News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2017, 04:58:20 PM »
Garland makes a great point.  It particularly diminishes the game for an average woman when hazards across the fairway are placed based upon the men's tees.  We have two holes at our club where even with a good drive a woman has to lay up short of a water hazard the bisects the fairway.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2017, 03:21:17 AM »
There is no question women are abused when it comes to golf design.  Part of the problem is men are abused (in that most play courses far too long for their abilities) so as a consequence of women as an afterthought they too are abused.  I am amazed there haven't been more courses developed and designed by women for women.  Given the current concept of 7000 yard courses, I think it is nearly impossible to incorporate women's tees into a design without the cart being a necessity.

One of my great surprises these past few years was playing Formby Ladies...very good course.  Even at 5375 yards the course is a bit of a stretch for a large percentage of women, but you get the idea of what is needed. If we premised a course with Ladies Champ tees at 6000 yards tops (or men's back tee), then ranging a course down to under 5000 yards is feasible for a walking course. I am convinced with the land some of these top archies had these past dozen years several world class courses could have built that were no longer than 6000 yards. Until women get into the business with their own money, women will continue to be abused.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2017, 07:22:42 AM »
Interesting data and thoughts from Garland and Sean.
For years at the course I play most often we had ladies red tees and ladies forward blue tees. The forward blues were never used so were removed a year or so ago.
atb

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2017, 08:22:37 AM »
When I realized yesterday was the 40th anniversary of my first day at Killian and Nugent as a newly minted golf course architect.....I learned I was old!  Up until then, was having enough fun that it hadn't crossed my mind! :D
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Peter Pallotta

Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2017, 08:52:33 AM »
Congratulations, Jeff! It's one in a thousand who manages to make his living doing what he loves, and for his whole life! Well done.
But - don't look back: something may be gaining on you!

Terry Lavin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2017, 09:35:21 AM »
Just back from another Bandon trip, I've cemented my affection for the value of ground hazards, the humps, bumps, ditches, fescue grass and how all of them are affected by the greatest hazard of them all: wind and weather in general.  I had some great scoring rounds when the weather was indolent and tough scoring rounds when the wind kicked up and completely altered the way I had to play.  The other thing I learned is that each of these courses tends to impress me in different ways every time I play them.  Trails is probably in the best shape of all, especially the greens, but Pacific and Bandon both played tough, fair and fun.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.  H.L. Mencken

Brett Wiesley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2017, 11:34:40 AM »

[size=78%]Jason,[/size]


Ballyneal #8 is a brilliant par 5 (4 1/2).  It plays different with the wind, but is reachable for many in 2.  The beauty is there is a large blow-out bunker that makes the bombers think about something less than driver.  However, there is a slot with a small "bowl of achievement" on the left that will egg them on.  If you do find the slot or left angle you are tempted with a view of the green.  However, you still need to challenge the next blowout bunker 50 yd short and left of the green to get the run onto the green, otherwise most shots hit at the middle of the green will funnel down into a deep swale off right of the green.  The green itself is full of fun and exciting bowls and contours.  Not only a beautiful hole, but full of strategy, challenge.  Sometimes triumph and sometimes tears.


If there, try teeing off just left of the 8th green for 9 fairway.  It's a nice blind shot...

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2017, 11:55:15 AM »
At my prior club we built a bunch of forward tees to allow the women to play from a distance closer to the 2/3 guideline above.  It was a disaster.  The vocal women did not like them at all.  They preferred playing from their normal tees at a par of 74 rather than playing a shorter course at par 70. 

The tees sat empty until we came up with the idea of forward and back women's tees, resulting in so many tee markers that it made your head dizzy.

Which taught me - if you are thinking of installing forward tees to meet a theoretical ideal about how women should play the game - let them decide whether or not it is a good idea.

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2017, 12:07:08 PM »
When I realized yesterday was the 40th anniversary of my first day at Killian and Nugent as a newly minted golf course architect.....I learned I was old!  Up until then, was having enough fun that it hadn't crossed my mind! :D

Congratulations Jeff!  Doing what you love in a very tough industry for 40 years is an incredible accomplishment.

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2017, 12:16:38 PM »

[size=78%]Jason,[/size]


Ballyneal #8 is a brilliant par 5 (4 1/2).  It plays different with the wind, but is reachable for many in 2.  The beauty is there is a large blow-out bunker that makes the bombers think about something less than driver.  However, there is a slot with a small "bowl of achievement" on the left that will egg them on.  If you do find the slot or left angle you are tempted with a view of the green.  However, you still need to challenge the next blowout bunker 50 yd short and left of the green to get the run onto the green, otherwise most shots hit at the middle of the green will funnel down into a deep swale off right of the green.  The green itself is full of fun and exciting bowls and contours.  Not only a beautiful hole, but full of strategy, challenge.  Sometimes triumph and sometimes tears.


If there, try teeing off just left of the 8th green for 9 fairway.  It's a nice blind shot...

I just realized I was confusing Ballyhack with Ballyneal.  I need to get to Ballyneal someday.

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2017, 12:27:38 PM »
At my prior club we built a bunch of forward tees to allow the women to play from a distance closer to the 2/3 guideline above.  It was a disaster.  The vocal women did not like them at all.  They preferred playing from their normal tees at a par of 74 rather than playing a shorter course at par 70. 

The tees sat empty until we came up with the idea of forward and back women's tees, resulting in so many tee markers that it made your head dizzy.

Which taught me - if you are thinking of installing forward tees to meet a theoretical ideal about how women should play the game - let them decide whether or not it is a good idea.

Putting forward tees in at 2/3 the distance probably will get a negative reaction from ladies accustomed to playing the course from the existing tees. Golfers, especially club members, are very resistant to change. They like things to be as they have always been, which of course we have seen many examples of on many topics on this website. My club mows out really short tees (about 2/3 distance) during the warm months only when some 85 year + women will come out and play. At that point, they are riding a cart, and don't have the energy to make enough swings to play the regular women's tees.

I wonder what ladies new to a course would choose given the option. I have played at Bandon with women twice. One time the lady played the most forward tees and creamed her husband and I score wise. Obviously that woman was not adverse to playing a significantly shorter course.
"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

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2017, 12:29:47 PM »
At my prior club we built a bunch of forward tees to allow the women to play from a distance closer to the 2/3 guideline above.  It was a disaster.  The vocal women did not like them at all.  They preferred playing from their normal tees at a par of 74 rather than playing a shorter course at par 70. 

The tees sat empty until we came up with the idea of forward and back women's tees, resulting in so many tee markers that it made your head dizzy.

Which taught me - if you are thinking of installing forward tees to meet a theoretical ideal about how women should play the game - let them decide whether or not it is a good idea.

Putting forward tees in at 2/3 the distance probably will get a negative reaction from ladies accustomed to playing the course from the existing tees. Golfers, especially club members, are very resistant to change. They like things to be as they have always been, which of course we have seen many examples of on many topics on this website. My club mows out really short tees (about 2/3 distance) during the warm months only when some 85 year + women will come out and play. At that point, they are riding a cart, and don't have the energy to make enough swings to play the regular women's tees.

I wonder what ladies new to a course would choose given the option. I have played at Bandon with women twice. One time the lady played the most forward tees and creamed her husband and I score wise. Obviously that woman was not adverse to playing a significantly shorter course.

It would also be interesting to see if things have changed 10 years later.  I will inquire next time I return.

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2017, 09:18:43 PM »
I've become more and more aware that maintenance level determines good architecture to the average guy.
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Connor Dougherty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2017, 10:11:09 PM »
I'm intrigued by the comments in this thread. Many of the responses are geared toward themes. Some of it is maintenance related, sometimes it's theory. Many of the topics discussed in this thread are themes which have been mentioned in countless other threads on this site, which I think is ultimately a great testament to how much this site allows us to explore architecture.


In April I reached the 1 year anniversary of working for my current golf course contractor, so the comments of Don Mahaffney stuck out to me:


I've learned that the old saying, form follows function, is no longer the way it is. In modern golf design and const it is, only once the function is 100% guaranteed do we start to think about form.


What makes the great courses great is that form works seamlessly with function. They don't have wet spots. They're designed to exemplify the abilities of the maintenance crew while stimulating the mind. This presents itself in different ways. Sometimes its on the great tracks where they're able to shave fairway edges directly to the start of the bunker. On others it's through the emphasis of ground contours as opposed to artificial hazards (be it a bunker/lake etc.) Before I only saw form, now I see more so than I ever have how form and function work together.


But if I had to pin down a few things, and these views may change as I continue working in this industry:
1. More attention is paid to details (like how a bunker is shaped and edged) than you could possibly imagine
2. Our ability to measure grades is both a blessing and a curse, as the architect who is able to appreciate that more significantly contoured greens can do so while being assured that playable areas are still indeed playable, so that greens don't have to be rebuilt in the future. Others are more sucept to building flat greens. Particularly true with greens committees concerned with creating enough pin positions.
3. Proper tree management is becoming far more mainstream than many on this site would lead you to believe, at least in the view of architects.
4. You cannot underestimate the number of things that can come up which are not expected prior to the project.
5. It is more important that an architect understands what can be done in the dirt with a piece of equipment than what he is able to do with it himself, and that he is able to describe what he is looking for to the people doing the work.


To reiterate the 5th and final point here, many of the guys I work with are remarkably good at their jobs and have years of experience on the pieces of equipment they are running. I could spend the next 10 years working on Bulldozers and shaping, and I don't know if I could create finish work as good as what the guys I work with are able to do. It's because they've spent their lives working on them. For example, one of our bunker finishing guys is incredible on an excavator. He has a remarkably well trained eye and his work is some of the best I have ever seen. I would trust another one of our guys on a sandpro far more than I would trust myself. On a dozer, both of them have decades of experience and would be able to execute my vision far better than I would myself. I firmly believed entering this industry that being able to shape everything on a dozer is critical, when in reality, it's more important to conceptually understand what it takes to get what you're looking for and having someone (whether it is yourself or another shaper) who can execute that vision.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 12:05:15 AM by Connor Dougherty »
"The website is just one great post away from changing the world of golf architecture.  Make it." --Bart Bradley

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2017, 11:48:21 PM »
I've become more and more aware that maintenance level determines good architecture to the average guy.


Definitely true.  Spring Hill is a local club listed in the top 100 in many lists and I cannot imagine why that is so.  The course is in great condition, the caddies wear white jumpsuits and the view from the 18th green is nice.  Other than that, I cannot imagine why anyone would think it is a good golf course. 

Matthew Essig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2017, 01:16:51 AM »
I've become more and more aware that maintenance level determines good architecture to the average guy.


I have learned exactly this and throw in history, too. Nostalgia glasses are strong in the general golfing community. There is a reason the restoration business is in full drive. Courses definitely lose their edge over time...
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 01:25:54 AM by Matthew Essig »
"Good GCA should offer an interesting golfing challenge to the golfer not a difficult golfing challenge." Jon Wiggett

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2017, 10:29:12 AM »
I've become more and more aware that maintenance level determines good architecture to the average guy.


I will third this resolution.  Maintenance level is almost everything to the average joe golfer.  Even if its a flat, boring, featureless course...if its well maintained they will rave.

Bob Montle

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2017, 02:53:38 PM »
I've learned how picky I am about drainage, and how adamantly I equate good drainage with good design. Unless there's been a major downpour in the last day, I don't want - and don't think I should need to - step gingerly along any fairway so as to not soak my feet on my way to an otherwise perfect tee ball that is half sunk where it landed and is now covered in mud. I've learned that I believe this: that no golf hole is a great golf hole if it does not drain well.
Peter

+1

My local course may only be a Doak 3.5, but it sure drains well.
We had over 10" of rain Sunday ->  Thursday morning.
Last night I walked 18 holes and didn't get my feet wet.
"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."

Matthew Petersen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2017, 04:25:11 PM »
I've become more and more aware that maintenance level determines good architecture to the average guy.


I will third this resolution.  Maintenance level is almost everything to the average joe golfer.  Even if its a flat, boring, featureless course...if its well maintained they will rave.


And not only that, but how nice the guys in the pro shop or the cart barn were. Or how often the beer cart gets around.


I'm flabbergasted by how often I'll be talking about golf courses with someone and when pressed as to why they don't like a course it will come down to something like this. I wonder if the same type of person would prefer Tropicana Field to Fenway because of the beer vendors.

BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately?
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2017, 05:12:50 PM »
I've become more and more aware that maintenance level determines good architecture to the average guy.


I too agree with Mike. It is also true that if a course requires high levels of maintenance to be considered good, it's probably not.


Bob

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What have you learned about golf course architecture lately? New
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2017, 02:18:04 AM »
Is there such a course that needs high maintenance levels to be good? I think of maintenance/presentation as a way to make the architecture shine as bright as possible.

I played quite an interesting course yesterday which challenged some of my ideas about trees and reinforced my ideas about speed /firmness consistency between aprons and greens.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 02:25:15 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back