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Mike Hogan

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2018, 12:05:07 PM »
Playing Bandon Dunes 1999 or 2000. I stumbled onto the place not knowing anything about it. I was blown away that someone could think of and build something like that. Something that looked somewhat natural but was constructed. 


Looked over and they are building Pacific Dunes. Watched PD get built and was blown away again when I saw the finished product. I've got to watch the same process with Bandon Trails and OM and I am amazed every time I see the course for the 1st time and I actually get to play it.
 

John Kirk

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2018, 12:07:49 PM »
A two part answer.
My Grandpa built me cut down golf clubs when I was young, and I hit plastic balls in the backyard some as a kid.  But I didn't really start playing golf until I was about 21.  My father reacted by resurrecting his dormant golf game, and joined the Stanford GC ( as a staff member) when I was 22 or 23.  I treated my Dad to Pebble Beach in August 1982, for his 55th birthday.  I was 23 when I played my first top 100 course.  $75 to play back in 1982.

But through tables sports games (Thinking Man's Golf) and a Golf Digest book about golf courses, I first took an interest in golf hole designs when I was 12 or 13, and remember drawing golf holes around that time.  So my interest in the architecture, and the greatest playing fields, goes way back.

I fell deeply in love with basketball around age 13, and my interest in golf started when it no longer interfered with my basketball life.  It's still my favorite sport by far.


Tom_Doak

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2018, 12:15:30 PM »
If the question has any room for expansion to "architecurally significant" rather than strictly "Top 100", I'd offer this:

Culver, age 13. 


Culver certainly counts.  I meant for the question to include "classic" courses whether they were top-100 or not, but didn't want to include just any older course.  "Architecturally significant" would be a better way of phrasing it.

Matthew Petersen

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2018, 12:17:38 PM »
32, playing Pebble Beach.


But I walked Cherry Hills, Broadmoor, and Castle Pines at tournaments from an early age as those course soften held tournaments, so while I wasn't playing, I was certainly aware of and seeing much better courses than I was playing. And I was reading books about golf strategy and architecture as a teenager, as well. Starting with Anatomy of a Golf Course.

David Davis

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2018, 12:20:02 PM »
Started in like 2001.


Played my first Top 100 Course - North Berwick in 2006 and quickly followed it up on the same trip with Kingsbarns, Old Course, Muirfield and Carnoustie.


I was hooked after that.
Sharing the greatest experiences in golf.

IG: @top100golftraveler
www.lockharttravelclub.com

John McCarthy

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2018, 12:20:19 PM »
13.  It was the second course I ever played and the only reason I played there because I started caddying there.  Pure happenstance.


On edit: Because of wonderful luck that I was ignorant of at the time I got to play a good number of the courses in Chicago and as a young man.  I liked the facilities and pace of play.  Architecture? I had a sense of this course good, that course bad but I lacked the vocabulary.  I picked up the bug about architecture about a decade ago when watching the tournament at Riviera and wondering why I would watch that tournament every year yet skip others entirely.  I got to wondering about the golf course and here we are.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 12:32:13 PM by John McCarthy »
The only way of really finding out a man's true character is to play golf with him. In no other walk of life does the cloven hoof so quickly display itself.
 PG Wodehouse

Rob Rigg

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2018, 12:29:19 PM »
Golf Addiction - Summer trips to Ireland as a little kid (County Cavan Golf Club), caddying for grandparents at Open Weeks and playing Bundoran (a fun linksy course) near Sligo

GCA Bug - Combination of caddying at Rosedale GC in TO starting in 9th grade, father joining Summit GC (a really fun Thompson) in Richmond Hill and playing Ballybunion and Lahinch in High School, along with a golf computer game my parents got me that had pre-loaded courses like St. Andrews, Augusta, Winged Foot and Seminole - and the program allowed you to actually build courses and play them. It was early 90s technology but SO much fun messing around with during long Canadian winters. Took drawing golf holes in school notebooks to a whole new level!

Stephen Davis

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2018, 12:38:15 PM »
I was 29 and it was Pacific Dunes. That is when my true passion for golf started. It is not a coincidence, much like music, that the "genre" of golf I prefer is links golf.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 12:41:33 PM by Stephen Davis »

Peter Pallotta

Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2018, 12:38:39 PM »
Never and none, really.
My route was through a summer job, working at a golf course when I was 18-19: mowing greens, cutting hole locations, cleaning up roughs & hazards.
It only took a few days for an early concept of gca to take hold: how differing pins changed the way the hole played, the contours of one green in relationship with the rest of the hole & relative to the other greens-golf holes, where the drainage problems/puddles were and weren't, that one tree-lined 75 degree dogleg, how elevation changes were cool etc. 
Walking around the course all day, watching for/waiting on golfers (and errant shots) and then late in the day playing it with borrowed clubs: 
well, all of it helped form the idea that you don't really ever "just play golf", you always play golf "at this/that specific course".

And then later of course there were books and discussions on here, with architects & experts clothing that initial experience in erudite-detailed language.
Peter
     
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 01:43:14 PM by Peter Pallotta »

Sean_A

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2018, 01:33:00 PM »
I don't know the exact age, but fairly early (maybe 12 or 13) via my father talking about Ross courses and playing a Ross as a kid. Of course, this stuff didn't really hit home until I was able to play many courses of great interest starting around 1990.  What struck me most about the post 1990 curve was the difference in presentation/course conditions.  It didn't really completely dawn in me that the two go together like hand and glove until I moved to England in 1998.   

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 01:48:33 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hanley Common, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Peter Flory

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2018, 01:46:21 PM »
My gateway was the U of M course in Ann Arbor when I was probably around 9 or 10 years old.  I usually played a really poor local course, but the U course was something that I'd get to play once or twice per year.  To a kid, the scale of the place and the insane greens were really shocking- 2 multilevel boomerang greens for example.  Once I realized that the reason that it was different than other courses was because of the architect, and then learning that he was also responsible for Augusta, that was a revelation. 

Joe Zucker

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2018, 01:47:30 PM »
The first "great" course I played was Bethpage Black on a family vacation when I was 16 or so.  I was excited for it because of the US Open fame, but I didn't love the course because it was so hard for me.


Growing up on the west side of Cleveland I played a lot at Sweetbriar Golf Course which is a modern housing course, but I always liked going across the city to play Manikiki (Ross) and Sleepy Hollow (Thompson).  I don't think I had any appreciation for architecture when I was 13 - 14, but I knew I liked these courses better than the well conditioned ones with houses.  It wasn't until college that I read more and figured out why Sleepy and Manikiki were better than the courses of the 90s.  I think it goes to show you that you can appreciate golden age architecture without completely understanding it and becoming a golf dork like we all are  ;)

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2018, 01:58:50 PM »
I was lucky enough to play TOC, Royal County Down, Royal Lytham in my late teens. It's been downhill ever since!


Musically I've never stopped learning about it and my classical music tastes have grown ever broader as I have become older. Perhaps at age 70 they are peaking.

Carl Rogers

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2018, 02:27:01 PM »
grew up in the Boston area ... got to play Charles River once and Ponkapoag a few times.  But the interest never really stuck until I "discovered " Riverfront 12 minutes away from home in the 2003 time frame ............. very late bloomer at age 50.
I decline to accept the end of man. ... William Faulkner

Daryl David

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2018, 02:32:53 PM »
For me it was high school when two of us drove up to Banff and Jasper.  Golf was secondary on the agenda as it was mostly supposed to be drinking beer and chasing Canadian girls.  After the first round at Banff, I knew I had been missing something about the game.  Couldn't put my finger on it until college, but I knew what I expected from a golf course had changed.

Tom_Doak

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2018, 02:45:44 PM »
For me it was high school when two of us drove up to Banff and Jasper.  Golf was secondary on the agenda as it was mostly supposed to be drinking beer and chasing Canadian girls.  After the first round at Banff, I knew I had been missing something about the game.  Couldn't put my finger on it until college, but I knew what I expected from a golf course had changed.


You drove to Jasper to - chase girls ??


This is the most surprising answer so far!

Pete_Pittock

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2018, 02:46:24 PM »

First two top 100s were Spyglass and Pebble Beach, a 24th birthday present to myself after a year in Vietnam. Stymied by living in Oregon, which didn't have a Doak 6 or higher, but did draw a lot of golf holes in class. How times have changed!


But my first six years playing golf was at a Ryder Cup Portland GC, mostly on the front six while my older sister was taking riding lessons.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 02:55:27 PM by Pete_Pittock »

Michael Herrmann

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2018, 02:51:31 PM »
Started playing regularly with my dad when I was 10 or 11.  First real taste of excellence was around age 15-16 and getting to play a couple of high school matches/events at Camargo and Scioto.  Scioto to me was a known entity with the connection to Jack but in the pre-internet age of the early to mid 90's Camargo was definitely more of an unknown entity in terms of its history and stature in the game.


Would not say that I really got the bug fully though until around 2002 when my roommate at the time came back from a trip to Bandon with his brother, dad, and another friend.  Having developed a love for watching The Open through the 90's and early 2000's it was those pictures and trip description that really started getting the juices flowing about places I wanted to learn more about and try to experience for myself.

Niall C

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2018, 02:52:24 PM »
I was taken to my first Open in 1975 at Carnoustie at the age of 10. Several others at TOC, Muirfield, Troon etc quickly followed. Before that I recall holidays in Nairn, Dornoch, Rosemarkie with me being dragged around the course by my mother as my dad went off with my elder brothers for a "proper" game.

The first "big" course I played properly was probably either Kings Gleneagles or the Old course at Troon, probably in my early 20's.

That said, I can't recall when I really got into gca. I guess it was a slow creep. Certainly once I did the MSc course in 1999/2000 that allowed me to examine and articulate my thoughts on course design. Before that, who knows.

Niall

Niall C

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2018, 02:56:44 PM »
Actually let me add to my answer. I think it started for me when I started playing a lot of different new courses with friends and then you had to exercise the brain. Not many of them you would call great but then some of the ones with crap holes made you think and question why they were crap.

Niall

Jim Nugent

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2018, 03:10:56 PM »
Either 16 (St. Louis CC, if it was a top 100) or 45 (Portmarnock).  By age 15 I often used to envision how golf holes might lay out in the land we drove by or walked in.


 

jeffwarne

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2018, 03:28:19 PM »
Age 11 First time touching a club. Augusta CC-
Could top it around and play with one ball.
First Masters attended (as a golfer) the following year (1975) and haven't missed one since.
Built an 18 hole course in my backyard with 7 sand greens, water hazards and bunkers at age 13-had frequent tournaments there with neighborhood and school friends.
First "Top 100"-(there was no such thing then)- ANGC in 1978 at age 15-remember catching grief from the HS basketball Coach for choosing ANGC over practice


Seeing the abilities of most golfers in the world, I still can't understand why both courses (the courses not the maintenance) aren't the models for more new courses.
Subtlety may not sell but it surely addicts



« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 05:21:12 PM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2018, 03:47:42 PM »
Well I started playing at 7 and grew up playing Royal Aberdeen.


If for some reason you donít count that as Top-100, then I probably played Cruden Bay and Carnoustie for the first time at 12 or 13.

Matt Frey, PGA

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2018, 03:49:58 PM »
I was 20 when I played my first "top 100" golf courses: Bethpage Black and Somerset Hills.

Brian Ross

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Re: A One-Question Survey on How We Got Interested in Golf Architecture
« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2018, 04:02:51 PM »
Started playing golf when I was 12. Knew I wanted to be a golf course architect pretty soon thereafter (by age 13 for sure) though I didn't really know what good architecture was at that point. My first real AHA moment on the golf course came the first time I played Holston Hills in a junior tournament when I was 16.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

http://www.rossgolfarchitects.com

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