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Peter Pallotta

« on: May 07, 2010, 08:45:15 PM »
Just a word. Probably means different things to different people. And in terms of discussions about golf course design/architecture it's probably a dead end word -- i.e. it would be hard for the discussion not to become one about purity vs practicality, niche tastes vs mass market. But it's a word I've been thinking about in the last little while, and it's a good word -- for me -- to apply to a range of courses I think I would like very much. (I see I think because, with one exception, I have only seen them in pictures).  But Walton Health and Pennard and Garden City and Lehigh and Crystal Downs and Prairie Dunes and Ballyneal -- lots of different architects behind those, some different looks and setting...but they all seem to me to be modest courses: in conception, in execution, in expectations.   Something at the core of those courses (and several others, obviously) is modest...even if the designers were not (ha, ha).  I think it's because at the core, the primary intention was to create a field of being the key word, with field close behind.  It was about playing golf, having a walk with friends, being challenged and delighted in simple, modest -- dare I say, humble -- ways. 
Anyway, just thinking out loud.


Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Modesty
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 09:03:15 PM »
Dare. Dare.

Do humility and modesty go hand in hand?

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


  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Modesty
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 09:06:20 PM »
Thanks Peter,  I have been thinkiing all week how to describe a course I played on the weekend and 'modest' is perfect.

It is not a course in the league of the ones you mentioned but it perfectly fits.  The course does not try hard to be unique, have character or stand out.  It just nicely executes sound architectural principles on every hole.  
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Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Modesty
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 09:20:07 PM »
So now we're applying animate features to inanimate objects?  What comes next, hyperbole, doggerel and anaphora?  Go here ( and have a blast applying terms common in literary criticism to golf course architecture.
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Peter Pallotta

Re: Modesty
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 09:09:01 AM »
Adam - I think so, but not necessarily. Modest intentions can sometimes be just modest intentions.

David - Thanks, that was a very good description. Yes, I named courses that are well known, but my experience is more like yours. The course I have in mind is my 9 hole home course, the Guelph Country Club - laid out around 1912 (by Mr. Anonymous, though some of the old timers think it was Stanley Thompson) on rolling land. Most don't seem to pay it much attention, so modest it seems - but there are wonderful holes/shots there throughout, and nary a fairway bunker on the whole course.  It doesn't try hard to be anything but a fine place to play golf.



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