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Have any contemporary architects dabbled with the pre-bulldozer methods of shaping of golf courses, i.e. horse-and-plow? I know vinyl is kind of becoming popular among certain music fans these days; wasn't sure whether there was anyone taking the throwback/"artisanal" approach on any golf course projects.
Tim, I don't see any reason to go back to the horse and plow as we already have a large difference in shaping between using a bulldozer and an excavator. An excavator can easily accomplish that old, rough, imperfect look. The small size of a bucket and range of motion compared to a bulldozer is a huge difference maker. Even the most gifted dozer operators will have a hard time keeping up and may at times elect to shape with an excavator. The process with a dozer is more of a battle and requires a greater number of steps. One also needs to supervise the finish work as well, if you keep running a drag mat or a box blade over an area you will eventually lose all of the character. Keep in mind, a shovel and rake is the last step in the process, it is another canvas to either preserve or create final bits of detail. I strongly object to your suggestion that Mike Strantz is the modern architect that is closest to achieving this old-style look. His green contours and fairway shaping are extremely rounded and smooth.
There are bulldozer operators and there are shapers . Big difference between a house painter and an artist . Both important but their skill sets differ!
I think my friend Archie did quite a nice job at Twisted Dunes. He had the vision to create what he saw in his minds eye.
This question is in response to Jeff Brauer's thread with Joe Hancock on Flynn- Alison - etc templates.I have always felt that the term Bulldozer Operator was so far from the truth in the context of what these shapers do on golf course construction sites that I have been involved with. Anyone referring to these artists as Bulldozer Operators seems disingenuous........The designers of Winter Park wore two hats, designers and shapers, its a successful combination. It's the more cost efficient way to go. Cities will see this, Mike Keiser figured this out 20 years ago. Dave Axland and Dan Proctor built Wild Horse and several other projects, designing and shaping simultaneously.