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TEPaul

Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #50 on: September 21, 2009, 06:33:03 PM »
"Quote
George, when it comes to golf course architecture, one can embrace the "big world theory" advocated by Tom Paul, and still make judgements about what courses you like, and what courses you don't. At the same time, I guess you're proposing that there are enough rules and regs about what constitutes good architecture that one can confidently say that some courses are bad and some are good, without adding an "imho" at the end.

This "big world theory" is a crock.   It is an agreement to disagree, and generally cuts off all meaningful and relevant conversation.  There isn't room in golf design for everything.  Some courses are bad for golf design and bad for golf, whether they evoke positive visceral reactions or not.   But I don't think George is proposing "one set of rules and regs" at all, but he does seem to be suggesting that we ought to be concerned with certain standards or bases or principles that ought to play a role in our analysis.   These don't have to be shared by everyone and I would hope they wouldn't be, as these ought to be what our discussions are about.    

What I don't get is that some people around here don't really seem to give a damn beyond their visceral likes and dislikes.    That is well and good and the way most people operate, but WHY ARE YOU HERE?  Certainly not to actually discuss golf course design."





The "Big World Theory" is definitely not a crock even though I admit I think a pretty good number of people are not exactly aware of what it means.

I coigned the term "The Big World Theory" but I definitely did not invent the theory itself. That came to me (over time) from Bill Coore, and fairly recently I actually asked him about the theory again just to be sure and to confirm that I really had gotten his ideas about it right in the beginning. He said I had.

The quickest way to misunderstand what "The Big World Theory" means is to assume that it means that all types and styles or even architectural principles can somehow be contained into one single golf course. Clearly that would be a virtual impossibility if one carefully considers what "The Big World Theory" actually does mean (at least to Bill Coore and me) which is merely that golf course architecture to be and to remain a viable and vibrant ART FORM, that art form really does need a pretty wide spectrum of what-all is offered and provided across the board and around the world. Obviously the reason for that is people across the board have vastly different tastes and opinions and perhaps requirements of what they would like to see in a golf course.

This means if their tastes and requirements are vastly different from mine or from yours then there will be something out there in that wide spectrum ("The Big World Theory") for them just as there will be something very different for us and our particular tastes and opinions and requirements.

Bill Coore is the first to admit there is plenty out there in the world of golf course architecture that he doesn't personally like (and so do I) but he is certainly a big enough thinker and enough of a realist to admit it should be out there if there are people who like it.

The opposite of "The Big World Theory" and probably the opposite of Bill Coore or me are these people who try to argue that the entire spectrum of golf course architecture should be narrower and limited to perhaps a particular type and style or even set of principles----eg that set of principles and type and style of golf course architecture THEY LIKE!

To me that is both narrow minded and probably something more than a little bit selfish or self-centered too.

No, "The Big World Theory" is no crock, but I'm willing to give the person who said it's a crock the benefit of the doubt that perhaps heretofore he just didn't understand what the theory is suppose to be and is suppose to mean. But if he did heretofore completely understand what it is supposed to be and mean, then the thing I feel is the real crock is him! Because if he continues to think and propose that only what HE LIKES is all that should be done or should exist and that what others like that he doesn't like or agree with should not be done, I believe all he is really doing is trying to forfend (in the archaic meaning) the real and true beliefs and opinions of other people!

That is why the colloquial explanation of "The Big World Theory" has always been; "Golf and golf course architecture is a great big thing and there is plenty of room in it for everyone."  (even though and again, clearly the entire spectrum could never possibly be done or offered in some single golf course)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 06:40:21 PM by TEPaul »

TEPaul

Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2009, 06:48:38 PM »
"What I don't get is that some people around here don't really seem to give a damn beyond their visceral likes and dislikes.    That is well and good and the way most people operate, but WHY ARE YOU HERE?  Certainly not to actually discuss golf course design."




Why are we here and what should we say and discuss on here? In my opinion, we should simply articulate and discuss what we like and don't like and why we like what we like, and perhaps why we don't like what we don't like and just leave it at that!  ;)

If we just do that everyone should be able to learn something from any of us (even if they may not agree with it or with us or any one of us may not agree with them).

Ultimately, what we should all learn, at least in my opinion, and apparently in Coore's ("The Big World Theory"), is that with a sport that is constructed as golf's is and with an Art Form like golf course architecture, the spectrum of type, style and perhaps even principles should be quite wide to remain both viable and vibrant both now and into the future!


C.B. Macdonald said:

"It would seem that in this striving after "novelty and innovation" many builders of golf courses believe they are elevating the game. But what a sad contemplation."

I will admit that in my own PERSONAL preference in golf course architecture he may've been right but that does not mean to me what he said above is right for everyone, and since it probably isn't I feel that remark of his should never been construed in such a way that someone would argue to forfend in golf course architecture what some consider to be novelty and innovation!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 07:02:49 PM by TEPaul »

TEPaul

Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2009, 07:08:30 PM »
"Anything less, though, and it's essentially a subjective free for all,"


Peter:

What is wrong with a subjective free for all if those articulating their subjective opinions are articulate about them? Does someone or anyone on here really believe this website is supposed to come to some general consensus of opinion on everything or even anything to do with golf course architecture? If that is what some on here believe, perhaps any or all of them should explain why they believe that!

DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #53 on: September 22, 2009, 01:25:17 AM »
Kalen,  

I've read your posts on this thread, and while I can't quite put my finger on it I think eventually I might be able to figure out who you are talking about.

In the meantime I wonder if what you are doing not is just another version of what George is talking about?   Rather than critically considering the points raised in this conversation or past conversations you are instead making all sorts of blanket claims about some hypothetical person (I wonder who?) doing all sorts of horrible things, and obviously you aren't doing so for the purposes of advancing the conversation but to argue that this hypothetical person has nothing to offer..   After all, it is not as if you have or can offer any sort of factual support for your claims, so you are just throwing them out there, unsupported and unsupportable, expecting others simply to accept your word without challenge.  There is no real place for a critical discussion to go from there.

I pity the poor fool you are ridiculing.  He doesn't even have a chance to counter your ridicule.  Plus, I've read many of these threads, and I have a feeling that your claims are not even close to accurate.  I wonder if he'd be pissed off if he knew you were dissing him without even giving him a chance to respond?      

Is this the sort of thing what you consider productive in a conversation?  If so then perhaps this hypothetical asshole has a point. 
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 01:27:29 AM by DMoriarty »
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

TEPaul

Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #54 on: September 22, 2009, 09:35:53 AM »
"George,

Perhaps you could provide specific examples of where one was shouted down for asking questions.  This is not to say this hasn't happened, but in my experience it usually follows this pattern or something related:

1)  Person A posts pics of something or makes a comments about a hole or course or whatever.
2)  Person B asks a question.
3)  Person A answers question.
4)  Person B asks a follow-up question and either directly or in-directly implies that the initial answer wasn't good enough.
5)  Person A then re-answers question and attempts to explain answer more completly.
6)  Person B once again is not satisified with answer and continues to Badger Person A for a "better answer".
7)  Person A then goes on the defensive and suggests person B needs to play the course or see it for themselves so they could better understand the answer.
8 ) Person B then accuses Person A of dodging the question and continues to berate Person A
9)  Person A then discontinues conversation.
10)  Person B continues the attack on Person A and accuses Person A of not wanting to have "real dialogue" or something similar.

IMO, in this particular scenario when someone gets shouted down, its often because Person B is not interested in a getting a real answer but they have an agenda and resort to using whatever trick they can to claim A is not "engaged in having real conversation"."





Kalen:

Your above looks like a pretty fine multiple iteration of the kind of scenarios on here that a lot of us have been guilty of in the past. However, you forgot to add the last part of these kinds of scenarios (even though it has now been added by someone else) that generally involve some on here trying to figure out who exactly you are referring to and even claiming that you are implicitly identifying someone who they claim you are calling as asshole even if you did not identify anyone or even refer to anyone as an asshole (but maybe you did---I can't bother to go back through this thread to check that part out).  ;)

Not to even mention these kinds of things can and do eventually devolve down to some degree of an argument about what does and what does not constitute a conversation or a discussion or at least a "productive" one.    ::)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 09:40:17 AM by TEPaul »

Peter Pallotta

Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #55 on: September 22, 2009, 09:54:24 AM »
TomE -

the term "subjective free for all" sounds negative, but I didn't mean it to. I could see this topic was being addressed with more and more qualifiers and 'subsets', and all I meant to say was that, unless we agree (and are able) to stick absolutely to a discussion of how a course manifests strategic and shot-testing principles, we might as well accept and embrace that what we're discussing is our like and dislikes and preferences and "what ifs" -- all fine, in my books, from all points of view (whether deemed 'authoratative' or not).  

Something I wrote on Jim Engh's thread relates here too. I wrote that a good present-day architect is essentially transmuting for the modern game the principles of golf design orginally found in the great British courses, much like Pete Dye did when he re-fashioned the classic playing angles and risk-reward equations and shot-testing for the big-money, television game of professional golf at Sawgrass.  And If THAT is what a golf course architect is trying to do in a new design, I think the only 'objective' critique (and discussion) is in terms of whether or not the goal was accomplished.  Subjective and aesthetic tastes and judgments and preferences certainly have their place, but not I don't think in the context of deciding whether an architect has done his/her job properly and skillfully.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 09:59:19 AM by Peter Pallotta »

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #56 on: September 22, 2009, 10:06:42 AM »

Kalen:

Your above looks like a pretty fine multiple iteration of the kind of scenarios on here that a lot of us have been guilty of in the past. However, you forgot to add the last part of these kinds of scenarios (even though it has now been added by someone else) that generally involve some on here trying to figure out who exactly you are referring to and even claiming that you are implicitly identifying someone who they claim you are calling as asshole even if you did not identify anyone or even refer to anyone as an asshole (but maybe you did---I can't bother to go back through this thread to check that part out).  ;)

Not to even mention these kinds of things can and do eventually devolve down to some degree of an argument about what does and what does not constitute a conversation or a discussion or at least a "productive" one.    ::)

Tom P,

I agree whole-heartedly with your last statement and indeed most of us have been guilty of at one point or another of relaying too strong of an opinion about a course that we never played.

I guess if some feel singled out, then perhaps they are just feeling a little insecure about themselves and thier tactics!  ;)

TEPaul

Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #57 on: September 22, 2009, 10:10:06 AM »
"Something I wrote on Jim Engh's thread relates here too. I wrote that a good present-day architect is essentially transmuting for the modern game the principles of golf design orginally found in the great British courses, much like Pete Dye did when he re-fashioned the classic playing angles and risk-reward equations and shot-testing for the big-money, television game of professional golf at Sawgrass.  And If THAT is what a golf course architect is trying to do in a new design, I think the only 'objective' critique (and discussion) is in terms of whether or not the goal was accomplished.  Subjective and aesthetic tastes and judgments and preferences certainly have their place, but not I don't think in the context of deciding whether an architect has done his/her job properly and skillfully."


PeterP:

That is a very well articulated point or example to follow, I think!

It is a lot better than just saying something like: "A good conversation or discussion should provide some FACTUAL SUPPORT."

What you just said there is a good example of providing some factual support to have a conversation or discussion about golf course architecture.

Jim_Kennedy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #58 on: September 22, 2009, 10:34:50 AM »
Subjective and aesthetic tastes and judgments and preferences certainly have their place, but not I don't think in the context of deciding whether an architect has done his/her job properly and skillfully.

Peter,
Determining if an architect did a proper and skillful job is either tethered to 'subjective and aesthethic' thought or else it's just a construction project.

"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #59 on: September 22, 2009, 10:59:59 AM »
Subjective and aesthetic tastes and judgments and preferences certainly have their place, but not I don't think in the context of deciding whether an architect has done his/her job properly and skillfully.

Peter,
Determining if an architect did a proper and skillful job is either tethered to 'subjective and aesthethic' thought or else it's just a construction project.



Jim

I disagree, and this is where Huckster was always spot on.  Very few of us know what the archie's remit, goals, budget and restraints were/are.  Without this sort of intimate detail it is impossible to make a judgement on the architect.  We can always look at the work and decide if we like it or not and offer good reasons, but that is a far cry from taking an archie to task - at least that was always my take - criticize the course, but not the archie (well, not too much)unless who have loads of info about projects.  Hopefully, the archies on this site get this not so subtle difference between the needs and ambitions of the users and the needs and ambitions of the designer. 

Ciao 
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Peter Pallotta

Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #60 on: September 22, 2009, 11:05:23 AM »
Jim - a pithy line, and maybe true, but I'm not so sure.  I'm all about the natural experience on a golf course, and greatly admire the skill (and CHOICE) of some architects to hide the hand of man. But I do see it as a partly a choice. And my point was that, if the architect who makes a choice not to hide his hand still manages to create a field of play that provides strategic interest and challenge, far be it for me to say he hasn't accomplished his goal, or that the golf course in question is somehow not viable, or worthwhile, or that it's somehow lacking (objectively speaking).  Take TPC Sawgrass - I happen to think that it's an excellent golf course, but if I play it once that would be enough for me (and if I never play TPC that would be fine too).  Even though I don't particularly want to walk its fairways, I think it's a 'construction project' that succeeds. And so too do the construction projects that we know of as Pine Valley, and The Quarry, and Muirfield Village, and NGLA, and Harbour Town and Old Macdonald and The Mines etc etc.   

Peter

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #61 on: September 22, 2009, 11:10:06 AM »
Interesting thoughts, and roundabout restraint from some. :)

George

I am not really sure what this thread is about other than you would like folks to offer more opinions backed with substance.

Sean, I'm not really sure either. It really is just born of an observation: I think as people essentially lower the bar for debate, they somehow lose the ability to make good judgments. I kinda hate myself for that observation, as it is horribly condescending in many ways, a trait I abhor.

Your cart usage question is an interesting one. My hunch is that the old excuse of "everyone uses carts" is a crutch for shortcuts in design and anyone designing assuming cart usage most likely does miss an integral part of the game, but then again, I'm big on walking, so maybe I just can't see the other side of the argument.
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

Jim_Kennedy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #62 on: September 22, 2009, 11:17:43 AM »
Sean,
I think you have to read all of Peter's original post to get a better understanding of what I am saying.


TomE -

the term "subjective free for all" sounds negative, but I didn't mean it to. I could see this topic was being addressed with more and more qualifiers and 'subsets', and all I meant to say was that, unless we agree (and are able) to stick absolutely to a discussion of how a course manifests strategic and shot-testing principles, we might as well accept and embrace that what we're discussing is our like and dislikes and preferences and "what ifs" -- all fine, in my books, from all points of view (whether deemed 'authoratative' or not). 

Something I wrote on Jim Engh's thread relates here too. I wrote that a good present-day architect is essentially transmuting for the modern game the principles of golf design orginally found in the great British courses, much like Pete Dye did when he re-fashioned the classic playing angles and risk-reward equations and shot-testing for the big-money, television game of professional golf at Sawgrass.  And If THAT is what a golf course architect is trying to do in a new design, I think the only 'objective' critique (and discussion) is in terms of whether or not the goal was accomplished.  Subjective and aesthetic tastes and judgments and preferences certainly have their place, but not I don't think in the context of deciding whether an architect has done his/her job properly and skillfully.

If Peter's method is followed then GCA is reduced to the scientific.
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #63 on: September 22, 2009, 11:30:51 AM »
Sean,
I think you have to read all of Peter's original post to get a better understanding of what I am saying.


TomE -

the term "subjective free for all" sounds negative, but I didn't mean it to. I could see this topic was being addressed with more and more qualifiers and 'subsets', and all I meant to say was that, unless we agree (and are able) to stick absolutely to a discussion of how a course manifests strategic and shot-testing principles, we might as well accept and embrace that what we're discussing is our like and dislikes and preferences and "what ifs" -- all fine, in my books, from all points of view (whether deemed 'authoratative' or not). 

Something I wrote on Jim Engh's thread relates here too. I wrote that a good present-day architect is essentially transmuting for the modern game the principles of golf design orginally found in the great British courses, much like Pete Dye did when he re-fashioned the classic playing angles and risk-reward equations and shot-testing for the big-money, television game of professional golf at Sawgrass.  And If THAT is what a golf course architect is trying to do in a new design, I think the only 'objective' critique (and discussion) is in terms of whether or not the goal was accomplished.  Subjective and aesthetic tastes and judgments and preferences certainly have their place, but not I don't think in the context of deciding whether an architect has done his/her job properly and skillfully.

If Peter's method is followed then GCA is reduced to the scientific.

Jim

I must not be understanding what you are saying.  I don't see why looking at project goals and outcomes is scientific.  Furthermore, that doesn't mean one can't criticize a course regardless of the goals, only that the archie isn't necessarily the reason(s) why the course isn't what you or me think it should be.  Perhaps even, we may think that the project is hopeless as a course because of the terrain, but that doesn't mean the archie wasn't successful.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Jim_Kennedy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #64 on: September 22, 2009, 11:35:24 AM »
we may think that the project is hopeless as a course because of the terrain, but that doesn't mean the archie wasn't successful.

You just proved my point, thank you.  ;D
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Peter Pallotta

Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #65 on: September 22, 2009, 11:43:28 AM »
Jim - if you knew me, you'd know how funny it is to suggest I'd have anything to do with anything 'scientific.'  I can't even think straight, let alone scientifically. I failed math three times in highschool!  But still, I think my post #60 gets closer to what I'm trying to say than the post you quoted -- and I'll add that, you know, maybe you're right, i.e. maybe I am proposing a more 'scientific' approach so as to counterbalance what I think may be the current in-balance heavily in favour of the 'art'.   
Peter

DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #66 on: September 22, 2009, 11:55:37 AM »
I guess if some feel singled out, then perhaps they are just feeling a little insecure about themselves and thier tactics!  ;)

Kalen, I can't speak for your highly fictionalized anonymous antagonist or his/her tactics, by I do find your tactics interesting, given the gist of the thread.    What you are doing seems to be just another example of what George was talking about in his original post.   I guess your railing against fictional foes might make you feel good, but I am having trouble understanding what purpose it serves other than that.     It certainly does nothing to advance the conversation.
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Use your judgment...or lose it?
« Reply #67 on: September 22, 2009, 12:05:32 PM »
...
I guess if some feel singled out, then perhaps they are just feeling a little insecure about themselves and thier tactics!  ;)

Hey Kalen,

What's that? An ad hominem attack?
 ;)
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

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