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Anthony Gray

Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« on: January 23, 2011, 09:15:42 PM »


  Scott Warren recently mentioned that a GCAer told him he was not a good enough golfer to have a valid opinion.Is this true?Haven't nongolfers even made their mark as architects.I've outplayed raters before as a double digit handicapper.

  Anthony


Mike Cirba

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 09:40:09 PM »
Two words:

Bernard Darwin

Two more:

Ron Whitten


rjsimper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 09:45:22 PM »
Not at all, but you do need to be aware of how a good golfer plays. Same goes the other way as well.

Anthony Gray

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 09:50:20 PM »
Not at all, but you do need to be aware of how a good golfer plays. Same goes the other way as well.


  I think a prime example is 16 at Sawgrass.The tree is invisable to the pros but can play havok with the average golfer.

  Anthony


John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 10:02:24 PM »
If Tavi Gevinson can evaluate fashion any hack with a keyboard can evaluate architecture.

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 10:05:17 PM »
Seth Raynor !

Mike Cirba,

Ron Whitten called Jasna Polana a modern day Winged Foot.
Do you want to edit or retract your post ?(;;)

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 11:24:23 PM »
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. 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.
"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

Steve Pozaric

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 11:28:25 PM »
I hope not, else I am wasting my time here. 

I might know what I should/could do, while execution is a different issue.
Steve Pozaric

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2011, 11:30:35 PM »

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.


Ken Moum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2011, 12:23:37 AM »
I've talked to a whole bunch of golfers about GCA and I'm pretty sure that there's no way to correlate golfing ability to GCA evaluation ability.

Mostly because the actual percentage of golfers who give a damn about GCA is so low that finding sample is nearly impossible.

I do find that good golfers are slightly more likely to have strong opinions about GCA, and those opinions are nearly always limited to liking their courses simple, without centerline hazards, and with narrow fairways.  But don't be throwing hard greens at them...

Of course, this generalization has plenty of exceptions, including the good players here on GCA.com.


I do agree with the suggestion that being good requires the ability to put yourself in the shoes of those most unlike yourself.  And that's a rare ability.

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

Chris Cupit

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2011, 02:38:56 AM »
No, but it helps. 

Imagination and the ability to envision all levels of play seems to be a key to me.  Certainly there are examples of average, poor and even non golfers who are great architects and I think it is fair to say many better players can have a very myopic view of the game and fail to take into account the way 95% of people play the game.

Having said that here is my controversial statement :) :

I think better golfers who make that mistake are being lazy and sloppy.  There is no reason for them to make this mistake.  On the other hand I think it is more difficult forba poor player to understand something they can never experience--certain golf shots that they could never play.  I am only suggesting that better players should have an additional tool at their disposal with their unique experience of having played the game from beginner to expert levels.  Of course that range of experiences is sometimes wasted.


Dónal Ó Ceallaigh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 03:43:04 AM »
Two words:

Bernard Darwin

Two more:

Ron Whitten



Mike,

Bernard Darwin was a pretty good golfer, playing in the Amateur Championship on many occasions. He also played Walker Cup, but I think that was because he had to step in at the last hour to replace someone else.

Scott Warren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 04:48:18 AM »
Anthony,

From a few posts I have seen on here, I have a lower handicap than Tom Doak (though I've never had a round as low as his 67 (?) at St Enodoc), which I guess answers the question!

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

It's John Lyon's favourite insult when we talk about courses.

Matthew Mollica

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2011, 05:48:38 AM »
It's a fascinating question - the correlation between one's playing ability and the ability to assess a course's quality.
I feel the "No, but it helps" answer sums it up best.
Must I be able to paint like Monet in order to appreciate and objectively comment on art?

MM
"The truth about golf courses has a slightly different expression for every golfer. Which of them, one might ask, is without the most definitive convictions concerning the merits or deficiencies of the links he plays over? Freedom of criticism is one of the last privileges he is likely to forgo."

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 06:20:51 AM »
I follow the Huckabean Theory of Architecture Evaluation.  Only those in the know can really judge how well an archie performed on a project.  Everybody else is more or less looking at the final product and making a personal judgement on what they think of the course with the exception of those in the business who can have a good idea of why certain things may have been a certain way.  Not that this type of opinion isn't valuable or can't be insightful, for sure, it often can be both, afterall most people could care less bout the constraints of a project.  They care about how the course plays.  In either case I don't think playing ability necessarily makes much difference.  A lot of different skills can either be important or not depending on the who is doing the evaluation, who is the audience, what is the purpose and the criteria.   

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

Mark_F

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2011, 06:23:32 AM »
Must I be able to paint like Monet in order to appreciate and objectively comment on art?

That is a completely fallacious analogy, Matthew.

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2011, 06:54:07 AM »
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.
In June I will be riding the first three stages of this year's Tour de France route for charity.  630km (394 miles) in three days, with 7800m (25,600 feet) of climbing for the William Wates Memorial Trust (https://rideleloop.org/the-charity/) which supports underprivileged young people.

Duncan Cheslett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2011, 07:17:38 AM »
By all accounts Dr MacKenzie was a pretty average golfer for most of his life, only getting better in his later years - presumably as a result of living in the sun and having more time to play. Yet he was able to fashion courses of the very highest standards.

If we take it as read that all but a few top championship courses are designed with the full range of golfing ability in mind, then surely an average golfer is perfectly qualified to evaluate the architecture of a course as it plays for the average golfer. Equally a scratch player is best placed to evaluate the course from a scratch player's point of view.

I guess that there is an argument that the scratch player can see the course from all perspectives, as he was an 18 handicap hacker once.

 I really wouldn't know though, as '18 handicap hacker' is still an aspiration as far as I'm concerned!

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2011, 07:38:33 AM »

Anthony

Do You Have To Be A Good Golfer To Evaluate Architecture  -  NO, but you have to be a Golfer to evaluate architecture

Melvyn

Ian Andrew

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2011, 09:54:35 AM »
This fall I suprisingly rediscovered my game and my handicap dropped dramatically ... does that mean I now understand architecture better...


Chris Johnston

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2011, 11:25:30 AM »
Do you need to know everything about Tiger Woods to evaluate his swing...?

Nope.

However, if you were the one evaluating (and qualified to evaluate) his swing, it would be helpful to know as much as possible about the player.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2011, 11:27:49 AM »
I follow the Huckabean Theory of Architecture Evaluation.  Only those in the know can really judge how well an archie performed on a project.  Everybody else is more or less looking at the final product and making a personal judgement on what they think of the course with the exception of those in the business who can have a good idea of why certain things may have been a certain way.  Not that this type of opinion isn't valuable or can't be insightful, for sure, it often can be both, afterall most people could care less bout the constraints of a project.  They care about how the course plays.  In either case I don't think playing ability necessarily makes much difference.  A lot of different skills can either be important or not depending on the who is doing the evaluation, who is the audience, what is the purpose and the criteria.  

I'm a junior partner in the firm of Huckaby and Arble.

PS - Ian, that's a great tag line you have there.  And the full quote would be worthy of a thread, I think: "Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows."
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 11:45:39 AM by PPallotta »

JESII

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2011, 11:44:46 AM »
What is Golf Course "Architecture"?

If it's the result, why does it matter what was there before?

If it's the effort, how could more than a few people in the world be qualified?

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2011, 12:35:34 PM »
Some of you like your musical analogies. Here's one.

Do you have to be a good player/singer/conductor/composer to be a good music critic? The answer to that is, 'No.' How many great composers have been good players/singers/conductors? Surprisingly few. What you have to be able to do is to understand the medium in such depth that you are able to say how and why Rattle's Eroica Symphony differs from Karajan's if you are a critic, or how to translate that original idea and its sound world into a code which musicians can recreate as you want it, if you are a composer.

I grant that there are a few composers who have been self taught yet successful, but I doubt if any could be considered great, however influential. Almost all the great composers have studied the works of many other composers in great detail before being able to make their own mark. The critics, too, have had to study works in great detail before venturing into print in a serious journal. How can you study to write a criticism of the  first performance of a new work? You study previous works by that composer alongside those of his or her contemporaries operating in the same genre. Study is deep analysis in a big way.

So, however poor your own play in golf, if you've studied in the right way and have played enough golf over not only the masterpieces but also the lesser courses of great architects you begin to get an understanding of what is there, what they did, and the pertinent features of their style. Others have written about it already. What do you learn from them? You then are able to recognise and understand the development of that architect's style. A good contemporary observer might be able to recognise stylistic development in contemporary architects as it happens (as a modern music critic has to be able to do). The less observant of us will have to sit back 50 years to be able to trace the evolution of style and practices of Doak or Coore/Crenshaw, as most of us have to do with music - although in music's case it may well be 100 years or more. 

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Do you have to be a good golfer to evaluate architecture?
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2011, 02:36:47 PM »
This fall I suprisingly rediscovered my game and my handicap dropped dramatically ... does that mean I now understand architecture better...



........or does it mean not enough work and too much time to practice ? Hopefully wrong and just down to your natural ability (insert smiley)

Niall

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