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Peter Pallotta

Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2018, 09:38:51 AM »
Thanks, David.
In the context of the article (and the conference itself) DMK's philosophy-in-brief seems to serve as the ideal summation:
"Defending birdie, not defending par".
That philosophy underpins some excellent and successful and highly esteemed modern golf courses.
But it is, it seems to me, a marked departure from the philosophy that characterized the first golden age.
Not that it matters much; I just find it curious that such articles invariably reference a 'second golden age' -- though rarely with much nuance.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 09:44:14 AM by Peter Pallotta »

Dan Moore

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2018, 12:11:27 PM »
"Whatís widely regarded as the (original) Golden Age of Architecture, 1919-1939, saw the development of dozens of challenging, unique golf courses that remain relevant today Ė Pebble Beach, Cypress Point, Augusta National, Winged Foot."


I wonder why 1919 is chosen as the start of the Golden Age? Willie Park, Harry Colt, John Low, CBM all in the 1900's? 
"Is there any other game which produces in the human mind such enviable insanity."  Bernard Darwin

Tim Gallant

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2018, 02:01:34 PM »
Thanks, David.
In the context of the article (and the conference itself) DMK's philosophy-in-brief seems to serve as the ideal summation:
"Defending birdie, not defending par".
That philosophy underpins some excellent and successful and highly esteemed modern golf courses.
But it is, it seems to me, a marked departure from the philosophy that characterized the first golden age.
Not that it matters much; I just find it curious that such articles invariably reference a 'second golden age' -- though rarely with much nuance.


Peter,


This is extremely insightful. I was reading The Links last night, and this quote popped into my mind when I read your comment:


'The once fearsome Colonel Bogy, who used to tyrannize over us, is now disposed from his seat of authority and allowed to hang about only in out-of-the-way places. And how pathetic and threadbare he looks as he shuffles about in figures which few now venture to put on the card without an apology ! Even par, once so perfect and so formidable, is now so battered and beaten at times that one wonders if his tenure of office is not soon to be terminated.'


Is Mr. Hunter correct? Have we abandoned par? Is this really what a 'second golden age' is all about - easy pars, tough birdies? Not saying it's right or wrong, but I would tend to agree with you that to relate DMK's comment to golden age thinking does seem at odds with one another.

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2018, 02:48:42 PM »
Thanks, David.
In the context of the article (and the conference itself) DMK's philosophy-in-brief seems to serve as the ideal summation:
"Defending birdie, not defending par".
That philosophy underpins some excellent and successful and highly esteemed modern golf courses.


I am really interested to see how this philosophy holds up over time.  It is one step removed from the hard par/easy bogey approach of Robert Trent Jones Sr.

My belief is that golf courses should pose interesting obstacles for all level of player - that the game is better if a player is forced to choose between glory and safety.  Perhaps that is still accomplished with Kidd's philosophy but I think we need to see how it is applied to form an opinion. 

Don Mahaffey

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2018, 03:32:17 PM »
Defending with a score in mind is ridiculous to me. You either defend parts of the golf course or you donít.
Build em with the mind set that a power player and finesse player can have an even match and you might come up with a good golf course.  But this approach of  hard par, easy bogey, or now politically correct hard birdie, easy par is just absurd IMO. 

Tim Gallant

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2018, 03:41:43 PM »
Defending with a score in mind is ridiculous to me. You either defend parts of the golf course or you donít.
Build em with the mind set that a power player and finesse player can have an even match and you might come up with a good golf course.  But this approach of  hard par, easy bogey, or now politically correct hard birdie, easy par is just absurd IMO.


Agreed - and I am sure maybe even DMK would likely agree. But it's an easy way to say that it is challenging for the scratch golfer but still playable for the masses. I would very much doubt that he specifically sets out to make birdies hard on holes and par easy, or so on. I would hope that they any architect would focus on sticking to why and who they are building the course for, and make it interesting, not in relation to a score, but in relation to shots faced no matter where they are played from.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2018, 03:43:27 PM »
Don - using only your posts from here (especially in this last year or so) I think you have the makings of a terrific book. And since "The Confidential Guide" is already taken, maybe you can name yours "The Texas Roadmap"!

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2018, 04:07:16 PM »
Defending with a score in mind is ridiculous to me. You either defend parts of the golf course or you donít.
Build em with the mind set that a power player and finesse player can have an even match and you might come up with a good golf course.  But this approach of  hard par, easy bogey, or now politically correct hard birdie, easy par is just absurd IMO.

Agreed - and I am sure maybe even DMK would likely agree. But it's an easy way to say that it is challenging for the scratch golfer but still playable for the masses. I would very much doubt that he specifically sets out to make birdies hard on holes and par easy, or so on. I would hope that they any architect would focus on sticking to why and who they are building the course for, and make it interesting, not in relation to a score, but in relation to shots faced no matter where they are played from.


I'm not sure David would agree.  I spent quite a bit of time talking to him at the GOLFWEEK event, and he genuinely believes he's onto something new.


I'm not so sure.  One of the big differences between Pacific Dunes and Bandon Dunes was that I didn't put in "black" tees ... we maxed out at 6700 yards, where David's course was at 7200 and the second set of tees was 6700, which as he says, was still too long for most people.  Everyone played it from one tee too far back, until they threw away the black tee markers and stopped using a lot of those tees.


But, what I've seen at Gamble Sands and Mammoth Dunes is not quite that.  David's not building shorter courses and keeping the interest around the greens ... Gamble Sands is 7100 yards and has big, flattish greens.  [It is at altitude, so it plays somewhat shorter than that.]  I'm not sure of the yardage for Mammoth Dunes but I'd be very VERY surprised if it's a 6400 yard course.


I would much rather build a shorter course with more interesting features along the way.  But I do agree with David, generally, that I'm more worried about defending birdie than defending par.  I'm just more inclined to include a few really tough holes along the way so that the good player can't cruise to 18 pars.  I still don't know anyone who enjoys golf because it's easy.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference New
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2018, 08:01:10 PM »
Just an aside, and fwiw: I can imagine the many and *various* ways in which you can 'defend par'; but I can't really conceptualize how you go about 'defending birdie' *except* on the greens. 

Just as the defending par school of architecture produced sublime and banal examples both, I suppose so too does/will the defending birdie school of gca, ie it will produce some examples of how to do it really well, and many examples of how to do it badly.

But (unlike with the penal/defending par/dark ages that's now long in the past), we're right in the middle of this new era, and so maybe we're not yet able to tell the difference between the sublime examples of gca and the banal ones.     
When you're 18 years old and away at college for the first time, drinking too much of *anything* seems like 'fun'...
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 08:08:06 AM by Peter Pallotta »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Golf Week's 5th Annual Architecture Conference New
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2018, 08:15:26 PM »
I have never been able to wrap my had around defending a number because it will invariably mean defending against the best players...not a mindset I think is conducive to making the best courses for all.  However, if one is going to err, its best to err on the side of stopping 3s rather than 4s, but the interest still has to be retained...and I think it is something to design interest without cranking up difficulty. Although, there are different kinds of difficulty and I usually lean toward the do or don't die sort.  The kind of difficulty which doesn't leave black or white results because generally speaking the best of golf is about what happens after a miss. To me, this is how Pinehurst #2 shines so brightly. 

Ciao   
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 05:31:05 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

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