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Mark_F

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2011, 02:55:39 PM »
Must I be able to paint like Monet in order to appreciate and objectively comment on art?

That is a completely fallacious analogy, Matthew.
Why?  Not picking a side, just genuinely interested in why you think so.

Mark,

Anyone can appreciate art whether or not they have an understanding of it.

To objectively comment upon art requires a knowledge of the techniques used in its creation, but nothing more.  You don't need to have directed a film in order to be able to comment upon the direction of a film, but you need to know what good direction is.  To be an artist is to have a gift of creativity that few people have.

I've always been intrigued by songwriters who say they can't read or write music, yet they can play instruments and create music.  Isn't Paul McCartney the most famous example?

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2011, 03:11:00 PM »
I believe the full line was "You don't know what you're talking about. I've found your scores on <stats website where I log my rounds> and you don't shoot in the 70s often enough". ;D

You have to admit, this is a whole lot easier than rebutting someone's points.

The thing folks like this never seem to realize, is there's always someone better than them (unless they're Tiger 2K - I guess that guy was the ultimate authority on golf, too bad he's gone!).
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

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2011, 03:16:22 PM »
I'd add that one doesn't need to be a high skilled player, but needs to know what the skills are, or the objectives are, even if you can't physically execute them well consistently in terms of evaluating good golf design.  But I'd add to those that imply more outside skills and knowledge are needed to be a good critic.  Those as mentioned, are knowing and experiencing a large sampling of various courses by various architects, and the historical aspect.  And, I'd add that one would be even better equipped to evaluate course design with knowledge or keen observation of the process; from field routing, pencil and paper design on topo, and understanding the engineering and actual construction techniques.  All of that goes into a higher quality evaluation or critique, IMHO.  

So, the more you expose yourself to all aspect of the art and craft of GCA, including the actual construction, on top of the actual playing experiences and skill set, the better you should be as a critic.
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.

JC Jones

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2011, 06:12:21 PM »
No.  The only people capable of evaluating architecture are golf course architects.
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Scott Warren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2011, 06:20:49 PM »
JC,

At the pointy end of golf architecture, I'm inclined to agree with you (and Sean and Huck).

The initial comment that lead Anthony to start the thread pertained more to just having an opinion about a hole's merits, so while Anthony's question above concerned "evaluating architecture", that was not really the crux of the discussion that yielded the quote that inspired the thread, if that makes any sense at all.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 06:51:40 PM by Scott Warren »

Anthony Gray

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2011, 06:47:50 PM »
JC,

At the pointy end of golf architecture, I'm inclined to agree with you (and Sean and Huck).

The initial comment that lead Anthony to start the thread pertained more to just having an opinion about a hole's merits, so while Anthony's question above concerned "evaluating architecture", that was not really the crux of the discussion that yielded the quite that inspired the thread, if that makes any sense at all.
 
  Scott

  If you would have mispelled something I would have understood it better.

  Anthony

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2011, 07:07:27 PM »
who in the most aggregious example of poor player/astute GCA critic ever?  Note: not "architect"; rather "critic".   Open question.

Shivas...the most egregious example of a poor player that I've ever seen is without doubt Eric Smith.    

Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2011, 07:40:58 PM »
Well, what is a poor player?  Compared to what?  Is a 10-14 handicap a poor player compared to a scratch?  How about a 15-20 compared to the average frequent golfer of somewhere aroung 12-14?  Or, is a poor player one that hardly plays much but is hand-eye athletic coordinated to play to a 10 or so but he is so infrequent of a golfer that he hasn't really a clue, just raw talent?

I'll go with the 10-14handi compared to scratch, and offer this.  A guy that knows his brief when it comes to GCA, isn't around here anymore, but I'd say, 'the Emporer' without naming him.  Most all of you know who I mean.
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.

Duncan Betts

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2011, 11:13:04 PM »
there seems to be a disconnect here between evaluating golf course architecture and designing a golf course.

Why are Doak/McKenzie etc being used as examples of 'not great players' being good architects.  The discussion revolves around evaluating courses, not designing them!

Having said that, as an actual architect, I find the use of the term 'architect' for someone who designs a golf course rather amusing ;)

Bit like the guys who change the tyres on aeroplanes being called Engineers!

Jim Nugent

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2011, 01:12:19 AM »
Duncan, before becoming a famous architect, Doak made a name for himself by writing the CG.  I think he also ran GM's golf course ratings.  i.e. he did a whole lot of evaluating, and had/has a major impact on how others saw/see the world's top-ranked courses.   

Can anyone design great courses without being able to evaluate golf course architecture?  Seems like a disconnect to me, though maybe an idiot savant type could do so.  I understood through this website that Seth Raynor either played little golf, or no golf at all.     

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2011, 03:20:44 AM »

IMO Ron Whitten is leading a panel of typically good golfers rating golf courses by good golfer criteria. The infamous "resistance to scoring" criteria.

IMO good golfers are particularly unqualified to evaluate architecture, since they are in the minority of golfers.
[size=12point]

Is it your considered opinion that Ben Crenshaw is unqualified to evaluate architecture ?

Donald Ross ?

CBMacdonald ?

Bobby Jones ?

Pete Dye ?

Would you like to retract your statement ? (;;)
[/b][/size]


 They come up with ratings like Pacific Dunes is better than Bandon Trails. :D All you have to do is look at the slope rating, and you can predict that evaluation ;)

Anyone who cannot get their facts straight when expressing an opinion of a course is unqualified to rate courses.


Patrick,

The good golfers reference was intended to refer to the use of amateur low handicappers as raters by Ron Whitten. I doubt any of the names you mention are on Ron's panel. It would seem you agree with me as evidenced by your many disagreements with the Huckster. ;)

I also suffer from lack of writing skills in that I probably did not get across that I was referring to using golfing skill as a qualification for the job. Clearly intelligent, sympathetic people of all skill levels can learn to do a proper job.
"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

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2011, 03:30:05 AM »
No.  The only people capable of evaluating architecture are golf course architects.

WRONG!
"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

Ken Moum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2011, 10:11:34 AM »
Why are Doak/McKenzie etc being used as examples of 'not great players' being good architects.  The discussion revolves around evaluating courses, not designing them!

Well, in Doak's case at least, he was famous for evaluating golf courses long before anyone paid him to design one.

K
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

John Kirk

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2011, 11:05:26 AM »
This fall I suprisingly rediscovered my game and my handicap dropped dramatically ... does that mean I now understand architecture better...

Yes.  Congratulations.  Quite the revelation, isn't it?

But seriously folks...

You have to have seen an ample number of golf shots by players of varying abilities.  I think it's hard to leave it completely to one's imagination.  The possibilities how golf shots can be hit.  An assessment of what typical golf shots look like.  Learning to jusge the reactions, the fears, the elation of your playing partners, what they like and what they don't like.  I think it also helps to be creative, and try to execute different shots.

The ability of an architect to get the most out of his site is one criteria, but I prefer to evaluate purely on what is presented, regardless of the original palette.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 11:12:52 AM by John Kirk »

Steve_ Shaffer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2011, 11:11:52 AM »
How about a panel of "bogey golfers" doing ratings for Golf Digest? Diversity is a good thing these days.
"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”

JESII

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2011, 11:24:01 AM »

The ability of an architect to get the most out of his site is one criteria, but I prefer to evaluate purely on what is presented, regardless of the original palette.



I agree with this. Afterall, the purpose of the architect is to prepare a golf course which will be played upon, isn't it?


I disagree with the notion that one person can evaluate a course through the eyes of others though.

archie_struthers

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2011, 11:30:12 AM »

Melvyn hit the nail on the head . You have to be a "golfer" to really get it, as the vagaries of spin , wind, roll and strategy are easier to analyze if you get it>  However you better understand drainage and budgeting also .

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2011, 11:32:28 AM »
Every golfers opinion is worth 1/800th of a magazine rating.

JESII

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2011, 11:40:57 AM »
Every golfers opinion is worth 1/800th of a magazine rating.


That's why I think it's bogus for them to also rate the course from my perspective in addition to their own...and yours...

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2011, 11:42:42 AM »
Going back to some of the word parsing on the Myopia thread, there was a discussion about evaluating vs elevating architecture.

You can evaluate anything without any particular skill and have a valid opinion.

You have to be a pretty darn good architect to elevate architecture.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2011, 11:42:48 AM »
This fall I suprisingly rediscovered my game and my handicap dropped dramatically ... does that mean I now understand architecture better...
The ability of an architect to get the most out of his site is one criteria, but I prefer to evaluate purely on what is presented, regardless of the original palette.

Architecture isn't just about the archie getting the most out of site.  In fact, we can debate all day what getting the most out of a site means.  Architecture explains why decisions were made.  Its fine to say we don't like something about a course, but the actual architecture behind that feature could be solid as a rock.  I draw a distinct line between the architecture of the course and how the course plays.  These are two separate deals which are certainly related, but it is entirely possible for a course to have great architecture, but just be average in the quality of how it plays.  Its not so different from differentiating between architecture and the maintenance of the course.  I would like to think there is a perfect balance between architecture, course playbility and maintenance meld, but I think that there is so much subjectivity involved that its impossible to talk for anybody else.  Again, there is nothing wrong with a more superficial look at courses that most of us get because for the vast majority that is all there is and that may be all they/we want.

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

Jud_T

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2011, 11:57:53 AM »
Sure you can say that a guy did a great job with the crap site he was given.  But doesn't the decision to build on a crap site to begin with have to factor into the equation? I know guys are just happy to have any job these days, but isn't the final product what really matters, whether it was the best oceanfront linksland or a torn-up parking lot? 
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2011, 12:48:13 PM »
Jud

Of course you are right.  However, what often happens is that folks will say such and such archie is/was the best/top 5 or whatever.  Without knowing architecture its an impossible to leap to knowing architects.  The slope is very slippery from saying architecture doesn't really matter, its the final product which counts to the best archies are....Plus, there is a value to be placed on a well built course which is definitely aprt of the architecture.  When I say well built I don't mean bunker placement and green contour.  I mean does the course drain, are the view taken advantage of, are walks between greens and tees kept to a minimum etc. If we just focus on the playing quality and not so much the experience then some of these basic elements of good design can be ignored.  I am right behind you with the final product being the real thing, but the architecture behind that product is very important as well. 

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

Jud_T

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2011, 01:19:45 PM »
Jud

 I mean does the course drain, are the view taken advantage of, are walks between greens and tees kept to a minimum etc.
     

Seems to me this also comes under the final product catagory as well...
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2011, 01:47:00 PM »
This fall I suprisingly rediscovered my game and my handicap dropped dramatically ... does that mean I now understand architecture better...

Yes.  Congratulations.  Quite the revelation, isn't it?

But seriously folks...

You have to have seen an ample number of golf shots by players of varying abilities.  I think it's hard to leave it completely to one's imagination.  The possibilities how golf shots can be hit.  An assessment of what typical golf shots look like.  Learning to jusge the reactions, the fears, the elation of your playing partners, what they like and what they don't like.  I think it also helps to be creative, and try to execute different shots.

The ability of an architect to get the most out of his site is one criteria, but I prefer to evaluate purely on what is presented, regardless of the original palette.

What you have to understand John, is that Ian has seen all the shots! He has seen them coming off his own club head. He has probably thought that's an awesome effect, now if I could only hit that shot on demand, I could be great.

;)
"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

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