in Delray (Ross) and I've got to say that all of them play much better, much more interesting and challenging then they did before. Basically Brian has put a lot of really good and meaningful strategy into some of these restorations.

He does that by really getting some of the bunkering eating well into the fairway areas (or expanding the fairways back out to them) and reestablishing lines of play which creates some terrific right/left-left/right strategic balance and strategic meaning. Some of the green-side bunkering (and other architectural features) has some of the best "diagonal" orientation for approach shots I've ever seen--particularly including #3, #5, #8, #11 #17.

Bunkering really is supposed to have some meaning in its ability to make any player "potentially" pay a price and since no one today is able to make the sand surfaces "iffy" Brian has basically accomplished the same overall effect by creating that "iffiness" architecturally. If you get into the wrong places in some of those bunkers you'll have lots of problems and will have to think or compromise your way out of it so as to not compound mistakes and dropped shots. But the first order of business with really good strategic architecture is to encourage any player to begin to become aware of and understand certain consequences before they happen!

This whole "formulaic" idea that architecture is supposed to be such that any golfer only needs to pay a particular portion of a shot (whether a half shot penalty or a quarter shot or 3/16 of a shot or whatever) is really not much more than verbal smoke anyway.

Some of the old guys who said things like that including automatic heroic recovery potential from bunkering such as JH Taylor or Ross didn't really mean it, I'm sure. All that had to have been way too formulaic for them to actually apply to all their architecure everywhere and they probably only said things like that and wrote it to keep the pain-in-the-ass critics at bey---because they sure didn't do what they said or wrote all the time.

I don't think any of them wanted to do things that were unfair exactly but they DID expect any golfer to assess things for himself or herself and if something really did look too dangerous for a certain golfer the only real idea wasn't to make it more fair architecturally but to avoid it at all costs while playing the game. That in essence is what strategy is all about--strategy is supposed to be the golfer's own--not always that which is formulaicly supplied to him or dictated to him or her by an architect!

One of the most entrenched enemies of really good and interesting architecture, Ken, is comprehensive formulaics in architecture where once the idea gets into architecture it naturally and ultimately begins to devolve down to the lowest common denominator---and ultimately that's not good.

Just like long ago any golfer today needs to only take more personal responsibilty for what they do and most importantly don't do that's right for their own game and their own score and their own consequences!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:04 PM by -1 »

bill_k

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2003, 04:13:07 PM »
TEPAUL,

   As someone who is excited about golf architure but not as knowledgable as many of the people who frequent this board I have a question similar to that posted by kenbrook. I actually started a thread on the topic but either no one saw it or no one had any info. My question is, could some "restorations" be more accurately described as "reinterpretations"? I ask this because I played The Everglades Club for the first time several weeks ago and was impressed with what had been done on what is a tiny and otherwise uninspiring piece of land. However, there are several features of the present layout that do not match an aerial photo taken in the late 70's-such as the redan 4th now being over water and the length and changed par on a handful of holes such as the first, which went from a short par 4 to a long par 5. It just appeared to me that a great deal had changed since the renovation (such as water coming into play on a hole that had not been within 1000 yrds of water in the old aerial). Does anyone have any thoughts? By the way, I thoght it was a neat course with a great many interesting strategic options.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

TEPaul

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2003, 04:51:37 PM »
bill k:

I can't answer your questions about The Everglades course, how it evolved architecturally or what Brian Silva did there recently. It's been literally decades since I played that course.

But the entire subject of what are the differences and distinctions between restorations, rennovations, reinterpretations, redesigns, improvements or whatever anyone calls some of the things that architects do to older courses is one that's very hard to define.

There're some on here who apparently think any course of any respected architect should not be changed ever and if it has been it should be exactly restored to what it originally was.

While I can understand that sentiment in theory I can't buy into it in fact. There's simply far too much that needs to be known about a ton of things before anyone can make a proper decision on that kind of thing.

For some to call for the restoration of some architecture may be overlooking the fact of why it may have been altered in the first place. What if it originally didn't work well? If that was true and can be documented and proven what then would be the point of restoring something that may have had problems or even been a mistake? Would you be doing it only because the architect is now so famous? I can't buy that.

But I do make certain exceptions for certain courses whose architecture has clearly--clearly stood the test of time and perhaps become famous and respected architecture because of that.

I think architecture like that should be left alone and stay unaltered as much as possible. Basically it's proven itself and so why change it---even if someone may appear to make the case successfully that it could be even better?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike_Sweeney

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2003, 06:21:48 PM »
I had the pleasure of playing at Essex County Country Club in New Jersey last week. Very classic under the radar course. Par 71 which plays a long 6904 from the back. Very tough course especially in last week rain and thick rough. It is a Charles Banks course where George Bahto is in the middle of restoring/reinterpreting or at least re-digging the bunkers. I missed George that day, but he is still putting in about a dozen strategic tee bunkers that were never put in. They will go in this fall.

Here is the 8th Green and bunker:



9th hole: George put back in the front bunker on 9 as original and expanded the front of the green by about 15'.



11th hole: Well known hole, Par 3 202 yards



16th green - a double plateau green, I think.



18th hole - Personally reminds me of Narrows the 15th at NGLA.


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

Mike_Cirba

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2003, 06:38:29 PM »
George likes his bunkers "deep and steep" and that's pretty evident from the pictures.  My understanding is his rule of thumb is to dig until the temperature begins to rise precipitously due to proximity to the earth's molten core.  ;)

From the pics, it looks as though Essex is going to be much-improved when all is said and done.  I particularly like what he did to restore the 9th, where the bunkers had been considerably softened into little placid ovals by our favorite "restoration" architect whose name cannot be mentioned here without this degenerating into a 5,000 post thread.  ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Lester George

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2003, 10:43:02 AM »

Kenbrook,

I'm currently restoring The Old White Course at the Greenbrier (Macdonald/Raynor) and I can say that many of the holes will be "restored" to their original strategies and characteristics which have been lost over the years.  Soon I will be posting pictures of the the greens I have completed, 9(punchbowl), 15(Eden), 16(cape).  

I am using a 1930's vintage aerial photographs and other photographic evidence to justify my changes and also to demonstrate that the golf course was much harder in 1922 than today.  It takes serious research and attention to detail to incorporate today's requirements with yesterday's designs.  Although I have not seen Brian's work on Raynor Course,  my guess is that he's upholding tradition while making outstanding improvements.  He's very well respected amoung his peers.

I'll keep you posted of my progress.

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

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2003, 06:26:52 PM »
Kenbrook,

Had the fortune to play Fox Chapel last week and felt that Brian's work there was up to Seth's standards. Of course it's been a while since I've spoke with Seth, but this was my conclusion.

Without very accurate LIDAR or mapping it is impossible to "restore" (truly) any golf course. In 1920/30/40/50/60/70/80/90s we did not have such technology and all of the detailed photographs in the world, no matter what angle or scale, will not yield a true picture able to be immulated that can attain "restoration" status. It is a figment of one's imagination to think we can "restore" golf courses accurately to anythign but an opinion of what might have been very likely possible and probably.

The best bet is to engage someone as thoughtful as Brian and allow his creativity to transcend the original designer's. When the chemistry between the dead and the living is right, magic will happen. I felt this at Fox Chapel. And, the sandwiches were good, too.

I was very amused by the discussion on the recent "abortion" of the Road Hole Bunker...some saying it "must be restored!". Restored to what? My God, the damn think was never a green in the first place, let alone a bunker. Do we "restore" it to 1257, 1390, 1457, 1700, 1879...or when?

Golf the very spirit of the game and its playing board is at odds with the notion of restoration. This game is not supposed to stay the same. The men and women who create the fields of golf should be continually tinkering yes, occasionally injecting, fixing, disturbing, testing, ruining, fiddling, bettering, improving, screwing up, and transforming what was to what is.

Restoration at least literally is the least interesting and least rational of all golf's undertakings.


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
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Mike_Cirba

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2003, 06:31:49 PM »
Forrest;

It would be great if all of that "tinkering" over the years had a track record of "continuous improvement".

Unfortunately, much of it seems to have been more of a "ruining" nature, particularly between 1950 and 1990.

Would you agree, and if so, why do you think that is?

Isn't the current "restoration" movement simply a reactionary dynamic created by the mass realization that many courses have not been improved over time, or since their original design?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:05 PM by -1 »

GeoffreyC

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2003, 06:39:38 PM »
Forrest

I wish you would explain the following statement "Restoration at least literally is the least interesting and least rational of all golf's undertakings."

I'm not sure I understand you here but its entirely rational to me. You make every effort possible to recreate the playing characteristics, strategies and look of a golf course during a chosen time frame.

I may be entirely wrong and I'm certainly willing to be educated but detailed aerial photographs, construction and post-construction photographs from ground level and archeological type digging to detail bunker boundaries and depths seem possible in many cases.  I know it would have been possible at Yale.  This along with very old time members with memories of long altered features could be a great help.

It seems to me that this is possible.  It also seems to me that your statement "The best bet is to engage someone as thoughtful as Brian and allow his creativity to transcend the original designer's." is dangerous to say the least and not restoration at all but sensitive renovation. That's fine when the details I mentioned above are NOT available but unwise (in my opinion) when the documentation is there.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

ForkaB

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2003, 02:05:33 AM »
Why, again, is "sensitive renovation" "dangerous" and "restoration" somehow holy, if we have old aerials or whatever to base it on?  Is "our" goal to have better golf courses or better museums?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

T_MacWood

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2003, 03:34:52 AM »
Forrest is being honest when he says: "Restoration at least literally is the least interesting and least rational of all golf's undertakings."

If you are an architect your natural tendency is to design...even when you are in a 'restoration' mode. It is irrational for a designer or architect to subjugate his design abilitiies, his confidence in those abilities and his ego for someone who has been dead for decades. As a result you find many architects saying "well if 'so and so' had been alive this is what I believe he would have done" or "I will finish the work that 'so and so' was never able to complete."

I don't doubt Joe Lee and Robert Von Hagge honestly believed their creativity was transcending Ross at Scioto. The same with William Mitchell at Timber Point or George Fazio at Bel-Air. We have numerous examples of "chemistry between the dead and the living."

If you have a special course lets hope you recongize it and have done everything to protect and preserve it. And if you have made changes in the past...changes that you now look upon as ill advised...it may be best to do that work in house. Most architects don't have the time, desire or skill to do the research - better to find someone in-house like TE Paul. And the majority of courses would benefit most from cutting down trees and an expanding the playing surfaces...I'm not sure you need an architect for that.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:05 PM by -1 »

TEPaul

Re: Seth Raynor "Restoring"
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2003, 03:49:05 AM »
Rich asked;

"Why, again, is "sensitive renovation" "dangerous" and "restoration" somehow holy, if we have old aerials or whatever to base it on?  Is "our" goal to have better golf courses or better museums?"

Rich:

If one looks in the dictionary and considers what the differences are between "renovation" and "restoration" they aren't much really so if the exact definitions are used there shouldn't be much of a difference in a golf architectural sense. However, those terms get blurred in practice and certainly get blurred from project to project as to what happens in their names.

If you're implying that a "sensitive renovation" is somehow different from a restoration and that a "sensitive renovation" is somehow an improvement of a golf course from how it ever has been I'm not sure how you figure old aerials and such can be much of a blueprint. How can old aerials show an architect how to do something that never was?

The reason some say a "renovation" is more dangerous than an exact "restoration" is generally because some just don't trust those who are doing the "renovation" to do the right thing by the golf course and make an improvement on it. In this sense "renovations" are considered more interpretive than an exact restoration. Golf architectural purists tend not to trust architectural "interpretation."

However, even in restorations there's a good deal to consider. For instance, it's not uncommon on some courses that the reason a course was changed in the first place was for valid reasons. There're no architects who never made a mistake as far as I know.

But what's a mistake? In my book, it's something that just wasn't working well for a particular membership over time. And over time is a very important fact to consider, in my opinion! If the lack of utility and validity of architecture can be determined over time, and it certainly can, I can't imagine a more valid reason for change and a better benchmark not to repeat or restore something.

However, that's not always the reason for changing architecture. Arbitrary changes have of course been made all over the world to architecture and that generally should not be considered a good thing on really good architecture.

So if the reasons for change once upon a time or why changes are being considered now can be accurately determined (valid reasons vs arbitrary reaosns) that's the starting point to make an intelligent decision to restore, renovate or redesign.

It really isn't much more complex than that. Purists simply don't trust those that make decisions and many of those that do archtiectural work to do the right thing--and in many cases for good reason. So in that sense exact "restoration" is generally a safer way to go.

But can most golf holes be improved somehow? Of course they can. It's the how of the somehow where contention arises. And one really should consider how golf has changed in this overall question. Keeping "design intent" and "strategic intent" relevant given technology and the changes in the game over time is tricky business--and it very often takes a certain amount of architectural interpretation on the ground. That's what I'm sure Forrest Richardson is saying and it certainly is what restoration architects such as Ron Prichard and Brian Silva have said.

But on the other hand should some architecture be considered a 'museum', as you said? I think so. Some architecture such as NGLA or Merion sort of deserves to be protected that way, within reason. Some architecture, depending on its use, really has passed the test of time and should be left alone. Of course it has to be considered how and how well it really has passed that test of time.

Just because a Tiger Woods shows up and plays a course somewhat differently than the thousands of golfers that play it daily is not a good reason to even consider change, but sometimes it is by the thoughtless. And it gets even more ludicrous than that. Some even make changes simply considering what a Tiger might do if he showed up although of course he never will.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

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