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Don Mahaffey

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Re: The Old Course - Horizon lines, view slots, and backgrounds
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2015, 05:29:34 PM »
Valid observations, especially about not fighting the crowds. But I would advise a Sunday stroll around The Old Course. I think you might find that interesting.
You also may find some of the off the beaten path courses you play may have some of the same puzzle solving challenges as The Old Course. maybe not as famous or as nuanced, but I'll bet you find some of them to be very different than the resort golf course you describe.

Anyhow, the premise in my OP was why so many in the golf industry praise The Old Course while going out of their way to design and build something so completely different.  Tom Doak explained the answer to that question well.

I guess my only disagreement with you is the idea that most everyone "wants it all out in front of them". We hear the same thing about golfers not liking contoured greens and ladies not liking being challenged off the tee, and how building flat featureless greens helps maintenance when in fact it puts the focus purely on maintenance because there is nothing else to consider...I just don't think the assumptions so often made are correct.

Tom_Doak

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Re: The Old Course - Horizon lines, view slots, and backgrounds
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2015, 05:42:35 PM »
Doug:


I've taken the liberty of numbering the things that no one today would do:


You can consider TOC to be a great course while still finding fault with it as far as how it may or may not apply to modern architecture. 
1)  No one today is going to build a course where fairways cross,
2)  where you practically aim at a hotel on one hole and could destroy a large picture window of another hotel on the next. 
3)  Not to mention building on public land where you have to on Sunday - one of the highest earning days of the week for most courses - and allow people to free reign to walk wherever the like on it. 
4)  The idea of fairway bunkers you can't see is anathema to most today,
5)  as is the manufactured look of the Swilken Burn,
6)  or an asphalt path that is in play a few feet from a green. 
7)  And the maintenance for those gigantic greens...


I've got #1 covered with the 3rd and 5th fairways at Tara Iti.  I've drawn crossing fairways on plans a couple of times before, but this is the first of those projects that got built.  It can work better than at St. Andrews if done at the right place on the right sort of holes.


I think we covered #7 with Old Macdonald's greens.


Of the other things in your list, the one I'd most like to build someday is #3.  The fact that The Old Course is reserved on Sunday for a public park makes a unique connection between the golf course and the community ... something that the hundreds and hundreds of golf course communities in the U.S. have failed to achieve.  I am convinced I will find a client who wants to go for this idea somewhere before my career is finished.


The two things on your list I'm least interested in doing are #2 and #6.  We did consider putting a real road alongside the 11th green at Old Macdonald for our Road hole ... it's in a tight space for maintenance traffic as it is ... but I thought building a road would seem desperate.  I had never considered until now the possibility of putting a maintenance shed right out there in the crook of the fairway to hit over like the old Stationmaster's Garden.  I don't think Mr. Keiser would have gone for that look, though.

Doug Siebert

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Re: The Old Course - Horizon lines, view slots, and backgrounds
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2015, 09:01:52 PM »
Of the other things in your list, the one I'd most like to build someday is #3.  The fact that The Old Course is reserved on Sunday for a public park makes a unique connection between the golf course and the community ... something that the hundreds and hundreds of golf course communities in the U.S. have failed to achieve.  I am convinced I will find a client who wants to go for this idea somewhere before my career is finished.


I hadn't really thought of it that way, but it isn't such an unreasonable idea explained like that. I suppose given the other thread which discussed how many high budget courses only succeed with their second/third owner after shedding debt, maybe the initial developers should be realistic about their long term chances for success and figure if they're going to go bankrupt anyway, making a deal for land that would be closed Sunday might not be such a problem  ;D

I hope you do find such a client, it would be interesting to see how that worked out.
My hovercraft is full of eels.

Sean_A

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Re: The Old Course - Horizon lines, view slots, and backgrounds
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2015, 05:34:40 AM »
Of the other things in your list, the one I'd most like to build someday is #3.  The fact that The Old Course is reserved on Sunday for a public park makes a unique connection between the golf course and the community ... something that the hundreds and hundreds of golf course communities in the U.S. have failed to achieve.  I am convinced I will find a client who wants to go for this idea somewhere before my career is finished.


I hadn't really thought of it that way, but it isn't such an unreasonable idea explained like that. I suppose given the other thread which discussed how many high budget courses only succeed with their second/third owner after shedding debt, maybe the initial developers should be realistic about their long term chances for success and figure if they're going to go bankrupt anyway, making a deal for land that would be closed Sunday might not be such a problem  ;D

I hope you do find such a client, it would be interesting to see how that worked out.


Except the reason it works at St Andrews is


1. TOC is smack in the middle of town...its an easy access park. 


2. TOC is world famous so people will wander just for a gander...Sundays are packed with touristas. 


3. St Andrews is a famous city in its own right...loads of touristas.


4. The museum is next door to TOC. 


5. Perhaps most important of all...many US cities and towns already have parks.  There is little need to shut a course down for integration into the town.


These points are tough to even come close to replicating. It sounds wonderful to incorporate golf into town life and I think it can be done to some degree.  But to close a course on Sunday for this purpose is a bridge too far in the US. 


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Bob Montle

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Re: The Old Course - Horizon lines, view slots, and backgrounds
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2017, 02:40:44 PM »
IMHO, The Old Course is the greatest course in the world.

Okay, I have to admit that I have only walked it four times and played it but once.
But each time I saw something different and began to understand it better.  Maybe in a lifetime of playing I might get bored, but I don't think so.  ;D

Blind shots are only blind the first time you play them.   Hidden bunkers are to be learned, found and avoided.  Golf isn't supposed to be fair.   The sight lines, to me, are clear enough and inspiring.  What better background than the 18th hole?

I'm going to try and channel my inner Peter P for a music analogy.  My good friend and prolific songwriter King Creosote said about his music "A hit is a song you love at first hearing, and then gradually grow tired of.  My music may sound bland, slow and perhaps boring at first, but after enough listenings a bombshell goes off and people love it."     He is right - I enjoy his songs more and more after hundreds of listenings,

So, IMHO, a popular modern golf course is one you fall in love with on your first visit, but gradually grow tired of it after repeated playings.   TOC may seem like a ugly and confusing mess at first visit, but after repeated playing a bombshell suddenly goes off and you fall in love with the INFINITE VARIETY that you have found.   Has anyone ever grown bored with playing TOC?

Maybe I'm just a sentimental old man who cherishes the hallowed ground. 
What do you think?
"If you're the swearing type, golf will give you plenty to swear about.  If you're the type to get down on yourself, you'll have ample opportunities to get depressed.  If you like to stop and smell the roses, here's your chance.  Golf never judges; it just brings out who you are."

Bill_McBride

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Re: The Old Course - Horizon lines, view slots, and backgrounds
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2017, 06:13:59 PM »
I wish they still did the Reverse Program, where you played the usual routing one day and in reverse the next.  You really some great insights into the course that way.   The par 4 from the 13th tee to the 11th green might be the hardest you ever played if it's into a stiff breeze.  The dozen or so bunkers you can't see from the tee of normal 12 are fully visible, the approach is up and ever the frightening Hill Bunker, and the green falls away steeply left to right and front to back. 

Marty Bonnar

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Re: The Old Course - Horizon lines, view slots, and backgrounds
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2017, 05:18:23 PM »
I wish they still did the Reverse Program, where you played the usual routing one day and in reverse the next.  You really some great insights into the course that way.   The par 4 from the 13th tee to the 11th green might be the hardest you ever played if it's into a stiff breeze.  The dozen or so bunkers you can't see from the tee of normal 12 are fully visible, the approach is up and ever the frightening Hill Bunker, and the green falls away steeply left to right and front to back.


Such fun.
What a great lesson that was. Is TOC the original reversible golf course...?


F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

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