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Jerry Kluger

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Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« on: June 25, 2016, 05:22:58 PM »
I was watching the Golf Channel either Thursday or Friday and the question was posed to Sir Nick of what he thought about removing all of the trees at Congressional except for those on the outer perimeter somewhat like Oakmont had done.  I think he was totally unprepared for the question and basically never answered it.  There is no question that the tree removal worked at Oakmont and has worked at other courses as well but are some people getting a little too carried away with this?  It's one thing to perhaps remove trees to give course the ability to breathe and to open up views within the course but wholesale removal of all trees would seem to be inappropriate at some venues. 

Terry Lavin

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2016, 08:36:10 PM »
Congressional looks ridiculous. Oakmont looks phenomenal. Do I think most clubs should go all Oakmont and clear cut?  No but substantial deforestation is a very solid concept.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.  H.L. Mencken

Carl Rogers

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2016, 06:37:42 AM »
IMO, The idea of the "Parkland" course can be done within a scant number of trees.  Particularly in the Eastern US, where trees are such a natural part of the environment.


I think Oakmont goes off an unnatural the deep end.  Congressional needs a 95% clear cut. 


Is there a well known example of a better balance?
I decline to accept the end of man. ... William Faulkner

BCowan

Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2016, 07:01:18 AM »
Orchard lake and Holston Hills are the gold standards for tree management for a Parklands course.

Is fescue new at Oakmont, as in since 2007 open? 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 07:25:40 AM by Ben Cowan (Michigan) »

Jerry Kluger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2016, 07:44:56 AM »
I have seen quite a few parkland courses like Congressional where there are the natural hardwood trees as well as pine trees that were planted mostly in the 1960s where the thought was to isolate each hole and not have a view of other holes.  Many of those pine trees have come to the end of their life expectancy and either fall down or are taken down.  Unfortunately there are those who believe that the trees should be replaced instead of opening up the course and allowing it to breathe and expose views of other holes.

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2016, 08:54:18 AM »
Does anyone have old aerial view of Congressional. I am curious to see what the course was like when built. I think the trees there add to ambience of the course. I do think that some thinning would help agronomically but not every course needs to remove all the trees. Many were built with trees already there. Why change that?
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Anthony Gholz

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2016, 09:19:39 AM »
Ben:


We were on site all four days and fescue was definitely there in 2007.  I thought all the tree work had been done back then, but the total clearing of the woods between 10  and 12 greens is new. 


The entire course is "artificial" in the sense that it is man made, however the most artificial part to me were the "mountains" created to push back the tees on 4 and 7.   Oakland Hills 7th tee stretches the hill about as naturally as possible, but Oakmont's back tees on 4 and 7 definitely look created.


Tony

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2016, 10:36:44 AM »
What amazes me is how often old photos from the first year of a course are trotted out as gospel when contemplating a tree removal program/restoration.


That assumes that the course did not improve any via tinkering, yes planting, and more importantly via maturity.
In some cases, that would seem a mistake.
"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

Jeff Bergeron

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2016, 03:41:52 PM »
Congressional looks ridiculous. Oakmont looks phenomenal. Do I think most clubs should go all Oakmont and clear cut?  No but substantial deforestation is a very solid concept.




Agree

BHoover

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2016, 05:36:48 PM »
I think Congressional looks just fine. There's enough room for courses with complete tree removal and those with trees.

Jeff Bergeron

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2016, 05:51:27 PM »
I think Congressional looks just fine. There's enough room for courses with complete tree removal and those with trees.


Unlikely they will get another Open without a lot of clean up. Looks tired.

Ian Andrew

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2016, 05:56:31 PM »
Not every course is going to make sense without trees.

I really love Oakmont
But that's a "one off" for me since the scale, extensive bunkering, grassing and terrain help it make sense there.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 07:45:21 AM by Ian Andrew »
Change is good.

Jerry Kluger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2016, 07:42:56 AM »
I am afraid that club members at parkland courses like Congressional would be concerned that any tree removal might ultimately result in the removal of all interior trees which is certainly not the case at many other courses like Ridgewood.  They moved tons of trees at Old Town in Winston Salem as part of the restoration and created a magnificent course with great conditioning and great views.

J_ Crisham

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2016, 08:43:25 AM »
I would challenge someone to name a course that was made worse following significant tree removal. I have seen several this year that are outstanding as a result of extensive removal. I am looking forward to seeing what we get done at Beverly this year- it has the potential to be amazing .
      Davenport CC
      Cedar Rapids
      Old Elm
       Philly Cricket
      Baltimore CC Five Farms
      Southern Hills
      Manufacturers
      LeHigh
      Lancaster

Jerry Kluger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2016, 10:59:42 AM »
The question I posed was not whether tree removal ever caused a course to be worse as a result.  Rather do you think that the accolades for the tree removal at Oakmont would make members of other clubs hesitant where a thinning of the trees was recommended because they feared it could result in a removal of all the trees?  I saw this at my old club where they took trees down and the members demanded that other trees be planted immediately.   

Rory Connaughton

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2016, 01:53:45 PM »
I think it has been a very good thing.  Oakmont is a course of extremes.  Extremely penal rough and bunkers and incredibly fast greens.  The total clearance is in keeping with an all or nothing approach :-)


That is not to say that every course should be clear cut.  Oakmont got the conversation started more than 10 years ago and made consideration of large scale (if not wholesale) removal acceptable in the eyes of many club members that might not have accepted the same approach had it originated in house. The list of courses that have benefited grows longer every year.


I agree with Jack about Baltimore. The same is certainly true of Cricket and Mannies where the tree removal has lifted a shroud that was covering an outstanding golf course.


More to do at Lancaster!

PCCraig

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2016, 05:07:46 PM »
The tree removal at Oakmont certainly helped the argument that removing trees will make a golf course "too easy."


Not every course should be clear cut. But there is a happy medium between Oakmont and Congressional.


Courses like Philly Cricket and Shoreacres have to be great "new" examples?
H.P.S.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2016, 06:12:18 PM »
The question I posed was not whether tree removal ever caused a course to be worse as a result.  Rather do you think that the accolades for the tree removal at Oakmont would make members of other clubs hesitant where a thinning of the trees was recommended because they feared it could result in a removal of all the trees?  I saw this at my old club where they took trees down and the members demanded that other trees be planted immediately.


Jerry:


I am dealing with this very problem now at one of the clubs where we are doing consulting work.  They poisoned most of the trees, and are still reluctant to take them down! 

Jeff Bergeron

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2016, 06:27:08 PM »
The question I posed was not whether tree removal ever caused a course to be worse as a result.  Rather do you think that the accolades for the tree removal at Oakmont would make members of other clubs hesitant where a thinning of the trees was recommended because they feared it could result in a removal of all the trees?  I saw this at my old club where they took trees down and the members demanded that other trees be planted immediately.


Jerry:


I am dealing with this very problem now at one of the clubs where we are doing consulting work.  They poisoned most of the trees, and are still reluctant to take them down!


I'm surprised you took that job.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2016, 07:48:48 PM »
For me its a whitewash good trend.  I am not sure I would like to see such as extremes as at Oakmont, but Oakmont is much closer to the ideal than any countless number of courses. It irks me that parkland ever became to mean tree lined fairways...probably the single most harmful development ever in architecture...may have in fact set the field back 50 years.  If I never see a green wall course again it will be too soon.  The concept of specimen trees sometimes coming into play and sometimes highlighting views just seems too damn hard for people to grasp.  I always imagine the ideal parkland course as a meadow with some oak trees....ahhhhh.


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

PCCraig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2016, 08:04:29 PM »
The question I posed was not whether tree removal ever caused a course to be worse as a result.  Rather do you think that the accolades for the tree removal at Oakmont would make members of other clubs hesitant where a thinning of the trees was recommended because they feared it could result in a removal of all the trees?  I saw this at my old club where they took trees down and the members demanded that other trees be planted immediately.


Jerry:


I am dealing with this very problem now at one of the clubs where we are doing consulting work.  They poisoned most of the trees, and are still reluctant to take them down!


That's funny, because there is an aerial of the course in their clubhouse from its early years and the course looked incredible with no trees. Thee course was built on pastureland to begin with?!
H.P.S.

Jerry Kluger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2016, 09:32:30 PM »
Sean: The question is whether Oakmont is really the ideal solution and I it certainly is not in all situations and perhaps it has made other clubs fearful that if they begin tree removal that it will have to result in the Oakmont model.

Ian Andrew

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2016, 09:58:29 PM »
Architects use Oakmont to make a point - courses don't need trees.

Oakmont is almost never the goal. A healthy Parkland setting like Winged Foot is the goal. Trees are still in play, but they are well spaced and specimens rather than clutter.
Change is good.

Eric LeFante

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2024, 09:38:21 AM »



It's interesting that Tiger told Neal Shipley yesterday he liked Oakmont when it had trees. I know Gary Player agrees.




"Tiger brought up Oakmont Country Club, the U.S. Open site, saying he liked the course years ago, back when it had trees."
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[/size]https://www.masters.com/en_US/news/articles/2024-04-14/2024-04-14_old_and_young_united_in_woodsshipley_pairing_at_the_masters.html

Philip Winter

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Re: Has Oakmont Tree Removal Begun a Good or Bad Trend?
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2024, 06:15:09 PM »

I also found that comment interesting. In particular because Tiger's opinions on things tend to have so much influence.

I guess we don't know that much about Tiger's view on golf course architecture, do we? There are some good signs, namely in how much reverence he uses when talking about the Old Course and his affinity for playing a style of the game that is rewarded on links courses.






It's interesting that Tiger told Neal Shipley yesterday he liked Oakmont when it had trees. I know Gary Player agrees.




"Tiger brought up Oakmont Country Club, the U.S. Open site, saying he liked the course years ago, back when it had trees."

https://www.masters.com/en_US/news/articles/2024-04-14/2024-04-14_old_and_young_united_in_woodsshipley_pairing_at_the_masters.html

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