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Peter Pallotta

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2011, 10:26:14 AM »
See, that's what I meant earlier about the participatory nature of the art-craft, and why the 'audience' (be it a client or the golfer) is what good GCAs keep in mind even when thinking of building their own dream courses.  Look at how Tom D, for example, phrases this:

"a course where you wanted to play a lot of approach shots across the ground"

"the greens contouring would not be like anything you've seen before"

Not an "I" to be found there.  

And I'd suggest that a would-be GCA in the fantasy world -- and many of us here, if given the money and time to build anything we wanted -- would be thinking/speaking (consciously or not) another kind of language.

Peter

Ken Moum

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Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2011, 10:37:13 AM »
It is pure fantasy, because none of those other influences would go away.  There would still be magazines and raters and Golf Club Atlas, and it would still be up to each architect to decide how much he cared about what any of them were going to think.  And if you're not going to operate the course yourself, then you'd still have to consider the client who you'd eventually be selling to.

The only way I would build something 100% different than what I've been doing is if a client asked me to, or if I really was going to own and operate the course myself.


Of course those influences would never "go away," but the fantasy is that they never existed in the first place.

St. Andrews was built on common ground, ground that the people of the town used communally.  So for the sake of Don's fantasy, imagine if golf came to America at a time when land was viewed like it was by most native Americans.

No one owns the the land, and you as an architect are free to create a place where you and your people will play the game of golf unhindered by concerns of making money or developers or....

You'd simply play the game over community property prepared for golf by you and your "team."

Of course it can't happen, of course it's a fantasy, but IMHO that's exactly how the game came to be in the first place.  

The native American component isn't so far-fetched if you ask, because one thing a lot of Americans overlook is that golf as we know it could not have been created here, except on the Great Plains where buffalo and prairie dogs kept the grass down.

Given the need for short grass to play, or even find, your ball, SCottish linksland may have been one of the populated areas where it could have developed.

K
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 10:40:54 AM by Ken Moum »
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

Don_Mahaffey

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2011, 10:40:09 AM »
When I think of architects already doing things differently than most, TD is at the top. From back to back par 3s to the routing at Dismal River, Tom isn't afraid to take a few chances.

What Mike Nuzzo did at Wolf Point with low profile greens at fwy grade for the most part is very different, especially on a flat site where the norm would be to lift up the greens and tees.  He brings uncertainty into shot making when you can’t tell where the green starts and finishes. And its not just about the mowing lines, but topography as well.

Pete Dye certainly brought in a different look with his TPC courses.

I've seen some other examples of designers trying to do it differently, but often they come off to me as goofy, as trying too hard to say "look at me".

Ian Andrew in the "visuals" thread (paraphrasing here) says the look and feel of modern architecture is because people don't have time to figure it out, and more importantly don't want to put forth the effort. Why read the book if you can go see the movie.
He also says courses are judged on how they look more then how they play.
I think Ian is right, but I also think it’s a mistake to target design for the general populace, or for those who judge courses. The general populace does not play golf, and those who try to judge golf course strike out as often as they get a hit (in terms of what will be successful and what will not).

Recently in National Geographic there was a story about some folks who enter these huge caverns in Australia that empty out, or open up,( not sure what term to use here as I don’t have the article in front of me) miles downstream. They have to rappel , swim, climb, hike, whatever in hopes of finding a way out. Apparently, there are multiple exits and because of the huge canyon faces and over growth, GPS and other electronic navigation aids don’t work. They enter not knowing where or how they’ll get out.

I want to play golf courses like that. I don’t want to do all the physical stuff, but I’d like to go in uncertain about what my game plan might be. Golf courses where I can sit down the night before and check off hole by hole…hit driver here, 3 wood here and here, 4 or 5 iron to this par 3….etc get boring. I think with clever design, in the right climate, on the right soils, and with the right guys setting up the course each day, we could have more adventurous golf.

Kirk Gill

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Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2011, 10:47:54 AM »
I suppose that this sort of fantasy would be most easily fulfilled in the world of the video game, or a golf course architecture design contest.

No land cost, no retail pressure, easy edits.

I could certainly be wrong, but it strikes me that one of the things inhibiting creative expression in golf course design is how expensive everything is to build and to change later if something doesn't work out on the ground the way it did in the designer's mind. And there's always a fine line between challenging the audience/customer and going farther than they're willing to go at that point in time. There's "same-old same-old" and "quirky!" and "what the hell is this?" - and getting paying customers to come along for the ride isn't always possible. Plus, the level of interaction between a golfer and a course is different than a person who goes to see a movie, for instance. You want the golfing public to come back again and again, and the product can't be distributed widely to gain those repeat plays, the audience has to come to you, and feel it's worthwhile. Thus, the video game model !

I like your question, Mark, but it also makes me think of another. What if you removed "best golf course in the world" and just left it at "I trust you completely, let me know when it's done?" Would the ensuing course be the same as if that instruction was left in place?

P.S. Just read all the interesting posts created while I was writing this one. And I'm posting it anyway.
"After all, we're not communists."
                             -Don Barzini

Tom_Doak

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Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2011, 04:32:48 PM »
Recently in National Geographic there was a story about some folks who enter these huge caverns in Australia that empty out, or open up,( not sure what term to use here as I don’t have the article in front of me) miles downstream. They have to rappel , swim, climb, hike, whatever in hopes of finding a way out. Apparently, there are multiple exits and because of the huge canyon faces and over growth, GPS and other electronic navigation aids don’t work. They enter not knowing where or how they’ll get out.

I want to play golf courses like that. I don’t want to do all the physical stuff, but I’d like to go in uncertain about what my game plan might be. Golf courses where I can sit down the night before and check off hole by hole…hit driver here, 3 wood here and here, 4 or 5 iron to this par 3….etc get boring. I think with clever design, in the right climate, on the right soils, and with the right guys setting up the course each day, we could have more adventurous golf.


That's a great fantasy.  It's exactly what golf was like on linksland, 200 years ago.

I hope I get to build a course like that someday.  But for the fantasy to really work, we will have to blow up the servers on Golf Club Atlas, so that the rest of these guys can't trade notes on how to play the course.

Tom_Doak

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Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2011, 04:36:08 PM »
it strikes me that one of the things inhibiting creative expression in golf course design is how expensive everything is to build and to change later if something doesn't work out on the ground the way it did in the designer's mind. And there's always a fine line between challenging the audience/customer and going farther than they're willing to go at that point in time. There's "same-old same-old" and "quirky!" and "what the hell is this?" - and getting paying customers to come along for the ride isn't always possible. Plus, the level of interaction between a golfer and a course is different than a person who goes to see a movie, for instance. You want the golfing public to come back again and again, and the product can't be distributed widely to gain those repeat plays, the audience has to come to you, and feel it's worthwhile.

Kirk:

You are absolutely right.

We never talk about it much here, but experimentation was still the norm up until the 1940's -- when fairway irrigation became standard.  That's when changing features after the fact got too expensive to be practical.


Patrick_Mucci

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2011, 12:36:09 AM »

If you think about some of the most revered US courses - places like Pine Valley, Oakmont, NGLA, Augusta - they almost followed your fantasy.

George,

I'd disagree strongly

Those men built those golf courses because of their love for the game and their desire to play that course for the rest of their lives

Don's premise centers on building courses for the purpose of selling them, abandoning them once they're sold


Coincidence? Maybe not. Who is going to put more effort into getting the most out of a site than the owner?

Under Don's premise, cost to build would become a more influential component


Land cost is the obvious reason why this approach doesn't work as well today. But it is fun to fantasize...


Don,

I think it's a fascinating premise.

Unfortunately I think it would result in inferior products.

I think the "Suskind" principle would evolve.

Converted to golf the "Suskind" principle would state that there are no bad golf courses, only golfers with bad taste



Patrick_Mucci

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2011, 12:47:02 AM »
Don,

In your reply # 27, you forget that the relationship between the architect and developer, along with the compensation would change dramatically.

There would be no developer, thus, the architect wouldn't get a contractual fee, and he certainly wouldn't get the fee up front or as the work progressed.

Thus, he'd be at risk, for if his product didn't sell, or if it didn't sell at a targeted price or at "cost" basis.

Under those circumstances how many architects would "risk" quirky or unusual designs ?

Who would pour millions of dollars into a project and invest a year or two of their time at the risk of coming up empty or short millions of dollars.

You're right about one thing............ It is a fantasy.

It would never work in the real world............. Unless, an extremely wealthy eccentric decided to make it his hobby, or, an avante garde architect was adopted by a guardian angel/rabbi

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2011, 09:14:52 AM »

If you think about some of the most revered US courses - places like Pine Valley, Oakmont, NGLA, Augusta - they almost followed your fantasy.

George,

I'd disagree strongly

Those men built those golf courses because of their love for the game and their desire to play that course for the rest of their lives

Don's premise centers on building courses for the purpose of selling them, abandoning them once they're sold




Patrick you are correct.  My posts were leaning in another direction.  My mistake...I guess I wanted Don to be saying something he wasn't.
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Don_Mahaffey

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2011, 09:38:25 AM »
Don,

In your reply # 27, you forget that the relationship between the architect and developer, along with the compensation would change dramatically.

There would be no developer, thus, the architect wouldn't get a contractual fee, and he certainly wouldn't get the fee up front or as the work progressed.

Thus, he'd be at risk, for if his product didn't sell, or if it didn't sell at a targeted price or at "cost" basis.

Under those circumstances how many architects would "risk" quirky or unusual designs ?

Who would pour millions of dollars into a project and invest a year or two of their time at the risk of coming up empty or short millions of dollars.

You're right about one thing............ It is a fantasy.

It would never work in the real world............. Unless, an extremely wealthy eccentric decided to make it his hobby, or, an avante garde architect was adopted by a guardian angel/rabbi

Pat,
I didn't forget anything. I tried to get you to think in a completely different paradigm, which I’ve found is very hard for most here to do as we just keep coming back to saying …”basically, that wouldn’t work”  Well, no kidding.

It was an exercise to try and think about how golf design and the game itself may have developed if it wasn’t driven by competition or the same business influences presently in control.

The consensus seems to be if architects had to use there own money they’d all play it safe. However, I don’t see that same approach in other art forms, so I’m not so sure about that. For every Kincade, there might be 5 wanna be Picassos, if one assumes architect/designers wanted to build something different than the other guy (I'm assuming that).

George mentioned those golf courses because they seem to have come to life more from the love of the game and wantiong to do something special vs a commercial angle. Yet, to work, the developers had to be able to attract members to foot the bills over time, so even though art, or love of the game was forefront, some commercial components had to be involved. Different then what I was saying, but not that far off.

Anyhow, thanks for being a master of the obvious.

Mac Plumart

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Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2011, 09:40:37 AM »
It was an exercise to try and think about how golf design and the game itself may have developed if it wasn’t driven by competition or the same business influences presently in control.

I'd still love to hear those thoughts, if people can move past the money part of it.  If not, perhaps that speaks volumes.
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

George Pazin

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Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2011, 09:49:52 AM »
Just to clarify, I did not mean that PV, Oakmont, etc, were developed for financial reasons. I simply meant that they were designed and built by the owner for use by many. I thought that was clear, but I guess not.
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

George Pazin

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Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2011, 10:00:26 AM »
I'd guess we might see more courses with unusual numbers of holes, or perhaps courses like Cabin Bluff, where Love Designs used a limited number of greens with different tees to create a course that can be played in different ways. I recall Golf Digest (I think) doing an article somewhat recently (maybe a couple years ago) about ultra-private (think owner as the only member) courses and there was more variation within the number of holes, etc.

If I had a 20. 40, 60 acre parcel of land, that's what I'd do - design and build something myself for myself and friends; it would feature wide areas with multiple playing options, something like I think Sheep Ranch is. Some on here would love it, some would hate it, but Matt Ward would be completely flummoxed by the lack of slope and course rating from the tippy-tips... :)

Now, if I had 200 acres along the ocean, then I wouldn't be stupid enough to ruin it myself. But Mike and Don would probably have to get a restraining order against me at some point, because I'd be bugging them incessantly!
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

Patrick_Mucci

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2011, 10:23:46 AM »
Don,

First, in a great number of threads, I don't read replies prior to making my first post.
I read the introductory post, formulate my opinion, and make my reply.
This thread was one of those

Your analogy is flawed because of the enormous difference in the cost of the medium

the cost of oil paint and a canvas is minimal.
And ANYONE can acquire them and Try their hand at it.
Not so with golf

Thus, the limited or minimal   "investment" or "start up" costs in the endeavor Encourages risk.  

In addition, it's easy to fix or amend mistakes or change one's mind in the middle of the process.

No need to get testy because you burdened your premise with a Mahaffey  "albatross" ;D

Had you altered your fantasy and removed the cost factor, read benefactor, That may have produced the desired results you were looking for.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 11:23:05 AM by Patrick_Mucci »

Don_Mahaffey

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2011, 10:29:08 AM »
 First idea from me… a fully and functional reversible course. Not as a gimmick, or as some sort of 'crazy" day, but a course that you could play one direction one week, or day, and the reverse the following week, or day. The variety of two courses, but the area, infrastructure, and maintenance of one (I'll concede it would be more maintenance then a normal course).

A course with 18 greens that is fully, and/or partially reversible. Maybe the ground around the clubhouse, or logistics make a total reversible course impractical, but what if once you hit the 3rd or 4th tee, you could go left or right depending on daily set up. And maybe that can happen at another point somewhere later in the round. And, what if when you started the route was not disclosed. "Wonder which way we're going today?"

Patrick_Mucci

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2011, 10:40:16 AM »
Don, Tom Doak, et. al,

Aren't you surprised, that in a few hundred years, and with the prominent position of TOC, that someone DIDN'T design a reversible cost ?

Especially one with dual greens ?

I know that TOC allows reverse play periodically.
Why do you think they don't do it more frequently ?

Don_Mahaffey

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2011, 10:52:43 AM »
Pat,
First off, it would take someone with great design and routing skills. For it to really work, you couldn’t take the approach that one course would favor the other in the routing process. Then it would end up being like a split fwy hole that everyone plays the same way. The last thing you’d want to hear as an owner is, “I’m not playing if we’re going that way”. It would be difficult to design, and take a special piece of land. It would cost more than a normal course on the same land because I would think the greens would need to be bigger and you’d need more fwy acreage and teeing ground, but a good architect could build tees that would melt into the landscape when you’re coming from the other direction. It would cost a whole lot less then building and maintaining two courses. I really like the idea of a course being completely or partially reversible and not knowing the route until you get there.

I have no idea why it hasn’t been done other then no one has been willing to take the risk to do it right.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2011, 11:00:18 AM »
Don, Tom Doak, et. al,

Aren't you surprised, that in a few hundred years, and with the prominent position of TOC, that someone DIDN'T design a reversible cost ?

Especially one with dual greens ?

I know that TOC allows reverse play periodically.
Why do you think they don't do it more frequently ?

Patrick:

Actually, I did design a fully reversible course at one point.  I thought that particular client might think it was a cool idea ... but he didn't want to go for it.  He was more interested in having it become a beautiful landscape, and you can't focus on that if you are focusing on the reversibility.  So, the plan is still on the shelf somewhere.

I've said to my associates that we will build a course like that someday, but if we do, I think we will have to do it on the sly, and just not tell anyone what we are doing until the night before it opens.

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2011, 11:02:49 AM »
Patrick:

Actually, I did design a fully reversible course at one point.

Any chance you could post the routing - maybe black out any details so no one knows the client or the site? If not, cool, I understand.
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

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2011, 11:03:28 AM »
George:

Sorry, I'm saving it.

Patrick_Mucci

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2011, 11:10:57 AM »
George:

Sorry, I'm saving it.


Tom,

I completely understand your desire to protect your intellectual property, but could you give us some insight into some of the design principles you employed

Did you employ double greens ?

If so, how extensively ?

Any insight into bunker patterns ?

Lastly, would the parcel of land have to fit a certain mold ?

Patrick_Mucci

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2011, 12:28:33 PM »
Tom Doak,

Another question for you.

How did you deal with the par 3's ?  Same par 3 green both ways ?  Or, same green, par 3 one way, 4 or 5 the other ?
Or, not same green ?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Thanks 

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2011, 12:34:19 PM »
Coming soon to a theater new you: The Golf Heist. A small band of obsessed golf nuts attempt to break into Renaissance Designs' office in search of unused routing plays that are surely with tens of dollars to a bunch of obsessed golf nuts... :)

Don, what would your reversible course look like?

I don't know if this will work or not, but here is a routing plan I came up with once, when pondering the 100s of holes eliminated at Sand Hills:



edit: didn't work, obviously. I'll have to dig it up.
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

Peter Pallotta

Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2011, 01:30:05 PM »
Don - I've taken a kind of 'contrarian' approach on this one, but it's not because I don't value the question - it's because I value it maybe too much. My experience has been this: for about 25 years I've written professionally (on and off, and now off completely); and quite a few pieces of work have gotten 'out in the world', and I've had some success - e.g. my clients have all seemed to like my work, I was nominated once for the Canadian equivalent of The Emmy. And yet I've never been happy with anything I've ever written - and spent years wondering how much of that was due to the fact that I was writing for clients/producers and for THEIR notions of what was marketable and acceptable etc.  Well, I finally came to the conclusion that the only thing stopping me from the 'fantasy' of creating exactly what I wanted was ME!  It was my OWN notions of what good craftsmanship meant, my own desire to see things in the marketplace sooner rather than later, my own uncertainty about being able to 'pull off' what I really wanted to write, my own questions above the nature/value of my talent etc.  In other words, I believe that at least one reason -- and, I believe, the MAIN reason -- why the golf fantasy you ask about hasn't come to the fore (in its various potentialities) is because ARCHITECTS haven't been willing to go there.  All the talk about money and clients and the land and golfers expectations etc -- i.e. all the OUTSIDE factors - are in part just a way for artists/craftsman/architects to avoid looking INSIDE, at themselves, at their own hierarchy of values -- or at least to avoid seriously asking themselves the price they are willing to pay for freedom.  And if you were to counter that I have it all wrong, and that for most -- the fortunate ones let's call them -- what they really want to do/create actually matches pretty closely what the marketplaces wants from them, then I'd say 'great' and I have no problem with that; but then it kid of makes your original question moot (or is it mute, I'm never sure)  

Peter
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 02:07:39 PM by PPallotta »

Tom_Doak

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Re: A golf fantasy
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2011, 01:39:38 PM »
George:

Sorry, I'm saving it.


Tom,

I completely understand your desire to protect your intellectual property, but could you give us some insight into some of the design principles you employed

Did you employ double greens ?

If so, how extensively ?

Any insight into bunker patterns ?

Lastly, would the parcel of land have to fit a certain mold ?


Patrick:

Certain types of land [i.e. generally flattish properties] tend to work better, at least if you don't want semi-blind shots to dominate.

I didn't use many (if any) double greens.

As to the par-3 holes, if the 11th hole is a par-4 and the twelfth hole a par-3 when you're playing one direction, then more often than not, going backward will yield a par-3 hole playing into the back (or side) of the 11th green.  It doesn't always have to work out that way, but that's what will happen more often than not.

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