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Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Dunes-ish Architecture
« on: January 27, 2023, 11:34:58 AM »
With apologies to our favorite Congressional Fabulist faux dunes are poor architecture - this generationís containment mounding perhaps.  Perhaps Mr. Kaiserís retail golfers have been duped.  Theatrics now trump strategy and visual stimulation is more coveted that sublime elements only revealed over time.

Hanseís 17th at Mossy Oak makes some list of best modern holes?  Replacing the absurdly gigantic fairway bunker with a simple cross trench cut into the hillside would improve this hole dramatically.  Otherwise the hole is a solid 4 out of 10.


I recall my first visit to Sand Vally when only 12 holes were open for play.  The experience was enhanced by the drive down a gravel road. Today you wind your way through carefully shaped, jolting sand scrub. It reminds of Disneyís pre-ride attempt to make the long queues tolerable.

Finally to WW Pine Barrens.  No doubt the retail golfer -  i.e. The Fast & Cool Crowd will flock to like moths to a flame. But the current blend of the sublime and theatric there is the courseís greatest attribute.

I fear golf architecture has gone commercial for good. Hopefully Doak is pivoting towards the likes of Lulu, Troy, Huntercombe and Cape Arundel.  Otherwise architectural embellishment is here to stay.

Like Dottie West ďIím happy with the simple things.Ē
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2023, 11:44:50 AM »
Yes Mike,


What tends to happen is someone leads a movement with innovation and intentÖ and then that movement is so successful, that everyone starts to follow it. Except they have to embellish and add bells and whistles. Until it becomes an ugly version of what made the movement great in the first place; and actually just like every other movement but with a different colour lipstick. By which time - hopefully- the founders have gone on to something else creative and new.

Joe_Tucholski

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2023, 11:48:59 AM »
faux dunes are poor architecture - this generationís containment mounding perhaps. 


I agree with the later, don't necessarily agree with the former.  I think it would be better stated faux dunes do not necessarily mean good architecture. 


Faux dunes can be poor architecture, a tool to enhance visuals to overcome other deficiencies but I think they can also enhance the architecture.  Just like a bunker can be a) poorly placed b) visually appealing with little utility or c) can be an essential aspect of a hole. 


I also don't think containment mounding necessarily means poor architecture.

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2023, 11:51:14 AM »
I warned you of cameras years ago. No one does a damn thing about it.

Mark Pearce

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2023, 01:13:50 PM »
I think, on the whole, that I agree.  But they sell well.  There's a thread below where a first time visitor to Fife is playing two courses in the county, both relatively potato fields, both a more costly green fee than TOC.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2023, 01:38:54 PM »
I thought I had read the dunes/landscape at Chambers Bay was artificially created?  Either way I loved the end result...

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2023, 07:01:22 PM »
Hi Mike -


I am with you about the faux dunes at the entrance to Sand Valley, and surrounding Lido.  Totally unnecessary in my view, and very faux.


But the guy who decided they were necessary just gave me a ride on his jet, so he is laughing at us all the way to the bank.


Iím not quite as big a fan of Cape Arundel as you are - plus Iíd worry that clients would insist on a toned-down version of that, and that would be missing the point.


The truth is that just as posters here spend way too much time talking about bunkers, clients do, too, and itís one of the only features where they will let us be extravagant and set ourselves apart.  Or, at least, itís one of the only ways that doesnít go over most golfersí heads.

Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2023, 07:10:54 PM »
Tom, I bet that gent had a jet before he ever bought any acreage.


Donít get me wrong guys, I find the likes of Sand Valley, Bandon Dunes and Streamsong an absolute blast and the visionaries behind them deserve the accolades.  However, in my book those courses are not the epitome/pinnacle of golf course architecture by default. 
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2023, 02:46:50 AM »
In case my first post was too cryptic / general, on the subject of faux-dunes, I avoid building them unless absolutely necessary and thatís on links courses where dunes are everywhere: Building dunes is far harder to do well than removing dunes; and - dependent on the surrounds - building usually disturbs a larger area because of the extent of the tie-ins you have to work on. I will always have a very good reason if I am building a dune: Iím just back from building one at the Ladies 1st tee on Strandhill with the specific aim of hiding the maintenance sheds from the back tees, car park and clubhouse. We tore down completely non-indigenous plantings that were only partially doing the job prior.


But itís why I get riled at some of the M&E plans that are building faux-dunes purely for ornamental reasons, often as a form of containment mounding. Sometimes these are being built further inland on natural fescue fields where marram covered dunes are out of place. Live with what you are provided where you can. It almost always makes for a more organic feeling golf course.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2023, 04:49:24 AM »
Hi Mike -

I am with you about the faux dunes at the entrance to Sand Valley, and surrounding Lido.  Totally unnecessary in my view, and very faux.

But the guy who decided they were necessary just gave me a ride on his jet, so he is laughing at us all the way to the bank.

Iím not quite as big a fan of Cape Arundel as you are - plus Iíd worry that clients would insist on a toned-down version of that, and that would be missing the point.

The truth is that just as posters here spend way too much time talking about bunkers, clients do, too, and itís one of the only features where they will let us be extravagant and set ourselves apart.  Or, at least, itís one of the only ways that doesnít go over most golfersí heads.

I bet shapers and archies spend a lot of time talking about bunkers as well. There is no getting around that bunkers are focal points so it makes sense to make them as attractive as reasonably possible. However, for me anyway, bunkers lose their impact when overdone. In fact, I often have a negative reaction to bunkers.

The last bit of ott shaping I saw was at JCB. The mounting along the road/driving range is not well done.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2023, 04:56:20 AM »
To what extent has the existence of modern machinery played in dune-ish creation, opening-up etc?
Not just moving significant amounts of sand but also the subtlety of finishing by skilled archies/shapers?
atb

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2023, 05:11:32 AM »
I think the comparison of faux dunes and containment mounding is probably apt in a lot cases. Off-hand I can't recall a faux dune being used to create a degree of blindness/interest or of a faux dune being used for the placement of a tee (piling up a lot of material and sticking a tee on top isn't quite the same thing). Tom D might have done it at St Pats, and others may have done it elsewhere but if they have then I've failed to pick up on the artificial element which is credit to them.


Niall

archie_struthers

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Dunes-ish Architecture
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2023, 08:22:56 AM »
 8)


We built a golf course that ended up with dunes all over the place but are they really false once they exist. We needed to excavate millions of tons of dirt to build some roads and a tunnel and the resulting golf course emerged.


If it was firmer and faster I would venture to say it would be incredibly fun to play. Twenty years ago we had many . many discussions that moving dirt was verboten, when in fact it can be necessary. It's pretty hard to make dunes look like they evolved rather than big piles of dirt. Way before we built Twisted Dune I played Loxahatchee in Florida...while certainly not as pricey I'm pretty confident you would think ours is the more "natural" man made  ;D [size=78%] [/size]

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