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Ira Fishman

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Worst Renovation
« on: September 14, 2022, 06:43:23 PM »
From 1973 to 1980 or so, we had the 10:36 tee time at Cog Hill 4 every Saturday. The rounds were slow as was the habit of the day, but it was a terrific course. My tenure went through the changes which were improvements to holes 12 through 14. I have not played the course since then and only followed the criticism of the Rees Jones renovation in passing. However, I just took a look on Google Earth, and it seems as if the criticisms are on point at least in terms of the bunkering.


I am hard pressed to think of another course where the renovation was so misplaced.


Ira

Ben Hollerbach

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2022, 10:54:07 AM »
It would seem that unlike a new course, to properly evaluate a renovation you would have to have moderate knowledge of what was there before. If not, it would be easy to miss-judge where the renovation made improvement, where the work was limited by previous infrastructure, and where the renovation was less successful.

I recently played Atlantic Dunes, Davis Love’s renovation of George Cobbs original Ocean Course on Hilton Head. Having never seen the previous course my ability to evaluate Love’s work is based solely on old pictures, aerials, and commentary from the longtime Sea Pines member who which I played with. Which isn’t enough for me to generate a solid critique.

In counter to that is the renovation at the Country Club of Asheville. This is a course that I have played countless times both before and after the renovation and as such, is much easier for me to effectively evaluate the changes. While the renovation may not be the worst renovation of all time, it does fall well short of what was there prior. It feels like an example of subtraction by addition. It’s the first renovation I can think of where the course was made easier for the good player, much harder for the average and below average player, and increased the time to play a round by 30 minutes.

Where the renovation could be viewed as successful is in the increase of the courses’s aesthetic presentation. There is a striking difference in the before and after pictures. So for those who have little to no history of the course, seeing the pictures and then playing the renovated property their perspective could easily be swayed more by the new presentation than it would be by the reduction in playability.

Which is why my evaluation of Atlantic Dunes is compromised, The course is certainty more flashy than what was there before, The greens contours would presumably be grander and more elaborate, the course is more visually interesting than what I’ve seen in pictures, but I’m unable to say if the playability of the course was actually made better be the renovation.  When I asked my host what he thought about the work, he summed it up by saying “some holes are better, some holes are worse.”

Matt_Cohn

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2022, 11:40:34 AM »
It's long been undone and re-renovated, but Ray Floyd's work at Doral Blue in the 90's was the worst I've seen. Enormous blobby bunkers everywhere. Never seen so much sand in my life. Not sure what he was thinking.

Before Floyd:



After Floyd:

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2022, 10:57:59 AM »
Maybe for 2022
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Peter Flory

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2022, 12:00:15 PM »
It's long been undone and re-renovated, but Ray Floyd's work at Doral Blue in the 90's was the worst I've seen. Enormous blobby bunkers everywhere. Never seen so much sand in my life. Not sure what he was thinking.

Before Floyd:



After Floyd:



What the hell?  They paid him to make every bunker bigger and blobbier?

Tim_Weiman

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2022, 02:03:38 PM »
Wow! That Floyd work looks awful. Really bad.
Tim Weiman

David Kelly

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2022, 04:46:48 PM »
The Floyd work at Doral is infamous.
"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

Tim Leahy

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2022, 05:58:43 PM »
Did Floyd design any courses from scratch? Never heard his name associated with GCA.
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Matt_Cohn

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2022, 07:28:43 PM »
Did Floyd design any courses from scratch? Never heard his name associated with GCA.


A dozen or so, yes.


Incidentally, I played a tournament at Doral at some point shortly after the redesign and I recall hitting into 7 bunkers in the space of 6 holes.

Steve_ Shaffer

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"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, some on golf courses ... "  Adlai Stevenson
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone: "We're bigger than US Steel."
Ben Hogan “The most important shot in golf is the next one”

Terry Lavin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2022, 08:28:08 PM »
From 1973 to 1980 or so, we had the 10:36 tee time at Cog Hill 4 every Saturday. The rounds were slow as was the habit of the day, but it was a terrific course. My tenure went through the changes which were improvements to holes 12 through 14. I have not played the course since then and only followed the criticism of the Rees Jones renovation in passing. However, I just took a look on Google Earth, and it seems as if the criticisms are on point at least in terms of the bunkering.


I am hard pressed to think of another course where the renovation was so misplaced.


Ira


I’ve played #4 (aka Dubsdread) maybe 100 times but only once after Jones wrecked the place and that last round was the outing held to celebrate the renovation. Very few in the crowd were enthusiastic.


Haven’t accepted an invitation since. Bummer. They wrecked the course in an effort to get the US Open. That didn’t happen.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.  H.L. Mencken

Michael Wolf

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2022, 12:28:41 PM »
The work done by Pete Dye's team at CC of Birmingham.

cary lichtenstein

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2022, 09:00:27 PM »
From 1973 to 1980 or so, we had the 10:36 tee time at Cog Hill 4 every Saturday. The rounds were slow as was the habit of the day, but it was a terrific course. My tenure went through the changes which were improvements to holes 12 through 14. I have not played the course since then and only followed the criticism of the Rees Jones renovation in passing. However, I just took a look on Google Earth, and it seems as if the criticisms are on point at least in terms of the bunkering.


I am hard pressed to think of another course where the renovation was so misplaced.


Ira


Cog Hill was my favorite course in Chicago. I made certain I played there 2 x per year in spite of the distance from my home. I never got to see the renovation, but I heard it's awful. I liked Dick Wilson's courses, another of his courses screwed up is "The Monster" at Doral
Live Jupiter, Fl, was  4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 4 back surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms. Last course I played was Augusta

Bill Seitz

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2022, 10:20:27 PM »
I don't think the Cog renovation was great or really all that necessary, but I think the criticism is a little overblown, and the course suffered greatly from the fact that the last time the BMW was held at Cog, the conditions were terrible, especially the greens.  They went back too soon.  That first year, 40 yard pitch shots were leaving craters on the greens, and just a days traffic made them really bumpy.  A year later, they were great.  But the architecture took the brunt of the criticism, even though for the pros, it probably didn't play all that differently. 

Tim_Cronin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2022, 02:34:48 AM »
The biggest part of Rees Jones' renovation of Cog Hill No. 4 was sectionalized greens, making large testing greens even more difficult to putt. The course was still Dick Wilson-Joe Lee until you got to the greens.

The timing of the heat wave entering the 2009 BMW caused the still-tender greens to die in some places and play bumpy, as Bill said, in others. Criticism by Steve Stricker, who never complains about anything, and Phil Mickelson, who has a mad-on about Jones because he got the Torrey Pines deal and Phil didn't, didn't help either. Said Mickelson, "There’s really no shot-making here that’s required. I’d love to see a Gil Hanse or...guys that really know what they’re doing come in and create something special."

But the BMW was leaving Cog anyway because the boss of BMW North America wanted to play at north side private clubs when the toonimint was in Chicago.

Cog probably would have gotten a U.S. Open anyway except for one thing. David Fay, who loved Jones' work, retired and was replaced by Mike Davis, who did not. And Hanse is the "Open doctor" these days.
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A.G._Crockett

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2022, 08:06:57 AM »
Ira,


I promise to resurrect this thread a year or so from now after the renovation at UNC Finley has been completed and I’ve had a chance to play it. 


That project has a chance to be good, but it also has a chance to win the “worst ever” title hands down. The concept and drawings make it a unique renovation, to say the least, and the outcome could be anything from really cool to a disaster. 
"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

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2022, 08:39:19 AM »
A.G.


Please do. We probably will wander across 54 to see it too. As you know, I liked the routing and the greens but hated the bunkers on the pre-renovation version. It sounds as if there is a possibility of the quality of routing and quality of bunkers being reversed by the renovation.


Ira

A.G._Crockett

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Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2022, 09:03:22 AM »
A.G.


Please do. We probably will wander across 54 to see it too. As you know, I liked the routing and the greens but hated the bunkers on the pre-renovation version. It sounds as if there is a possibility of the quality of routing and quality of bunkers being reversed by the renovation.


Ira


On the one hand, I think it’s almost certain that the bunkers will be much, much improved, and that the greens will be much more demanding AND interesting.


On the other hand, starting the course with a par 3, having 3 par 3’s in the first six holes (out of 5 overall) and reducing the yardage is sort of a “unique” renovation, to say the least. And the current 17th green, which is the most interesting green on the best hole on the current course will be moved to make room for a new par 3 green.


How all of that comes out is anybody’s guess.
"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

Steve_Roths

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2022, 09:22:18 AM »
Seems like if Cog Hill would bring in Hanse they could change the direction of all of this.


I am guessing they have a full tee sheet but it would be a great location for some future events....

Pat Burke

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Worst Renovation
« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 11:16:32 AM »
The Floyd work at Doral is infamous.


I played Doral before and after the floyd work.


It was just, terrible.


I don’t know how anyone that actually paid to play would enjoy it.


The hardest part of the tournament week that year was finding a spot in The practice bunker on The left side of the range to practice hitting fairway bunker iron shots  :D


That and getting sunglasses.  You were in So many bunkers, sunglasses were needed tom prevent glare damage.


It was universally disliked. 

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