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Kyle Harris

Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2011, 07:21:09 PM »
Okay okay okay...

I'm saying it.

Those who don't actually play golf aren't qualified to critique Galen Hall.

;)

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2011, 07:21:33 PM »
Ryan

While the point is taken concerning lack of knowledge, sometimes it doesn't take much knowledge to see there is something amiss or troubling.  Usually though, I think of little things like a green placement that makes me wonder why or why not instead of an entire routing.  Sometimes I wonder about the connector holes eating up great terrain.  This doesn't mean the decision to do so was bad, but perhaps somehow unsatisfactory.

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

Ben Sims

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2011, 07:42:16 PM »
Ryan,

If one is eloquent enough to put how a routing made them feel into words.  Then I think they are more than entitled to comment.  Aren't we allowed to say how well an an entree was cooked at a restaurant even thought we're not chefs?  Aren't we allowed to question our political figures even though we're not politicians? 

Also, I disagree with the premise of your statement in another regards.  It seems to me that you are advocating that criticism is unwanted and everyone should be made to feel good about their product.  That's a problem in today's society.  We need emotional maturity like we had as a country five decades ago.  I'm tired of having to tell my students how good they did after they were five seconds from killing me.  
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 07:46:05 PM by Ben Sims »

Sam Morrow

Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2011, 07:45:40 PM »
I wish I knew more about routing a course, I would love to follow a GCA around while he does one.

Ryan Farrow

Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2011, 08:56:05 PM »
Lester, its the speculation and assumptions on what is un-known that makes it difficult for anyone to properly critique a routing.... Unless you have done routings on that same property with feedback from the client, do you really know what could or couldn't have been changed? Picking apart the details and what is inherently wrong, yes.... but still limiting. At least with professional experience you should have the ability to call a good routing when you see it and can factor in many of the unknown variables that are often overlooked by the un-trained eye....


This is getting back to my argument that yes, its OK to critique, I never said otherwise. But understand, just because you play a lot a golf or read a lot of the old dead guys books about architecture,  does not make you any more qualified to critique the intricacies of a routing than it does the drainage or irrigation system.


Peter Pallotta

Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2011, 09:41:31 PM »
Ryan - I was just having a bit of fun with my first post. In truth, I tend to agree with you, if you meant that only a very few can meaningfully comment on whether or not an architect "made the most of the site" or "got the most out of the land"...which are two phrases often used when discussing the routing/quality of the routing. In that sense, you're right I think -- though as most of us have pointed out, that shouldn't really stop us from trying to make educated guesses, especially since we're just discussion board participants and not potential clients.

Peter

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2011, 10:16:12 PM »
Ryan, Are you qualifying your statement to only include criticism that surrounds 'what should've been'?

Because there's more than one way to feel a routing, good or bad. My experiences, in having an opinion on the routing, is usually on a very familiar course. After kicking around initial impressions usually change. Then again, It not really that hard to to tell when a config has been reversed, unless it was vastly improved. ala ANGC. Now there I've gone and done it..., I really shouldn't comment on the quality of Augusta since I have never stepped foot on property. dratz
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

JESII

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2011, 10:25:17 PM »
Ryan,

I think you should go back and read your opening post...it's a real head-scratcher...now that you're saying you never asked anybody to not critique routing.

For what it's worth, if you don't have an easy answer to a criticism (which would presumably bring the critic up to speed with unknown factors) then it's perfectly valid.

Jim Colton

Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2011, 11:22:15 PM »

This is getting back to my argument that yes, its OK to critique, I never said otherwise. But understand, just because you play a lot a golf or read a lot of the old dead guys books about architecture,  does not make you any more qualified to critique the intricacies of a routing than it does the drainage or irrigation system.


I don't agree with this one either. I've been playing golf for 25+ years, and I couldn't care less about drainage or irrigation. But I am extremely interested in routing and the intricate decisions and trade-offs that went into the final product. Enough interest to study it further by reading a lot of dead guy books about architecture and, more importantly, picking the brains of those that do it for a living. I'd like to think that I learned at least a little bit from this process, enough to be able to critique it adequately. If not, how does one get the blessing to do so? Do I have to quit my day job and become a design associate (which if I did, I imagine part of the learning process would likely include a lot of reading, a lot of studying/playing great courses, and a lot of being mentored)? Or maybe some sort of routing post police with Ryan as sheriff?

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2011, 01:20:49 AM »
While I am not especially in the mood to defend Ryan, I will say that I have read lots of "critiques" [i.e. complaints] about routings on Golf Club Atlas, and very few of them made any valuable suggestion.

The routing is the most important part of the golf course, if you have a good site to work with.  However, most people critique routings based on boilerplate suggestions for how to do an "ideal" routing, where all those ideals trump the actual features of the site.  To me, the important thing is to build four great par-3's that all feel and play differently, not to build four reasonable ones that box the compass and have perfectly staggered yardages.  I KNOW when I've built three par-3's that play the same direction ... obviously, I wouldn't have done so unless I thought they were the best choices I could make for the par-3's and for the routing as a whole.  So, having five guys come on here and tell me the yardages aren't staggered enough or the holes play the same direction is not at all valuable.

To really critique whether I have met my standard of making best use of the features of the property, you don't have to be a professional architect [or associate], but you do have to have a keen eye for picking out what were the best features to use and how else they might have been used.  Not many people can do that well -- including, as Mike says, a fair number of people who make their living at golf course architecture.

Sam Morrow

Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2011, 01:29:49 AM »
I don't mind yardages not being staggered on par 3's if they each present a unique challenge. I played a course recently (a course I didn't care for) but on the 4 par 3's I hit 4 hybrid, 6 iron, 4 hybrid, 5 iron and each hole required a different shape to get to the hole.

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2011, 08:01:55 AM »
Ryan,

There are plenty of people qualified to be architects who can not now or no longer afford to do so.  Congrats on your ability to feed a family as a design associate.  You remind me of the camel who would not lead a horse to water.

Mike Sweeney

Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2011, 08:41:46 AM »
Can non-architects refrain from commenting on the "routing".

Ryan

Perhaps, but can you first define what is a golf course architect?


Ian Andrew

Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2011, 11:32:34 AM »
I always found it funny that the one person on this site – non golf designer – who I thought had a really great eye for the details of a site was very adamant that he couldn’t design a course. What I found interesting through listening to his explanation of why was his understanding of how much more work there was beyond identifying reverse cants and other desirable features to incorporate. He had also spent enough time to find out the technical complications and was put off by the ever expanding requirements beyond looking at land.

I think many on this site can identify weakness in a routing, I doubt that more than a handful can truly route something special from “any” piece of land. I’ve seen alternative routings for courses such as Sebonac and Coppinwood (current thread) and some routings use the existing features far better than others do.

Patrick Hodgdon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2011, 01:09:46 PM »
Can non-architects refrain from commenting on the "routing".

If you do wish to comment on a routing please point out things, such as:

1. "The driving range hits directly into the rising sun."
2. "The last 3 holes face west and I can't see where my tee shot went!"
2. "All the Par 3's face the same direction."
3. "All the Par 3's are the same length."
4. "Whats up with the back to back par 3's? Was that necessary?"
5. "The 9th hole is the first par 3 of the round. WTF"
6. "The routing does not flow."
7."Why does this Course have 18 Par 3's?"
8."Why am I asking so many routing questions about par 3's?"

ETC.......


Lets just keep it simple and stick to whats already in the ground and what you like/dislike about it..... I think that's good enough.  ;D ;D ;D



I'm not trying to demean or attack anyone I just think we all need to realize when were in a little over our head. Very few people, even architects, have the ability to critique a routing. There are many unknown restraints and outside influences that its best to just accept the final product and cut the speculation on what could or couldn't have been.


I found this post pretty funny, since it immediately made me think of this old thread where some guy critiqued a top-20 course by calling it "boring" and saying it's routing, which many consider "genius," could easily just be duplicated anywhere. Meanwhile the argument never got to a substantive level with thoughts like 1-9 above.

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,42916.msg930094.html#msg930094
Did you know World Woods has the best burger I've ever had in my entire life? I'm planning a trip back just for another one between rounds.

"I would love to be a woman golfer." -JC Jones

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2011, 02:10:58 PM »
Interesting find, Patrick. I call that syndrome "Blank for me, not for thee", and it's all too common in the world today.

While I am not especially in the mood to defend Ryan, I will say that I have read lots of "critiques" [i.e. complaints] about routings on Golf Club Atlas, and very few of them made any valuable suggestion.

The routing is the most important part of the golf course, if you have a good site to work with.  However, most people critique routings based on boilerplate suggestions for how to do an "ideal" routing, where all those ideals trump the actual features of the site.  To me, the important thing is to build four great par-3's that all feel and play differently, not to build four reasonable ones that box the compass and have perfectly staggered yardages.  I KNOW when I've built three par-3's that play the same direction ... obviously, I wouldn't have done so unless I thought they were the best choices I could make for the par-3's and for the routing as a whole.  So, having five guys come on here and tell me the yardages aren't staggered enough or the holes play the same direction is not at all valuable.

To really critique whether I have met my standard of making best use of the features of the property, you don't have to be a professional architect [or associate], but you do have to have a keen eye for picking out what were the best features to use and how else they might have been used.  Not many people can do that well -- including, as Mike says, a fair number of people who make their living at golf course architecture.

I know it must get frustrating to be questioned by others less knowledgeable, but when people make comments like "boxing the compass" - ideas that sound pretty good on the surface - and you explain your thinking, or or explain why an idea that sounds good may not work in practice, the rest of us learn A LOT.

At least, the truly broad-minded among us do...

 :)
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

Kyle Harris

Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2011, 07:31:16 PM »
I wonder how many would/could criticize a routing without having to look at a map.

Tom Doak touches on this with the "boxing" the compass idea. I believe that very effective routings hide such so-called shortcomings with compelling architecture.

Mountain Lake features six that go in the same North-to-South direction along Scenic Route 17 but the routing flows elegantly over the folds in the land and the lakes. I highly doubt the golfer is aware of the lack of change in direction, nor would call the routing deficient.

I believe, in the effort to measure quality objectively, critics have lost the very point of design - to provide compelling golf.

Scott Warren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2011, 02:33:40 AM »
David Elvins,

A great point bringing up that Sandbelt bunkering thread. From memory both Mike Clayton and Mike Cocking made great posts on the topic and it was tremendously interesting and enlightening, despite the OP.

There will always be varying levels of quality on a site that features both industry professionals and those for whom the subject is a hobby. I have read good and bad - interesting and inane - from both camps.

Carl Johnson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2011, 10:15:32 AM »
David Elvins,
. . .
There will always be varying levels of quality on a site that features both industry professionals and those for whom the subject is a hobby. I have read good and bad - interesting and inane - from both camps.

Seriously folks.  Hasn't Scott just identified a significant part of  what this discussion group is all about?  Or am I wrong?  I asked to become a member as an interested "golfer" (I put that in quotes because some have questioned it).  It seemed to me to be a great opportunity to learn and to think about architecture issues - to ask questions, listen to what others have to say, whether I agree or not, maybe ask some stupid quesions, or say some stupid things myself, and then be gently directed to re-examine my position in light of etc., etc., by others with more, or professional, experience.

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2011, 10:43:31 AM »
David Elvins,
. . .
There will always be varying levels of quality on a site that features both industry professionals and those for whom the subject is a hobby. I have read good and bad - interesting and inane - from both camps.

Seriously folks.  Hasn't Scott just identified a significant part of  what this discussion group is all about?  Or am I wrong?  I asked to become a member as an interested "golfer" (I put that in quotes because some have questioned it).  It seemed to me to be a great opportunity to learn and to think about architecture issues - to ask questions, listen to what others have to say, whether I agree or not, maybe ask some stupid quesions, or say some stupid things myself, and then be gently directed to re-examine my position in light of etc., etc., by others with more, or professional, experience.

Carl, you're not wrong at all. Imho, all thoughts should be welcome and encouraged; Lord knows, if someone is wrong, there are plenty of people willing to point it out!
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

David_Elvins

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: In light of many recent threads....
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2011, 12:34:18 AM »
Scott, (George and Carl),

Thanks for getting to the heart of the matter far more eloquently than I was able to.  I should have got you to proof read my earlier post and save me from my post coming across as a personal attack.   
Ask not what GolfClubAtlas can do for you; ask what you can do for GolfClubAtlas.

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