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Jud_T

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #75 on: March 23, 2012, 08:46:44 AM »
Ben,

How about taking the minimalist and sustainable GCA story and framing it through economic history?  Look at the early links, the golden age boom years, the great depression, advances in engineering and technology, the dark ages, bubble real estate courses, the ascendance of the Minimalists etc. and how these eras helped or hindered minimalist and sustainable tendencies.  The interesting question is whether or not it is perhaps through today's economic realities, rather than a liberal environmental lobby or a niche aesthetic movement that we may come full circle and these issues might be accepted by the mainstream golfing constituency as the status quo (i.e the money talks/bullsh*t walks thesis).  If you can build a golf course for less money and the result is a course that's less expensive and more fun to play, as well as having a smaller environmental footprint, it's a win/win.  And you can spiv your way into a joint degree in Economics 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

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #76 on: March 23, 2012, 10:33:38 AM »
Jud,

Of course, there has always been a spectrum of courses built in any era.  And at the high end, it really doesn't matter as much what the cost to build is.  And, the middle 80% have always been minimalists, functionalists, or whatever.  The label minimalism only matters at the top end, where marketing your course or marketing your name as an architect serves a big purpose, which is to generate more interest, more money, etc.

Maybe its just a marketing tag, more than most.

As TD says, he is willing to make big changes to one hole to minimize changes to another five, a situation I can recall many times over in my career.  So, most would still call him a minimalist, or that a minimalist approach.  But I can see JN making one big change to leave another six and he wouldn't get the same response, at least here.  It goes from "Oh, TD moved earth on only one hole" to "Can you believe JN had to move earth on one hole?"  So, its marketing.

I only hinted at the difference in approaches that define the two, and TD could sure elaborate more, if he cared to.  I think most architects (save Fazio, Dye and a few others) on most good sites route to follow the land, and most come up with 10-15 holes that need little alteration other than building greens, tees and bunkers.  Of course, some may level cross slopes on the fw more or less, etc. cut off more drainage, more or less, etc.

The more I think about it the more I think minimalism is more how the gca does his features.  Does he start by following the land and work "good golf" in it, but rarely at the expense of moving the minimum earth, or does he think in terms of certain golf shots, and cares less about the natural ground?  In the end, two gca's could be given the same site, routing, etc. and still build very diffrent golf courses, like Doak inheriting a Faz routing at Stonewall or him collaborating with JN at Sebonic.

And to be honest, either type of architect has to think about both anyway, and in the end, a great design solution balances the give and take somewhere in the middle.  After all, design/landscape architecture is modifying the natural environment for a specific use.  Leaving it as is is called a nature preserve!  So, its a matter of deciding what is more important to you as gca, but in the end, you do have to provide a playable golf course that drains, etc. and do what you have to do.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Tim Nugent

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #77 on: March 23, 2012, 10:54:05 AM »
Jeff, do you find a paradox that many of the principles abhorred in "Dark ages" designs were, in fact the same "Minimalist" principles  now being lauded?
Coasting is a downhill process

Jud_T

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #78 on: March 23, 2012, 11:01:11 AM »
Jeff,

You do bring up a valid point that the vast majority of the discussion here is about a small sliver of courses.  However, one does have to consider how that top echelon impacts the entire food chain.
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

Ian Andrew

Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #79 on: March 23, 2012, 11:05:53 AM »
Jeff, do you find a paradox that many of the principles abhorred in "Dark ages" designs were, in fact the same "Minimalist" principles  now being lauded?

Tim,

Completely disagree on this one.

This piece by Max Behr talks about the Dark Ages of design:

"The concern of the architect should be positive and have solely to do with what a golfer should do. His mission is not that or a moralist, the principle word of whose vocabulary is DON”T. The golfer should not be made to feel that he must renounce, that the primary object for him is to conquer his faults. It is not for the architect to inform him he played badly. That is for the professional. No, the mission of the architect is that of a leader. By the development of his hazards he exhorts the golfer to do his best, enticing him at times ‘to shoot the bones for the whole works.’ Thus he instills the golfer a spirit of conquest by presenting him with definite objectives upon which he must concentrate. It is for the golfer to stamp his law upon the ground. It is no way the business of the architect to stamp his law upon the golfer. But thus it is in most cases. The penal school of golf spells death to that spirit of independence, life and freedom which we are all seeking, and which we should find in all places of our recreation.”


Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #80 on: March 23, 2012, 11:08:31 AM »
Jud,

No doubt.  Floyd Farley, Don Herfort, etc. etc. etc. were creating minimalistic courses across the Midwest for years.  Before that, it was Tom Bendelow, etc.  Maybe we should call those funtionalists, but the real news was that TD, CC and a few others created these kind of courses in the belief and hope that they could compete in the high end of the course spectrum.

Actually, they kinda didn't, at least with the traditional developer, at least for a while.  It took a new kind of developer, like Mike Keiser doing a new type of course - destination golf (well, new take on an older concept) to give this style its voice.  I recall a quote something like Sandhills was the perfect site for CC, and their style might not work on other sites that aren't as good.  I am not sure, but I think Bill C said that himself.  (If not, I am sure someone will tell me!)

Anyone know how many housing courses TD, CC and others did?  BTW, I think we could include GNorman in the minimalist class, could we not?  Most of his courses move very little earth, at least the ones I have seen.  I think much of his work is housing/minimalist - cost, style and name got him hired.

Tim,

Not sure what you mean there......
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #81 on: March 23, 2012, 11:16:28 AM »
Ian,

Interesting quote and it makes me think that perhaps the term you are looking for isn't naturalism, its traditionalism - CC for example openly do things a certain way because the ODG did them that way.

Interesting in that in design school we are taught to define a problem and solve it.  There are sure areas where today's challenges are different than the old days, and we should probably approach things differently.

It would seem that CC simply chose to apply that style to their routings, whereas a JN, for example, had applied a different style - cone shaped mounds at Grand Cypress or Scottish style, etc.  Heck, for whatever reason, they could have applied the TOC style, the Dick Wilson style or some new style no one had ever saw or heard of.  But, every architect looks around and applies what they think worked best, and figure their own take on it will make them unique, no?

Now, the whole style question intrigues me.  In essence, the early americans were doing things completely differently than it looked in Scotland, as they adapted to new climates in America.  Could minimalism really be nostalgism, as we adopt a design style from an earlier time that connotes a better feeling to us?
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #82 on: March 23, 2012, 11:20:22 AM »
I think these last few posts, certainly show that there were plenty of Quadrant II courses (high minimalism, high artificial) back in the day when they built cops, tear drops, square bunkers and greens, etc.

Sure they were still very minimalist, but many of them certainly weren't anywhere close to being naturalistic.

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #83 on: March 23, 2012, 11:46:23 AM »
Kalen,

Is a Raynor course in that quadrant?  Can a course with greens built up 10 feet be minimalistic?  Not sure, and BTW, the "traditionalism" term accounts for both, with a Brian Silva and others mimicking Raynor, while others mimic Ross, mac, etc. all with their own new twists of course.

BTW, the other thing that this discussion really ignores is the 80-100 years of changes to those old courses.  Given surrounding subdivisions, etc. is it wise to not grade fw to control drainage because the old guys didn't, knowing that was often corrected later with tiles, pipes, etc?  Its certainly cheaper to do it right up front, but its not minimalism!

That would be more like traditional with a (modern) twist......
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Jaeger Kovich

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #84 on: March 23, 2012, 12:10:43 PM »
After following all of this closely over the last few days it seems to me that what makes the biggest difference in all of this is: confidence in the routing.

The rest appears to me to be a product of the individual designers process: the tools they use on a given site, the approach to details and finish work, and the language used to explain the whole thing.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #85 on: March 23, 2012, 12:25:23 PM »
Kalen,

Is a Raynor course in that quadrant?  Can a course with greens built up 10 feet be minimalistic?  Not sure, and BTW, the "traditionalism" term accounts for both, with a Brian Silva and others mimicking Raynor, while others mimic Ross, mac, etc. all with their own new twists of course.

BTW, the other thing that this discussion really ignores is the 80-100 years of changes to those old courses.  Given surrounding subdivisions, etc. is it wise to not grade fw to control drainage because the old guys didn't, knowing that was often corrected later with tiles, pipes, etc?  Its certainly cheaper to do it right up front, but its not minimalism!

That would be more like traditional with a (modern) twist......

Jeff,

I would guess there were also some that were in Quadrant I as well, in addition to Quadrant IV courses.

But I'm also guessing even a green that was built up 10 feet, still results in a lot less dirt moved when compared to today's modern standards when entire fairways are moved/shaped.

My only point was that a lot of those early courses certainly don't appear naturalistic based on the features put in the ground that seem to be rarely used today.  And it makes sense in the context of not having the ability to move significant amounts of dirt, so they only moved smaller amounts of dirt where it really counted.  Specifically, in LZs that most players will be near and in and around the greens.

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #86 on: March 23, 2012, 12:51:55 PM »
Kalen,

I understand your basic point.  Part of it is the landscape architecture thought that squares = built, and curves = natural.  Not sure how the early designers, even if amateurs, ever got into geometrics.

I agree that the basic premise of the Golden Age was to route so that the only earthmoving required was to build greens, tees, and bunkers where required/desired.  Using horses and finally smaller dozers, they sure didn't move as much, in general, mostly because the economics weren't there to do that.

Over time, pipe and drainage became more manageable cost wise (but not until the late 1980's) and designers began using that technology.  There is an old saw about the cost of drainage equaling the cost of earthmoving, being a good test of efficient design in terms of drainage (Bridge engineers always say the cost of piers ought to be similar to the cost of the span) and that dynamic changed with the advent of plastic pipe that was easily installed, yet durable.  (So, maybe we can blame all of modern architecture on the movie the Graduate....one word son, plastics!)

That said, I believe even most minimalist gca's understand the importance of drainage and don't merely copy the old way, in cases where the new way is necessary or better for that situation.  Drainage is drainage, and so important to get right, and there is less tolerance for a wet course than in yesteryear, no doubt.

So, it may not have come full circle, but full upward helix.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Kalen Braley

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #87 on: March 23, 2012, 01:05:29 PM »
Jeff,

Interesting comments on the big shift.

I half wonder if back during the pre-golden age that "Artificial" wasn't the "in-look" for tees, greens, and bunkers.  I would compare it to the 50s and 60s when America was building minimal, cold, concrete exterior, squared off, drabbish looking stuff, which everyone seemed to love at the time because it was the new fad.

Perhaps square/artificial was "in" as a symbol/extension of mankind conquering the environment, being master of his domain, and imposing his will as desired.

And then the Golden Age of design was the resulting shift away from that time period, when emphasis was once again placed back on a natural aesthetic.


Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #88 on: March 23, 2012, 01:09:51 PM »
Kalen, I think there was some of that "man vs nature" kind of stuff going on.  And, in the 1950's, I recall RB Harris and others writing of "streamlined golf course" much like the streamlined trains and jet plans so prevalent in that era and capturing imagination of Americans.  So, the big picture does influence design styles.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

DMoriarty

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #89 on: March 23, 2012, 04:56:05 PM »
Above Peter had an interesting observation that Nicklaus' willingness to change his approach may indicate he is a  "top flight professional."  That may well be the case with Nicklaus, but I am left wondering if the  change in approach of many mainstream architects isn't more a result of a rebranding and repositioning as a result of the economy and the success that some architects like Doak, CC, and Hanse have had with minimalism.  These guys have been on a real roll, and now suddenly everyone is a minimalist, and lots of frilly or rough edged bunkers have popped up on courses by designers who in the past were the antithesis of minimalism, as if adopting the "natural" look somehow qualifies them as minimalist?   I am not buying it.  

And even here on the website we have seen quite a bit of this lately.  I was amazed that some argued that the approaches of various Olympic course finalists were really not all that different, as if the approach and product of the respective teams of Tom Doak and Gil Hanse over the past few decades are pretty much interchangeable with the approach and product of Palmer and Player! And now we see this push to incorporate the vast majority of designers into minimalism with this notion that every designer who doesn't work with an unlimited budget has been practicing minimalism by necessity or minimalism by budget?  Isn't that a bit like rebranding those who cannot get laid despite their best efforts as celibate by necessity?  

Call me a cynic (I've been called worse) but I for one am not buying this notion of minimalism by necessity or minimalism by budget.   If clients won't pay a designer to screw up a natural site as much has the designer might like, then that designer is a minimalist?   I don't think so.    While huge budget projects might get all the attention, others have proven that it doesn't take all that much money to strip the inherent natural qualities out a site and create just another decent but forgettable course.   Building mainstream spec. greens that have nothing to do with the lay of the land is one way of accomplishing this.  Selective grading or filling of a few potentially interesting natural features that don't fit the mold is another.  Elevating all the tees or being a slave to absolute visibility might sometimes be another.  Go back all the way to the first dark age and you find examples of designers and/or builders stripping the interest and quirk out of golf courses by flattening green sites, building cross hazards at set intervals, and lining the sides of fairways with traps.  These were not minimalists even given the relative low cost, as their goal was to force the randomness out of nature and to try and make golf something more uniform.  

And this I think is where I think we come full circle, back to the original post and the link (if any) between minimalism and naturalism-- not necessarily aesthetic naturalism but functional naturalism.  Minimalists sincerely believe that doing less rather than more oftentimes produces the best golf courses regardless of budget.  I think they have hit on the practical and functional reason why we value the natural (even the imitation of the natural) in golf  --the natural often produces a better product.   If you are a minimalist by necessity - if you would do more with a bigger budget -  then you aren't really a minimalist at all, are you?  And won't the product necessarily reflect this different belief system no matter what the budget?

To be frank (as if I am ever not) there is something offensive about this notion of self described minimalists by necessity glomming onto the minimalist movement and attempting to blur the real differences between approaches.   As I see it, those who pioneered the modern minimalist approach (on some of their courses at least) are leading to a rethinking of how courses ought to be built, from site selection, to routing, to grading, drainage, to green and feature construction, etc.  To solely focus on the size of the budget and to lump the "80%" of mainstream architects in with them oversimplifies and unfairly diminishes what they have accomplished and what they continue to accomplish.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 05:35:25 PM by DMoriarty »
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #90 on: March 23, 2012, 05:37:04 PM »
And now we see this push to incorporate the vast majority of designers into minimalism with this notion that every designer who doesn't work with an unlimited budget has been practicing minimalism by necessity or minimalism by budget?  Isn't that a bit like rebranding those who cannot get laid despite their best efforts as celibate by necessity?  


Whew -- I am glad I was a leader of the minimalist movement, instead of the alternative!  :)

 

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #91 on: March 23, 2012, 05:44:29 PM »

Maybe its just a marketing tag, more than most.

As TD says, he is willing to make big changes to one hole to minimize changes to another five, a situation I can recall many times over in my career.  So, most would still call him a minimalist, or that a minimalist approach.  But I can see JN making one big change to leave another six and he wouldn't get the same response, at least here.  It goes from "Oh, TD moved earth on only one hole" to "Can you believe JN had to move earth on one hole?"  So, its marketing.

I only hinted at the difference in approaches that define the two, and TD could sure elaborate more, if he cared to. 


Okay, I care to elaborate.

It's not just marketing.  Jaeger got it right.  It's routing.

 A lot of architects just aren't that good at routing.  They came up in an era where it was assumed that earthmoving would fix everything, and the site wasn't going to be very good anyway, so why bother?  So they never learned to work on the routing to make the most advantage of the ground.  Do you really think they have all suddenly learned to be great at routing in the past five years, now that the tide has changed?  I don't.  They are just building frilly-edged bunkers and calling themselves minimalists, the same way they built mounds 25 years ago and called it "Scottish".

Mike Nuzzo

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #92 on: March 23, 2012, 06:04:51 PM »
Do you really think they have all suddenly learned to be great at routing in the past five years, now that the tide has changed?  I don't.  They are just building frilly-edged bunkers and calling themselves minimalists, the same way they built mounds 25 years ago and called it "Scottish".

Thank you Tom.

It certainly takes longer than 5 years to learn how to be a great router - and it has to be ones goal.
The new routings that I've seen this year aren't much better than the industries older ones.
Cheers
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil, Dr. Childs, & Tiger.

Mike Nuzzo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #93 on: March 23, 2012, 06:22:44 PM »
The better the routing the better the golf holes and cohesiveness of the golf course
The better the routing the easier to drain and irrigate
The better the routing the easier to maintain
The better the routing the cheaper to construct
The better the routing the shorter the walk and the faster the pace of play
The better the routing the more sustainable including economics - price and profit

I don't think it is the price of plastic or a bunch of cookie cutter frilly edged bunkers
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil, Dr. Childs, & Tiger.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #94 on: March 24, 2012, 10:04:51 AM »
Mike

Curious, why 5 years ?

Niall

Randy Thompson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #95 on: March 24, 2012, 10:27:08 AM »
Above Peter had an interesting observation that Nicklaus' willingness to change his approach may indicate he is a  "top flight professional."  That may well be the case with Nicklaus, but I am left wondering if the  change in approach of many mainstream architects isn't more a result of a rebranding and repositioning as a result of the economy and the success that some architects like Doak, CC, and Hanse have had with minimalism.  These guys have been on a real roll, and now suddenly everyone is a minimalist, and lots of frilly or rough edged bunkers have popped up on courses by designers who in the past were the antithesis of minimalism, as if adopting the "natural" look somehow qualifies them as minimalist?   I am not buying it.  

And even here on the website we have seen quite a bit of this lately.  I was amazed that some argued that the approaches of various Olympic course finalists were really not all that different, as if the approach and product of the respective teams of Tom Doak and Gil Hanse over the past few decades are pretty much interchangeable with the approach and product of Palmer and Player! And now we see this push to incorporate the vast majority of designers into minimalism with this notion that every designer who doesn't work with an unlimited budget has been practicing minimalism by necessity or minimalism by budget?  Isn't that a bit like rebranding those who cannot get laid despite their best efforts as celibate by necessity?  

Call me a cynic (I've been called worse) but I for one am not buying this notion of minimalism by necessity or minimalism by budget.   If clients won't pay a designer to screw up a natural site as much has the designer might like, then that designer is a minimalist?   I don't think so.    While huge budget projects might get all the attention, others have proven that it doesn't take all that much money to strip the inherent natural qualities out a site and create just another decent but forgettable course.   Building mainstream spec. greens that have nothing to do with the lay of the land is one way of accomplishing this.  Selective grading or filling of a few potentially interesting natural features that don't fit the mold is another.  Elevating all the tees or being a slave to absolute visibility might sometimes be another.  Go back all the way to the first dark age and you find examples of designers and/or builders stripping the interest and quirk out of golf courses by flattening green sites, building cross hazards at set intervals, and lining the sides of fairways with traps.  These were not minimalists even given the relative low cost, as their goal was to force the randomness out of nature and to try and make golf something more uniform.  

And this I think is where I think we come full circle, back to the original post and the link (if any) between minimalism and naturalism-- not necessarily aesthetic naturalism but functional naturalism.  Minimalists sincerely believe that doing less rather than more oftentimes produces the best golf courses regardless of budget.  I think they have hit on the practical and functional reason why we value the natural (even the imitation of the natural) in golf  --the natural often produces a better product.   If you are a minimalist by necessity - if you would do more with a bigger budget -  then you aren't really a minimalist at all, are you?  And won't the product necessarily reflect this different belief system no matter what the budget?

To be frank (as if I am ever not) there is something offensive about this notion of self described minimalists by necessity glomming onto the minimalist movement and attempting to blur the real differences between approaches.   As I see it, those who pioneered the modern minimalist approach (on some of their courses at least) are leading to a rethinking of how courses ought to be built, from site selection, to routing, to grading, drainage, to green and feature construction, etc.  To solely focus on the size of the budget and to lump the "80%" of mainstream architects in with them oversimplifies and unfairly diminishes what they have accomplished and what they continue to accomplish.
BINGO

Tim Nugent

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #96 on: March 24, 2012, 10:30:41 AM »
Ian, Jeff - I was referring to courses buit in the 60's (wasn't Behr gone by then?). Courses where the only grading was done for greens, tees, and bunkers or to to maybe fill in a wet depressed area.  Fairways were left as is for the most part.  Instead of building ridges and mounds for separation, trees were planted.  While these courses were essentiay done with a minimum of earthwork (frugal?) the resut was a lot of courses that lack interest (to me at least) if they weren't done on exceptional pieces of property.

Nail, 5 years? we depends on how many you do over a period of time and have the opportunity to witness the end result and ascertain where you succeeded and where you could have done better.  "Experience is a dear school, but ony fools will learn". (something my mom used to say).
Coasting is a downhill process

Mike Nuzzo

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #97 on: March 24, 2012, 10:40:50 AM »
Mike
Curious, why 5 years ?
Niall

Practice &
Very few contemporaries to learn from
Tom has studied a lot of old great routings, not just the bunkers

The firms that Tom is referring to have long ingrained habits with minimal opportunities to try new processes
I don't think many firms are going to ask Tom or Bill to tutor them
Tom has described the routing process as a significant engineering problem, as well as an artistic one.
Not many can do both.

This field has a very high bar for entry with very few opportunities to route a golf course and see how it turns out.

Cheers
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil, Dr. Childs, & Tiger.

BCrosby

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #98 on: March 24, 2012, 10:46:15 AM »
Good thread. It has clarified for me what 'minimalist' gca means.

A course that appears to be 'natural' is not sufficient. It matters how it got there. Minimal earth moving is essential, in part because of environmental and sustainability benefits, and in part because it tends to result in features that are more under-stated, less flashy. A look that takes more courage to build than the eye candy stuff.

All of which puts tremendous pressure on the routing of the course. On a minimalist course, errors in routing can't be fixed ex post by moving a lot of dirt or building new features. Because to do so would mean it's no longer, by definition, a minimalist course.

In short, it's harder to build a minimalist course than a merely natural course.

Bob

Niall C

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Re: Can we change Minimalism to Naturalism?
« Reply #99 on: March 25, 2012, 08:51:18 AM »
"To be frank (as if I am ever not) there is something offensive about this notion of self described minimalists by necessity glomming onto the minimalist movement and attempting to blur the real differences between approaches.   As I see it, those who pioneered the modern minimalist approach (on some of their courses at least) are leading to a rethinking of how courses ought to be built, from site selection, to routing, to grading, drainage, to green and feature construction, etc.  To solely focus on the size of the budget and to lump the "80%" of mainstream architects in with them oversimplifies and unfairly diminishes what they have accomplished and what they continue to accomplish."

Mike

Thanks for responding to my earlier post. I'm also curious as to the differences in design practice between a minimalist gca and an "ordinary" gca eg. a gca who tends to get the low budget, value for money commissions as opposed to the big budget jobs where normal value engineering principles are perhaps of secondary importance. The quote above is from David's post. He see's a distinction between what a minimalist does compared to an "ordinary" gca (horrible phrase I know), from the initial routing right through to the features design.

Do you think that's valid ? Would both camps not tend to use the same landscape design principles and that perhaps where the main difference would be is the feature design ie. greens, bunkers and tees. Thoughts ?

Niall

edit: I should say that is my interpretation of David's post

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