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Adam Clayman

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2010, 10:54:32 PM »
I disagreed because I think I see new things all the time. i.e. Doak's E green. C&C's 7th green at Friars Head, DeVries 5th green that was recently blown up at Sunningdale. They might be subtle, or just newer forms of older principles, but they are still new twists.

Perhaps they are just new to me, and seeing everything, like Mr. Whitten apparently has, in order to make such a statement, has it's downside.  ;)

Which means there's a slew of people who have never seen anything past their own county's course. When they finally see some of the great concepts and applications, aren't they new again, to somebody?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 10:56:46 PM by Adam Clayman »
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Kris Shreiner

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2010, 11:53:46 PM »
Mike Young,

I didn't post it, but I was thinking along the same lines. Why does there need to be grass height differences in so many instances? It's not necessary quite often and would save countless man hours and resource dollars. Some architects and facilities have already dipped their collective toes in this direction! Bring it on I say... and so do you from what I've read.
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

JC Urbina

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2010, 12:44:29 AM »
Ian,

I am not sure people would think these ideas are "Out of the Box" but they do solve some issues that due arise from time to time.
A few ideas I would like to try if new golf courses start up again and an owner as Free thinking as Keiser hires me.

A Bunker for all players.
Base Camp golf.
Triangle golf.

A few other ideas but I will leave it at that.
Each requires a certain type of topography to pull off but someday I hope.

I do think that Old Macdonald used inspiration from Macdonald and his ideal holes , # 6  Long  is an example of how we used ideas
to create our version of a three shot hole that allowed different angles of attack.  It just happened to have a Hell Bunker  a version of the Alysian fields and a green you won't see everyday.  Was it thinking outside of the box, that's for others to decide but the hole does provide ample strategies and fun for most all golfers no matter the skill level.  Isn't that the goal of every golf course design.

Randy Thompson

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2010, 01:03:40 AM »
Ian---You are the Post-Master---are you a Virgo by chance?
I have always belived good architects copy good and bad architects copy bad. This can be more generalized to concept in golf architecture. Coore´s and Doak are currently hailed as the best but are not a lot of their concepts from the past, things they saw in courses from the past and than tweaked a little bit or quite a bit. I love their works and more inportantly have the utmost respect for them but if one wanted to critize, one could say, they seem to have left the door open and they lack originality. I am not making or supporting this statement because I have seen a ton of thier work on photo´s only! But if you want to only catagorize originality, Dye seems to be ahead of the rest of the field in pulling it off right and Desmond for just doing it! My point is this, the current fad of postage stamp greens, surrounded by three feet native grasses and natural mounding, and ripped bunker edges are gorgeous and fun to play but their is a limited market for these courses. Kisser found a niche and is doing great courses around the world and producing profitable numbers by focusing on quality product and value. But his target market also has a limit.
Why worry about the next fad or what will be next in originality. Lets worry about something really important like signed checks as Mike Young states so often and so brilliantly. If you think by discovering the above mentioned will get you just that, 99 out of one hundred of you will go hungry! Here are the facts of GA as I see them now and in the incoming years.
1. We live in a more and more branded society. Branding will continue, that market is currently saturated with Pro named design firms charging ridicuousl prices and requiring out of range construction cost. Prices will come down in their fees as they compete more and more with each other and the suopply and demand drops. These projects like to surface fish and their targeted market are the big fish and there are less and less big fish on the surface thus the relation to drop in overall market supply and demand and the eventual downfall of the design fees.
2. So if you want to survive and your not connected with a big name branding pro, better let out some more line and start looking for some fish deeper down. Couple that with we have become a more and more time oriented society than you will need to start thinking in nine holes that play like eighteen or twelve holes like previously mentioned that play like eighteen. In order to hook a fish in the middle depth or bottom depth you will need to also be extremely value oriented. The above scenario fits this by reducing initial land cost. Throw in some environmental concerns and the budget starts to drop. Perfect day to day, green, wall to wall conditions are for the big fish, the medium and smaller fish will accept less if you give them a memorable experience at a fair price. Look for the routing in the valleys to leave residential or hotels high so not to ruin the golfing experience but allow for other sources of income because stand alone profitable facilities are still and will be in the future, the exception. So my advice, let Ron Witten worry about fads and originality, I am sure he makes more money writing than he does designing, so get focused and try to see where the next signed check can be generated. And as Forrest Gump always said,”That’s all I have to say bout that!”

Kirk Gill

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2010, 06:10:13 AM »
The traditions of golf are important to the game, and as many have said, building golf courses is expensive, and those courses usually need to be operated as businesses.

And for those who love and participate in those traditions, is there going to be a difference between something truly new, and "goofy golf?"

That said, what kinds of things would truly represent something new? I like the notion of expanding on the Sheep Ranch concept, where a course could be played completely differently from one day to another. How to mark the course so that the players would know where to go, and how to play......I'd have to think about that. And I like Sean's idea to somehow introduce more randomness to the design - whether it's by blowing something up and laying a course on it, or.....?
"After all, we're not communists."
                             -Don Barzini

James Boon

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2010, 06:50:31 AM »
Ian,

My first thought was to think about my favourite landscape artist (as you had mentioned Smithson and Maya Lin) Andy Goldsworthy, and his ephemeral works with leaves. Perhaps we could go further back in time to courses a lot rougher around the edges as they were originally, letting them change over time, much as the dunes in which the game originally developed, changed over time. It would certainly need a change in attitudes towards conditioning...

But this got me thinking that maybe this would need a grass type that didn't last to long. Maybe it wasn't perrennial but annual, only lasted one year and then dies off allowing the sands to shift, so to speak and then be reseeded. But this is costly, and a bit radical, as well as being reliant on developments in agronomy more than architecture.

This then got me thinking that most of the large changes in style of building architcture have been dependant upon changes in technology outside of the buildings style. For instance, the development of metal structural elements allowed the modern movement to open up fully glazed facades rather than just a masonry wall with a few smaller windows.

So maybe the next change, or direction that golf course architecture can go, is waiting for or discovering a change in an outside but still related factor such as agronomy, drainage, economy (nows the chance!), or some other such outside influence, rather than just a case of can we make the fairways a bit wider, bunkers look different or replicate classic holes?

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

Anthony Gray

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2010, 07:07:58 AM »


  Castle Stuart is a well thought out course.Refreshing.

  Anthony


Jaeger Kovich

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2010, 07:38:49 AM »
I love when threads turn into art history lessons!

James - My favorite Goldsworthy piece was the wall he built at Storm King in NY. Having been there and experienced this thing in person, you can feel the energy radiating off of the thing. Something only the best architecture does. I guarantee that feeling could not have been achieved had he not taken the time to lay those stones himself. The leaf pieces are a huge function of time as well. Imagine the time it took to gather them, then arrange them, wait for the optimum time to photograph them, let alone the time of year that this piece could only have been achieved in.

I believe the key ingredient in all of this is time (one of Goldsworthy's favorite terms). To be innovative and develop new ideas huge amounts of experimentation and failures to get to where you want to be.

I don't see people willing to let go of the standard 9 / 18 golf at least as a standalone facility. I think we need to take a step back, and really figure out what are the most fun aspects of the game, and develop a new process for putting those ideas in the ground. How can we expect to evolve our game if we continue to use the same tools and have relatively the same process?

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2010, 11:37:19 AM »
Define the audience, first and foremost:  Are we building something new for us, for municipal golfers, for nongolfers?

Define the physical and temporal parameters:  Time of round, space of course.

Define the restrictions:  drainage, environmental, fiduciary

People who propose out-strantzing Strantz forget that many of his courses have multiple areas of poor grass growth, overly thick rough vegetation and drainage issues.  Water runs where it runs and the sun can't shine where it ain't.

I suspect that Whitten has old-man's disease, is frustrated with being old and has decided to bitch about something that ain't there.  Golf archies and supers are on the cutting edge; competition demands that they be there.  I think that his claims are baseless.

That said, I love Horse Course and Sheep Ranch (why the farm animals?) concepts.  I want to develop a course in Buffalo's Delaware Park called the Cow Tipper, using the same premise.  Who's in?
Coming in August 2023
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Niall C

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2010, 03:54:35 PM »
Ian

Interesting observations. I've been reading a lot of old golf articles and it is clear that back in the golden age and before that there was perhaps a lot more copying and use of templates than there is now, and not just by the run of the mill GCA's. MacKenzie used it a lot for instance.

That was at the start of GCA, now over a hundred years down the line architects have the advantage of larger back catalogues and different genres to pick and mix from. I would say it should be an exciting time if people can learn to be tolerant of different design concepts.

Niall

Matthew Rose

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2010, 04:57:34 PM »
Cobbs Creek Old has some superb natural holes with little or no bunkering. Are there other noteworthy examples of tracks that use minimal bunkering, yet provide sporty play?

I worked for a year at Pioneers GC in Nebraska. It is an old muni that plays about 6500 yards to a par 71 and is completely bunkerless. Most of the greensites are pressed into mounds or hollows. There is one large water hazard guarding a par 3.

It's fun but not necessarily challenging; I was regularly breaking 80 there before I did at a lot of other places.

In the late 1980s, they redid all the greens and I've only played it after that point, so I don't recall if there were bunkers there previously.
American-Australian. Trackman Course Guy. Fatalistic sports fan. Drummer. Bass player. Father. Cat lover.

Kris Shreiner

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2010, 08:41:34 PM »
Matt,

Thanks for that insight. I'll see if I can find any pics. Do you have any you could post. If you need help with that, I'm clueless, but a shout out usually get a helpful hand from on of our gang!

Cheers,
Kris 8)
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

Kyle Harris

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2010, 09:17:05 PM »
I'm going to flip my switch from curmudgeonly 27 year old to hopeless idealistic 27 year old for this post.

I don't believe we've even begun to broach the surface of possibility as it pertains to golf architecture. Golf has, and will always have, the advantage that it is one of the most rudimentary simple games devised by man at its axiomatic level; Basically, start at Point A, stroke ball until reaching Point B.

For the golf architect, all that is needed is a Point A and Point B.

Thought #1: The Golfer's imagination is both his best and worst enemy. How can the golf course influence this duality?)
Thought #2: Economy of Hazards (how many shots can one bunker influence?)
Thought #3: Economy of Space (Is there any course in the world with more golf per unit area than St. Andrews? What lessons remain to be learned from "the mothership?").
Thought #4: Framing, and the treachery of the heights of cut.
Thought #5: The treachery of perspective
Thought #6: Discontinuity and the golf hole, using null space

If there's sufficient interest I'll take the time to explain my thoughts on the above further. I see plenty of fertile ground.

I think the stagnation comes from the art being set to one paradigm for a century or so and perhaps the art has reached a critical sample size of minds.

Ben Voelker

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2010, 09:39:22 PM »
Cobbs Creek Old has some superb natural holes with little or no bunkering. Are there other noteworthy examples of tracks that use minimal bunkering, yet provide sporty play?

I worked for a year at Pioneers GC in Nebraska. It is an old muni that plays about 6500 yards to a par 71 and is completely bunkerless. Most of the greensites are pressed into mounds or hollows. There is one large water hazard guarding a par 3.

It's fun but not necessarily challenging; I was regularly breaking 80 there before I did at a lot of other places.

In the late 1980s, they redid all the greens and I've only played it after that point, so I don't recall if there were bunkers there previously.

I grew up playing at the munis in Lincoln, Nebraska, including Pioneers.  I don't have references, but from being around the place for 10 years, I am almost certain there was never any sand on the course.  It was the first municipal course in Lincoln and was built in the 20's or 30's.

There are a few photos on the website and a virtual tour that I cannot get to work. :)

http://pioneersgolf.com/

Chris Shaida

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2010, 10:12:29 PM »

That said, I love Horse Course and Sheep Ranch (why the farm animals?) concepts.  I want to develop a course in Buffalo's Delaware Park called the Cow Tipper, using the same premise.  Who's in?

I am.  Where do I send the check?

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2010, 10:54:55 PM »

Where can we go – hard one that, yet its rather simple, we look back to the core business of golf. We try to understand what made golf explode into a worldwide game.

In fact we need to define the core business, as I believe we have moved away from it. Until we know what game we are playing how can we do anything. From understand the game we can look to sites for courses. As for each hole, yes many ideas have been tried but not all, Also many hole designs today are not popular i.e. blind holes but why – it limits the long shot? Could it be that it’s because we have accepted that the modern game has changed and that the real error is eliminating many old hole designs. Gentlemen designers are not there to give the golfer an easy life, but to challenge him and in so doing give him options equivalent to his skill levels.

The designers should not waste time with cart tracks but concentrate on the design of the course. As I said at the start we need to define what we mean by golf, if it’s still that Walking and Thinking game then I do not believe we need to worry too much, but what is certain is that we cannot mix and match our golf. The non-Walking option costs more take-up more design time and generally create the biggest headaches and compromised a course has to face. In this time of cutbacks and environmental concerns we need to address the issue, until then we cannot move forward. 

We need our designers to lead, to strongly voice their opinions and preferences and to design golf courses
that gives the golfer value for money while testing his resolve to be a Golfer. The game is suffering not just because of designers or lack of good locations but because of poorly informed developers who are short term dreamers and quite frankly a large number of current players who consider themselves as golfers without committing to the game

This one needs the Architects and Designers to lead the way.

Melvyn


Tom_Doak

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2010, 01:45:02 AM »
Ian,

I missed this thread while traveling, but Peter Pallotta's response was the funniest I have seen in some time.

To me, trying to reinvent golf is not the goal.  Golf is so far removed from its roots that we are better off trying to recapture a bit of what has been lost.  Making that perspective work in the new paradigm is challenging enough for me.  Anything you can come up with, anything that Urbina can come up with, I have already seen overseas in some form or another.

At the end of the day it's all about making the most of the land you've got, and the Scots were pretty good at that long before we ever heard the word golf.   

Ian Andrew

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2010, 08:25:06 AM »
The concept of landscape art married with golf design at Dunkerque - love it or hate it - it's unique




Maya Lin's Wavefield




Serpent Mounds

« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 08:37:58 AM by Ian Andrew »

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2010, 09:03:40 AM »

Ian

Nothing new in those bumps here is a photo I posted months ago of the remains of the flint open mines in East Anglia called Grimes Graves



Comparing with Maya Lin's Wavefield, the Grimes Graves, seems to offer the better option for golf giving some chance for the ball to roll.

The following is a cross section of the original working and give a scale of the actual site and diameter of each hole or bump.



What was that about Natural & Nature and perhaps Land fit for purpose

Melvyn


RJ_Daley

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2010, 10:34:05 AM »
I come down on the side of the pointof view that in one of the few places that innovation might occur is in maintenance and pressentation.  I think Kyle gets at this in one of his points of variance or randomness of HOC.  Shivas posed this years ago in his idea of "a flyer strip" of rough right in the middle or within the lines of play. 

I think Mike Sweeney broaches a point with a 12 hole or 24 hole course with concepts that one can stop in mulltiples of 6 holes played, and lengthen or shorten the standard game.

I don't think innovation can flurish too much more unless there would be some desire to change the criteria or rules and object of the game.  As long as the rules define proper play, then only a range of designed fields of play with an array of hazards or challenges can be designed.

The Sheep Ranch and to a lesser degree the Horse course are novel.  The Sheep ranch is more attune with the real game, where you can make up real golf, with multiple shots and distances.  But the HOrse is just a novelty and dalliance where one can go for a little bat-around, fun but not golf per se, in my mind.

I think innovation only comes in modern efficiencies to construct and maintain.  the game rules confine the field to the extent most everything has been designed tried or presented.
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2010, 10:50:54 AM »
Ian,

I think that innovation will come when we have clients with a different perspective.

Among my clients right now are a Chinese painter and a 35 year old woman who is not a golfer.  They are both fascinating people with MUCH different perspectives about golf and its place in the world and its place in their projects, and I suspect those projects will be very innovative as a result.

A successful woman golf course architect will also change the game.  Alice Dye certainly had an impact, but none has yet taken it to a new level.

TEPaul

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2010, 10:53:17 AM »
"So what out of the box ideas are there to try?"



Ian:

Here's another out of the box idea I've mentioned on here at some length some years ago------a concept I referred to as "courses within a course."

That is essentially an arrangement where the holes of a course could be played in various different sequences and perhaps even arranged in such a way that while playing one of many golfers may not even be that aware of the others.

Obviously to do that effectively and successfully you would need a certain type of site (probably few to no trees) and some pretty adaptable ground. I feel I saw a site like this once.

But to do this and do it effectively and successfully in up to perhaps 3-5 different sequences would be to me the ultimate golf architectural expression and application. It would obviously take a ton of routing and planning work.

It seems to me the one from the past who may've been the most imaginative and perhaps the best at this kind of thing was George Thomas---an architect who definitely had a very active imagination in a number of ways.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 10:55:42 AM by TEPaul »

Steve_ Shaffer

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2010, 11:04:10 AM »
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Nicklaus' Renegade Course at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, AZ:

"...Opened in 1986, ...Golf Digest once called Renegade, "The most versatile course in the world." The 7,443-yard Desert Mountain golf course was carefully designed to let players vary the course's set-up.   Members can choose the degree of difficulty they would like to play. The combination of tee and pin positions offers players of varied skill levels a truly unique test.  The Renegade course features two flags on each hole with some holes having two greens. "



"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, some on golf courses ... "  Adlai Stevenson
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone: "We're bigger than US Steel."
Ben Hogan “The most important shot in golf is the next one”

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2010, 11:08:28 AM »
It's an interesting topic, and I am not sure that we necessarily need to go anywhere for lack of creativity, but I truly believe that its more "sincere" design wise to design something new, and to design to current conditions than try to replicate the past.

Things do constantly change, often for unexpected reasons.  As TD says, necessity is the mother of invention, and maybe the need to build golf inexpensively, the need to find ways to bring folks into the game, etc. will drive some real change.  As TePaul notes, maybe breaking the old 18 (and 9) hole conventions will yield something bright and creative.  In many ways, gca is an "established" field with far too many knowns and givens to really break out of the mold without some major rules or perception change.

Change just for the sake of style change probably isn't sustainable.  That said, both Pete Dye and TD, CC ,etc have been successful by looking back to the future.  It just feels like the next wave would have to be some really futuristic style to counteract and highlight the differences.

Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

JC Urbina

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2010, 11:26:33 AM »
Tom,

OK,  tell me where I can go see the Base Camp Golf theory.  Which golf course and what country? 

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