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Re: Rage against the anodyne
« Reply #50 on: November 05, 2022, 03:53:47 PM »
Does familiarity and comfort = good?

Itís when I get sold anodyne as good that my disappointment begins.

Conversely, does controversial = good

Where I'm going with this is that some would argue Mike Strantz was the last true maverick of golf course architecture. Love 'em or leave 'em, many of his course designs are controversial for their difficulty and unconvention. He broke rules and thought outside of the box, which doesn't necesarily equate to great architecture. However, he shook up the golf course architecture industry at a time it desperately needed it, as it helped pave the way for the period we're in. Good thing for Mike he didn't care or listen to what critics had to say, which freed him to blaze the trail he did and show the golfing world at large what's possible in course design.

Perhaps it's the same rebellion and unconvention that's needed now for the reasons originally raised in this topic, as part of me empathizes with your original statement, but I also appreciate the great work that's been done the past two decades having seen and played enough shitty cookie cutter community courses designed and built during 70's, 80's and 90's to never ever want to revisit that period.

I think clarifying definitions and leaning away from binary positions would help us. I donít think controversial equals good. Nor do I think anodyne means boring per se. To me, anodyne means to do or produce in order to not provoke. Itís sterile, innocuous. Thereís a lot of people in the world that would say there is pragmatism in sterility and not being provocative.

The argument Iím trying to make is that I disagree with that premise. And perhaps shining a light on why Iím looking forward to a place like Dunbar just as much as something much more popular.

I do have a hard time agreeing with you since so many good and great courses are not provocative.

BTW...Dunbar is popular! Get an early time  :)



I agree with you principally, but not totally. There are loads of courses are that are considered quite good that have something a bit different and potentially odd about them. In fact, Iím having a hard time thinking of a truly great course that Iíve played that Iíd consider anodyne.

That said, I can think of many Doak 4-6 level courses that I would consider anodyne. The trick then, for me at least, is to find those 4-6 level courses that provide excitement and a unique point of reference. Easier said than done.

Ok, I don't think I understand your use of anodyne.


Me either.

I joke. Mostly I think thereís a clear line out there for most of us on what exhilarates us and what doesnít. Itís different for all of us Iím sure. Maybe Iím trying to hit on a combination of sterile/boring/regular?

Alright, I thought you were talking about gravitating toward the average golfer? I think the average golfer eats up Colt and Ross. Between the two they have terrific courses which don't break any new ground or threaten edgy. At least they don't these days. St George's Hill is a good example. IMO a great course but because it does the basics very well on a lovely site, not because of edginess. The same could be said of the Sunnys and Swinley.

New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth


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