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Ben Sims

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Rage against the anodyne
« on: November 02, 2022, 12:49:35 PM »
Anodyne: adjectiveónot likely to provoke dissent or offense; inoffensive, often deliberately so.

A friend and I have been batting around the idea that anodyne-ness is a pervasive soul crushing daily issue in todays world.

Money is absolutely a factor in this. Developing or producing new things costs more than ever. The margins are thin. Appealing to masses is, frankly, profitable. But in the fight to appeal to as large a swath of consumers as possible, things (be it golf courses, food, music, whatever) we are inundated with decisions made not to offend.

Combining these decisions with seemingly unlimited power to know about things before you experience them, journeys arenít so much ones of discovery, but rather ones of confirmation. In effect, it feels like we are being given the good stuff by an algorithm and then the internet confirms the algorithm via ratings, reviews, influencers, social media, etc, et al.

I am very much looking forward to whatever I may find in Scotland next year that borders on new, quirky, and sublime and flies in the face of conventional application. Hopefully I can resist the temptation to figure it all out before I get there.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2022, 01:04:13 PM by Ben Sims »

Bob Montle

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2022, 02:01:46 PM »
I get your meaning, and agree.
But
I first heard the word in the Uncle Tupelo song.
That alternate definition is the one I think of when I hear anodyne:
"Something that soothes, calms or comforts."
I hope your trip will be an anodyne for you.
"If you're the swearing type, golf will give you plenty to swear about.  If you're the type to get down on yourself, you'll have ample opportunities to get depressed.  If you like to stop and smell the roses, here's your chance.  Golf never judges; it just brings out who you are."

George Pazin

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2022, 02:03:34 PM »
This thread reminds me of the old days, when a member posting such a musing would be called a beard puller and roundly ridiculed, in a fun way.


To me, it's more of a reaction to how most seem to view the world. Increasingly, people prefer to develop a quick opinion, and expect others to simply praise them for it, rather than challenge them. Or at least, that's my read.


If this is even a little true, it's easy to see how the anodyne would become the norm.
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

Ben Sims

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2022, 04:55:18 PM »
Bob,


Yes I do as well. As someone that chases horizons, itís typically a lot more rewarding when a) the thing at the end of the rainbow is decidedly interesting and unique and b) the journey was done with discovery.


George,


Goodness, Iíd forgotten how much I dislike that term, beard pulling or beard puller. I know it is used in jest but itís the damndest thing for me on this website of all websites, roundly populated exclusively by very definition of the term. Cognitive dissonance and allÖ😁


Back on topic, thereís something a bit off to me, the drive to design and create things for the maximum appeal, and then see it broadcast for maximum consumption. I agree with you, the development of quick opinion and then the lack of willingness to defend that opinion, preferring instead the praise of the opinion itself, is a phenomenon I hadnít really predicted with the rise of internet and social media technology.


I think it will be interesting to see where this current mini-boom in building goes. Seems there are some more aggressive and interesting ideas being bandied about at the moment.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2022, 05:06:25 PM by Ben Sims »

Sean_A

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2022, 08:55:15 PM »
Isn't it human nature to drift toward the middle? The extremes of most anything tend to be polarising and therefore more suspicious and susceptible to failure. For example, I think of Doak's work as mainly the more radical end of middle of the road, but it's not too far out there. The more time that goes by the more architecture becomes codified and the more difficult it is to break from the accepted norms. Often its the case that the unusual stuff is a one man idea and he plows on knowing his cheap and cheerful project likely ain't gonna make much money and that is if he does well. Or, perhaps an odd litter course can be tagged onto a resort as an added sideline amenity. That said I do think the appetite for odd little courses is increasing.

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 03, 2022, 03:19:03 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

archie_struthers

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2022, 09:02:26 PM »
 8)


Love this ! RAGE Against the MACHINE my brother. Hope you find some truth in the "home of golf". If anything my love of quirk grows with age.

Ben Sims

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2022, 09:28:17 PM »
8)


Love this ! RAGE Against the MACHINE my brother. Hope you find some truth in the "home of golf". If anything my love of quirk grows with age.


More interesting might be that thing we are searching for, the old guys didnít even know it was quirky! It just, was.

John Kirk

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2022, 09:31:29 PM »
The primary definition of anodyne is "Inoffensive", or "not likely to provoke dissent."

On my last vacation, the primary dinner venue had this modern country music playing quietly in the background.  The songs all shared certain elements: the same tired subjects and an easy going sound with just the right amount of twang and crack in the voice.  Over the course of a few hours, not one song piqued my interest.  Country Muzak numbing the senses and people needing to raise their voices to compensate for the added sound.  By the way, the secondary definition of anodyne is "painkiller."


My Dad was the first person I remember saying he hated that background music.  Nowadays it's omnipresent in restaurants, usually some hip "smooth jazz" clone.  It's so manipulative.  As if I need a certain tempo metronome to enjoy my salmon dinner or combination plate.

There is a golf course equivalent to Muzak, and it's mostly those multi-million dollar Doak 5s and 6s with green fairways, fast greens, big white bunkers and water hazards but they never ask the golfers any interesting questions.  Looks nice, and it makes you hit the ball straight and solid, but it requires little thought and never offends the sensibilities.

Great modern designers can create very interesting golf courses, even on a flat piece of land. In order to make something great, they must always keep the player awake and thinking, sometimes afraid, never lulled to sleep by a painkiller.  Dare to make something great.  Don't settle for anodyne if you don't have to.




Joe Zucker

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2022, 10:07:19 PM »
Interesting observation, but I'm not sure I totally agree.  In general, TV shows are made for much narrower audiences than they were 20 or 30 years ago.  The new era of "prestige TV" has figured out that you can be successful with a niche following of dedicated fans.  I don't think they are making shows to offend necessarily, so it does not contradict your definition, but they are definitely not making shows that appeal to everyone.


That being said, I think you're onto something with this idea about golf courses.  An oversimplification I've used before is that if everyone loves a course, it's probably not that interesting.  This is obviously not completely true, but when everyone says new course XYZ is top 100, is there likely to be anything new and interesting in the design?  I don't think so.  In recent years, King/Collins seem to be the ones creating courses that might offend in a way that Doak did 25 years ago.  More courses should offend a small percentage of the population in order to be loved by a different part of the population.

Ben Sims

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2022, 10:58:23 PM »
Interesting observation, but I'm not sure I totally agree.  In general, TV shows are made for much narrower audiences than they were 20 or 30 years ago.  The new era of "prestige TV" has figured out that you can be successful with a niche following of dedicated fans.  I don't think they are making shows to offend necessarily, so it does not contradict your definition, but they are definitely not making shows that appeal to everyone.


That being said, I think you're onto something with this idea about golf courses.  An oversimplification I've used before is that if everyone loves a course, it's probably not that interesting.  This is obviously not completely true, but when everyone says new course XYZ is top 100, is there likely to be anything new and interesting in the design?  I don't think so.  In recent years, King/Collins seem to be the ones creating courses that might offend in a way that Doak did 25 years ago.  More courses should offend a small percentage of the population in order to be loved by a different part of the population.


Joe,


Re: television shows, I think youíre onto something. Itís certainly a broader market than I can ever remember. And streaming services are pretty nonchalant about it. They just saturate the market and know they will get viewers.


Things like Apple Music and Spotify are intriguing, mostly because I think they water down the journey of discovery for music lovers. They have a vested interest in having algorithms recommend music that is most likely to appeal to broader spectrums. Rotten Tomatoes does much the same for film. The aggregate opinion tends to shove people in ďrater approvedĒ directions. I find I quite like some of the certified rotten films. Recently, the film Amsterdam was an example.


And yeah, you hit the nail on the head with regard to golf courses. Every now and then you stumble on a non-anodyne opinion however. This morning I read an old post where one of our posters opined that he quite enjoyed the uniqueness of Dunbar whereas Muirfield was a box checked. And honestly, I get that.

archie_struthers

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2022, 11:35:06 PM »
 8)


Ben, good stuff really got me thinking about golf and design .  At some point it goes back to the fairness question. To hell with it if you ask me. Particularly if you don' have a big maintenance budget. Because as we all know speed kills.

Bernie Bell

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2022, 10:52:33 AM »
Anodyne is underrated; the courses of the "Dark Ages" regional guys are underappreciated here, but (IMO) widely appreciated elsewhere by those who play and operate them.  And I don't think "inoffensive" is the primary meaning of anodyne, but rather soothing, alleviating distress.  If you're "raging" about golf, perhaps anodyne is the solution, not the problem. 

Ben Sims

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2022, 11:24:53 AM »
Anodyne is underrated; the courses of the "Dark Ages" regional guys are underappreciated here, but (IMO) widely appreciated elsewhere by those who play and operate them.  And I don't think "inoffensive" is the primary meaning of anodyne, but rather soothing, alleviating distress.  If you're "raging" about golf, perhaps anodyne is the solution, not the problem.


Bernie,


I considered what both the New Oxford American and Cambridge English Dictionaries list as the secondary definition; something designed to smooth or alleviate pain or distress. It fits the argument Iím making just the same. Challenging convention is fun, and necessary.


Going with your use of the word, it stands to reason that what is anodyne for some, isnít for others. Maybe thatís where Iím going with this. In regard to golf courses, I know which doctors Iíd want to prescribe my anodyne. Lots of them live on this site. And without opening a can of worms, it sure isnít a magazine list or a social media influencer.


Oh, and by the by, Merrimack Webster lists your definition first.  ;D

Sean_A

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2022, 11:46:00 AM »
Anodyne is underrated; the courses of the "Dark Ages" regional guys are underappreciated here, but (IMO) widely appreciated elsewhere by those who play and operate them.  And I don't think "inoffensive" is the primary meaning of anodyne, but rather soothing, alleviating distress.  If you're "raging" about golf, perhaps anodyne is the solution, not the problem.

Bernie,

I considered what both the New Oxford American and Cambridge English Dictionaries list as the secondary definition; something designed to smooth or alleviate pain or distress. It fits the argument Iím making just the same. Challenging convention is fun, and necessary.

Going with your use of the word, it stands to reason that what is anodyne for some, isnít for others. Maybe thatís where Iím going with this. In regard to golf courses, I know which doctors Iíd want to prescribe my anodyne. Lots of them live on this site. And without opening a can of worms, it sure isnít a magazine list or a social media influencer.

Oh, and by the by, Merrimack Webster lists your definition first.  ;D

Being someone who appreciates a good middle of the road Colt or Ross course I can certainly see Bernie's point. But I also like some more dynamic stuff which Colt or Ross would never have built. Variety is the key and the reason why its good that some old stuff (and a bit of new stuff) isn't mucked with too much even if its polarizing. It disturbs me that so many links roll in the machinery in an effort to be more anodyne. Its often really about rankings and making more money off visitors or perhaps worse, placating the latest batch of members who don't have a clue as to the history of courses.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

John Kirk

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2022, 11:47:47 AM »
"I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell."
--  Bruce Dickinson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVsQLlk-T0s


Ben Sims

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2022, 12:41:41 PM »
Isn't it human nature to drift toward the middle? The extremes of most anything tend to be polarising and therefore more suspicious and susceptible to failure. For example, I think of Doak's work as mainly the more radical end of middle of the road, but it's not too far out there. The more time that goes by the more architecture becomes codified and the more difficult it is to break from the accepted norms. Often its the case that the unusual stuff is a one man idea and he plows on knowing his cheap and cheerful project likely ain't gonna make much money and that is if he does well. Or, perhaps an odd litter course can be tagged onto a resort as an added sideline amenity. That said I do think the appetite for odd little courses is increasing.

Ciao


Missed this yesterday Sean, apologies.


I get what youíre saying, but Iím not sure if it is human nature to revert to the mean. I think it is more a reflection of the ideal of never offending, and always be selling. I donít mean to assert that appealing to majority and avoiding the failure inherent in polarization is inherently bad, definitely not. I do find that as one experiences more and more, you find that itís the newer stuff that is more of the same. Taking chances is seen as potential weakness in real time and a strength if success comes. Thatís a fine line to walk.

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2022, 02:44:49 PM »
It's an interesting question. And it seems deeply personal.


Personally, for me, if I've been doing work or shopping all day with the family, nothing will make me happier than an anodyne burger and fries. Not even a great burger would make me happier than a merely good one. But that's just me. It's not true for a foodie like my brother. He would drive an extra 15-30 minutes for the great one. Or even if only the meat was great but the bread was bad, he'd make that choice, because he got to try the wagyu burger or whatever.


I'll bet a lot of us on this board are like him when it comes to golf courses. Of course I want to see CPC and NGLA, but I'd rather see Painswick for the first time than 95-100% of TPC courses. I fully acknowledge that the vast majority of golfers would not agree.


It's a side note, but I also think the question of "anodyne-ness" only really registers on the scale of a golf course. Bigger (a destination resort or club) or smaller (individual holes) the question loses its meaning a bit.
Severally on the occasion of everything that thou doest, pause and ask thyself, if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives thee of this. - Marcus Aurelius

Sean_A

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2022, 06:45:08 PM »
Isn't it human nature to drift toward the middle? The extremes of most anything tend to be polarising and therefore more suspicious and susceptible to failure. For example, I think of Doak's work as mainly the more radical end of middle of the road, but it's not too far out there. The more time that goes by the more architecture becomes codified and the more difficult it is to break from the accepted norms. Often its the case that the unusual stuff is a one man idea and he plows on knowing his cheap and cheerful project likely ain't gonna make much money and that is if he does well. Or, perhaps an odd litter course can be tagged onto a resort as an added sideline amenity. That said I do think the appetite for odd little courses is increasing.

Ciao


Missed this yesterday Sean, apologies.


I get what youíre saying, but Iím not sure if it is human nature to revert to the mean. I think it is more a reflection of the ideal of never offending, and always be selling. I donít mean to assert that appealing to majority and avoiding the failure inherent in polarization is inherently bad, definitely not. I do find that as one experiences more and more, you find that itís the newer stuff that is more of the same. Taking chances is seen as potential weakness in real time and a strength if success comes. Thatís a fine line to walk.

I think we agree, no? All I am really saying is there are good reasons why we don't see much in the way of far out new architecture. The most out there new architecture I have seen is The Loop and I don't think it's getting anywhere near the plaudits it should receive. For fucks sake, it's a reversible 18 hole course that was executed brilliantly. Most people just wonder where the two courses should be ranked. It's madness. One of the greatest feats in architectural history was pulled off and its open to the public. The problem mainly lies with golfers, not designers.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Tom_Doak

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2022, 07:22:25 PM »
Ben:


It's a good topic.  I won't add much, other than to say I generally agree.


I won't disagree with Sean's characterization of me as "the more radical end of the middle of the road," although I would have preferred "mainstream" as the last phrase there.  It was easier to be edgy and aggressive for clients like Rupert and Richard Sattler, [or Zac Blair], than it is for Mike Keiser and Ric Kayne [although we pushed the needle pretty far on Te Arai].  At the high end today, with the $$$$$ being invested, most of the client input is toward anodyne, so you're right on about the influence of money, just maybe not on who is being influenced.  Whereas younger designers on smaller-budget courses are in the pursuit of attention, and sometimes go overboard to get it, IMHO.


I am glad that Sean recognizes The Loop, though.  That concept was edgy enough that we didn't have to build 20-foot deep bunkers or 20,000 square foot greens to do something outside the box.  I do think I can afford to be very edgy at this stage of my career; I've got nothing to lose.  But I've got to find clients who agree, and I'd say right now there are only two out of eight I'd put in that category.


Ben Sims

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2022, 07:29:52 PM »
Isn't it human nature to drift toward the middle? The extremes of most anything tend to be polarising and therefore more suspicious and susceptible to failure. For example, I think of Doak's work as mainly the more radical end of middle of the road, but it's not too far out there. The more time that goes by the more architecture becomes codified and the more difficult it is to break from the accepted norms. Often its the case that the unusual stuff is a one man idea and he plows on knowing his cheap and cheerful project likely ain't gonna make much money and that is if he does well. Or, perhaps an odd litter course can be tagged onto a resort as an added sideline amenity. That said I do think the appetite for odd little courses is increasing.

Ciao


Missed this yesterday Sean, apologies.


I get what youíre saying, but Iím not sure if it is human nature to revert to the mean. I think it is more a reflection of the ideal of never offending, and always be selling. I donít mean to assert that appealing to majority and avoiding the failure inherent in polarization is inherently bad, definitely not. I do find that as one experiences more and more, you find that itís the newer stuff that is more of the same. Taking chances is seen as potential weakness in real time and a strength if success comes. Thatís a fine line to walk.

I think we agree, no? All I am really saying is there are good reasons why we don't see much in the way of far out new architecture. The most out there new architecture I have seen is The Loop and I don't think it's getting anywhere near the plaudits it should receive. For fucks sake, it's a reversible 18 hole course that was executed brilliantly. Most people just wonder where the two courses should be ranked. It's madness. One of the greatest feats in architectural history was pulled off and its open to the public. The problem mainly lies with golfers, not designers.

Ciao




Yes we agree. In fact, your post was like a mic drop moment for the thread in general. One of my big regrets is missing a trip to The Loop as a result of an unfortunate dog-bicycle collision some years ago. I agree, lots of what Iíve read about that course is madness. I do think that if golfers were to roundly experience a new and different thing, and truly stop trying to mirror tour golf, golf architecture could move quickly to introducing new and edgy things. I know itís fruitful, but I sort of loathe the concept of the ďretail golferĒ as introduced by Mike Keiser. I wonder what couldíve been without that white angel on shoulders.


Tom,


Just saw your reply. Iíll engage more later. But hereís to hoping upon hope that Sedge Valley gets a green light for a few of your ideas.

Ben Sims

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2022, 08:01:45 PM »
Ben:


It's a good topic.  I won't add much, other than to say I generally agree.


I won't disagree with Sean's characterization of me as "the more radical end of the middle of the road," although I would have preferred "mainstream" as the last phrase there.  It was easier to be edgy and aggressive for clients like Rupert and Richard Sattler, [or Zac Blair], than it is for Mike Keiser and Ric Kayne [although we pushed the needle pretty far on Te Arai].  At the high end today, with the $$$$$ being invested, most of the client input is toward anodyne, so you're right on about the influence of money, just maybe not on who is being influenced.  Whereas younger designers on smaller-budget courses are in the pursuit of attention, and sometimes go overboard to get it, IMHO.


I am glad that Sean recognizes The Loop, though.  That concept was edgy enough that we didn't have to build 20-foot deep bunkers or 20,000 square foot greens to do something outside the box.  I do think I can afford to be very edgy at this stage of my career; I've got nothing to lose.  But I've got to find clients who agree, and I'd say right now there are only two out of eight I'd put in that category.


Tom,


We had a small dinner party the other night and I went ďoff the reservationĒ (wifeís words) and served as authentic a sichuan hot pot as I could muster. I knew it would be a smash with most of our guests and an absolute disaster for one of them. She had no allergies and isnít vegan, it was just a preference thing. She ended up eating and giggling like the rest of us. ButÖthere is ZERO chance she wouldíve experienced it otherwise.


I wonder how often you, and other architects, are put in a similar position. For me, raging against the anodyne is a way to stare right back in the face of comfortable and easy and say that that isnít good enough. That is an easy position for me to take as the consumer and enthusiast. But I wonder how often that the decision designed to offend least, ends up being the wrong one.

Kalen Braley

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2022, 08:04:32 PM »
Ben,

Excellent thread, its been a pleasure musing this topic.

I tend to agree with Sean here on two points:

1) Nearly every aspect of the game has effectively already been "anodynized" or made to be fair for the most amount of people. A few examples:

- Greens flattened so everyone can 2 putt.
- Fairways made smooth and tightly mowed so everyone is rewarded equally for a good shot
- Roughs mowed and maintained uniformly so as not to draw hard pan lies.
- Bunkers raked over and not too extreme, heaven forbid one gets a poor lie or can't extract themselves from it.
- Forced carries reduced and mitigated for nearly all.
- A tee box for everyone - upwards of 6, 7, 8 tee boxes

2)  As he mentioned, then when someone like Engh comes along and does some really out of the box stuff, roundly rebuffed and slighted by the critics.




Tom_Doak

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2022, 09:03:42 PM »

Tom,


We had a small dinner party the other night and I went ďoff the reservationĒ (wifeís words) and served as authentic a sichuan hot pot as I could muster. I knew it would be a smash with most of our guests and an absolute disaster for one of them. She had no allergies and isnít vegan, it was just a preference thing. She ended up eating and giggling like the rest of us. ButÖthere is ZERO chance she wouldíve experienced it otherwise.

I wonder how often you, and other architects, are put in a similar position. For me, raging against the anodyne is a way to stare right back in the face of comfortable and easy and say that that isnít good enough. That is an easy position for me to take as the consumer and enthusiast. But I wonder how often that the decision designed to offend least, ends up being the wrong one.


Ben:


I'm all for this, but, there is a difference between what you serve your friends in your home and what you might cook up as the chef at a high-priced hotel restaurant.  When you are working for someone else it's just a different dynamic.  At Ballyneal and Barnbougle the clients were more concerned about getting people to come and see them, than they were about potentially offending someone who did come.


I didn't mention it before but St. Patrick's is pretty edgy; as a part owner I had to think about the topic from both sides, but I did let the crew push the envelope pretty far there.


Sedge Valley has plenty of edgy elements - Michael K is not the same as his dad, but he wants to be involved to the degree that it is inevitable there is some over-thinking there.  He seems to be most concerned with short game difficulty and especially difficult chip shots, which are my forte.  The funny part of it is that we were starting Sedge concurrently with finishing the edgy Lido, where none of us were allowed to over-think Mr. Macdonald's design.  ;)

Michael Chadwick

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2022, 10:55:55 PM »
Anodyne: adjectiveónot likely to provoke dissent or offense; inoffensive, often deliberately so.
A friend and I have been batting around the idea that anodyne-ness is a pervasive soul crushing daily issue in todays world.
Money is absolutely a factor in this. Developing or producing new things costs more than ever. The margins are thin. Appealing to masses is, frankly, profitable. But in the fight to appeal to as large a swath of consumers as possible, things (be it golf courses, food, music, whatever) we are inundated with decisions made not to offend.



Ben, I agree with your qualms about how much of mass media funnels toward the least common denominator ("appealing to the masses").


That said, I find your categorization of anodyne applicable more to the critic's taste than it is to distinguishing between an average and great golf course, tv show, or piece of music. A work of art need not always be provocative. And something provocative, no matter how well it might capture the avant garde, may not end up retaining its artistic value over time.


Robert Trent Jones Sr. was far from anodyne, yet some of his work has been elided in order to recreate what the original architects achieved on sites he overwrote.


In the next year we'll have both Landmand and Brambles open. One, I imagine, will be far more anodyne than the other. But that doesn't distinguish their qualities.   
   
Instagram: mj_c_golf

Sean_A

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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2022, 04:56:13 AM »
Ben:

It's a good topic.  I won't add much, other than to say I generally agree.

I won't disagree with Sean's characterization of me as "the more radical end of the middle of the road," although I would have preferred "mainstream" as the last phrase there.  It was easier to be edgy and aggressive for clients like Rupert and Richard Sattler, [or Zac Blair], than it is for Mike Keiser and Ric Kayne [although we pushed the needle pretty far on Te Arai].  At the high end today, with the $$$$$ being invested, most of the client input is toward anodyne, so you're right on about the influence of money, just maybe not on who is being influenced.  Whereas younger designers on smaller-budget courses are in the pursuit of attention, and sometimes go overboard to get it, IMHO.

I am glad that Sean recognizes The Loop, though.  That concept was edgy enough that we didn't have to build 20-foot deep bunkers or 20,000 square foot greens to do something outside the box.  I do think I can afford to be very edgy at this stage of my career; I've got nothing to lose.  But I've got to find clients who agree, and I'd say right now there are only two out of eight I'd put in that category.

Other than being reversable, the incredible aspect of The Loop is it makes business sense. Sure, it will cost a bit more to maintain than a normal 18 hole course on similar soil, but the punters will stay at least one night. I will be thinking about The Loop for a looong time.

What is the other edgy course? St Pat's? If so, why do you think so?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

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