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Not every tree taken down in these years was planted by the folly of the members in their ignorance; and if this book represents an extreme and outdated view of one way...so too do I believe the current version (SO denuded) represents an extreme in the other.... I ask all the archies of enough vintage here, to say what they thought of WF and trees in 1983, when they were cutting their own teeth and learning at the knee of their individual gurus and when did their sensibility evolve to the one they hold today.
Thanks, Sean - you put that all very well. I've wondered often if even the experts among us aren't anachronistically projecting backwards their own ideas/intentions and values onto the ODGs. The latter understood as well as we do that trees grow, and that courses change with time -- and that (re: ongoing tree management and fairway widths-mowing lines) once they finished a design and got paid, their responsibilities were fulfilled and the course's future was out of their hands. While I can't think of an ODG who "advocated' for anything specific years down the road, I'm not sure that many of them had a lot of fixed 'expectations' either, ie about what the course would be & look like 30 years later or whether/not it would be 'compromised'. Which is to further complicate this question/topic by asking if maybe the 'original intent' of today's architects is of a markedly different quality/nature than that of yesterday's architects.
Tim - I'm mostly just wondering and speculating and asking, and your last point is a good one to continue on, ie some of the old greats did 'plan ahead' and build in future elasticity, but they did so in terms of *length*. Did many of them do or try to do the same in terms of width and playing corridors/trees? In their own minds, was the original intent of the courses they built more related to reaching Par 4s in two than it was fitting a tee shot within a 60 yard-wide target (instead of a 40 yard one)?
Quote from: V. Kmetz on May 06, 2020, 10:57:45 AM... I ask all the archies of enough vintage here, to say what they thought of WF and trees in 1983, when they were cutting their own teeth and learning at the knee of their individual gurus and when did their sensibility evolve to the one they hold today.VK:Obviously, I didn't think of Winged Foot West as being ruined by trees back in the '80s, when it was rated a 9 on the Doak Scale. But it was clear there were too many trees then, and they were only getting bigger.I was only 15 when I first experienced Winged Foot in that year...didn;t know everythign, but it sure felt that way. (One of the most memorable pieces of overgrowth was the enormous hemlock?/spruce?/pine that abutted the 12th green and shut 2/3rds of the perspective of the 17th tee shot...ironically that was one of the last to go, surviving until the West remo-storation was completed in 2017)I have not been back there in 20 years, so I can't comment on the trees now. ["No comment."] Winged Foot is one of several former favorite courses where I dare not go back, because I'll be asked what I think of the changes, and if I say anything negative I'll be accused of plying a conflict of interest.Another unintended consequence of this info age...I can read t-shirts on Google Earth; I can make a grill in 10 minutes following a video; I can collect, develop and study national data to determine the impact of leaving the flag in on my golf in an afternoon... but you refrain from visiting an iconic course, one of the most historic in your field.In general, I detest the black and white politics that taints everything in America today, including golf club politics. There is a place for nice trees on golf courses, but most committees and many architects cannot seem to find a balance -- it is either chain yourself to the tree, or everything must go.I'll save the opportunity to rant in my agreement for another time; but the simple matter is yes... individual trees, small copses and natural groves bordering play are frequently welcome... in their natural shade, their confounding perspective, their shelter or re-direct of the wind, their changes in light and shadow. I could see that logic at Oakmont, which didn't have many trees to begin with, and does nicely with its hard-ass barren vibe. Winged Foot, though, had trees from the beginning, and Tillinghast left some distinctly in play. I hope there are still some trees in play there.
... I ask all the archies of enough vintage here, to say what they thought of WF and trees in 1983, when they were cutting their own teeth and learning at the knee of their individual gurus and when did their sensibility evolve to the one they hold today.