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Ed Oden

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Has technology improved the redan?
« on: January 21, 2011, 09:19:10 PM »
Modern equipment and balls make attacking a redan directly through the air a viable option.  Yet the redan's concepts are so sound that advances in equipment also haven't rendered the traditional ground game obsolete.  In fact, using the contours to feed the ball remains as feasible as ever.  It seems to me that technology advances have expanded the available options on a redan.  And the new option (i.e., aerial attack) brings the hazards even more into play and emphasizes the risk/reward characteristics of the hole.  Do you agree?  If so, aren't most redans arguably better holes now than they have ever been?

Chris Cupit

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 11:30:00 PM »
Interesting point and I'd give it a maybe :)

One thing that modern technology has allowed is that mis hits can still carry distances almost equal to solid strikes.  In a traditional redan if I can now play to the middle of the green or even directly at the left hole location knowing that only a very poorly struck ball ends up in the deep bunker, I am not sure that is an advance.  The "can't miss" if you know you are carrying the ball at least to the middle of the green or beyond is now long, right or through the green as the chip from long right or over the green is generally dead.

With the old technology a player had a much narrower entrance as they had to land the ball front or middle front of the green between the deep left bunker and the right bunkers and right to left kickboard.

Also, new technology (64 degree square groove wedges) does make previous unplayable shots a little more possible.

On the yes side, the direct route is now a much more possible play and many players will take that route bringing a whole new set of problems into play.  On my home course's redan, long and left kicks down into a very bad area from which recovery is nearly impossible (and the ball may even go into a hazard if it really kicks hard off the back left slope just beyond the green. 

One last no is this though--often long left is safe (I'm thinking of Camargo #15 and CC of Charleston #11? where long right on the reverse redan is the only playable miss other than laying up) and the direct approach actually takes away many of the traditional redan hazards.  If the long play chipping back up the green is a "safe" play then I think technology has "out smarted" the hole in those cases.

BCrosby

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 07:20:51 AM »
Ed -

My take is a little different. New technology makes going directly at a left pin a realistic playing option. Certainly there are lots of downsides if you miss that shot (See Chris' post above). But it's not crazy to try if you are a decent player.

But something worrisome has happened. The hole has ceased to play as a Redan. For a good player, it is just another tucked pin on a long par 3.

That's a shame. It's also a good example of why so few modern players pay attention to golf architecture. Taking the example at hand, the unique architecture of a good Redan doesn't bear much on their playing choices. They're not listening to what the Redan is telling them because they don't need to hear it. The same issue scales to a lot of other classic hole designs.

Imho, that's not good for the game long term. Worse, I know of no clever cures for the problem.

Bob



   

Mac Plumart

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 08:16:16 AM »
Bob, I agree with your sentiment.

I think the "cure" is more severe greens.  Think Yeamans Hall. 
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

BCrosby

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 08:41:37 AM »

I think the "cure" is more severe greens.  Think Yeamans Hall. 

Mac - Yes and no. The effect on play of the severity of a green is to some extent (though not entirely) a function of the loft of the club being used to approach it. Green severity means less to when Tiger is approaching with a PW than when I am approaching with a 5 iron.

Not suggesting the severity doesn't help to some degree, but I don't think is helps a lot.

If, however, you can combine severity with firm putting surfaces, you start to make progress. The problem, obviously, is that controlling firmness is so hard to do. Sometimes it rains, for example.

A tough issue.

Bob   

   

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 08:44:26 AM »
Ed

Wash your mouth out with soap. What are you saying, are you really referring to that most iconic of  Hole  ‘The Redan’?

Should you not be whispering the name in reverence and respect. That Hole who’s existence pre dates the 1876/7 extension at North Berwick doing her duty defending herself and honour well before the greats even noticed her defences.

Her true qualities are that even with the aid of modern technology she has still been able to mount a serious defensive, yet much more probing with technology will not just breach her outer bastions, but more importantly destroy the Legend of The Redan.

But for what purpose , what is the point,  technology will one day prevail over all, big deal, however the real question golfers should be asking themselves is ‘Did I beat the Redan, or was it my equipment?’ You will never be able to honestly answer yourself truthfully because if you are an honest man you know that your equipment, finally overpowered The Redan.

Does it not say a lot about the player that has to resort to Technology to overcome a golfing Hole, it’s enough to bring a tear to one’s eyes thinking that my fellow golfers would stoop so low. First to considering using technology  (equipment, distance and cart aids), then to taking it on to a golf course to use it to play the game of golf.

Why not just change the design and make the Hole so much more simple, saving time and money in designing testing holes, after all we do not play golf for the challenge, Heaven forbid, what a mad thought.

Ed, its golf, look at all those drawings and sketches you have collated, look to their original design, that was the way the designers intended the course to be played. We set many of these old dead guys on High Pedestals and nearly worship their course, yet we are not willing to leave them the way they were set up.  How weak and miserable golf has become if we have to rely on technology to give options for our great designs.

I understand you point but just how far do we go before common sense kicks in and we see what we are doing to our old courses. This is not a criticism of you but what is the point of collating all those great sketches and drawings of our golf courses if we are just going to sit back and let technology make the whole experience pointless.

Soon there will be no need for sites like GCA.com as there will be no design or architecture required in designing a course as we all want it easy, so golf will be playing on the internet – now that’s technology.  

I trust you see my concerns re uncontrolled use of technology.

Melvyn

Mac I see the only option being on controlling technology based upon trying to keep our great courses, to lose a course for the sake of a low score in not golf, thats all about the one, the individual, ME, ME & ME.

Mac Plumart

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 09:01:06 AM »
Bob and Melvyn...

Great points!!

Firm greens will help big time...but as you mention Bob, that is tricky to maintain.

Technology is the root of all these issues, like Melvyn said/says, right?  I think this is indisputable.
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Ed Oden

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 01:04:29 PM »
I don't know whether the premise of this thread is correct.  But I do think it is worth chewing on.  So, for purposes of this thread, I will play devil's advocate and do my best to support the position in my initial post:

1.  First of all, you MUST start with the assumption that conditions are fast and firm and the green contours are severe.  Any hole claiming to be a redan that is not fast and firm with severe slopes has already lost the battle since the playing characteristics that allow the design concepts to take effect are not present.  Do you doubt that tame redans could be attacked aerially with old equipment?

2.  Forget about the pros.  I'm guessing that even in the golden age the very best players were capable of attacking the flag with their best shot.  The only difference today with modern technology is that the percentage of golfers who THINK they can pull it off has increased.  It seems to me modern equipment merely makes the foolish play more likely. 

3.  Long left (or long right in the case of a reverse redan) has always been a good miss, whether with hickories and gutta-perchas or Pings and ProV1s.  Technology hasn't changed that.

4.  I would argue that the redan combats modern technology better than just about any other classic hole design.  Isn't that part of its beauty?  It still WORKS whether you attempt to take advantage of modern technology and fly it at the pin or use the ground option as original conceptualized.  Doesn't the availability of another option serve to heighten the hole's strategic qualities?

Now, I will admit that I was thinking strictly in terms of the tee shot when I started this thread.  Chris makes a great point that modern wedges make recovery from misses much easier than in the past.  I can't argue that point, so I will choose to ignore it instead.

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 05:21:01 PM »
Ed -

My take is a little different. New technology makes going directly at a left pin a realistic playing option. Certainly there are lots of downsides if you miss that shot (See Chris' post above). But it's not crazy to try if you are a decent player.

But something worrisome has happened. The hole has ceased to play as a Redan. For a good player, it is just another tucked pin on a long par 3.

Bob,

I'd agree.

If the original architectural concept dictated a method of play, then modern tech has, like the German forces and the Maginot Line, allowed for the circumvention of the predetermined method of play.


That's a shame. It's also a good example of why so few modern players pay attention to golf architecture. Taking the example at hand, the unique architecture of a good Redan doesn't bear much on their playing choices. They're not listening to what the Redan is telling them because they don't need to hear it. The same issue scales to a lot of other classic hole designs.

Imho, that's not good for the game long term. Worse, I know of no clever cures for the problem.

Dialing back the ball would seem the ONLY solution.


Bob



   

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 06:04:04 PM »

Ed

I understand your points but I wonder how the original played in the 1870’s using the then Hickory and Gutty. Add to that the condition of the grass compared with that of today and I question if we have indeed the conditions that you suggest.

More golfer play today than in the past, but has the quality of the modern golfer outstripped the old dead guys. I fear we underestimate the club players of yesterday. We seem to assume that past generations are not as clever or as smart as our 21st Century generation. – I feel that is a serious misunderstanding  many make believing that without the latest technology they could not perform, yet did they not have the latest technology when they themselves lived. A thought, are we producing better courses today or are we struggling to match the likes of Colt etc?

Reverse Redan, more modern concept than old, perhaps, so is it a viable point?

As for your point 4, I feel you may be correct, well in part anyway, but we are playing a Hole that has stood the test of time. Well over 130 years  and has been exported in its various forms, proving that the early initial idea was certainly justified and that we have not bettered it as yet.  A mighty Hole that still has teeth even after being copied and played for over a century or so. But I feel we have missed the best of that joy or experience of not just the course but the Hole as well. The improvements that Technology has brought gives credit only to the golfer, when in fact it has little to do with the golfing skill of the player. The golfer benefiting at the cost of the course and the magic of this very special Hole. Am I the only one that seems to see the injustice in the current system. Golf is meant to be about fair play, honesty and trust, yet our new equipment offers a total advantage to every player that has the money to buy the latest equipment.
   
You go on to say Chris makes a great point that modern wedges make recovery from misses much easier than in the past. Does that not show the sham that golf is turning into today, yet our Governing Bodies appear blind to the goings on both in the factories of the equipment manufactures or on our great courses. Shame on them for bring low the once great Royal and Ancient Game of Golf.

Pray tell me Gentlemen how much has your latest skill cost you?

Melvyn 

Ed Oden

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2011, 11:57:53 AM »

If the original architectural concept dictated a method of play, then modern tech has, like the German forces and the Maginot Line, allowed for the circumvention of the predetermined method of play.


Pat, are you really advocating architecture that dictates a method of play?  That seems to me to be the antithesis of strategic design.  I doubt that was ever the intent of the redan.  Here is a quote from George Bahto book:

Quote
More importantly, the design demonstrates the virtue of strategic architecture so well that it has become the single most emulated green complex in golf.  To many who have been ensnared in its bunkers, the Redan is the most complex par 3 in the British Isles... The Redan demands a thorough reevaluation of how best to attack its defenses with every shift of the wind - and seldom is there complete agreement as to the most effective route.  Unless the circumstances are just right, a direct frontal assault will be cruelly dispatched to the deep bunkers that surround and defend the fortress.

From my perch, modern technology merely allows a larger percentage of golfers to consider taking a path traveled by only a handful in years gone by.  My guess is that few are successful.  Even with modern wedges, the aggressive line brings a big number into play.  Isn't strategy increased when the best mode of attack becomes less obvious?

Bill_McBride

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2011, 11:18:48 PM »
If you are a "true believer" (like me), you will ignore the modern play -- if you are even capable of making it -- and play the hole as it's designed to be played.  Trust me, it will a lot more fun and ultimately be more fulfilling.

Note that this may require a knocked down 4 iron rather than a full-throated 7 iron,  But it will be a far, far better thing to do than you have ever done before.

All the best,

Sidney

JMEvensky

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 09:10:43 AM »
If you are a "true believer" (like me), you will ignore the modern play -- if you are even capable of making it -- and play the hole as it's designed to be played.  Trust me, it will a lot more fun and ultimately be more fulfilling.

Note that this may require a knocked down 4 iron rather than a full-throated 7 iron,  But it will be a far, far better thing to do than you have ever done before.

All the best,

Sidney

I just didn't want you to think this had gone unnoticed--especially since ATOTC is my favorite Dickens.

Bill_McBride

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2011, 02:41:34 PM »
If you are a "true believer" (like me), you will ignore the modern play -- if you are even capable of making it -- and play the hole as it's designed to be played.  Trust me, it will a lot more fun and ultimately be more fulfilling.

Note that this may require a knocked down 4 iron rather than a full-throated 7 iron,  But it will be a far, far better thing to do than you have ever done before.

All the best,

Sidney

I just didn't want you to think this had gone unnoticed--especially since ATOTC is my favorite Dickens.

Isn't it amazing how that book holds up?

JMEvensky

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 02:49:50 PM »
If you are a "true believer" (like me), you will ignore the modern play -- if you are even capable of making it -- and play the hole as it's designed to be played.  Trust me, it will a lot more fun and ultimately be more fulfilling.

Note that this may require a knocked down 4 iron rather than a full-throated 7 iron,  But it will be a far, far better thing to do than you have ever done before.

All the best,

Sidney

I just didn't want you to think this had gone unnoticed--especially since ATOTC is my favorite Dickens.

Isn't it amazing how that book holds up?


Agreed.I saw parts of the Ronald Coleman movie the other night for the 100th time and that ain't bad either.Still,nothing like the novel.

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2011, 04:03:56 PM »

If the original architectural concept dictated a method of play, then modern tech has, like the German forces and the Maginot Line, allowed for the circumvention of the predetermined method of play.


Pat, are you really advocating architecture that dictates a method of play? 

On almost every par 3, the ultimate in target golf, the architect essentially dictates the method of play.


That seems to me to be the antithesis of strategic design. 

There's very little in the way of strategic design in par 3's.


I doubt that was ever the intent of the redan.  Here is a quote from George Bahto book:

Quote
More importantly, the design demonstrates the virtue of strategic architecture so well that it has become the single most emulated green complex in golf.  To many who have been ensnared in its bunkers, the Redan is the most complex par 3 in the British Isles... The Redan demands a thorough reevaluation of how best to attack its defenses with every shift of the wind - and seldom is there complete agreement as to the most effective route.  Unless the circumstances are just right, a direct frontal assault will be cruelly dispatched to the deep bunkers that surround and defend the fortress.

From my perch, modern technology merely allows a larger percentage of golfers to consider taking a path traveled by only a handful in years gone by.  My guess is that few are successful.  Even with modern wedges, the aggressive line brings a big number into play.  Isn't strategy increased when the best mode of attack becomes less obvious?

There's no way around it, par 3's are target golf.

You're confusing strategy and varied methods of play on par 4's and par 5's with the single shot approach to a specific target zone on a par 3.


Ed Oden

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2011, 10:15:36 PM »
Pat, you may be right that par 3s are generally more target golf than strategic design.  But I don't think that holds true with respect to most redans.  Here again is Bahto's quote:

Quote
More importantly, the design demonstrates the virtue of strategic architecture so well that it has become the single most emulated green complex in golf.  To many who have been ensnared in its bunkers, the Redan is the most complex par 3 in the British Isles... The Redan demands a thorough reevaluation of how best to attack its defenses with every shift of the wind - and seldom is there complete agreement as to the most effective route.  Unless the circumstances are just right, a direct frontal assault will be cruelly dispatched to the deep bunkers that surround and defend the fortress.

How about Darwin?

Quote
The 'Redan'' is a beautiful one-shot hole on the top of a plateau, with a bunker short of the green to the left and another further on to the right, and we must vary our mode of attack according to the wind, playing a shot to come in from the riight or making a direct frontal attack.

Maybe Whigham?

Quote
Said the North Berwick caddie to Mr. Macdonald when he was on the quest for ideal holes for the coming of National Golf Links, "Here's the hole that makes you think."

Perhaps Shackelford?

Quote
The well-designed Redan par-3 was the first model for tempting architecture and continues to serve as the best example of temptation.

Or maybe this guy... http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,38784.0.html

Sounds to me like the redan has always been and continues to be at its core a strategic hole.  I don't see that the architecture has ever dictated one mode of play.

Now, with all that said, I will gladly profess the error of my ways, recognize you as the supreme authority on all GCA-related matters, root for Notre Dame and type in green if you will only recommence and finish your NGLA Enchanted Journey series!




JMEvensky

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2011, 09:35:32 AM »


Now, with all that said, I will gladly profess the error of my ways, recognize you as the supreme authority on all GCA-related matters, root for Notre Dame and type in green if you will only recommence and finish your NGLA Enchanted Journey series!


I've been trying to goad him to do this also.I hope you have better luck than I.

Agreeing to root for ND is a price I wasn't willing to pay.

Sean_A

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2011, 09:57:07 AM »
Tech is a double edged sword with the Redan.  Yes, it has made the aerial tee shot more viable for many more golfers than 100 years ago.  On the other hand, it has also made reaching the bailout long play easier as well.  I spose as a defence against that play a bunker can be stuck in to the rear of the green making that safe zone a bit more of a lottery.  The problem with that is when the green is firm and downwind then we are back to the one dimensional play of old for almost all golfers.  I think it best to just accept the Redan is an easier hole than 100 years ago - just as nearly all holes not touched up much for a century are.  However, tougher and better are not one and the same.  Personally, I prefer the gentler side of design so tech suits me.  VERDICT: as far as I can tell without being 120 years old, the Redan is better with tech.

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

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2011, 10:37:40 AM »

Sean

May I suggest that the next time you play North Berwick, please do so with a Hickory set. While it will not be totally the same as 120 years ago it will get you much closer and give you a better chance to either prove or disprove your point.

I feel you may be somewhat surprised and re consider your last comment.  Hickory will give you a chance to resolve any doubt.

Enjoy

Melvyn

JESII

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Re: Has technology improved the redan?
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2011, 10:42:16 AM »
Wouldn't the technology that enables these greens to be prepared so fast counter the advantage ball and club technology have provided in the way of hitting shorter clubs? The only Redan's I've played have pretty severe greens.

In terms of "improvement", I don't know but CBM spoke about the direct aerial option 100 years ago when the wind is into...


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