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George Pazin

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2010, 03:32:52 PM »
Terrific piece, Mike, thanks for the link.

I don't know if I fit either of the categories, I'd say it depends too much on "how" for either category. How's that for a non-answer? :)
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

Tim Pitner

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2010, 03:41:09 PM »
Dr. MacKenzie wrote [sorry, I have to paraphrase here] that the best golf architecture is that which provides the greatest enjoyment for the greatest number of players.  I think that's a very good way of looking at it, but that is not the standard which most people use.

That sounds like utilitarianism.  Research topic--what influence did Bentham and Mill have on MacKenzie?  I'd wager Paul and MacWood could argue about that ad nauseum. 

Carl Rogers

Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2010, 04:27:43 PM »
Ivan,

The analogy I would make for this web site is similar to the experience in eating at a cafeteria.  Read and look at it all, but ultimately make up your own mind.  Some here are less iconoclastic and more flexibly minded than others.

You may have to do some destination golf, before any of this becomes possible for you.  Read books.  Multiple past threads reference a long reading list.

Look at Geoff Shackelford's web site.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 04:35:11 PM by Carl Rogers »

George Pazin

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2010, 04:31:18 PM »
Kind of cool to think of the opportunity that exists in Russia - so much land, so few courses. With the right people, you could populate the country with an amazingly high level of basic golf (and I mean in quality, not glitz or cost).
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

Colin Macqueen

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2010, 04:34:37 PM »
Ivan,
As a novice as well I understand where you are coming from.  What I have been doing over the last 6 months is bookmarking threads from GCA that I think are informative in regards to many different aspects of course architecture. At my leisure i go back at copy and paste the pertinent comments and pros and cons that are tossed to and fro in the thread. I then go through these and make a synopsis. This is all for my own fun and is not rigid, academically correct researching as I rarely go back to primary sources. What it does do is reinforce the ideas as by the time I do this I will have read, re-read and transposed them a number of times. Finally I have an "essay" (in progress), for want of a better word, on golf course architecture which does not quite stand in the same canon as Tom Doak or Hurdzan's tomes but gives me a precis of ideas surrounding golf course architecture.

Cheers Colin
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

Ivan Lipko

Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2010, 04:41:30 PM »
Thank you very much for the answers, gentlemen!

It's a true privilege and joy to be a member of this forum. :)

BTW, speaking of the article I'd say it has  a handful of interesting points but at the very same time simplifies the situation a bit.
For me for some reason the courses like Pine Valley (haven't played there just seen lots of pictures) and Bethpage Black are real eye-candy (although they shouldn't be).  The pretty view for a golfer (according to what I feel) has nothing to do with waterfalls - "prettyness" in golf acquires a new golf-specific meaning.

I believe the hole and the course we can see on this photo is pretty, challenging and fun all in one:


Colin Macqueen

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2010, 04:48:28 PM »
Tim P,
On the golf course I'm into transcendentalism myself over utilitarianism!

Cheers Colin
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

Tim Pitner

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2010, 04:51:45 PM »
Tim P,
On the golf course I'm into transcendentalism myself over utilitarianism!

Cheers Colin

Wise choice, Colin. 

Peter Pallotta

Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2010, 04:59:01 PM »
Ivan,
You are fortunate to be able to bring a perspective that not many can....look at all of it as good and you decide the bad as you go along....have fun

Ivan - I think Mike Y says something quite important and insightful there.

Actually, the more I think about it the more important and insightful it is.

You may have the most difficult - but potentially most rewarding -- journey of all ahead of you, i.e. carving out a path through uncharted territory towards your own personal vision of this world (of gca, I mean).

Peter

Garland Bayley

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2010, 05:03:31 PM »
Thank you very much for the answers, gentlemen!

It's a true privilege and joy to be a member of this forum. :)

BTW, speaking of the article I'd say it has  a handful of interesting points but at the very same time simplifies the situation a bit.
For me for some reason the courses like Pine Valley (haven't played there just seen lots of pictures) and Bethpage Black are real eye-candy (although they shouldn't be).  The pretty view for a golfer (according to what I feel) has nothing to do with waterfalls - "prettyness" in golf acquires a new golf-specific meaning.

I believe the hole and the course we can see on this photo is pretty, challenging and fun all in one:



Don't forget the wind! This hole has wind. And yes it is pretty. However, I would not want to play there every day. Too much sand for my tastes.

The problem with rich private clubs is that they get carried away engaging in their bunker fetish. Then since it practically requires dispensation from the pope to play their courses, no one calls them on their bunker fetish.

Tom Doak has admitted to letting this bunker fetish get carried away on the courses he builds.

Look to Sean Arble to give insightful commentary on course bunkering.
"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

Ivan Lipko

Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2010, 05:05:49 PM »
Thanks, PPallotta! Seems like a wise piece of advice, indeed....

Garland have you seen the TPC at Sawgrass - it has rivers of sand. That is terrific, in a bad sense of word.

Garland Bayley

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2010, 05:20:25 PM »
Thanks, PPallotta! Seems like a wise piece of advice, indeed....

Garland have you seen the TPC at Sawgrass - it has rivers of sand. That is terrific, in a bad sense of word.

TPC Sawgrass and "rivers of sand". What nonsense. Who will be punished by said rivers of sand? The skilled and accurate player? I think not! TPC Sawgrass has little use than for a bunch of highly skilled players shooting darts.

I will show you river of sand genius. This is Wine Valley #5. The pictures are not the best. Matt Ward promised us professional pictures in his review of the course and didn't deliver. Which is so typical of him. He is the ultimate nondeliverer.

Notice the width of the hole. Notice that high handicapper can choose to stay away from the sand, lay up to the sand, cross the sand at the time of this choosing. Notice that the low handicapper can choose to play as close as possible to the sand so that he can be rewarded with the best possible result from his risk.



  Hole number 5. By far the strongest hole on the course. Long 435 par 4. A sand river runs down the left side the bisects the fairway 100+ yards out. An approach can be banked in from the left side. The choice is to try to challenge the hazard with the secound shot or play short and conceed bogey. Again great design. As for our players ....... lets just say high handicappers have more fun...and more shots.


   Sorry about the blurry photo...I don't have steady hands.

   

   

   

   

   

   


 ...

"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

Adam Clayman

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2010, 07:51:41 PM »
Ivan, If hindsight is 20/20 one of the great writers on the subject is Max Behr. His predictions on what survives the test of time, are core based answers to your questions.  That's not to say we shouldn't appreciate the many different styles, that populate the GC landscape. It gives a base from where to start distinguishing the cream.

 On your journey, it's best to not only reflect on how some courses make you feel, it's important to listen to others feelings, too. What I think you'll find is when someone does give their justification for their opinion, when it's solely based on how they played or performed, it will be much less helpful to you, in understanding the big picture and questions about gca, than someone who never considers their score or their play. This form of objectivity is difficult to find/achieve, and won't likely be read about in any text, on the subject. It requires you, to be honest to yourself and your feelings, and whether you can separate the game form the sport.

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

Důnal ” Ceallaigh

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2010, 03:00:30 AM »
Ivan,

Be playable by all.
Be enjoyable even if you're scoring badly.
Shouldn't be a hard slog or 4 hours of torture.
Natural looking and pleasing to the eye.
Have variety; small greens, large greens, plateau greens, narrow greens, undulating greens, etc.
Undulating fairways and green surrounds, humps, hollows, ridges, that look natural.
There should always be a way to for the weaker golfer to avoid danger (so no island greens).
Bravery and good shots rewarded, but if you miss-hit, you pay the consequences.
It should make you think!!! So, you just don't pull out the driver at every par 4 and 5.
Test your course management skills; tempt you to make a fool of yourself, but also allow you to be cautious.
A little bit of wind is always nice.
Shouldn't have rough over 5-6 inches. No hay please!
Should allow you to finish with the same ball you started with (so no ponds if possible)
Not everything should be obvious, you need to discover things yourself.
Reward shot making (this is where wind comes in again) such as punched shot, pitch-and-runs, etc.
Shouldn't be soft.
Shouldn't be all green with white bunkers. Lets have some colours please.
Shouldn't be too narrow.
Strategic, but not every hole has to be like a chess game.
Shouldn't reward brute strength (there are other sports for that sort of thing)

I'm sure I've missed a few more things.


 


Thomas McQuillan

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2010, 09:07:56 AM »
Ivan, Ian Andrew's old blog thecaddyshack.blogspot.com has som very good writings on golf course design.

Mike Nuzzo

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2010, 10:00:15 AM »
Ivan
Shinnecock and Pine Valley are rare birds indeed.
Only a handful of golf courses have all flavors easily tasted

Shinnecock and Pine Valley are test first - that is the way they were intended and designed and built and maintained
Bethpage's greens are too flat to be any fun

cheers
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil & Tiger.

Ivan Lipko

Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2010, 05:12:02 AM »
Once again thank you very much everybody for you attention and answers!

one more question as I don't want to start a new thread.

Is there some kind of unified thread with the photo tours of the TOP golf courses (like those about the Sand Hills and Old Mac).

Can't figure out the search function on this forum. ;)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 05:15:19 AM by Ivan Lipko »

Anthony Gray

Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2010, 06:48:34 AM »

  I think there are different levels of golf courses/architecture.When I think of '"great" courses I think they are "champoinship" courses.These courses challenge the better players and at times can severely punish the average golfer. Theses courses seem to keep the higher rankings(no Absolutes).Then you have well designed courses that are historic,architectural significant and more playable.Theses will be found a little lower down the Top 100 lists.They have memorable features but may not test the greatest players to the limit.The gems often found off the beaten path are the next ones you'll find.Maybe an expensive resort course here and there or a Cruden Bay were you
want your life to end after sinking the final putt on 18.So that does not answer your question completely but I hope it adds to the conversation.

  Anthony

 

Garland Bayley

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2010, 01:11:00 PM »
1. Pine Valley Golf Club 9.53
(No. 2 in 2009, p) Pine Valley, N.J.
1919, George Crump, H.S. Colt

2. Cypress Point Club 9.49
(1, p) Pebble Beach, Calif.
1928, Alister MacKenzie

3. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club 9.22
(3, p) Southampton, N.Y.
1931, William S. Flynn, Howard C. Toomey

4. National Golf Links of America 9.11
(7, p) Southampton, N.Y.
1911, Charles Blair Macdonald

5. Merion Golf Club (East) 9.09
(4, p) Ardmore, Pa.
1912, Hugh Wilson

6. Oakmont Country Club 9.01
(6, p) Oakmont, Pa.
1903, Henry Fownes

7. Crystal Downs 8.88
(8, p) Frankfort, Mich.
1931, Alister MacKenzie, Perry Maxwell

8. Pebble Beach Golf Links 8.86
(5, r) Pebble Beach, Calif.
1919, Douglas Grant, Jack Neville

9. Augusta National Golf Club 8.75
(9, p) Augusta, Ga.
1932, Bobby Jones, Alister MacKenzie

10. Fishers Island Golf Club 8.71
(11, p) Fishers Island, N.Y.
1926, Seth Raynor


Anthony,

I don't think the likes of Cypress Point, NGLA, Crystal Downs, Fishers Island are found further down the lists. In fact it would seem that only two courses that emphasize challenge over fun, Pine Valley and Oakmont, make the top 10 classic.

1. Sand Hills Golf Club       9.34
(No. 1 in 2009, p) Mullen, Neb.
1995, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw

2. Pacific Dunes  9.23
(2, r) Bandon, Ore.
2001, Tom Doak

3. Whistling Straits (Straits)                8.68
(3, r) Kohler, Wis.
1997, Pete Dye

4. Bandon Dunes                8.29
(5, r) Bandon, Ore.
1999, David McLay Kidd   

5. Ballyneal           8.27
(8, p) Holyoke, Colo.
2006, Tom Doak

6. Sebonack Golf Club       8.24
(7, p) Southampton, N.Y.
2006, Tom Doak, Jack Nicklaus

7. The Golf Club  8.23
(9, p) New Albany, Ohio
1967, Pete Dye

8. Pete Dye Golf Club         8.19
(4, p) Bridgeport, W.Va.
1994, Pete Dye

9. Friarís Head     8.15
(6, p) Baiting Hollow, N.Y.
2003, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw

10. Shadow Creek Golf Club            8.12
(10, r) North Las Vegas, Nev.
1990, Tom Fazio

Taking the top 10 modern, it would seem that the Pete Dye courses that are in the minority might be the ones that emphasize challenge over fun.
"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

Tom Johnston

Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2010, 05:59:48 PM »
What a great thread!

The segmentation in the article is fascinating.

The question I ask myself is what does it take to come back and analyze a course?  Having played Tetherow once, is that enough for met to say it's a great course?  Or do I need to play it on several days with the wind coming from different directions?

With Whistling Straits, is walking the course during the PGA enough for me to criticize it?


Melvyn Morrow

Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #45 on: September 16, 2010, 06:16:08 PM »
Tom

If you have an opinion then please voice it, whatever itís your opinion and your enjoyment and sense of fun you are submitting.  Be bold your opinions are as good as Tom Doak's Garland and even Anthony , well perhaps we should reserve judgement on Anthony as he has been under medication for some time and it may be a long time yet before he knows where he is..

You joined to voice your opinions and thoughts - so what are you waiting for

Melvyn

Adam Clayman

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #46 on: September 16, 2010, 07:06:19 PM »
Ivan, I mentioned something to a friend today that I thought was worthy of including on your thread. That's "Frame of reference"

It's a fascinating subject when analyzing GCA.

Holes with no frame of reference, like trees, water, rough, or symmetrical mounding, can give the better player fits. And, they don't even know why.

Think ANGC, TOC, or most links courses.

I also assume you meant TOC when you asked above about TOP?

 I've never seen it but Rich Goodale has a series of books that I understand have amazing pictorials of some of the great courses. I believe they are title "experience_____".  Someone more familiar will hopefully see my errors and correct them.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2010, 09:05:16 PM »
Ivan,

Welcome to the forum. Overall its pretty good on most days.  I have enjoyed it for over ten years, wow!


As to your question, I am not so sure that the Mike Hurdzan list on the other thread isn't a decent place to start.  The caveats are that every site is different, the list can't really rate the inspiration a course gives most golfers, which is really what makes a course GREAT, and its the application of the principles listed - sometimes down to little details - that also make a course great.  

As an example, progression may mean less to some than others, or not be important after looking at the whole course, i.e., back to back 3's and 5's on Cypress Point would not be great progression, but the way the course weaves in and out of different landscapes (and the landscape itself) makes it overall a course with very good progression.

For convenience, here is the list, even as I don't know that the order is perfect:
1                 Safety                                              
2                 Aesthetics                                        
3                 Tournament qualities                          
4                 Flexibility                                                            
5                 Fairness                                            
6                 Shot value                                        
7                 Progression                                      
8                 Balance                                            
9                 Flow (traffic)                                      
10               Maintenance cost                                
11               Construction planning                          
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Matt MacIver

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #48 on: September 16, 2010, 10:07:53 PM »
The best courses in the world require a player of any skill level to choose the right line and distance on each shot and over the course of 18 holes to use every club in the bag and to play a multitude of different shot types. 

With these in mind fun should ensue along with both high and low scoring. 

Wind, width, rough, angles and eye-candy all can help or hurt the above guidelines. 

Phil McDade

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Re: Good and bad in GCA (in brief)
« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2010, 10:58:12 PM »
Once again thank you very much everybody for you attention and answers!

one more question as I don't want to start a new thread.

Is there some kind of unified thread with the photo tours of the TOP golf courses (like those about the Sand Hills and Old Mac).

Can't figure out the search function on this forum. ;)

Ivan:

Try these links -- fairly comprehensive of photo threads done on GCA:

delicious.com/golfclubatlas

http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,35897.0/

I relaly enjoyed your question about golf architecture viewed from the perspective of the bogey golfer compared to the scratch golfer.

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