In the 1980s a lot of Raynor courses had strayed off their intended line of play. Poor mowing lines, shrunken greens, filled in bunkers, overgrowth of trees, etc.
Dick Wilson courses were still all the rage as you had referred to, Some of his best courses were being celebrated on TV. La Costa, Doral, NCR, Scioto. His famous redo of Deepdale, being one of may favorite courses, tough to read the greens. Also maybe some people feel his most famous Pine Tree were at the top of everyones vocabulary.
So if you get the right hype at the right time, Poof you got magic.
Full disclosure, I love all things Macdonald - Raynor so to me a restored Raynor is better than most and I say Most Dick Wilson courses except for places like Deepdale or Pine Tree
The same could be said for Donald Ross vs RTJ, people loved everything RTJ was doing at that time.
What is the architecture timeline for Pete Dye and Tom Fazio going to be?
or Coore Crenshaw?
Look at how many courses Gil has redone or in new designs that are just catapulting the work Jim and his talented crew are doing. U.S. open courses, Brookline, Wingfoot, LA North, the Olympic course, new PGA courses. I just toured a new one in Florida and going to see his new park just south of Palm Beach Airport. On Fire!!!
Will Gil and Jim replace some Golden Age designer on the top 100 list like , Mackenzie, Tillinghast, Ross?
I think the architecture is different, not by 180 degrees but enough to gather a new appreciation of what can be done with a particular piece of property or in the case of what his crew has done at Brookline and Wingfoot and other places recapturing what has been lost. Spent some time with Gil in Palm Springs on his new site, creative routing, sight lines, green contours, taking the time to capture all that is possible in a new layout.
Get people talking about why your designs are so much different, if they really are.
I don't believe we have ever met but would like to some day, you have some very interesting opinions.