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BCrosby

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #75 on: November 08, 2010, 09:50:13 AM »
Jim U.  -  

Isn't Base Camp golf more about a new way to hike than it is about a new way to design a golf hole?

I am all for new architectural ideas. I just haven't seen many that are very good. I don't think that is because the current crop of golf architects is any less imaginative than their predecessors. Other things are going on. That was the point of my post above.

TEP -

Years ago I remember looking at Cornish's outline for the course he gave at the HSD on golf architecture. He seemed to be concerned to present golf architecture as a creditable academic subject. He thought he was doing so by making gca subsidiary to landscape architecture, an established academic subject.

I have always thought that was a bad way to approach gca. It is a unhelpful way for a golf architect to deal with the issues raised in designing a golf course. When approached from Cornish's perspective, there is an almost irresistable temptation to stress the visual wow over the golfing wow.

The very best golf architects can pull off both kinds of wow. But if you can't pull off both, the golfing wow should take precedence. The golfing wow, however, doesn't sell as many lots, etc. (See my post above.)

The tendency in recent decades has been to stress the look of a bunker, a green or a tee over the golfing qualities they engender. There is a good deal of that sort of talk here at GCA. Several modern architects have garned fame and fortune taking that approach. They view the design of a hole as being mostly about painting an appealing picture as seen from the tee. And some of that might be new in a purely aesthetic sense. Lord knows they have more and better machines to paint that picture.

The basic GA notion that the best courses are the most strategic courses seems to have been subordinated to all that. But if that notion was subordinated in recent decades, it nonetheless remains the timeless bedrock of great golf architecture. Not unlike classical harmonics in music. Dismiss it at your peril. More importantly, it is still a deep, rich vein of architectural ideas yet to be fully exploited.

Bob    
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 10:01:01 AM by BCrosby »

Sean_A

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #76 on: November 08, 2010, 10:13:56 AM »
"...it is still a deep, rich vein of architectural ideas yet to be fully exploited."


I gotta believe Bob is right.  Otherwise why do I get so thrilled by design simplicity itself?  I reckon its because I don't get enough of it and I play mainly classic era courses.  Yepper, we still have a ways to go before that original vein of architectural genius is tapped out.   Lord knows Doak, C&C and others have been chipping away at the offshoots for many a year and they have done alright.  Its a source of irritation to me that I haven't seen a course from either of these two firms or that Nuzzo may get stalled because of the current economic climate. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Norbert P

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #77 on: November 08, 2010, 04:26:29 PM »
. . .  In (America) we have done a terrible job of planning communities.

The development would not be the mess we have made in the past where holes are isolated and surrounded by homes on large lots but rather the courses would be a core layout surrounded by a well planned community that mixes residential, commercial, and other uses within the development. The golf course within the fabric of the community . . .   based upon more traditional planning values could be a good way for golf to flourish and be more MEANINGFUL.    (Emphasis mine)

So, my hope in the future . . .  by making (golf courses)more into traditional communities golf can fit into the program and become an integral part of the solution rather than being isolated off into gated communities. This way golf becomes a part of daily life, even the clubhouse can be a landmark building and serve several uses for the community.     . . . 


KBM makes excellent points.  A couple of items stand out to me.  

    Meaningful golf
    Community
    Economics

With the hyperhype of corporate golf, I suspect the suspicious nature of "20 somethings" are derailed from the auld "meaning" of golf. I've had my own inner yin/yang battles with golf and its potential egotistic escapism combatting its Old World charms and lore.  Quite possibly strong reasons why I read Darwin and Wodehouse and went to Ireland and Scotland. There's got to be some further meaning for the expense and effort if youths are to take this game up.  

  The Scottish ideal of community-owned golf courses got morphed in America into capitalistic and elitist values and speculations of profits. Thus, the motivation was changed from a recreational/social ideal to that of status and monetary potentials.
 
We've probably all heard that forward-looking economists  believe that the next generation will have less than their parents did and certainly youths are heeding some of that warning, though they don't seem to be cutting back on tattoos and body piercings, in that they are pursuing other recreational opportunities.  Disc golf is virtually free to play with the same kind of excercise without the baggage or pro hero hype. Video game golf can be played without getting off the couch.  



  As far as "Where Can We Go" . . .  creatively ?  Doggedly imagining how the round ball can be played with emphasis on consistancy of fast and firm design, keeping honest with the land, and the idea that WE are NOT the ultimate judge of golf design and construction ---  time is.  

« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 04:29:01 PM by Slag Bandoon »
"Golf is only meant to be a small part of one’s life, centering around health, relaxation and having fun with friends/family." R"C"M

Tom Dunne

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #78 on: November 09, 2010, 11:35:14 AM »
Kelly Blake,

Pursuant to your post, Bob Dylan's influences are readily traceable--it was how he translated (or appropriated) them that made his music different and important. I was reading a pretty interesting article last night by an English professor at West Point. She teaches Sherlock Holmes to the cadets as a way of discussing the practical application of wisdom.

http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/78939/sherlock-holmes-the-superhero

Among the many assertions I disagreed with in Whitten's recent "Critic's Rant" was this line: "Architects embrace the past because it has been safe, marketable and easy to produce." Easy to produce? I don't think so. Have we seen a modern Redan that rivals National's? I very much agree with you that seeking the wisdom of the past "is the ultimate prize for the real architect", but I think some architects' application of that wisdom falls too much on the side of superficiality. 

Old Macdonald comes up a lot in this kind of conversation because it is considered a "marketable thing", but that doesn't preclude the work from being thoughtful, and I hope people don't confuse that aspect with the work itself. I think that in the Sherlock Holmesian sense, Tom Doak is one of the very best at both applying his knowledge of architectural history and interpreting it to make it his own. But that doesn't make it "easy", as some might have us believe.   

Anyway, good post.
   

Tom Dunne

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #79 on: November 09, 2010, 01:05:03 PM »
Kelly Blake,

We're now getting into matters of architectural intent, and that isn't always something that is readily discerned by the golfer or the critic. I don't think that always represents a failure on their part--if you're out there referencing Woking on a new course in Ohio, not everyone is going to pick that up without a tip. Like artists, building architects, writers, and so on, the ability to communicate the ideas behind the product in written or spoken form is a part of the golf architect's skill set.

As a blanket statement, I disagree that critics don't understand the distinction between originals and "reproduced versions", but again, intent. Macdonald didn't just want to reproduce the classic holes of Britain, he wanted to make them better than the originals. If I play a modern "Redan" that I think falls flat, it might be hard to say if the architect was going for a "classic" Redan and just botched it, or shooting for some kind of creative infusion. Depending on the stakes--the overall significance and public profile of the course--this distinction may or may not matter.

I started writing a response to your last handful of lines, regarding raters and magazines, but deleted it as moving in the direction of yet another Rater Thread probably doesn't advance the topic that Ian started. Where architecture goes next is much more interesting to discuss.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #80 on: November 09, 2010, 01:52:49 PM »


Where do we go from here?  -  do work that matters.

Tom D:
’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.’
That is an intriguing comment - could you expand a little?
What influence do you feel a successful female course architect might bring to the game?
How would she best effect change? What would be required to take things to a new level?

Thanks for your thoughts.
Lyne

Lyne,

It was meant to be a general comment.  Women have drastically different viewpoints in many areas, and can express themselves in ways that are different to men.  Just think about their impact on politics ... especially in those systems where their campaign does not have to be controlled by men.

Perhaps women architects would focus on making the game more social.  Perhaps they would reward straight hitting more than power, and put more emphasis on strategy since the less powerful player cannot so easily redeem their mistakes.  Perhaps they would be more visual in their designs.  I really don't know, except to know that none has had a real impact yet.  But I did ask a brilliant landscape architect friend what landscape architect was the most innovative and would be the most interesting to collaborate with on a project, and he named two women ... Maya Lin and Martha Schwartz.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #81 on: November 09, 2010, 01:55:05 PM »
P.S.  I do think collaboration is the most likely source of innovation.  But I think the key to it will be for a great golf architect to collaborate with someone from another field, who doesn't understand golf well enough to mute themselves from suggesting something that the golf course architect could run with.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #82 on: November 09, 2010, 02:17:15 PM »

  Dunkerque Golf Club



Designed by Robert Berthet in the 1990's

Ian, the photo you presented intrigued me to imagine that perhaps the designer was giving some homage to World War II fortresses and defense battlements, but upon seeing the rest, methinks his brain is wired with Brillo pads.  It is provocative, though.  

  I've always wanted to play the courses of Normandy where D-Day commenced and when I do, I will definitely make the side trip to play Dunkerque.  

Slag - it's not WW2 but seventeenth century. Dunkerque was where Sebastien de Vauban, the great fortress designer of Louis XIV's reign, did some of his most important work. Berthet - who is a very interesting guy - said he felt that, since the course was built on the former municipal dump, it would be dishonest to design a course to look 'natural', and that a Vauban-themed course was relevant to golf anyway, since so much of the vocabulary of golf is military in its origin (he's right on this one, the Redan just for starters).

I did a piece with Robert several years ago - it's here http://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/Article/Golf-de-Dunkerque/1052/Default.aspx if anyone's interested.

Adam
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Norbert P

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #83 on: November 09, 2010, 04:27:12 PM »
 Thanks Adam, I guess this illustrates that I should trust my instincts and shelve my judgements.  The seemingly "thin limb" he ventured out on was rooted in rationality and respect, which is enviable and, with his reasons sound, make for a compelling architectural statement.  One that could knee-jerkedly be condemned, as I did, but could steadfastly be defended by its creator as proper use of an opportunity to leave a human statement within the land without destroying it.   

 
"Golf is only meant to be a small part of one’s life, centering around health, relaxation and having fun with friends/family." R"C"M

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #84 on: November 09, 2010, 05:09:48 PM »
Has anyone ever played the Dunkerque course?  Adam?

I agree with Kelly's assessment of the aerial view, however I would note that Cape Kidnappers from the golfer's eye view looks nothing like the aerial photos we have all seen.

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #85 on: November 09, 2010, 05:13:36 PM »
I haven't, I'm afraid. I'm in France quite a lot, but normally I drive through the Pas de Calais as quickly as possible, either heading for 'la France profonde' or back to the Channel ports.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Norbert P

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #86 on: November 09, 2010, 06:04:25 PM »
. . .   Visually it is horrid.

  As most battlefields are.  

   I wonder if the problem with creating new stuff that hasn't been seen before isn't that concepts are redundant but that the lexicon of golf is limiting itself to its own past creations.   Instead of relying on successes of golf architecture recognition, perhaps we should look to other fields with different vernaculars.     Dornoch's 14th, Foxey, is a "bastion" of sorts if we look to military fortress architecture terms.

Pick a field of sciences and steal the words and shift the meanings. Like Mr. Doak has said recently, "it's mostly marketing".  
Like Rocky VII, Redan CXXXVI is sure to be forgotten.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 06:14:32 PM by Slag Bandoon »
"Golf is only meant to be a small part of one’s life, centering around health, relaxation and having fun with friends/family." R"C"M

Norbert P

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #87 on: November 09, 2010, 06:48:02 PM »
  Golf course architectue is a subjective subject.
"Golf is only meant to be a small part of one’s life, centering around health, relaxation and having fun with friends/family." R"C"M

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #88 on: November 09, 2010, 07:21:15 PM »

But it's a golf course! A golf course should look like a golf course.

Kelly,

 I have agreed with most of what you have posted on this thread, but not with the above.  I would be fine with a golf course that didn't look like a golf course as long as it PLAYED like a golf course.  The thing I didn't like Stone Harbor for was that the playability and shot values were horrid.

Richard Choi

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #89 on: November 09, 2010, 07:29:39 PM »
Just because something looks "horrid" to this generation does not mean it will not appeal to future generations.

Every new major art movement was considered "horrid" to the previous purveyors. Only history can judge whether or not a new style has real merit.

Who cares what it looks like if it is fun to play?

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #90 on: November 09, 2010, 07:32:17 PM »
Richard,

I care a lot what it looks like.  Aesthetics are important when you are spending four hours somewhere.

Eric Smith

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #91 on: November 09, 2010, 07:39:43 PM »


The Cupp Course on Hilton Head was considered pretty radical when it debuted in the early 90's.

Richard Choi

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #92 on: November 09, 2010, 07:50:51 PM »
Tom, people's perception of aesthetics change with time (acutally, with generations). When first impressionist paintings were unveiled, the classicists thought they were horrible. When cubist paintings were first introduced, people thought it was a joke.

The same goes with music (our grandparents thought rock-n-roll was unlistenable), science (Einstein thought Quantum Mechanics was distasteful), you name it, people's taste change all the time. What is aesthetically pleasing does not stay the same, it is always evolving. There is no reason to believe that a very geometric golf courses could not appeal to brand new generation of golfers in the future.

Ian Andrew

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #93 on: November 09, 2010, 08:01:37 PM »
Eric,

So was Hollywood Golf Club by Travis in Deal New Jersey rebuilt around 1916 (I think). The bunker shapes were also very geometric, although the shapes on the ground seemed to come off a little more natural than the Cupp course did.


To all,

I'm enjoying the discussion.


There have been many wonderful things said that have caught my attention and I appreciate the insights.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #94 on: November 09, 2010, 08:03:36 PM »
Richard,

A golf course requires a lot of expensive upkeep.  If people don't like it, the next generation will only read about it in a coffee table book.  Stone Harbor is an example of that ... it was so bad that people today are interested to hear about it, but it has been significantly changed.


Eric,

Does the Cupp course still look that way?  Does anyone play it?  I remember it generated a lot of attention but not much praise when it opened, so I am curious what has happened.   

Peter Pallotta

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #95 on: November 09, 2010, 08:33:00 PM »
I dread the day when this urban dweller shows up at what should be one of his rare refuges of nature in this concrete world to discover a golf course that is as manufactured -- and looks as manufactured -- as the strip mall down the street. And if that day ever comes, it will be doubly annoying to me to realize that the only reason I'm now at what looks more like an amusement park than a golf course is because some architect just couldn't resist having his "Look at Me!" moment in the sun. Others might (and are free to) reward him for his 'bold innovation' by playing his courses, hiring him to design more, and profiling him in major national magazines that tout his 'cutting edge creativity' ....but I won't be among them.

Peter

Jaeger Kovich

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Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #96 on: November 09, 2010, 08:48:09 PM »
2 Thoughts.

1. Reading about his basecamp golf concept... wasn't this partially achieved with the "worlds longest golf course" in australia, that plays over a ton of miles next to a highway? that being said this idea seems to be closely related to skiing, and whats better than skiing? heli-skiing! the goal being to make pictures of cape kidnappers look tame!

2. Going back to the WHERE CAN WE GO question. It occurred to me while thinking about this thread over the last few days, there is one area where golf is so close, but our courses fall short to capture the huge amount of people who go to the driving range, but never take it to the course. There are so many people out there who are more than happy to rent a club and grab large bucket and make up their own games like hitting the cart guy or who can slice it over fence better. Hell, I still do it too.  There is definitely something to be said about this sort of raw, imaginative, fun.

Kyle Harris

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #97 on: November 09, 2010, 08:58:18 PM »
2. Going back to the WHERE CAN WE GO question. It occurred to me while thinking about this thread over the last few days, there is one area where golf is so close, but our courses fall short to capture the huge amount of people who go to the driving range, but never take it to the course. There are so many people out there who are more than happy to rent a club and grab large bucket and make up their own games like hitting the cart guy or who can slice it over fence better. Hell, I still do it too.  There is definitely something to be said about this sort of raw, imaginative, fun.

Sure is something to be said:

It's cheaper.
It's less time consuming.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #98 on: November 09, 2010, 09:07:53 PM »
I'm no big fan of Nietzche, but I've always been intrigued by his assessment of Socrates as embodying not the zenith/best of Greek philosophy but its nadir/worst; I think the madman saw the Socratic method/dialogue as a symbol of decadence and decay, i.e. an example of the bankruptcy of Greek ideas and ideals during Socrates' times. But hey, it was new and innovative, and caught on....

"Why are you worried about dying, Socrates? Didn't you say that everything is eternal?"

"No, no, I said heavy things - rocks, and statues"

Eric Smith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Where can we go?
« Reply #99 on: November 10, 2010, 11:55:50 AM »

Eric,

Does the Cupp course still look that way?  Does anyone play it?  I remember it generated a lot of attention but not much praise when it opened, so I am curious what has happened.   

Tom,

Yes, it does still look that way. One of the early criticisms of the course was the 2nd hole. The tee shot was terrible. There wasn't enough room before the water hazard to play with a driver and it was too narrow of a landing area. Worse, there was a shelf dividing the landing area with a drop off down the middle into thick bermuda rough, leaving the player a difficult second shot with a forced carry over a diagonal water hazard. It was poorly thought out imo. They did end up reworking the area and expanding the landing zone and it plays fine now.

Someone once told me that some of the linear features at the Cupp had been softened, but when I flew over the course earlier this year there was no mistaking the geometric shaped bunkering on holes 13 & 14.  I'm planning a trip in January and we're playing the Cupp so I'll be sure to report back along with some pics.

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