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Ross Harmon

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #125 on: November 02, 2018, 08:16:48 AM »
I thank my stars for the many, many fallow/rustic/neglected years of the Culver course.  It was next-to-free for me back then.  Now, in all its splendor, there's about zero chance it could accidentally nurture an aimless, unconnected young lad into golferhood.


I hope this is a joke. I know of few architecturally significant courses that are doing more to inspire young lads - albeit academy kids who are "connected".

Joe Bausch

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #126 on: November 02, 2018, 09:56:11 AM »
Somewhere around my mid-30's I played Rolling Green.
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:  https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Peter Pallotta

Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #127 on: November 02, 2018, 10:14:29 AM »
Like Joe B above, I was a mature & thoughtful man when I played my first architecturally significant course: Crystal Downs when I was about 42.

Before the round, standing up there near the pro-shop (or was it the clubhouse) from where you can see many of the holes, it struck me right away that this was going to be the best golf course I'd ever played.

I don't think (but can't be sure) that I'd already 'pre -judged' based on its reputation/ranking -- though it sure made it feel more special when architect Mike Devries came up and introduced himself and wished me a good day.

But looking out at the way the holes fit together, the elevation changes (and how they were utilized in/integrated with the golf holes), what the greens looked like even from afar, the movement in and out from open to wooded areas -- well, it all said "this course was created with care, by an architect who knew what he was doing".

P


     

« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 10:32:16 AM by Peter Pallotta »

Ted Sturges

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #128 on: November 02, 2018, 10:29:17 AM »
I got my first taste of playing a championship course when I got to play Harbour Town at age 14 on a family vacation.  I had played golf since I was 8 or 9, but that course blew my mind (and piqued an interest in what made some golf courses "better" than others).  I took a job on the maintenance crew of our small town country club when I was 15 and worked there every summer until I graduated from college (it's still my favorite job of all the jobs I've had in my life).  Our small town country club was a 9 hole course (Hillcrest Country Club in Batesville, IN).  There was land adjacent to the club, enough to build 9 more holes, and I started drawing golf holes to turn our course into an 18 hole course.  When I settled on my best routing, I drew it up with a pencil on a big poster board, and thumb tacked it to the bulletin board in the maintenance barn.  Dr. Michael Hurdzan had renovated the original 9 holes a few years earlier, and I had seen a bunch of his drawings and he always signed his documents "Dr. Michael Hurdzan, PHD".  So...being the smart ass that I was at that age, I signed my drawing, "Ted Sturges, PHD, and then in parenthesis (pretty hellacious dude).  That drawing stayed on the bulletin board in the maintenance barn all summer.  Near the end of that summer, I come into the maintenance barn to take my lunch break, and there stands Dr. Hurdzan looking at my drawing.  He was there for a follow up site visit. He asks if I am Ted Sturges, and I tell him I am. He makes some comment about my "PHD", and tells me the drawing is pretty good.  Fast forward 2 years later, and the club decides to add 9 more holes, and Dr. Hurdzan is hired to do the work.  Some (not all) of the holes I drew and routed were built and still exist today.  I didn't have the understanding that golf architecture could be a career like my friend Tom Doak did.  I envy Tom, and the other architects for forging out a career in and around golf courses.  The summers of my youth spent mowing greens, changing cups, weed-eating around trees, using the sand-pro, and having night time irrigation duties represent some of the fondest memories of my youth.   


TS

Richard Fisher

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #129 on: November 02, 2018, 11:10:17 AM »
Eight. When I became a Junior Member at RStD Harlech in August 1967, and had my first lesson there with the then pro Jimmy Black. Over the next few years I devoured my Dad's copy of A Round of Golf Courses, in which of course Harlech features and which remains a brilliant place to start reading, and learning, about GCA, and, almost as importantly, golf clubs themselves. Since then I have always been much more interested in reading about golf courses and golf clubs (institutions) then in reading (say) instructional manuals or ghost-written player autobiographies.

As a footnote Jimmy Black remains the only man ever to win the Welsh Amateur Championship (1933) and the Welsh Professional Championship (1957), not that any of this manifest talent has ever rubbed off on me.

Steve Wilson

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #130 on: November 02, 2018, 11:22:43 AM »
At the age of 40 I played Pinehurst #2.  The same week I had already played 1,3,4, and 5.  But #2 was a revelation to me.
Some days you play golf, some days you find things.

I'm not really registered, but I couldn't find a symbol for certifiable.

"Every good drive by a high handicapper will be punished..."  Garland Bailey at the BUDA in sharing with me what the better player should always remember.

A.G._Crockett

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #131 on: November 03, 2018, 04:20:20 PM »
Age 32; had only been playing for four years at the time.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

RJ_Daley

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #132 on: November 04, 2018, 11:45:06 PM »
Lawsonia at ~12 yrs old.  It wasn't "a top 100" then, but even to a kid- it was obvious as a great work of landscape design.  I was too young to actually know the game of golf for the GCA aspects.  But I wasn't too novice to understand "the fun factor" of the unusual earthworks, particularly the greensites.
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Mark Pearce

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #133 on: November 05, 2018, 08:00:26 AM »
I took up golf when I met my wife at 28.  The first Top 100 course I played, soon after that, was Muirfield.

Tom Allen

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #134 on: November 05, 2018, 09:46:19 AM »
43!  Harbour Town, in 2007.  (Late arriver to the game, even later arrival to the better courses.)

Jeff Schley

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #135 on: November 06, 2018, 05:24:14 AM »
I took up golf when I met my wife at 28.  The first Top 100 course I played, soon after that, was Muirfield.


Lucky man, some guys I know have had to give up golf after they met their wife............. ;D
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Sean Walsh

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #136 on: November 06, 2018, 07:27:18 AM »
I was about 28 when I first played Kingston Heath and a few other sandbelt courses. I only had access to courses at this level once my MCC membership came through.


Before that the best courses I would have played were Port Fairy and Horsham.


When I was 30 I travelled to Europe. What was going to be one round at St Andrews turned into backpacking with my clubs around Scotland and Ireland and 28 rounds on 26 courses over 6 weeks.





Kalen Braley

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #137 on: November 06, 2018, 11:28:05 AM »
I took up golf when I met my wife at 28.  The first Top 100 course I played, soon after that, was Muirfield.


Lucky man, some guys I know have had to give up golf after they met their wife............. ;D


And still others have given up thier wife to play more golf  ;)

David Kelly

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #138 on: November 06, 2018, 01:31:51 PM »
At age 14 I played Pebble Beach for the first time.  As we were coming up 18 I noticed that there were about 500 people milling about between the green and the lodge for some corporate event.  Thinking that all eyes were on me I was extremely nervous while hitting my approach but managed to knock it to about 6 inches from the hole for a tap-in birdie.  As we walked onto the green about 3 or 4 dozen people had taken notice and applauded. It was unreal. 


I loved the course but remembered being very disappointed in the 17th hole as from viewing it on TV over the years I had no idea it was so flat and unphotogenic from the tee box.
"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

Kirk Gill

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #139 on: November 09, 2018, 12:41:42 PM »
I got my first set of clubs as a Christmas gift when I was in the fifth grade. Billy Casper Signatures. Laminated woods. Loved playing golf, but didn't really become architecture-oriented until a couple of years later, when I was given The World Atlas of Golf. It would be 20+ more years before I played one of the courses in the book - TOC. Somewhere I still have a little thing I wrote at the time where I had to say what I wanted to do when I grew up. In virtually complete ignorance I wrote, "greenskeeper at Dornoch." Still haven't played there!
"After all, we're not communists."
                             -Don Barzini

James Boon

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #140 on: November 12, 2018, 04:39:53 PM »
I was 14 when I took up golf. That summer we had a family holiday to Scotland were I played Brora for the very first time. The difference between the parkland courses in the Midlands that I'd been learning on and this links course, was just huge and I loved it. Its not World top 100 but should be  ;D  or rather its should be considered architecturally significant. I think the following year at 15 I played Dornoch.


But the interest in architecture came from watching golf on TV, and more specifically the plans of holes that would be published in newspapers and magazines. I'd always loved studying maps as a kid and this was just another version of this. I would look out for books or anything with plans of golf courses on and in time I'd not just be sketching my own plans but wondering what it was that lead to the differences...


Cheers,


James
2023 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Aberdovey, Royal St Davids, Woodhall Spa, Broadstone, Parkstone, Cleeve, Painswick, Minchinhampton, Hoylake

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Paul Rudovsky

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #141 on: November 12, 2018, 09:34:33 PM »
I was about 15...it was 1960 or so (before Top 100 concept had been invented) and I played Bethpage Black for first time...boy was it different from the munis in NYC I had played (the sign was on the first tee very prominently...and I was nervous as hell teeing off).  Then in June '63 I spectated at Brookline and followed Palmer for 36 on Saturday at the US Open. 


In 1969...went on vacation (I was working at Ford Motor in Detroit) to Monterey Peninsula...played Spyglass, Pebble, and Cypress (long story but doable if you were staying at Del Monte Lodge back then...and Lodge had a few very inexpensive rooms).  Blown out of my mind.


In fall 1970, went to Scotland for 3 days...Gleneagles-Kings, Carnoustie, and The Old Course amongst others.  Was almost 26 years old.  Hook Line and Sinker at that point.


If you want a comparison, go play Kissena Golf Course in Queens NY!!  😆😆 


This is such a special game...

Bob Simons

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #142 on: November 12, 2018, 09:54:50 PM »
Iíve been playin since my early 20ís, recently turned 40  :o , I had a buddy in our regular group back then who opened my eyes to looking at golf courses the way i do now. He turned me on to this site. He tough me about the ground game, that trees werenít always a good thing and that playability was important, not 7500 yd courses. Itís amazing how much more i enjoy the game now that Iím out there trying to learn about my surroundings and imagining the construction crew building Willie Park Jrís design at Philmont. Iím glad my friend exposed me to this place, Iíve learned a ton lurking in threads where you guys talk about things i never would have though of if not for this board.

V. Kmetz

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #143 on: November 12, 2018, 10:21:51 PM »
It's truly a strained memory to segregate the affinity for golf from the specific appreciation of architecture...


I grew up down the hill from an aesthetically brawny, woodland municipal course of regional reputation (Richter Park in Danbury, CT), which was a childhood center of many activities... which has immense forested vistas, intimidating water carries everywhere, and severe medal danger for those "off-form"


... and at the same time, from the same home, also literally across the street from a driving range/mini golf course that was fascinating in its Disney like puzzles and challenges...honestly, going through the tire...under the castle...over a water jump...banking off rails and remembering which of three holes you went for on the 9th, taught me appreciation of architectural impacts such as playing away from a direct path...setting up the next shot...what the risk was of a certain gamble...capricious outcomes for near-perfect shots...power...finesse...the satisfaction of a good sequence...looking forward to how I would fair THAT day on a particular tackle...


So there's that...


...but the current architectural-nik+ in me took root in 1992-93, when I started a stretch at Siwanoy in Bronxville and soon after, visited Yale for the first time (even in those contemporary conditions which were scraggled, washed out and clovery). By the time 1994 hit, I was in my first deep inhale of GCA, its signatures, its literature, its debates, its coverage, and its legacy.


cheers  vk
"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

JC Jones

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #144 on: November 12, 2018, 10:27:30 PM »
In another thread, John Kirk notes that for music, most people's tastes tend to revolve around what was popular when they were 13-14 years old:


The Adolescent Peak In ďThe Songs That BindĒ (New York Times, February 10, 2018), Seth Stephens-Davidowitz uses data searches he requested from Spotify to show that oneís lifetime  music tastes tend to peak at 13-14 years old.  There is some modest variance, but itís a powerful rule of thumb.





This struck me because I think it's the age when many golf course designers really got the bug.  Personally, I started playing when I was ten, and got interested in design almost right away; but when I was 13-14, I played Pebble Beach and Pinehurst #2 for the first time.


I was wondering if this is generally true for people who are just interested in golf course design, and the DG is an excellent test group.  So, for all of you:


At what age did you first play a top-100 level golf course?



It wasnt a top 100 level golf course but I played a lot of rounds on High Pointe in the age range of 11-15 and also picked up a book call Anatomy of a Golf Course written by the designer.  Changed the way I looked at everything and every course after that.
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Bill Brightly

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #145 on: November 12, 2018, 11:41:11 PM »
My answer is a little different. I was 20 when a college buddy took me to play Saucon Valley Old. Having only played public golf courses to that point, I was awestruck by the conditioning. I had never hit a golf ball off turf like that! I admit that I didn't "get" golf course architecture for the next 20 years. I was a typical single digit player, impressed by "tough tracks" and fast greens.


It took a former club President at the club I joined to explain why he wanted to bring our course back to the way Charles Banks built it, and how Banks was a disciple of Raynor and Macdonald., how they built in a template style and where the templates got their inspiration. I immediately began researching those guys, stumbled on GCA.COM and became hooked on gca for the past 20 years.


I'm also a student of history, so the manner in which golf courses were built, altered , and restored over time fascinates me.

Scott Macpherson

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #146 on: November 15, 2018, 12:32:35 PM »
Paraparaumu Beach GC


Age 14.

Doug Wright

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #147 on: November 26, 2018, 07:53:51 PM »
This struck me because I think it's the age when many golf course designers really got the bug.  Personally, I started playing when I was ten, and got interested in design almost right away; but when I was 13-14, I played Pebble Beach and Pinehurst #2 for the first time.[/font]

Tom,

Like you, I started playing golf when I was ten. I first noticed the possibilities of golf course design as a teenager while driving through the strange glacial deposits called drumlins near Naples NY, when I said to my parents "this would make an interesting golf course" or something to that effect. I didn't play a Top 100 course until college when I played Oak Hill East. I also played Oak Hill West then, and liked it better (just as I preferred Troy CC and Taconic to RTJ courses like Cornell or Albany CC).
Twitter: @Deneuchre

SL_Solow

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #148 on: November 26, 2018, 09:17:04 PM »
Late to the party as usual.  I was introduced to the game at about the age of 6.  At 13 I became a tennis nut playing tournaments and teaching.  But I came back to golf at about 21.  One of the key differences that attracted me was the contrast in playing fields.  Tennis clubs were different and the surfaces of the courts varied but the dimensions were all the same and variety was lacking.  Golf courses, on the other hand, presented almost unlimited possibilities.  While my Dad had joined a very nice golden age course, I spent summers in Michigan playing various public courses on days' off and then playing at school in Champaign, Illinois and later Cambridge, Mass.  The contrasts among courses intrigued me and trying to understand why some courses were more interesting and/or challenging than others became a subject of continuing interest. Thus I read every thing that I could find, visited courses and sought out professionals who were kind enough to teach me or at least let me watch them work. I also learned as much as I could about course maintenance.  Of course, my time was limited by the need to provide for my family. More than 45 years later I am still studying and learning.  The interest in golf course architecture has increased my enjoyment of the game but it provides a great deal of pleasure independent of its impact on my play .

Rick Emerson

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #149 on: November 27, 2018, 04:15:56 PM »
The pro at the local municipal where I worked my last two years of a high school arranged for a couple of other guys and I to play Five Farms as a high school graduation present. I knew something was really different and fun about it but didnít actually get into architecture until about 5 years ago when I moved to China and needed something to fill the golf void. Thatís when I found this site and started reading GCA books voraciously. That first year I took a winter trip to Pinehurst and a then the Sandbelt and Barnbougle. Thereís been no looking back since then with a couple significant trips a year. I even got to go back to Five Farms a couple years ago thanks to another member here for nostalgia.

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