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MCirba

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"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Kyle Harris

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Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2018, 10:13:05 AM »
For a golf course that is panned because it isn't close enough to the dramatic cliffs, there sure are a lot of Tour Pro shots that find them.
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2018, 10:44:26 AM »
For a golf course that is panned because it isn't close enough to the dramatic cliffs, there sure are a lot of Tour Pro shots that find them.


+1
again-more eye candy(game slowing native) and it would be a darling
Despite the massive wide fairways at Kapalua, I found that awful tall green grass bordering the huge corridors offputting

"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Jim Nugent

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Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2018, 11:08:55 AM »


The original course built in 1957 used the first 3 holes of what was the front nine of the North; a short par 5 followed by a short par 4, followed by a really short par 3. What is now the 7th was the original 9th and finished near the clubhouse. Billy Bell Jr then noticed that if three holes were built on the south end of the course, adjacent to the Gliderport, a full 18 could be built to the north incorporating the original 3 holes. This really transformed the layout into a bombers paradise as the three holes they lost were all very short. The 3 new holes they built are brutes with the long par 3 11th and really long par 4 12th both into the wind and the par 5 13th with its big dip just before the green.


Rees only redid the greens and every hole plays through itís original corridor. He did get permission to shift the 3 greens 3,4&14 closer to the canyon edge.



Thanks, that clears things up.  I played there in 1970, and I'm pretty sure the routing was the same now as then (other than the greens Rees slightly moved).  Do you know when BB Jr re-routed those first several holes and made the other adjustments you noted?

TPS looks to me like the type of course Tom D was thinking of when he developed his scale. For those of us who don't have the privilege of playing the world's best, I would guess a round there would be beyond special. I haven't had the pleasure (yet, will someday...), but it looks gorgeous from the player views (on TV), but it lacks the ephemeral quality many on here seek.


I doubt most would understand the difference between TPS and Pebble or Pac Dunes. I doubt I would. But others would. And that's ok. People who post on here should be a bit embarrassed by their own riches. But if they're not, that's ok, too.

I played Torrey when I was 18 years old, having played one outstanding course till then (St. Louis CC).  Thought Torrey was pretty good, not great.  e.g. even then, as a good golfer who knew nothing about GCA, I liked the old Forest Park 18-hole muni more.  Forest Park was hopeless as a pro tournament venue, but far more interesting to play, with a wider variety of shots and clubs.  I remember enjoying the round at Torrey, but feeling mild disappointment afterwards -- expectations not met.  Similar reaction btw when I played the Pelican Hill courses.

I would say that the 12th is one of the best long par 4's in the world. Of course I didn't know it was a par four until I was standing on 13 tee and asked my playing partners if there were two par 5's in a row. I thought I killed it on 12 hitting drive, 5 wood, 7 iron and just missing my putt for "birdie".  I once saw Tiger in his prime hit Driver, 4 iron...What's that, 580 human yards? The par 5 13th plays shorter with a strong wind off the Ocean. 1-2 at Riviera anyone?



My one play there I crushed my 2-wood (never hit driver back then) into a fairly strong breeze, and left a 4-wood pin high to the right.  My recollection is the hole was around 440-450.  It seemed long, for sure, but I missed anything special about it.

My green fee that day, as a non-resident out-of-stater, was $5.   

Bruce Katona

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Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2018, 11:31:12 AM »
I played both (pre-north reno).  The south is a tough long test for an amateur....12 was a brute where a 5 is par for us mere mortals.


I enjoyed the scenic north a bit more and had a bit more fun playing that one.


Cost was the same for an out-of-towner; but a tee time and playing in shorts weather for golf in February for a guy from NJ is about the same price.

Pete Lavallee

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2018, 12:31:39 PM »
Letís look at the Pros and Cons of Torrey Pines South:
Pros:

There is a tremendous sense of place. Letís face it the Torrey Pine tree only grows here and at one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. The needles of the tree point down to the ground in order for and dew to collect on the needles and then drip onto the ground nourishing the tree; pretty clever! The views of the ocean on every hole are breathtaking.

The golf course has the length to challenge the modern game with only three long walks to the back tee back, 2, 9 & 15. Although the white tees are a bit much for the average golfer at 6,600 yards the green tees at 6,000 yards bring the architecture into play for the average golfer. Their Menís Club actually plays from there.

The excessive green fees ($257 during the week and $305 on weekends) for out of towners has created a huge pot of money in the Cityís Golf Enterprise Fund; all of which goes back to the Cityís four golf courses; South, North, Balboa Park and Mission Bay. Conditioning finally justifies the price out of towners pay, a big plus for residents who pay $63 during the week and $78 on weekends.

The rough which is grown to 3Ē for the Farmers is kept at 1Ē for the rest of the year. Balls are easy to find and can be advanced with relative ease; not so during the Tournament window when the 3Ē rough is brutal!

Since all that was done in the redesign was changing the greens there was a dead zone of dirt between them and the fairway. They went the easy route and hydro seeded the approaches with rye grass. This coupled with the open fronts of every green there allow golfers to bounce or run the ball up to each and every green; not that I ever witnessed someone successfully employing this technique.

The Cons:

The Reesdesign simply made the greens ultra hard. Every green is trisected with ridges leaving three less than 2% sloped pinnable areas. The greenside bunkers all sit well below the surface and play to a distinct down slope just over the lip; a big complaint of Phil. Donít short side yourself in the bunkers or youíll have a long day!

There is just enough room for 18 holes, so most holes are dead straight as they run parallel around the canyons. Only the 6th and 7th holes actually dogleg.

Billy Bell Jr. was told to stay away from the canyon edges, with good reason. They are steep and the bluffs curl over the edge rather than having the sharp drop off like Pebble Beach or Cypress Point. The 4th hole is a perfect example; no one would play to the left hand side of the fairway as the slope leaves the ball so far above your feet that it renders a very difficult shot.

When the new irrigation system was put in the trenching revealed that the site is red clay capped with 6Ē of top soil. Any fairway grading would involve scrapping the top soil and then carefully replacing it. The Cityís mandate of paying ďFair Union WageĒ eliminates using local Hispanic labor and effectively doubles the price of any construction.

The City maintains the Tournament mowing lines year round: 25 yards. In fact some holes on the north were less than 20 yards wide and the Tour insisted the City widen them; a result of Tiger unable to reach any of the par 5ís in 2 just after his Open victory. This pretty much renders strategy off the tee moot as most golfers are just trying to hit the fairway; if you are good enough to decide which side of a 25 yard wide strip youíre going to hit, my hat is off to you!

There is only one short par 4: the 2cnd, which is a good hole but not really suited to the current trend of driveable par 4ís as there is a severe dip in front of the green. Changing the 14th to a driveable par 4 from the Ladies tees during the Open was a weak attempt; even Tiger didnít take the bait.





« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 12:41:35 PM by Pete Lavallee »
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2018, 12:40:15 PM »
Nice summation of facts, Pete.  Thanks.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Jim Franklin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2018, 01:12:34 PM »
I have played the TPS a few times. It is not my favorite place. It does not crack my Top 200. The last time I played there, we were joined by a Golfweek panelist. Later in the round, he was walking and talking on his cell phone. I overheard him saying that TPS was the best course he had ever played. I was stunned.
Mr Hurricane

Ted Sturges

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Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2018, 03:22:14 PM »
I have played the TPS a few times. It is not my favorite place. It does not crack my Top 200. The last time I played there, we were joined by a Golfweek panelist. Later in the round, he was walking and talking on his cell phone. I overheard him saying that TPS was the best course he had ever played. I was stunned.


Panelist + cell phone on the course + erroneous ranking =  why it's so hard to take the whole panelist/rankings process serious (but I digress)


TS

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2018, 09:51:04 PM »
the Torrey Pine tree only grows here and at one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara.


Is that true?  I thought they told me some of the pines at Bel Air are Torrey pines.

Pete Lavallee

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2018, 08:49:58 AM »
The Torrey Pine can be transplanted and if given a similar environment will survive. For instance we had one on the Coronado Municipal course but it just succumbed to the bark beetle. The City has quite a few in boxes to replace the ones dying off. But without the hand of man involved they only propagate naturally in those two spots.   Their needles are in clusters of 5.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:51:44 AM by Pete Lavallee »
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

Greg Hohman

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Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2018, 10:53:48 AM »
Balboa has a TP in the fairway on 16.
newmonumentsgc.com

B.Ross

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2018, 12:19:41 PM »
so given that bell Junior (whose work at sandpiper near santa barbara is pretty good) was told to stay away from the canyons, is there any chance that SD county we reconsider that mandate and let rees (or someone else like doak or hanse) do a re-design that would bring the cliffs more into play. andy johnson on the fried egg has an amazing illustration about how much better the 4th or the 12th hole (blanking off top of my head) could be if it had more width and extended the play lines out toward the cliff.

Pete Lavallee

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Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #38 on: January 31, 2018, 01:35:52 PM »
BRoss,

The City of SD has zero interest in redesigning either course to increase fun or architectural interest. They spent $2MM in 2001 to have Rees redo the South in order to attract a US Open; mission accomplished. He waived his design fee but used his construction Company to do the work. They did give him permission to move 3, 4 & 14 closer to the canyon. I can't think of any other missed opportunities to locate a green closer to the canyon edge. They just spent $12MM for Weiskopf to redo the North. They gave him permission to move the green on the old 8th now the 17th to the canyon edge.

Take a close look at the picture of the 4th on the fried egg website. The slope on the left side of the 4th is way to steep to support a reasonable fairway lie; I know I've been there in the rough and the ball is between your waist and knees!
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

Matthew Petersen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2018, 11:01:30 PM »
BRoss,

The City of SD has zero interest in redesigning either course to increase fun or architectural interest. They spent $2MM in 2001 to have Rees redo the South in order to attract a US Open; mission accomplished. He waived his design fee but used his construction Company to do the work. They did give him permission to move 3, 4 & 14 closer to the canyon. I can't think of any other missed opportunities to locate a green closer to the canyon edge. They just spent $12MM for Weiskopf to redo the North. They gave him permission to move the green on the old 8th now the 17th to the canyon edge.

Take a close look at the picture of the 4th on the fried egg website. The slope on the left side of the 4th is way to steep to support a reasonable fairway lie; I know I've been there in the rough and the ball is between your waist and knees!


This is very right. A lot of people look at an aerial of Torrey Pines and want to change this or that, but you have to have been there to appreciate that most of the holes work fairly well with the land, which slopes much more than you get a sense of on TV, especially on the front nine.

Dave McCollum

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Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2018, 04:01:16 AM »
I didnít want to comment because there are plenty of folks here who are way more qualified than my single plays of TPN & S.  Staying in the lodge was as big a part of our experience as the golf, and probably received more architectural focus.  I donít see a lot of golf resorts and for my mates this may have been a maiden journey.  My impression is that this is a world class golf resort, especially so because I love the SoCal  Craftman style of the Greene Brothers.  We lived in Pasadena where most of the best stuff is preserved.   The posh lodge significantly ups the ambiance.  It is a work of art. 

I think we played the N & S courses on the last days before they were closed for the Farmers.  They Ďd had some rain or weather and were trying some weird 90 degree rule for using carts that made riding stupid, so carts were quickly dumped and set us walking on the N course.  We had a guy that had some fairly serious health issues and the walking wore him out on the N.   We were able to get him some rides on the S.  However with the wicked rough and some comforts compromised, the TPS course was a big, burly, brutally-set-up and clearly more than we could handle.  How did Gib put it:  the course had more vagina than we had Johnson to enjoy it.  These were old guys, geezers, with caps soaring as the collection of maladies expanded with our years.  TPS was a hard, difficult course;  It kicked our asses and scores , although a couple of us figured we could had done much better  in another phase of our golfing life.  That used to be sorta fun taking down the neighborhood bully.  In this context  Iím with those that think the two courses are pretty good examples of challenging  golf, stiff tests, etc. and not really poster children for fun golf.  The pros play here and find it tough.   Wonít be easy for you.

Derek_Duncan

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2018, 06:53:18 AM »
Letís look at the Pros and Cons of Torrey Pines South:
Pros:

There is a tremendous sense of place. Letís face it the Torrey Pine tree only grows here and at one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. The needles of the tree point down to the ground in order for and dew to collect on the needles and then drip onto the ground nourishing the tree; pretty clever! The views of the ocean on every hole are breathtaking.

The golf course has the length to challenge the modern game with only three long walks to the back tee back, 2, 9 & 15. Although the white tees are a bit much for the average golfer at 6,600 yards the green tees at 6,000 yards bring the architecture into play for the average golfer. Their Menís Club actually plays from there.

The excessive green fees ($257 during the week and $305 on weekends) for out of towners has created a huge pot of money in the Cityís Golf Enterprise Fund; all of which goes back to the Cityís four golf courses; South, North, Balboa Park and Mission Bay. Conditioning finally justifies the price out of towners pay, a big plus for residents who pay $63 during the week and $78 on weekends.

The rough which is grown to 3Ē for the Farmers is kept at 1Ē for the rest of the year. Balls are easy to find and can be advanced with relative ease; not so during the Tournament window when the 3Ē rough is brutal!

Since all that was done in the redesign was changing the greens there was a dead zone of dirt between them and the fairway. They went the easy route and hydro seeded the approaches with rye grass. This coupled with the open fronts of every green there allow golfers to bounce or run the ball up to each and every green; not that I ever witnessed someone successfully employing this technique.

The Cons:

The Reesdesign simply made the greens ultra hard. Every green is trisected with ridges leaving three less than 2% sloped pinnable areas. The greenside bunkers all sit well below the surface and play to a distinct down slope just over the lip; a big complaint of Phil. Donít short side yourself in the bunkers or youíll have a long day!

There is just enough room for 18 holes, so most holes are dead straight as they run parallel around the canyons. Only the 6th and 7th holes actually dogleg.

Billy Bell Jr. was told to stay away from the canyon edges, with good reason. They are steep and the bluffs curl over the edge rather than having the sharp drop off like Pebble Beach or Cypress Point. The 4th hole is a perfect example; no one would play to the left hand side of the fairway as the slope leaves the ball so far above your feet that it renders a very difficult shot.

When the new irrigation system was put in the trenching revealed that the site is red clay capped with 6Ē of top soil. Any fairway grading would involve scrapping the top soil and then carefully replacing it. The Cityís mandate of paying ďFair Union WageĒ eliminates using local Hispanic labor and effectively doubles the price of any construction.

The City maintains the Tournament mowing lines year round: 25 yards. In fact some holes on the north were less than 20 yards wide and the Tour insisted the City widen them; a result of Tiger unable to reach any of the par 5ís in 2 just after his Open victory. This pretty much renders strategy off the tee moot as most golfers are just trying to hit the fairway; if you are good enough to decide which side of a 25 yard wide strip youíre going to hit, my hat is off to you!

There is only one short par 4: the 2cnd, which is a good hole but not really suited to the current trend of driveable par 4ís as there is a severe dip in front of the green. Changing the 14th to a driveable par 4 from the Ladies tees during the Open was a weak attempt; even Tiger didnít take the bait.


Pete,


Thanks for this. Very enlightening for those of us who've never been to Torrey and only judge it from the TV. Much needed context.
www.feedtheball.com -- a podcast about golf architecture and design
@feedtheball

Garland Bayley

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Re: Torrey Pines (what happened)?
« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2018, 08:45:56 PM »

I'm trying to think of another city that has dedicated beautiful coastal land to 36 holes of public golf. Can't think of a single one. I sometimes watch golf on TV and think 'this course could be better' but perhaps because Torrey sits on the ocean people are so charged up about how great it could be.
Check it out on a non-tour weekend and see players of all ages enjoying the courses. Pretty special.
University Place dedicated 36 holes until RTJ II convinced them to do 18 spectacular.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

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