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Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Has studying architecture - and other related subjects such as construction, maintenance, irrigation, history, clubmaking etc - made you personally a better player?

Has your handicap declined since your interest began?
Has your approach to course management changed?
Do you now see specific shots in a different way?
Do you now aim along different playing lines?
Do you now spot potential hazards or semi-hazards earlier and with greater understanding?
Do you now aim away from 'sucker pins' more frequently?
Do you find yourself continuously thinking how holes could be improved?
Do you see alternative tees or greensites, or mowing lines, or routings etc etc as you proceed around a course?
Do you now better appreciate 'why' when things arn't perfect?
Has the sort of course you prefer to play changed?
Do you now prefer courses that are more manicured with high maintenance regimes?
Do you now prefer courses that are more rustic with lower maintenance standards?

Or, has your approach to playing golf not changed at all?

Thoughts?

Atb
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 11:41:03 AM by Thomas Dai »

Tim_Weiman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 12:23:08 PM »
Never felt the two were related. Over the years I learned that the only way to play better was to play and practice a lot more.
Tim Weiman

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 12:29:58 PM »
On the surface of things, I would say no.  Checking out architecture has done nothing for my game.  On the other hand, if it wasn't for my interest in seeing courses I probably would only be 6 game a year guy.  So in reality, yes, checking out architecture has helped my game  8)

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022:

Peter Pallotta

Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 12:36:10 PM »
Thomas - the short answer is "yes", I am scoring better because I study the architecture; sadly, however, after all these years of looking at golf holes "architecturally" and examining various "options" and trying to "think" my way around the golf course, my so-called "strategy" has been reduced to this most simple and boring and banal of approaches, i.e.

I tend to take less club off the tee (3 wood instead of driver, 5 wood instead of 3 wood, 3 iron instead of 5 wood etc) and then use exponentially more club for my approach (hitting 4 iron instead of the 5 the yardage says I should use).  I get into less trouble off the tee, and then manage to get on/around the green more often.

I'm at one and the same time happy to be scoring a bit better, but also vaguely embarrassed that my torrent of insights into great golf course architecture has become (in my unskilled golfing hands) merely this drip-drip-drip of plodding play.

I should (in my imagination) be cutting a dashing, dramatic figure, a flamboyant swashbuckler of a golfer striding confidently and playing with reckless abandon, a mix of Arnold Palmer and Errol Flynn! Instead, I have become a golfer that could be nicknamed "Radar" (as per Mike Reid) except for my lack of accuracy. 

Peter 
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 12:49:09 PM by Peter Pallotta »

MClutterbuck

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2016, 06:40:29 PM »
Hanging out with designers and shapers as greens were being shaped has made me a much better putter. I might be fooled on links, but elsewhere I can now read greens much faster and much better by focusing on surface drainage.


I probably get more distracted on the course on the other hand...

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2016, 08:58:51 PM »
To preserve my own sanity (or what is left of it) I tend to just play the game in a separate frame of mind from when I am looking for golf course design and maintenance issues on a golf course.  I figure I can try to analyze what is on the ground as a matter of GCA and GCM and enjoy the quality or lack thereof, but I know that when I hit the shots that a design feature beckons, I have about a 5% chance of actually pulling it off in a skillful manner.  So, I don't get my ego or hopes up too high.  I can still appreciate clever treatment and shaping of soil and terrain, or choice of turf varieties and maintenance programs and methods.  But, as a matter of better play because I may see something and understand it... not so much.   ::)
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

cary lichtenstein

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 10:15:46 PM »
No
Live Jupiter, Fl, was  4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 4 back surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms. Last course I played was Augusta

James Brown

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 11:02:52 PM »
Yep.  Quite a bit I would say.  Understanding course design in a deeper way has improved my green reading, helped me avoid trouble.  I also play smarter approach shot and appreciate the value of being able to flight the ball lower.  I am also less focused on power and distance than I was 10 years ago and am in general more conservative in my approach.  As a result, I shoot lower scores with less drama.  I would say an improved golf IQ is probabably 20-30 percent of my improvement from a 3.5 to a 1.5 in 5 years. 

Bill Brightly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2016, 11:27:21 PM »
No. I am convinced really good players "see" the architecture then block it out and hit their golf shot.

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2016, 10:43:31 AM »
I don't think it has affected my quality of play at all.  When I can make myself do it, my best strategy is nearly always to aim for the center stripe off the tee, aim for the center of the green and keep it out of water or OB.  But - what fun is that?

I do not think my study has altered my perceptions of how to play a particular hole but it has greatly increased my appreciation for the visuals, the little details and the methods used to drain water.

 I do not think I have become very good at appreciating the routing of the golf course other than the interest of holes that the routing yields and the distance of the walk.  Every time I try to come up with a better routing for courses that seem poorly routed to me, the result is a course that I have no confidence would be better. 

Steve Lang

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2016, 07:41:31 PM »
 8)


Has your handicap declined since your interest began?   No, I was a lower index 20 years ago...[/size]Has your approach to course management changed?  A bit but not much...Do you now see specific shots in a different way?   Not really...Do you now aim along different playing lines?   Always did...Do you now spot potential hazards or semi-hazards earlier and with greater understanding?  Nope...Do you now aim away from 'sucker pins' more frequently?  As I've said before, I never met a sucker pin I didn't like...Do you find yourself continuously thinking how holes could be improved?  Nope... is what it is..Do you see alternative tees or greensites, or mowing lines, or routings etc etc as you proceed around a course?   Not much, mowing lines if anything...Do you now better appreciate 'why' when things aren't perfect?  Never have been, never will be...Has the sort of course you prefer to play changed?  No, let's tee it up anywhere...Do you now prefer courses that are more manicured with high maintenance regimes? Nope...Do you now prefer courses that are more rustic with lower maintenance standards?  Nope...Or, has your approach to playing golf not changed at all?  Perhaps, I may smile more as I matriculate down the fairway...
[/size]
Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

Mark Bourgeois

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2016, 07:47:42 PM »
It hasn't made me a better player, it's made me a better person.
Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Benjamin. Avielle. Allison.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2016, 07:51:28 PM »
It hasn't made me a better player, it's made me a better person.

Just like the writer struggling for decades to produce the Great American Novel, who realizes at the end of it all that the story of humility and perseverance and purpose he was writing...was his own

Btw, a question: does a better person get 6 strokes a side, or give them?

Mark Bourgeois

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2016, 08:19:39 PM »
He gets if he's playing Errol Flynn, gives if he's playing Arnold Palmer.

Great American Novelistically,
Hothead Ptah
Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Benjamin. Avielle. Allison.

Richard Hetzel

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2016, 08:36:43 PM »
More than likely, worse. Why? Because I spend more time taking pictures of golf courses and noticing things rather than concentrating on my (lack of) game.



Last Ten Played: 
Old Toccoa Farm (GA), Thoroughbred GC (KY), Urbana CC (OH), Dayton CC (OH), Maysville CC (KY), Ross Course French Lick (IN), Covered Bridge (IN), Trout Club (OH), Elkhorn Ridge (SD), Bully Pulpit (ND)
Top 5 this year:
Yale
Culver
Hawktree
Old Toccoa Farm
Chas Muni

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2016, 05:35:13 AM »
Some fascinating responses.


A scenario -


You're playing a course for the first time on your own. You're playing a level hole and are 150 yds with a flat lie and stance from the centre of a green that visually looks invitingly easy. The pin is on the right side of the green in what looks a nice spot to attack. You can see an evil looking deep bunker to the left side of the green. You don't have a range finder/gps but do have a course map showing holes, streams and bunkers so you know there are no other formal hazards to consider. The course is by Colt or MacKenzie or one of the other golden age-classic period architects whose work we all seem to admire. What message is there is this basic overview?


atb

Ryan Coles

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2016, 05:54:05 AM »
Better players or those who tend to be intent on being better players can in my opinion sometimes be blinkered too much by making a score to take real note of the architecture.


On the other end of the scale, those who are inept, or raw beginners are probably not good enough to engage with the architecture, even if they can understand and appreciate it.


Was in Portrush a few weeks ago. A few years back I wouldn't have even played the Valley Course. Now I thought it was great and probably the most underrated course I've played. It has everything that I need and look for in a course without being a ball hunt fest. I'd take it over most of the courses around Fife for example. Without learning a bit about architecture and my own game waning, I don't think I would have appreciated how good it was. Becoming a worse player and losing focus on score has helped me study architecture.

BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2016, 08:10:21 AM »
It hasn't made me a better player, it's made me a better person.

Good stuff. After I stopped laughing, I thought hmmm.... maybe so.

Bob 




« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 09:23:37 AM by BCrosby »

Matt Frey, PGA

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2016, 01:19:17 PM »
In general, I do not believe being a student of architecture will improve your game. However, I think that understanding golf course design and the architect's intent and options that he/she laid out makes golfers better "thinkers."

Some of this knowledge can also be gained via playing lessons, but that is on a case-by-case basis.

Since I have started to learn more about golf course architecture, I have found that I personally think a little clearer about how I want to play a shot and use the hole's design to my advantage.

Think about it: how many times have you played a Redan or a hole with Redan-like features with someone who doesn't know a lot about golf course design and they just aim directly at the flag, even with the Redan slopes being so prevalent?

Now that I understand a little more about golf course architecture, I find myself thinking a little more about the hole's design and thus attempting to play different shots that what I may have attempted 10 years ago.

The key word there is "attempt." Just because I know how the architect encourages certain types of shots on a certain layout, and I try to hit those shots, doesn't mean I will be able to pull it off. It still comes down to execution and conditions. Just because I mean to hit a certain shot, doesn't mean I will, and even if I do hit it exactly how I want it, I have to rely on wind conditions, temperature, ground/turf conditions, etc. to end up by the hole.

One more thing: while knowing more about golf course architecture may not have directly affected my scores, it has directly affected the amount of fun I have on the course. Whether it be a good layout or poor layout, I have a lot more fun on the course nowadays because I'm less concentrated on my score and more concentrated on appreciating what has been laid out and built in front of me.
Matt Frey, PGA
@mfreypga  @mfreypga

Jay Mickle

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2016, 01:34:13 PM »
Thanks to a greater appreciation of GCA I now play courses well above my pay grade and do so with no scoring expectation, just an appreciation of elements that in the past would have eluded me. Bad golf on good courses now has me arriving at the 19th hole with a smile on my face and fond memories.A better player no, an appreciator of how the GCA got one over on me YES.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 01:35:53 PM by Jay Mickle »
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RussBaribault

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2016, 01:36:57 PM »
I can't find any way or reason why the two are correlated. The physical and mental aspects of playing the game (well) have nothing to do with other. IMO
“Greatness courts failure, Romeo.”

“You may be right boss, but you know what, sometimes par is good enough to win”

Ruediger Meyer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2016, 02:28:29 PM »
No study of architecture can cure the putting yips or give me an extra 20 yards so I don't have to hit Hybrids into every green.

Ian Mackenzie

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2016, 02:38:29 PM »
I believe it has enhanced my "course management" skills and thus, yes, has made me a better player.


No, not a better ball striker.
No, not a better putter.
No, not better scrambler
No, not better short game.


But, YES, i see my way around a course with greater clarity and I think that helps me avoid strategic errors in some cases.
The game is certainly more fun to me intellectually. I try to have a better understanding of playing angles and risk/reward scenarios.


My conclusion: Knowing about GCA has reduced the number of unforced bogies/doubles/"others".


Dave McCollum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Has studying architecture etc made you personally a better player?
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2016, 03:31:21 PM »
No one who has seen my game would come to this conclusion.  Positive things have come from appreciating golf architecture more:  desire to travel and play different styles of golf, love of links golf (nearest 750 miles) which may have improved my short game by a whisker, excitement to play, providing a pseudo intellectual dimension to an addiction to a silly game, and, of course, meeting like minded addicts who, for unknown but enthusiastic reasons, all seem to be great guys.  None of this makes me better, but may influence me to play more, which might help.

Now to the downsides.  Understanding there is big world of golfing styles out there, makes it more difficult to listen to the complaints and opinions of golfers who have a very limited, often dogmatic view of the game.  Unfortunately, the most ignorant can be the most vocal.  Getting drafted as last minute replacement in a 5.5 hour pro-am and having plenty of time to look around and wonder why this or that was done.  I used to enjoy just about any course.  Now, some irritate me because they have stupid designs that folks rationalize as good golf.  One of the best clubs in this region (the members love their course), has one of the goofiest courses I’ve ever played.  Not quirk, borderline too extreme ground and homemade design on a minimal budget.  It’s plays around the world’s biggest trout farm and has a green shaped like a fish--and that’s far from dumbest feature.

None of the cons has anything to do with how well (or not) I play.  They do make me a little depressed and less bold about trying new things.  Such notions of the game stifle creativity and make courses more boring and predictable.  Makes me want to play less.  Playing less is not usually a path to improvement.

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