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Mike Cirba

Your Own 31 Flavors
« on: May 27, 2010, 01:06:30 PM »
In the Confidential Guide, Tom Doak lists his "31 Flavors", a grouping of courses where he'd take a novice to show them particularly distinctive elements of golf course architecture exemplified by each, with no one architect represented more than once.

Mike Hendren and I were having an offline discussion about Engineers, and I mentioned to him that if I had a personal "31 Flavors", Engineers would surely be on mine because of the sweepingly bold green contours that tie into the hole strategies so well, and somewhat ironically, so subtly.

In that regard, does anyone have personal nominations for courses they'd place on their own list of "31 Flavors", and why?

I think to make it more interesting, I'd not only be looking to exemplify "great" architecture, but also courses you'd want to show to someone to help their architectural education, for better or worse.   

Bill_McBride

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 01:32:33 PM »
Pebble Beach for its incredibly bold figure 8 routing to get all those holes along the cliffs in both directions.

Michael Huber

Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 01:59:15 PM »
I've never played Garden City, and honestly I don't know much about it other than what I read on this site, but that course, at least to me, seems like it reprents good architecture, interesting holes, and playability without a lot lot of bells and whistles.

Sticking with the philadelphia vein, I'd have to pick Pinecrest GC in Lansdale.  Why?  Considering how much housing is on the course, it really is routed quite well.  Houses are in play on almost every hole, and the course is pretty bland, but if I was to show someone how to route a golf course through a bunch of mcmansions and townhomes, I'd use that course. 

Mike Cirba

Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010, 02:04:42 PM »
Michael,

I think Garden City is a great pick, and i'd pick it for the use of "at grade" greens that seem built just as extensions of the fairway.

I'd also pick it as a course that's challenging to all skill levels, but one where you'd have to try to lose a ball, and resists the idea of long forced carries over irrecoverable hazards.

Dan Herrmann

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 02:14:53 PM »
I'd put Delaware Park muni - Buffalo, NY in the list.  This may be one of the worst courses in the USA.

To me, it's very important to see how NOT to design a golf course as it is to see greatness.

Michael Wharton-Palmer

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2010, 04:12:44 PM »
Being as Garden City has already recieved a nomination.....
Cypress Point to simply show the genius of Mackenzie and his illusional brilliance with the bunkering and also the simplicity of design at Western Gailes.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2010, 05:15:26 PM »
Garden City is a great pick ... which must be why I included it in my book.

My original list represented 31 different architects, for maximum variety and minimum accusations of bias.  I'm sure there would have been more than one MacKenzie course on the list if I hadn't chosen that limitation.  Actually, these are the 31 flavors from the ORIGINAL Confidential Guide, where I wasn't so politically correct [and when I hadn't played quite as many courses]:

The Addington, Ballybunion, Casa de Campo, Cruden Bay, Crystal Downs, Cypress Point, Royal Dornoch, High Pointe, Lahinch, Long Cove, Machrihanish, Royal Melbourne, Merion, Muirfield, National, Newcastle (Royal Co. Down), North Berwick, Pennard, Pine Valley, Royal Portrush, Prairie Dunes, Riviera, Rye, St. Andrews, St. Enodoc, San Francisco, Sandwich (Royal St. George's), Swinley Forest, Westward Ho!, Whitinsville/Royal Worlington & Newmarket, and Woodhall Spa.  Those not in the later book are in bold.

I have also toyed with doing a new 31 flavors if I ever updated the book.  I doubt I could find 31 more architects whose work I would want to feature, but among the candidates from architects not previously featured would be De Pan, El Saler, Harrison Hills, Maidstone, Myopia Hunt, Tobacco Road, and yes, Mike, Engineers.

TEPaul

Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2010, 05:49:23 PM »
"I think to make it more interesting, I'd not only be looking to exemplify "great" architecture, but also courses you'd want to show to someone to help their architectural education, for better or worse."


Mike:

If I were to do something like that I believe I would do it in chronological order of the courses picked. In that way it would probably help that someone understand the evolution of architecture better. If I did it for America I would start with what I think is the first really good architecture in America that is still there pretty much as it began and that would be Myopia in Boston. Even the architect of that course is a pretty unique case study for a number of interesting reasons and despite the protestations to the contrary by one on here noted now for his odd architect attribution contentions I can guarantee you it was Herbert Leeds and not Willie Campbell Jr.  ;) 

George Pazin

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2010, 05:49:32 PM »
I have also toyed with doing a new 31 flavors if I ever updated the book.  I doubt I could find 31 more architects whose work I would want to feature, but among the candidates from architects not previously featured would be De Pan, El Saler, Harrison Hills, Maidstone, Myopia Hunt, Tobacco Road, and yes, Mike, Engineers.

And, of course, Oakmont.

Would love to have seen writeups on Melbourne, Lahinch, Sandwich and Swinley Forest. Guess I'll have to steal Barney's copy of the original.

 :)

Who's Merion credited to? ;D
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 05:53:14 PM by George Pazin »
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

Peter Pallotta

Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2010, 06:09:03 PM »
Mike - interesting. Tom D's post made me think of how much things have changed since he first published those 31 flavours years ago, i.e. would it be too much to say there's been an explosion of new information/sources/discussions about the great courses since then? Maybe it's time for a list -- what it would be called I don't know, say 'The Hollywood 10" in honour of the writers/directors who were blacklisted and forgotten about long befoe the more famous McCarthy era  -- comprised solely of "5s", i.e. little known courses, so-called average courses, from which a man of modest means and equally modest wants/needs could derive a lifetime of playing pleasure and interest and challenge and fun.

Peter
PS - And i just reminded myself again, and as you can probably intuit, that I continue to be a disaster when it comes to marketing know-how and savvy. Such a list as the one I describe would have a potential audience of, well, zilch.

Sean_A

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2010, 07:02:30 PM »
Mike - interesting. Tom D's post made me think of how much things have changed since he first published those 31 flavours years ago, i.e. would it be too much to say there's been an explosion of new information/sources/discussions about the great courses since then? Maybe it's time for a list -- what it would be called I don't know, say 'The Hollywood 10" in honour of the writers/directors who were blacklisted and forgotten about long befoe the more famous McCarthy era  -- comprised solely of "5s", i.e. little known courses, so-called average courses, from which a man of modest means and equally modest wants/needs could derive a lifetime of playing pleasure and interest and challenge and fun.

Peter
PS - And i just reminded myself again, and as you can probably intuit, that I continue to be a disaster when it comes to marketing know-how and savvy. Such a list as the one I describe would have a potential audience of, well, zilch.

Pietro

This sort of list isn't about an audience. 

Much as I love Pennard and Brora, I agree with Tom's choice of ST ENODOC for Braid. 

Most would opt for West Sussex for Hutchison, but I would most definitely go for KINGTON.  The London area is chocker block with West Sussex's (even if Pulborough is an exceptional example).  Kington is unique and that isn't because of it being bunkerless.  I am not sure where that leaves me with Woodhall Spa.

I understand Tom's choice of Westward Ho! for Fowler, but I think it is one of the singular most over-rated courses.  I think it essentially comes down to the rushes.  They are certainly a unique feature, but I don't care for their penal nature.  So my Fowler pick would have to be BEAU DESERT.

Not sure how we dole this stuff out and I think Tom was very liberal with his design attributions, but my T Dunn has to be WOKING. The course is famous for a bunker, but its the greens which stand out as unusual for London and the time it was built.  Its a bit of a cop-out calling Dunn the archie so I will give it a triple bill and chuck in Paton & Low as well. 

Colt is a tough one to nail down.  I want to say Rye, but one can't honestly call Rye a Colt course.  The back-up has to be ROYAL PORTRUSH.  There are very few championship courses with such great variety of design. 

Park Jr with HUNTERCOMBE.  This axes the better course - Notts, but man is Huntercombe cool.   

Wilson is a no-brainer with MERION.

I am gonna buck the trend for Hackett and choose ENNISCRONE even if Steel has a co-credit.

I like UofM golf course an awful lot, but OLD TOWN has the hills and the cool greens - thats Maxwell down.

ROYAL DORNOCH is a no-brainer for the Old Tom/Sutherland/Duncan trio.  The only problem is I lose out on Prestwick - can't name em' all.

It may be a bit of a scam, but NORTH BERWICK by D Strath/Campbell (you see there was a a good reason for not choosing West Sussex) seems an obvious choice.

I spose ADDINGTON is the obvious choice for Aber.

I reckon if I am gonna name Simpson for a design it may as well be BALLYBUNION.

I don't think much of Old Tom exists at LAHINCH so thats my shout for Dr Mac/Gibson/Burke.

I have no idea who designed TENBY, but Tom states CK Cotton - thats good enough.  I would be a shame to not get Tenby and Brora on the list. 

ROYAL ST GEORGES may be the best Open course so it gets a nod.  How much L Purves remains - I don't know. 

I spose TOC takes the mother nature category. 

That leaves 14 slots.  These I would fill with the courses I want to see most from various archies.  Maybe I will figure this out tomorrow.

Ciao






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

Tom_Doak

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2010, 07:21:07 PM »
Sean:

That's a very good list you made.  I'm on the road to Alzheimer's so I can't remember right now who did New Zealand, but I was surprised it didn't turn up in your list.

I would have credited Woking to Paton and Low ... don't know if T Dunn would have made my list.  Still haven't seen Huntercombe, but I would be pleasantly surprised if I liked it more than Maidstone, for Willie Park.  [I have not been to Notts since 1982, though I remember thinking it was extremely good.]   I gave Rye to Sir Guy, and vacillated for Colt ... the first version of the book had Swinley Forest [on the great man's own recommendation], but I swtiched to St. George's Hill for the color edition, thinking Swinley was just inaccessible to readers.  And I had to cancel Lahinch and Royal Melbourne and Cypress Point in favor of Crystal Downs -- not that it's better than Cypress, but it's just as good, and much less well documented.

George:

Someday, I'll actually play Oakmont, and then maybe I will put it on my list.




Mac Plumart

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2010, 07:39:00 PM »
Great thread and great food for thought...

I am thinking of blowing this out and making it more verbose for an article on my site...but here are my 31 Flavors as of right now.  I am imagining a once in a life-time whirlwind tour of the world playing the courses one after the other in succession.  It'll never happen, but I can dream.

Chronological list of the 31 Flavors of Golf Course Architectural Education…

The Old Course—the home of golf.  Pure Links land.  Rumored to be played on since the 1400’s.  You’ve got to start here.

Royal County Down—Timeless gem, build in 1899.  Seems to break all the rules of contemporary golf course architecture thoughts, yet still is a beloved course.
 
Sunningdale Old—One of the first great non-links courses.  A heathland gem.

National Golf Links Of America—A watershed moment in American golf course architecture.

Oakmont—ultimate in penal architecture.

Pine Valley—a course that has stood the test of time and seems to be perinneally ranked as the worlds best course.

Banff—great golf course in the Canadian mountains.

Pebble Beach—epic golf course.  Continuous fixture as a PGA Tour course.

Cypress Point—perhaps the most beautiful golf course in the world.

Royal Portrush—stern test of golf build on rugged territory by one of the all-time great architects.

Crystal Downs—some of the world’s best greens

Hirono---Great architecture in the land of the rising sun.

Augusta National---very important golf course architecturally, as well as for the professional golfers, and has a tie to the greatest amateur of all-time.

Bethpage Black---great course built via US Government funding during the Depression.  People wait all night to get a tee time for a game that takes 6 hours.  It has hosted the US Open multiple times and has a sign the warns that only the best of golfer should even try this course.

Desert Forest---the first great desert golf course.

Peachtree Golf Club—RTJ hits the scene.

Spyglass Hill---more RTJ the first celebrity/signature architect

The Golf Club---Dye’s counter to RTJ maximalistic architecture

Harbour Town---Dye breaks through in a big way and Nicklaus gets his feet wet.  Narrow, well routed course, teeny-tiny greens.
 Annual PGA Tour event held there.

Muirfield Village---Nicklaus’ masterpiece.  Pure PGA Tour type of golf course.

Kiawah Ocean—rated the hardest golf course in the US by Golf Digest.  Dye hits the beach.

TPC Sawgrass—Over the top Dye course that host the Players Championship.  17th green is world famous (or is that infamous).  Perhaps the beginning of extreme golf.

Black Diamond Ranch—Quarry---Unique/extreme golf continues in a rock quarry.  Also a high quality neighborhood golf course.

Tobacco Road—Extreme golf at its most extreme.

Sand Hills---Extreme golf subsides and minimalism begins to return to center stage.

Longshadow---minimalism continues.  This course shows that good golf can be had at very affordable prices.

Oitavos Dunes---Great golf in Portugal.  You’ve got to go.

Cape Kidnappers---Great golf hits New Zealand.

Inverness---Great example of a great course with obvious “touch ups” by other architects.

Old MacDonald---not only does minimalism continue regarding the look of the course, but this shows that brand new golf courses can still go back to the old classics.

Askernish---coming full circle.
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2010, 07:42:36 PM »
Yes, thanks Sean. And if it's a list you want, then mine will be a list of one - called The Banana and Limone Gelato (that's two flavours but in the same cup) - and I'll pick Notts. All the architectural education any sane man actually needs, it seems to me.
Pietro

TEPaul

Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2010, 10:03:57 PM »
"I'm on the road to Alzheimer's....."


TomD:

That's the remarkably pretty little town in the Bavarian Alps, isn't it? I'm quite surprised you were able to get an Internet connection.

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2010, 01:00:53 AM »
Sean:

That's a very good list you made.  I'm on the road to Alzheimer's so I can't remember right now who did New Zealand, but I was surprised it didn't turn up in your list.


Mure Fergusson /  Simpson



Wow Sean,  Tenby moves up several places in my “How do I get there?” list.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2010, 02:12:10 AM »
Sean:

That's a very good list you made.  I'm on the road to Alzheimer's so I can't remember right now who did New Zealand, but I was surprised it didn't turn up in your list.

I would have credited Woking to Paton and Low ... don't know if T Dunn would have made my list.  Still haven't seen Huntercombe, but I would be pleasantly surprised if I liked it more than Maidstone, for Willie Park.  [I have not been to Notts since 1982, though I remember thinking it was extremely good.]   I gave Rye to Sir Guy, and vacillated for Colt ... the first version of the book had Swinley Forest [on the great man's own recommendation], but I swtiched to St. George's Hill for the color edition, thinking Swinley was just inaccessible to readers.  And I had to cancel Lahinch and Royal Melbourne and Cypress Point in favor of Crystal Downs -- not that it's better than Cypress, but it's just as good, and much less well documented.

George:

Someday, I'll actually play Oakmont, and then maybe I will put it on my list.





Tom

I think I am a bit more harsh with the attributions!  You are sliding courses thru doors which if they exist at all, are sliding doors - tee hee. 

I like Notts a lot and I do think it is better than Huntercombe, but Huntercombe is a one off.  I never played Maidstone, but I can't see knocking Huntercombe off the list for the sake of a maybe. 

I was tempted by New Zealand and could still use it for Ferguson, but I have to take a view first of the American/expat archies. 

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

James Boon

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2010, 04:33:43 AM »
Sean:

That's a very good list you made.  I'm on the road to Alzheimer's so I can't remember right now who did New Zealand, but I was surprised it didn't turn up in your list.

I would have credited Woking to Paton and Low ... don't know if T Dunn would have made my list.  Still haven't seen Huntercombe, but I would be pleasantly surprised if I liked it more than Maidstone, for Willie Park.  [I have not been to Notts since 1982, though I remember thinking it was extremely good.]   I gave Rye to Sir Guy, and vacillated for Colt ... the first version of the book had Swinley Forest [on the great man's own recommendation], but I swtiched to St. George's Hill for the color edition, thinking Swinley was just inaccessible to readers.  And I had to cancel Lahinch and Royal Melbourne and Cypress Point in favor of Crystal Downs -- not that it's better than Cypress, but it's just as good, and much less well documented.

George:

Someday, I'll actually play Oakmont, and then maybe I will put it on my list.





Tom

I think I am a bit more harsh with the attributions!  You are sliding courses thru doors which if they exist at all, are sliding doors - tee hee. 

I like Notts a lot and I do think it is better than Huntercombe, but Huntercombe is a one off.  I never played Maidstone, but I can't see knocking Huntercombe off the list for the sake of a maybe. 

I was tempted by New Zealand and could still use it for Ferguson, but I have to take a view first of the American/expat archies. 

Ciao

Sean,

Why not have Huntercombe as your Park Jnr. course and then have Notts as a Tommy Williamson course? The length of time he was at the club and the work he did in that period, these days I tend to think of it more as one of his, but then we could start getting into the old who gets the credit argument, which is as we all know another story.

Also agree with you on Beau Desert for Fowler. Westward Ho! is a course very much worth playing for the experience, but the flat holes and the rushes leave it falling short in my book.

But Brora gets the nod as the James Braid course for me!

Cheers,

James
2023 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Aberdovey, Royal St Davids, Woodhall Spa, Broadstone, Parkstone, Cleeve, Painswick, Minchinhampton, Hoylake

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Chris_Clouser

Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2010, 10:27:34 AM »
Tom Doak,

I'm surprised by your mention of Harrison Hills if you were to include a Langford/Moreau course.  What is it about the original nine holes that put it that high in your mind among their work?

I like the original holes so I'm not criticizing the choice.  I'm just curious why it rates that high with you.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Chris Clouser

Tom_Doak

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2010, 12:09:43 PM »
Chris:

Harrison Hills holds a special place for me because it was a completely accidental discovery.  I'd never heard of it, and was just driving through Attica on the way to Evansville when I looked over and saw the mounds on #8 and the green on #9 and said "Holy cow!  What's that?"  And it's a great representative of what a small farm-town nine-hole course could be.

I really haven't seen a lot of other Langford / Moreau courses to put up against it.  I've seen Lawsonia, but it was only one time many years ago, and what I remember of it was not as arresting as Harrison Hills.

CJ Carder

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2010, 11:03:22 PM »
Two words I haven't seen anywhere in this thread yet.....  Shinnecock and Raynor.


Kevin Pallier

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2010, 11:29:32 PM »
I would have RM (Composite) close to the top of my list - with the seemless integration of the best of two courses - moulded into one.

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2010, 12:13:09 AM »
Well, that's a tremendous undertaking...how do you break down architectural features or, to paraphrase a Gijon tourism DVD, what is the flavour of an architectural feature?

Dan Herrman, you love Delaware that much?  I do, too.  Is it the back-to-back par threes (13 and 14) where you play over an enormous tree to the first, then beneath a corridor of additional trees to the second?  Is it the three holes hidden across Ring Road?  Is it the baseball diamonds and soccer fields that come into play?  Is it the trumpeting elephants, the roaring lions, the sleeping gnus at the Buffalo Zoo, a half-wedge away?  Or is it all of this magic, emanating from one, twisted wand?

Back to the theme...I'd personally begin my list of flavor-flaves with terrain.  How best to build a mountain/grassland/heathland/seaside dunes/inland dunes/parkland/jungle/cliffside course.  That would be 7 courses.  I'd pick them based solely on terrain and eliminate them from additional/repeat consideration.  Next, I'd look at tee decks.  I know that they are understated and undervalued, but you can muck up a course without proper genesis (much like you muck up a swing with a bad grip.)  After tee decks come fairways, fairway bunkers, greens, greenside bunkers, bringing us to 15...this is harder than I imagined. 

Off we go to grasses and other vegetation.  Use of a variety of grasses to enhance playability of the course...northern california sinsemilla/rye/bent/bermuda/poa annua/kikuyu and at least three more that I don't yet know.  Now we are 23, only 8 to go.  At this juncture, I veer off toward distance, striving to find a short course that plays long and a long course that plays short.  25 and 6...what to consider next?

At this fork in the road, I conclude mightily by naming six heretofore undesignated courses from each of the golfing continents...North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.  These wild cards allow me to craft a list that only this mother could love.
Coming in August 2023
~Manakiki
~OSU Scarlet
~OSU Grey
~NCR South
~Springfield
~Columbus
~Lake Forest (OH)
~Sleepy Hollow (OH)

Tim Gavrich

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Re: Your Own 31 Flavors
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2010, 09:14:37 PM »
Let me put in a plug for the Cascades.  The greens and surrounds (with one exception: the 14th) seem glued to the ground, with very little artifice.  Fantastic place.
Senior Writer, GolfPass

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