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Tom_Doak

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #100 on: January 27, 2021, 04:20:36 PM »


GCA is a golf architecture site that generally discusses a bunch of far off stuff. Here is an opportunity for many folks to really see something take shape and you want it to go to twitter?


I have no dog in this either, other than a sincere hope that it works out great for everyone involved...so for my $0.02 you just might have to figure out how to let people misinterpret something for a change. If this thread goes anywhere, it could become required reading for anyone with a vague interest in the subject.




Jim:


I'm just concerned that if I participate, inevitably I will get dragged into commenting on some hole on the other plan, and that someone else might view that as a personal attack.


Also, I'm aware that Zac has been put through the wringer [pun definitely intended] over his decision to switch architects, and I don't want him to have to endure any more of that, here.  Apparently there are some people who think the client shouldn't make the call on the designer?


I am happy to describe my own design and how I got to this plan, if anyone cares.  I don't want to compare it to anyone else's plan.  Or have I got this wrong and the King-Collins plan was actually Zac's routing?  I probably shouldn't criticize his, either, but I would do it with his permission.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 04:24:29 PM by Tom_Doak »

Peter Pallotta

Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #101 on: January 27, 2021, 04:44:05 PM »
All I know is how ironic it would be if in fifty years, and on the strength of this one thread (all others having been purged in a global-wide internet accident), Tom was remembered as architect who 'mailed in his designs' and had others build them!

Ira Fishman

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #102 on: January 27, 2021, 04:44:35 PM »
To shift gears a bit, I think that Zac deserves serious kudos for not giving a whit what anyone else thinks. When he first proposed the Buck Club, a lot of people here ridiculed him. When he shifted to SC, the same. When he chose King-Collins, the heavens here opened with praise. When he dismissed them, there was puzzlement and dismay. Now, he has turned to Doak--one of his original skeptics--and this thread will go on for more pages than one about changes at ANGC or Seth Raynor. At the end of the day, Zac Blair has proven a quiet, unassuming confidence that deserves kudos.


Ira
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 04:46:44 PM by Ira Fishman »

Tom_Doak

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #103 on: January 27, 2021, 05:04:37 PM »


 Now, he has turned to Doak--one of his original skeptics--



I believe I suggested that he not try to do it all by himself, though of course some people here tried to twist that into some kind of personal attack [one reason I am wary of Ben's suggestion].  I certainly had no thought of him asking me for help; I was thinking more along the lines of him finding someone like Kye, or one of my associates.  But I have learned to keep my options open.




Ben Hollerbach

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #104 on: January 27, 2021, 05:30:28 PM »
I can't help but relish in the unique distinctions between each architect's solution to the same problem. For the lay golfer, they may look at the work of these two architects as similar in style, but in a lot of ways their approaches are fundamentally very different.


For each routing to existing on the same piece of land, each final course would have a dramatically distinct feel compared to the other, almost a Pine Valley vs. Pinehurst type comparison.


One approach feels much more adventurous, attacking the landforms head on and creating a routing with a series of interconnected loops of holes. While the other routing demonstrates a greater level of restraint and joins hole in a flowing chain, smoothly traverse the property.


This, quite simply, is one of the most fantastic elements of design. There is never just one solution to a design problem and the character in varied approaches makes the study of the act so much more enjoyable. 

David_Elvins

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #105 on: January 27, 2021, 05:33:09 PM »
..
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 05:58:54 PM by David_Elvins »
Ask not what GolfClubAtlas can do for you; ask what you can do for GolfClubAtlas.

Zac Blair

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #106 on: January 27, 2021, 05:35:32 PM »
Tom,

Based on your last paragraph it sounds like you did not create the routing document that was posted on The Fried Egg?

It's a given that the routing ideas today will inevitably evolve and change as the course begins construction. So these documents really on capture the thoughts in a moment in time. As this drawing is being promoted as your routing,  I'm then curious what level of accuracy it still holds today? Is the spit pond idea a new one, or was it misinterpreted in the creation of the Merry Land Timber plan?



Ben:  It's my routing, but I think Zac is actually the one to put it onto that base map.  The only version I've sent to him is the one I posted on my Instagram last night, which was drawn straight on the topo and texted to him in pieces over Christmas, to build suspense.  :D   I didn't draw the pond onto it, so he probably just didn't quite understand what I had described, or maybe he's decided to do it differently.


ill take full responsibility for the pond right of 9 ... im not the one doing it on the computer so its hard to get it right without me actually seeing a drawing or physically drawing it myself .. apologies to everyone ;)

Zac Blair

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #107 on: January 27, 2021, 05:45:46 PM »
Also the routing was my attempt (although it had changed considerably by the time tom was involved .. and included some holes very similar to 1, 19 and 20 which are some of the my favorites) ... I am not ashamed of my routing, I have since learned it did have some awkward areas and some tough climbs ... untimely Tom's is much much better which is the main reason I sought out his help.


I fully understand that the routing is a fundamental aspect to building a great golf course ... and understand you want to get it right the first time (again why I hired Tom to assist in this area).


It has been very cool to see his process, holes and descriptions ... and im extremely excited to go walk it with him in the future. Ive learned a lot more than I ever thought I would about the routing process in the last few months which has been amazing.




Kalen Braley

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #108 on: January 27, 2021, 05:49:05 PM »
Its pretty awesome to see the overlay of the routings as well.  No doubt its fascinating to have a look at how two different professionals see and interpret the same property.

However, as I would also like to continue to see details on this (and other) projects...I would hope attempts to scrutinize, criticize, or otherwise from the peanut gallery will not be a deterrent to future sharing.  In my few feeble attempts in the ArmChair QB Routing threads from a few years back, I certainly learned how difficult a task it is...

Tom_Doak

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #109 on: January 27, 2021, 06:53:15 PM »
I can't help but relish in the unique distinctions between each architect's solution to the same problem. For the lay golfer, they may look at the work of these two architects as similar in style, but in a lot of ways their approaches are fundamentally very different.


For each routing to existing on the same piece of land, each final course would have a dramatically distinct feel compared to the other, almost a Pine Valley vs. Pinehurst type comparison.


One approach feels much more adventurous, attacking the landforms head on and creating a routing with a series of interconnected loops of holes. While the other routing demonstrates a greater level of restraint and joins hole in a flowing chain, smoothly traverse the property.


This, quite simply, is one of the most fantastic elements of design. There is never just one solution to a design problem and the character in varied approaches makes the study of the act so much more enjoyable.




So, Ben, I think you are projecting a lot there in your descriptions.  Why is it more "adventurous" to attack the landforms more head on?  The adventure is how you make your way around the property and what you see as you go, and while these were certainly different I don't think "adventurous" is the reason.


Likewise I don't see how I am routing the course as "restraint" -- this is a pretty dramatic routing and deliberately so.  What I was trying to minimize was climbing up and down hills, because Zac said right off he wanted the course to be as walkable as possible despite the ridge-and-valley nature of the property.


Moreover, if the one routing is really Zac's, does it make as much sense to compare them?

Terry Lavin

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #110 on: January 27, 2021, 07:00:44 PM »
Iím confident that the golf will be great. The location is very solid. I only hope that the ďlodgingĒ leans more toward spartan than haughty.


Minimalism in both respects is important even though a handful of holes can (and should) be jaw droppers.


Iím  excited at the prospects.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.  H.L. Mencken

Ira Fishman

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #111 on: January 27, 2021, 07:38:32 PM »


 Now, he has turned to Doak--one of his original skeptics--



I believe I suggested that he not try to do it all by himself, though of course some people here tried to twist that into some kind of personal attack [one reason I am wary of Ben's suggestion].  I certainly had no thought of him asking me for help; I was thinking more along the lines of him finding someone like Kye, or one of my associates.  But I have learned to keep my options open.


I chose the term "skeptic" carefully and charitably.  But my basic point stands: Zac Blair is doing what he thinks best to pursue his vision. For that he deserves kudos.


Ira

David_Elvins

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #112 on: January 27, 2021, 08:07:57 PM »
I really liked Zac's comparison of the routings on the podcast when he said something along the lines of "with my routing I talked to my buddies about what sort of green complex to put on each hole.  With Tom's routing you could see what sort of green complex went at the end of each hole"


A really interesting and illuminating observation imo.
Ask not what GolfClubAtlas can do for you; ask what you can do for GolfClubAtlas.

Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #113 on: January 27, 2021, 08:25:45 PM »

So, Ben, I think you are projecting a lot there in your descriptions.  Why is it more "adventurous" to attack the landforms more head on?  The adventure is how you make your way around the property and what you see as you go, and while these were certainly different I don't think "adventurous" is the reason.


Likewise I don't see how I am routing the course as "restraint" -- this is a pretty dramatic routing and deliberately so.  What I was trying to minimize was climbing up and down hills, because Zac said right off he wanted the course to be as walkable as possible despite the ridge-and-valley nature of the property.


Moreover, if the one routing is really Zac's, does it make as much sense to compare them?


Tom,


I was careful to not specifically label the routings in my post. I felt it was best to share a more top level perspective in regards to the design direction of each course. Allowing others to form their own opinions, rather that potentially influence them base on my own perspective.


Which makes me curious what lead you to associated the two descriptions the way you did?

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #114 on: January 27, 2021, 08:32:51 PM »

Which makes me curious what lead you to associated the two descriptions the way you did?


I'm very used to golf writers using particular adjectives for particular designers.  The opening of two courses side by side at Streamsong was a case study of that.  But you aren't part of that crowd, so I may have misinterpreted your descriptions.

Terry Lavin

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #115 on: January 27, 2021, 09:24:46 PM »
These a days itís flatter tee boxes, more green to tee walk-offs, fewer trees, more fescue, bigger bunkers and more rescue.

Or as Tom T. Hall famously sang:

I knew I had to ask him about the mysteries of life
He spat between his boots and he replied:

"It's faster horses, younger women,
Older whiskey More money"

Letís slug a shot or two and remember that thereís a lot in marketing that involves forgetting what they used to be marketing. Given all of the morbidity and mortality across the world from this golf-saving virus, letís all not get so serious about the ifs or buts in this fun sounding stuff. I hope to be there when it opens with three foursomes. Be there or be square.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 09:30:38 PM by Terry Lavin »
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.  H.L. Mencken

Adam G

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #116 on: January 27, 2021, 11:04:45 PM »

I am happy to describe my own design and how I got to this plan, if anyone cares. 


Yes please!

Tom_Doak

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #117 on: January 28, 2021, 12:13:32 AM »

I am happy to describe my own design and how I got to this plan, if anyone cares. 


Yes please!


It may be a couple of days, as my grandson has arrived in town this evening and seems to have big plans for me.

Adam G

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #118 on: January 28, 2021, 09:02:37 AM »

I am happy to describe my own design and how I got to this plan, if anyone cares. 


Yes please!


It may be a couple of days, as my grandson has arrived in town this evening and seems to have big plans for me.


Take your time. Some things are much more important than any internet forum :)

Peter Sayegh

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #119 on: January 28, 2021, 10:40:32 AM »
It may be a couple of days, as my grandson has arrived in town this evening and seems to have big plans for me.

"Big plans?" Does he have just topos or a complete routing as well?
Twitter: "Doak and family planning future project."
Enjoy your time together.

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #120 on: January 28, 2021, 11:59:45 AM »
I can't help but relish in the unique distinctions between each architect's solution to the same problem. For the lay golfer, they may look at the work of these two architects as similar in style, but in a lot of ways their approaches are fundamentally very different.


For each routing to existing on the same piece of land, each final course would have a dramatically distinct feel compared to the other, almost a Pine Valley vs. Pinehurst type comparison.


One approach feels much more adventurous, attacking the landforms head on and creating a routing with a series of interconnected loops of holes. While the other routing demonstrates a greater level of restraint and joins hole in a flowing chain, smoothly traverse the property.


This, quite simply, is one of the most fantastic elements of design. There is never just one solution to a design problem and the character in varied approaches makes the study of the act so much more enjoyable.


Quite high level thinking.....


I know TD will probably roll his eyes, but in my simplistic gca mind, I evaluated the routing in terms of more specific criteria, like I did the third hole.  Specifically, I noted the elevations of each tee, LZ, and green on every hole.  If the tee was at least close to the LZ in elevation, I presumed it would not be blind, one of the general rules of gca.  Ditto LZ to green.  Also, not hard to walk, if you are in the "golf should be an easy walk" camp.  (I am)


I also look as a double check at the number of hole centerlines that parallel the contour lines, as opposed to crossing them (although, crossing in the downhill fashion is fine, but not uphill) I also look at the number of hills a hole has to cross, and the blue routing has more of both uphill and ridge crossings, which aren't really natural golf holes.


If I read TD's routing correctly, and I think I am, TD also has about half a dozen wonderfully approach shots over valleys, with is always pleasant, and I mean always!  His fw seem to hug ridgelines nicely.  Yes, I see a few areas that I expect he would tweak very slightly on a site walk, but the basic pattern is there already.....until he sees a better one, of course.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Tom_Doak

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #121 on: January 28, 2021, 12:11:53 PM »

I also look as a double check at the number of hole centerlines that parallel the contour lines, as opposed to crossing them (although, crossing in the downhill fashion is fine, but not uphill) I also look at the number of hills a hole has to cross, and the blue routing has more of both uphill and ridge crossings, which aren't really natural golf holes.


If I read TD's routing correctly, and I think I am, TD also has about half a dozen wonderfully approach shots over valleys, with is always pleasant, and I mean always!  His fw seem to hug ridgelines nicely.  Yes, I see a few areas that I expect he would tweak very slightly on a site walk, but the basic pattern is there already.....until he sees a better one, of course.


Jeff:


I'm always looking for a relatively easy walk.  High Pointe was not, and it didn't help their business, even if only a fraction of players choose to walk.


In my latest book, I mention that one thing I almost always do is to run a highlighter over the tops of any prominent ridges, so I will know that anywhere I'm routing a hole over one of those lines, I am dealing with a potential blind shot. 


The 5th hole on my plan is deliberately blind; it will take a very long drive to get up to the top of the ridge, and I was thinking Zac would put bunkers on the direct line to the green so you had to carry them to get home.  [I guess template people would call it a longer modern-day Sahara hole though I only thought of that just now.]  The 12th hole is a long par 5 that goes up and over at the landing area, but I was thinking of cutting through that ridge so you would have the long view from the tee all the way to the green.  And the 16th is uphill off the tee and down into a bowl on the second shot, so a guy who hits a short tee shot may be blind for his second into the bowl.    Everything else is quite visible.


I also mention in the book that the plan Mr. Dye used to show me about routing was The Honors Course, which is laid out on the side of a 6-8% slope.  Nearly all of the holes play across the slope [instead of 50-80 feet up and down], so I learned to get the landing areas on the ridges by playing diagonally across the valleys as needed.  That's still my go-to approach for "washboard" terrain, if anything I do it too much of the time.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #122 on: January 28, 2021, 12:11:53 PM »
I'm telling you, that's a skill I definitely do not have: I wish I could read street maps as well as you guys read topos! [No GPS for me. I'm always afraid that the lady giving directions will get mad at me for some reason and suddenly stop talking!]

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #123 on: January 28, 2021, 12:21:46 PM »
TD, I noticed that one, but it's narrow and a nice valley cut through there would be nice.  Besides, if you are right, and Zac has the ponds on some sidehills, which might take more fill than cut to build, you have to get some cuts from somewhere to build features.  I have had that happen occasionally - not enough cut because all the holes were pretty natural, and I expect you have it pretty often.


BTW, I highlight ridges in yellow, and creek bottoms or valleys in a pale blue.  My wife wonders why I buy so many highlighters when I really don't read that much......


I trust the term Pete was trying to get across was "sliding up (or down) the contours, which does yield better holes than perfectly paralleling them in many cases.  This routing does it quite nicely, and even when tee shots go over big valleys, you leave room for alternate tees and routes that don't require the carry.


Having hung with many gca's and near gca's over the years, I can tell it's true, some folks really understand topo maps in 3D, while others really don't, despite their job title.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

JMEvensky

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Zac Blair/Buck Club Near Aiken, SC
« Reply #124 on: January 28, 2021, 12:21:50 PM »

I'm telling you, that's a skill I definitely do not have: I wish I could read street maps as well as you guys read topos! [No GPS for me. I'm always afraid that the lady giving directions will get mad at me for some reason and suddenly stop talking!]





Same here. Reading a topo is for me as foreign as reading a Russian newspaper.

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