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Ally Mcintosh

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GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« on: May 18, 2022, 09:22:31 AM »
“The only world class courses built between 1949 & 1995 are those designed by Pete Dye”


Truth or Myth?

Anthony_Nysse

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2022, 09:52:08 AM »
“The only world class courses built between 1949 & 1995 are those designed by Pete Dye”


Truth or Myth?


Myth.



Sand Hills opened in 1995



Anthony J. Nysse
Director of Golf Course & Grounds
Mountain Lake
Lake Wales, FL

Sean_A

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2022, 12:26:43 PM »
“The only world class courses built between 1949 & 1995 are those designed by Pete Dye”


Truth or Myth?


Myth. Old Town was originally designed in 1939.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Mark_Fine

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2022, 12:44:49 PM »
As defined by who?  If I am not mistaken courses like Peachtree, Muirfield Village, Valderrama, Prairie Dunes (the second nine),… were all designed in that period.  I can name many more that were on someone’s Top 100 list and were designed in that period.  So myth.

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2022, 01:27:07 PM »
This website calls that period the Dark Ages on its home page with Pete Dye the only hero to emerge.


Will courses from the period be better thought of in 20,30,40 years’ time?


Are there more great courses from the period than we realise because we can’t see past the last 10% of the design which does not tie with current tastes or trends?

Paul Jones

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2022, 01:45:05 PM »
Courses that open during that period that might have been ranked:



Atlantic
Bellerive
Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry)
Blackwolf Run (River)
Butler National
Cabo del Sol (Ocean)
Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog)
Castle Pines
Caves Valley
Cog Hill (Dubsdread)
Crooked Stick
Desert Forest
Double Eagle
European Club
Forest Highlands (Canyon)
Harbour Town
Hazeltine National
Jupiter Hills (Hills)
Kiawah Island (Ocean)
Loch Lomond
Long Cove
Mauna Kea
Monterey Peninsula (Shore)
Muirfield Village
Ocean Forest
Peachtree
Pete Dye
Sand Hills
Shadow Creek
Spyglass Hill
The Golf Club
The Honors Course
Torrey Pines (South)
TPC at Sawgrass (Stadium)
Trump National Doral (Blue Monster)
Valderrama
Wade Hampton
Waterville
World Woods (Pine Barrens)



Paul Jones
pauljones@live.com

Kyle Harris

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2022, 01:57:56 PM »
Huge myth. Not even worth discussing.
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thomas Dai

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2022, 02:59:29 PM »
“The only world class courses built between 1949 & 1995 are those designed by Pete Dye”
Truth or Myth?
Be interesting to list all the courses built during this period by designer and then analyse which of them folks contributing herein have a high or medium or poor regard for or indeed consider to be in the words of the OP ‘world class’.
Maybe some trends mights appear.
Atb


John Chilver-Stainer

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2022, 03:14:36 PM »
Are tbe Eddie Hackett golf courses not considered world class?


Mike Hendren

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2022, 07:04:50 PM »
Dunno but in my opinion:  Agronomy aside there are very few disciplines that have advanced less than golf course architecture over the past 100 years or so.


Respectfully, Mike.
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Tim Martin

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2022, 08:25:37 PM »
“The only world class courses built between 1949 & 1995 are those designed by Pete Dye”


Truth or Myth?


Ally-The definition of “World Class” would be yours to determine for purposes of this thread. That said Dick Wilson had a pretty good run up until his death in 1965 giving him a much shorter window than those that were designing courses up until 1995. I would think NCR South, Pine Tree, Meadow Brook and Deepdale could find there way into the conversation as well as some others.

Sean_A

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2022, 12:24:50 AM »
The myth is busted, but let's not get carried away. That roughly 50 year period after the war didn't cover itself in glory compared to the previous 45 years and the post 35 years. There was opportunity galore and what was produced is as a lot relatively disappointing not only for what was produced, but for what was done (or not done due to lack of maintenance) to classic courses.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2022, 10:19:16 AM »
Any statement that broad is probably false, but by the same token, there is a lot of truth in many stereotypes.

Ben Hollerbach

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2022, 11:19:14 AM »
The myth is busted, but let's not get carried away. That roughly 50 year period after the war didn't cover itself in glory compared to the previous 45 years and the post 35 years. There was opportunity galore and what was produced is as a lot relatively disappointing not only for what was produced, but for what was done (or not done due to lack of maintenance) to classic courses.

Ciao
To put it another way, in vogue style is cyclical.

Post-War era courses are entering an age that is now equal to the golden age courses when their revival began 30 years ago. Don't be surprised if in the next 10-15 years interest in Post-War courses peaks and it's own restoration movement takes off.

Matt_Cohn

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2022, 01:49:19 PM »
Dark Ages doesn’t mean that nothing of any value happened at all. It just means that it was a regression from what had existed previously:
[/color][/size][/color]
[/size]”Major advances were made in all areas during the so-called Dark Ages – science and education (universities), power generation (water and wind mills), architecture (gothic architecture, eg Chartres Cathedral), agriculture (crop-rotation, heavy plough, horse-collar), warfare (cannons, heavy-armoured cavalry), music (musical notation) and much more.

[/size]
[/size]Good things happen during Dark Ages— just fewer of them than what came before.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2022, 01:52:30 PM by Matt_Cohn »

PPallotta

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2022, 03:53:55 PM »
Matt - good point, but it also made me laugh because it reminded me of the 'What have the Romans ever done for us?' scene from Life of Brian, and also of Orson Welles' famous speech in The Third Man (apparently ad-libbed by Welles, on the spot):

"In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed -- but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, democracy, and five hundred years of peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!"
« Last Edit: May 20, 2022, 04:56:23 PM by PPallotta »

JMEvensky

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2022, 04:48:40 PM »
Nice Peter--watched it the other night.

Tom_Doak

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2022, 07:38:53 AM »

Post-War era courses are entering an age that is now equal to the golden age courses when their revival began 30 years ago. Don't be surprised if in the next 10-15 years interest in Post-War courses peaks and it's own restoration movement takes off.


Yeah but a lot of that will just be designers and shapers moving on to new targets to make a living once they can’t convince Beverly or Charlotte CC to pursue a fourth “restoration”.

Ira Fishman

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2022, 08:48:41 AM »
Courses that open during that period that might have been ranked:



Atlantic
Bellerive
Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry)
Blackwolf Run (River)
Butler National
Cabo del Sol (Ocean)
Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog)
Castle Pines
Caves Valley
Cog Hill (Dubsdread)
Crooked Stick
Desert Forest
Double Eagle
European Club
Forest Highlands (Canyon)
Harbour Town
Hazeltine National
Jupiter Hills (Hills)
Kiawah Island (Ocean)
Loch Lomond
Long Cove
Mauna Kea
Monterey Peninsula (Shore)
Muirfield Village
Ocean Forest
Peachtree
Pete Dye
Sand Hills
Shadow Creek
Spyglass Hill
The Golf Club
The Honors Course
Torrey Pines (South)
TPC at Sawgrass (Stadium)
Trump National Doral (Blue Monster)
Valderrama
Wade Hampton
Waterville
World Woods (Pine Barrens)


To a fair extent, the list actually makes the point. I count that 10 of these were designed by Mr. Dye which is a high percentage. I am sure that there are some courses by other architects that are missing (Tobacco Road?  Laurel Valley?—I have not played them, but they seem well regarded). Nonetheless, Mr. Dye does seem to dominate the era in terms of great courses.


« Last Edit: May 21, 2022, 01:01:31 PM by Ira Fishman »

PPallotta

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2022, 12:41:41 PM »
The irony is that it's the 'Dark Ages' only for those same kind of well-travelled-and-rating-inclined golfers as the ones who originally compiled a list of 'America's 200 Toughest Courses', for Golf Digest in the 1960s.

One of Ran's mid 60s antecedents worked to ensure that courses like Firestone were featured on that list, and his many acolytes agreed with him and celebrated its inclusion; but some 40 years later, after assuming the mantle of golf's enlightened man, Ran himself, now come of age, looked back at that time and those tastes with utter contempt, and consigned both his ancestor and the list to darkness and oblivion -- leaving only the acolyte-types alive and intact, ready to (lemming-like) follow their new leader.

Meanwhile, far from the centres of power and influence, in the flung-away places of the world, average golfers by the millions who were immune to the influence of conventional wisdom and indifferent about expert opinion played (and continue to play) literally thousands of modest and low-key and unknown golf courses designed & built during these same so-called Dark Ages -- the vast majority of which are c. 6100 yards long, and feature the wide fairways and gentle contours and open-fronted greens that allow for strategy and recovery and the ground game, and that make them playable for all levels of golfers. 

So, the 'Dark Ages'? No -- no, for millions of average golfers like me there was and is no such thing. We are happy, in our ignorance, to simply play the game of golf, humbly accepting a golf course for what it is instead of always complaining about what it isn't. But for the cognoscenti of the world -- then and now, determined to stamp an era with their own seal of approval or disapproval -- they see precisely what they want to see, and hope to convince the rest of us that they are right!

« Last Edit: May 21, 2022, 01:29:19 PM by PPallotta »

Sean_A

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2022, 06:56:07 PM »
The irony is that it's the 'Dark Ages' only for those same kind of well-travelled-and-rating-inclined golfers as the ones who originally compiled a list of 'America's 200 Toughest Courses', for Golf Digest in the 1960s.

One of Ran's mid 60s antecedents worked to ensure that courses like Firestone were featured on that list, and his many acolytes agreed with him and celebrated its inclusion; but some 40 years later, after assuming the mantle of golf's enlightened man, Ran himself, now come of age, looked back at that time and those tastes with utter contempt, and consigned both his ancestor and the list to darkness and oblivion -- leaving only the acolyte-types alive and intact, ready to (lemming-like) follow their new leader.

Meanwhile, far from the centres of power and influence, in the flung-away places of the world, average golfers by the millions who were immune to the influence of conventional wisdom and indifferent about expert opinion played (and continue to play) literally thousands of modest and low-key and unknown golf courses designed & built during these same so-called Dark Ages -- the vast majority of which are c. 6100 yards long, and feature the wide fairways and gentle contours and open-fronted greens that allow for strategy and recovery and the ground game, and that make them playable for all levels of golfers. 

So, the 'Dark Ages'? No -- no, for millions of average golfers like me there was and is no such thing. We are happy, in our ignorance, to simply play the game of golf, humbly accepting a golf course for what it is instead of always complaining about what it isn't. But for the cognoscenti of the world -- then and now, determined to stamp an era with their own seal of approval or disapproval -- they see precisely what they want to see, and hope to convince the rest of us that they are right!

I fear you are out over your skis on this one. I don't give a shit about convincing you of any such thing. I offer an opinion nothing more. Mind you, I grew up on Dark Age golf and it took only two classic era courses to convince there was a better golf world out there. I haven't seen any Dark Age courses since then to convince me otherwise. But to be fair, I don't seek out Dark Age courses.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

PPallotta

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2022, 07:25:07 PM »
??
Of course you're only offering an opinion -- what else could you be offering? Plus, I'm talking about *my* experience, not yours.
Ran features the term 'Dark Ages" quite prominently, and Ally asked about it.
I've probably played some 50 courses built between 1960 and 1995, and while none were world class they were, in general, pleasant and playable and walkable and architecturally sound.
In other words, for me there was/is nothing "Dark Ages" about them.
The rest -- eg Ran turning contemptuously on his golfing ancestors -- was a lighthearted way to highlight what, IMO, is a 'myth'.
But we seem to be misunderstanding each other quite often these days -- so, never mind.
   

« Last Edit: May 21, 2022, 07:29:16 PM by PPallotta »

Sean_A

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2022, 02:58:20 AM »
The myth is busted, but let's not get carried away. That roughly 50 year period after the war didn't cover itself in glory compared to the previous 45 years and the post 35 years. There was opportunity galore and what was produced is as a lot relatively disappointing not only for what was produced, but for what was done (or not done due to lack of maintenance) to classic courses.

Ciao
To put it another way, in vogue style is cyclical.

Post-War era courses are entering an age that is now equal to the golden age courses when their revival began 30 years ago. Don't be surprised if in the next 10-15 years interest in Post-War courses peaks and it's own restoration movement takes off.

Few things golf related would surprise me a great deal.

I think a few media types have kicked up some dust about the misunderstood Dark Age. It's a relatively recent narrative which has some merit. But I think the idea of Dark Age is meant to convey a relative lack of high quality designs in terms percentage of courses built. There were countless quite adequate courses built, a few handfuls of which I enjoyed when I lived in Michigan...which must be one of the hot-spots for Dark Age designs. Even for these cheap and cheerful courses I played a few of the ones which I thought were the best designs turned out to be classic era designs. 🙈 It would be interesting to replay these old haunts and see if my late 50s eyes agrees with my mid 30s eyes.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2022, 07:21:53 AM »
Are they cheap and cheerful or expensive and so-so?


In other words, we have to consider brief and budget where we know it. Many quite good but not great courses were built in Britain during the period but very few of them set out with the sort of high-end build budget we’ve seen in the courses built in the last 25 years.


On the other hand, towards the end of the era, we did start to see high-budget courses being built in - say - Ireland that missed the mark because of design philosophy & style. Are these courses better than we give them credit for because they are currently out of favour? Or are they always going to be so-so? In Ireland, I veer to the latter. Elsewhere, I’m less sure.


Also site has to be considered. There was less emphasis on natural sites for golf during the “dark ages”. That is permanent, not to be overcome.

Sean_A

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Re: GCA Mythbusters 4: The Dark Ages
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2022, 02:51:28 AM »
Are they cheap and cheerful or expensive and so-so?

In other words, we have to consider brief and budget where we know it. Many quite good but not great courses were built in Britain during the period but very few of them set out with the sort of high-end build budget we’ve seen in the courses built in the last 25 years.

On the other hand, towards the end of the era, we did start to see high-budget courses being built in - say - Ireland that missed the mark because of design philosophy & style. Are these courses better than we give them credit for because they are currently out of favour? Or are they always going to be so-so? In Ireland, I veer to the latter. Elsewhere, I’m less sure.

Also site has to be considered. There was less emphasis on natural sites for golf during the “dark ages”. That is permanent, not to be overcome.

In my case they were cheap and cheerful. That rota of courses was determined by quality VS cost and walking allowed on weekends. And the cost was below $30. None of the courses approached great, but were good enough.

I assumed some of those high end inland Irish courses were designed as such because of their sites. They hold a certain appeal in GB&I because the concept was thought to be American. They never appealed to me because they didn't look any better than countless US parkland courses.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

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