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Jason Thurman

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Scrolling through old Lawsonia photo albums
« on: September 25, 2020, 03:13:05 PM »
A return trip for this year's Mashie reminded me, once again, that my favorite place in golf is Lawsonia, for several reasons but obviously in no small part due to the course's quality.

Lawsonia was the best course I had ever played when I first saw it. I've played so many memorable rounds there since, with some of my favorite people. And while I now rank a handful of courses above it, it's also a course that has gotten considerably better just in the 11 years I've been visiting. Walking it with Dick Daley for a second time, just a few weeks ago, he helped break down some changes over the last 40+ years that predate my time there.

As I scrolled through a few old pics for the Mashie photos thread, I stumbled onto a few old ones of Lawsonia that help show some of the changes. I thought I'd share a few here.

Hole 6, September 2011. Note the old aiming tree in the background, giving the ideal line at 5, 6, and 8. The tee shots at 6 and 8 feel decisively tougher for me now with it gone.

Aiming tree from back in the fairway on a more claustrophobic hole 5

A smattering of trees up the hillside on 7

And the aiming tree again is in view from the tee on 8...

Although really, the view from 9 tee hasn't changed nearly as much as what you'll see on the back... other than that you won't find ballwashers in 2020.

Thick trees right of 11 tee, September 2011

13 tee, September 2011. Forget the trees around the green. Wait until you see just how much the line of charm has been restored a little further down.

Playing into the woods at 13, September 2011. Note the bunker left was just a grass bunker at the time.

14 through the woods, September 2011.

15 tee, September 2011. We're teeing off from the forest surrounding 13 green-15 tee, and the big tree blocking the bunker is very much in play.

16 tee, September 2011. Trees down the left side are now long gone.

Hole 13, September 2014. I recall this round showcasing the fastest and firmest conditions I've ever experienced on a non-fescue course. I was SHOCKED. This was probably my 6th or 7th play, and Lawsonia's architecture had always been visible but rarely really "experienceable." It had always played a little soft and slow. But not on this visit, and not on visits since in the absence of major rains. The conditions were a testament to the Oliphant Group's efforts to elevate the turf management, and no doubt bolstered by the clearing of trees even if a small forest still existed to the right of 13. But... the greenside bunker now had sand in it, for the first time in my visits there! And check out the vastly improved view from the tee!

Hole 10, September 2014 - the trees immediately left of the green still stand, but the ones just behind them are now cleared

2020. No more aiming tree at 6.

Scrubby trees no longer block the view up to 8 tee at 7

The view from 11 tee. No trees blocking the views right anymore, and no trees bordering holes like 16 in the background either.

The changes since 2009 really struck me as I shot through old photos. It also surprised me to recall just how incrementally but steadily it all progressed. And amazingly, walking with consulting architect Ron Forse the other week, he told us that plenty still remains on the master plan.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.


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Re: Scrolling through old Lawsonia photo albums
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2020, 01:27:35 AM »
Damn V, that Mashie looks good.

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

Morgan Clawson

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Re: Scrolling through old Lawsonia photo albums
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2020, 11:27:01 PM »
Jason -
Great post.
Ron Forse walked with us for a few holes. I asked him what he would do to improve Lawsonia If he had the chance.  His answer was basically to go bigger. Expand the greens out to historic lines and widen the fairways. He showed us where he would like to see the green go on 11. It would create a false front. He also said he was a huge fan of the 12th green.


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