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Stewart Abramson

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #100 on: January 25, 2023, 03:05:43 PM »

...Not seen a course by TD with his version of a collection of the template holes and large railway sleepered walls...


Cheers
Ben


Old Mac has Sleepers and templates.



Old Mac #6 - Long - par 5  - Hell Bunker




Old Mac #16 - Alps -bunker behind Alps




Old Mac #16 - Alps]

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #101 on: January 25, 2023, 03:31:20 PM »
Man, Old Mac always looks good to me.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Stewart Abramson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #102 on: January 25, 2023, 04:12:46 PM »
Man, Old Mac always looks good to me.

Ciao


Me too.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #103 on: January 25, 2023, 04:33:33 PM »
Man, Old Mac always looks good to me.

Ciao


Me too.


Me too. Whatís the reason it doesnít quite reach a full love-in for a lot of people?

Stewart Abramson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #104 on: January 25, 2023, 07:30:26 PM »
Man, Old Mac always looks good to me.

Ciao


Me too.


Me too. Whatís the reason it doesnít quite reach a full love-in for a lot of people?


Two guesses why it doen't get more love: (i) Some people don't like the huge greens, (ii) most likely, there's so much high quality competition on site Old Mac gets downgraded in the minds of some visitors.


It is ranked #77 on Golf Mag's best US courses. That reflects a lot of love

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #105 on: January 25, 2023, 07:42:21 PM »
Stewart,


Many thanks. I had forgotten about the Railway Sleepers at Old Mac.


As to the course, my sense is that people either love it for the scale and CBM homage or are put off by the size of the greens. My wife is in the second category, and I did not find it so compelling that I was okay with skipping Old Mac on our second visit in order to play Pac Dunes twice. But there are some holes that are world class that I hope to see again.


Ira

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #106 on: January 25, 2023, 09:55:45 PM »
Me too. Whatís the reason it doesnít quite reach a full love-in for a lot of people?



The simple answer is that it's right next to Pacific Dunes, but has a lot less ocean frontage.  Indirectly, it's also got to compete with all of my other courses.  It might not make my top ten!


Some good players don't like how big and open it is.  They get frustrated that other people aren't making worse than bogey, while they are struggling to make birdies, or even par on some of the longer holes.


The greens are really too big and too wild, and nobody likes to three-putt.  Most people think that's on me, but in fact everyone else involved in the design kept insisting on making them bigger and wilder.

Jake McCarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #107 on: January 25, 2023, 11:25:13 PM »
has anyone else played costa palmas? Pine Valley, Tara Iti, mammoth dunes, etc... didn't feel like too much sand but this may have been the first time I ever said "too much sand"

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #108 on: January 26, 2023, 02:53:27 AM »
Me too. Whatís the reason it doesnít quite reach a full love-in for a lot of people?



The simple answer is that it's right next to Pacific Dunes, but has a lot less ocean frontage.  Indirectly, it's also got to compete with all of my other courses.  It might not make my top ten!


Some good players don't like how big and open it is.  They get frustrated that other people aren't making worse than bogey, while they are struggling to make birdies, or even par on some of the longer holes.


The greens are really too big and too wild, and nobody likes to three-putt.  Most people think that's on me, but in fact everyone else involved in the design kept insisting on making them bigger and wilder.


Thanks Tom. Huge, wild greens doesn't sound great, but I would need to see them to know. I guess my issue would be if there are tons of these at the expense of variety. Even TOC has a decent amount of variety for double greens.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #109 on: January 26, 2023, 03:28:46 AM »

...Not seen a course by TD with his version of a collection of the template holes and large railway sleepered walls...


Cheers
Ben


Old Mac has Sleepers and templates.



Old Mac #6 - Long - par 5  - Hell Bunker




Old Mac #16 - Alps -bunker behind Alps




Old Mac #16 - Alps]



I guess I was wrong in this respect thank you Stewart for bringing this up - regarding templates (curved not squared) and railway sleepers. These photos are not seen very often and should been seen more. Is this the only course apart from Lido?


Still this is a more natural look using sleepers as seen at other Doak works - Brancaster has sleepered bunkers and walls which are much sharper and more defined which I prefer just saying.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2023, 03:33:11 AM by Ben Stephens »

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #110 on: January 26, 2023, 08:22:59 AM »
Me too. Whatís the reason it doesnít quite reach a full love-in for a lot of people?



The simple answer is that it's right next to Pacific Dunes, but has a lot less ocean frontage.  Indirectly, it's also got to compete with all of my other courses.  It might not make my top ten!


Some good players don't like how big and open it is.  They get frustrated that other people aren't making worse than bogey, while they are struggling to make birdies, or even par on some of the longer holes.


The greens are really too big and too wild, and nobody likes to three-putt.  Most people think that's on me, but in fact everyone else involved in the design kept insisting on making them bigger and wilder.



Tom,


Have you ever received comments about the large difference in length between the front and back? I thought the front was a thrill ride, but I was really running out of gas during the last four holes (and I think 18 is a great hole)? I am not a strong player, but I was playing from the correct tees.


Thanks.


Ira




John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #111 on: January 26, 2023, 10:46:10 AM »
Man, Old Mac always looks good to me.
Sean,
I think you would really enjoy it. The biggest criticism that I've heard of it has been from people who don't think the "templates" are close enough to what Raynor and CBM built. For me, that's actually a strength of the course. Doak and team used the ideal hole concept very well - the holes at OM utilize great design principles, but they aren't replicas. It works really well IMO - just don't get caught up in why the Redan doesn't look just like one somewhere else. There is a lot of variety in greens and I don't think they are over the top large. I would love to get back out there and play it again, but haven't.


Ben,
Seems the only satisfactory answer to your situation is for you to come up with a bunch of money, hire Doak to build a course around your expectations, then go in after him and fix all of the places where he failed to suit you. Other than that, you're not going to be happy. 

Stewart Abramson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #112 on: January 26, 2023, 11:44:02 AM »

The greens are really too big and too wild, and nobody likes to three-putt. 



Who am I to disagree with you about a course you built, but I will. While the Old Mac greens are big and wild, I don't think they're too big or too wild. I really like playing Old Mac and the greens are part of the fun. I seem to recall you saying something to the effect that if there was water or sand on the surrounds of the greens rather than extra green width, the punishment for an approach landing in the same place would in general be a lot worse than a three putt. I don't mind having a very long first putt following a less than good approach instead of having to drop next to water or hitting out of a bunker.  The odds for most players of two putting from across a huge green are at least as good as an up and down from a bunker, and making par is more likely than if the shot had been lost in a greenside pond or burn. Variety is the spice of life (and golf). Isn't that why you like to create courses that are different rather than follow a formula? To me the "big, wild" greens are one of the strengths of Old Mac

Max Prokopy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #113 on: January 26, 2023, 12:03:26 PM »
No disrespect intended, seriously, but I thought Old Mac was an oddity in that the sum seemed less than the individual parts. 


I generally loved the first 8 holes and the "originals", eg 7 and 15, were favorites.  The back 9 was very so-so for me.


I didn't mind the huge greens but thought some of the runoff slopes were too steep, or asymmetrically penal (relative to other aspects of the build). 
 
All that said, in the context of what DB has to offer as a resort, Old Mac is a wonderful piece of that puzzle. 

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #114 on: January 26, 2023, 12:35:34 PM »





Not dissimilar to the 4th at Westward Ho!/RND. Splendid stuff.
Atb

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #115 on: January 26, 2023, 12:39:18 PM »
Isnít there a story, maybe a tall tale, maybe not, that in answer to a players comment that there was too much sand in the bunkers at a links course the owner/designed asked if the player would like them to remove all 200 feet of it?
Atb

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #116 on: January 27, 2023, 06:21:11 AM »
Niall, No it is not appropriate...That is why I told (politely) Ben to stop abusing TD.


The word I would use is 'challenging' - no one on this site is brave enough to do so - your interpretation of abusing (which is a strong and dangerous wording to use) is rather baffling I have to say  ???

Have you ever worked in the Architecture and Design world - if not you then lack understanding of how we do things or words we use.

I know TD tries to take the piss out of me on this site however he is pretty bad at it I would say ;D   however he has his supporters (which I have now christened Doakites)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2023, 06:41:05 AM by Ben Stephens »

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #117 on: January 27, 2023, 06:28:09 AM »
Like Tom, I still don't understand what it is Ben is looking for.

And not that Tom needs me to chime in, but the list of top shelf/1st rate work on a variety of sites and ownership models is lengthy.

Mountain golf - Rock Creek
Desert and mountain golf - Stone Eagle
Mountain Meadow golf - Tumble Creek
Muni golf - Common Ground and Memorial
Flat nothing sites - Rawls and the Lido re-do
Restorations - Pasatiempo
Extreme sites - Cape Kidnappers
Parkland - Beechtree
Collaborations with Pros - Jack and Koepka
High End Public Access - Streamsong, Pac Dunes
High end Privates - Countless examples.

I'm genuinely confused as to what it is Tom needs to prove?  I guess he hasn't done Jungle golf or a course with sand greens.


Kalen


TD uses a very similar look aesthetic and design wise from his early courses to his latest ones - soft, natural, curves similar shaping irrelevant of what site it is thats what I am looking at from a fellow designers perspective which you probably don't understand. I have seen building architects use similar material and style on different building sites rather than experiment and do something different.


Sometimes to be ahead of the game you have to evolve - Frank Lloyd Wright is an example his early buildings are different to the one in his later years. If you are comfortable in what you do there is an element of risk that if you will end up being left behind others who over takes you I think thats the risk TD has. 10-20 years time could be a different clientele who are more like the computer game generation they will probably want some thing different.


Cheers
Ben
« Last Edit: January 27, 2023, 06:34:45 AM by Ben Stephens »

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #118 on: January 27, 2023, 06:32:46 AM »
.

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #119 on: January 27, 2023, 06:55:47 AM »
Man, Old Mac always looks good to me.
Sean,
I think you would really enjoy it. The biggest criticism that I've heard of it has been from people who don't think the "templates" are close enough to what Raynor and CBM built. For me, that's actually a strength of the course. Doak and team used the ideal hole concept very well - the holes at OM utilize great design principles, but they aren't replicas. It works really well IMO - just don't get caught up in why the Redan doesn't look just like one somewhere else. There is a lot of variety in greens and I don't think they are over the top large. I would love to get back out there and play it again, but haven't.


Ben,
Seems the only satisfactory answer to your situation is for you to come up with a bunch of money, hire Doak to build a course around your expectations, then go in after him and fix all of the places where he failed to suit you. Other than that, you're not going to be happy.


John


If I had the money I would never hire an 'established and older' golf course architect - I would give the opportunity to an unknown if the talent and ability is there to produce something different and out of the norm probably a design competition where one design is likely to stand above the others.


TD has been there and done it he is now in what most designers interprets as the 'comfort zone'. He is doing very well at present the question is will he or his disciples in the future by continuing this trend? thats an unknown. 


I get why a lot of you out there are frustrated at me or defending TD that ok a lot of people don't like to be 'challenged'. The funny thing is most of you are not seeing where I am coming from - there are other Architects now upping their game will TD be left behind like Blockbuster did because they didn't evolve? you never know everything has a shelf life. What he is producing then and now from my designers viewpoint is becoming more and more repetitive the longer it goes if you don't see it thats ok if you like what he is producing thats fine. Its also similar to what Norman Foster is producing in Architecture when he produces a new design or project you see it is a typical Foster not something different to what they have done before.   


There is no such thing as the perfect golf course and we all have different tastes and do things differently. Some people prefer on cloud to nikes its like that in the golf world outside of GCA circles. I have been in the fortunate position to meet other Golf Course Architects face to face and what their interpretation a golf course should be.


Cheers
Ben

Brett Meyer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #120 on: January 27, 2023, 07:23:15 AM »


Kalen


TD uses a very similar look aesthetic and design wise from his early courses to his latest ones - soft, natural, curves similar shaping irrelevant of what site it is thats what I am looking at from a fellow designers perspective which you probably don't understand. I have seen building architects use similar material and style on different building sites rather than experiment and do something different.


Sometimes to be ahead of the game you have to evolve - Frank Lloyd Wright is an example his early buildings are different to the one in his later years. If you are comfortable in what you do there is an element of risk that if you will end up being left behind others who over takes you I think thats the risk TD has. 10-20 years time could be a different clientele who are more like the computer game generation they will probably want some thing different.


Cheers
Ben

Ben,

Do you actually have a good sense of how Doak's style has changed (or not) across his career? I mean, did you see High Pointe or Black Forest, then Pacific Dunes or Cape Kidnappers, then Old MacDonald, Tara Iti, or the Loop?

I certainly haven't seen most of what he's done, but I have seen a half dozen of his courses and from different periods in his career. And to suggest that there's little variation in the style--and not even across his career but in courses from the same period--is not well-justified.

Take High Pointe and Black Forest. Anyone would have been hard pressed to tell that these were designed by the same guy. High Pointe, save for a few greens was quite minimal. The bunker shaping was fairly simple. Black Forest was the opposite of this--wild greens, flashy bunkers. Maybe a bit too much at times given the hilliness of the site, but whatever its faults, you wouldn't say that it's similarity to High Pointe was one.

And neither looked like Old MacDonald or the Loop, which also don't look like each other. Old MacDonald has big, heavily undulating greens. The Loop's greens are smaller and most have less interior contour, with a lot of the difficulty coming from the slopes around the greens. Old MacDonald and Black Forest both had very undulating greens, but they weren't too similar to each other; the former were larger and more free-form while the latter were smaller with some steep slopes.

As for all of the curves being soft and natural, what are you looking for here? Square-shaped mounds? I know square-shaped greens came up earlier, but I fail to see how a lawn mower running in a line, then stopping and turning to change direction vs. one that runs continuously in a curve makes for something either substantively different or interesting. That Doak et al's shaping seems soft and naturalistic seems to me to be a major virtue--wherever they work, they do a good job blending the shaping into its surroundings. And you really downplay the difference in degree across his courses. Some, like the Loop are much more subtle with a lot of small contours. Others--again Old MacDonald--have big, bold ones. Hell, even the Loop has a lot variation within in big vs. small contours.

And I see one of Doak's courses that I mentioned at the beginning, Pacific Dunes, as being quite different in style from the others. It has the least-busy greens of all of Doak's courses that I've seen (huge contrast to Old MacDonald). The emphasis here is on playing angles. Most of the greens are narrow and deep, so it's critical to be in a certain spot in the fairway so that you're not playing into the green from a shallow angle. It's a good thing too because with the challenge that this imposes on iron play and the windiness of the place, heavily contoured greens would be too much.

Whether any of this makes him a pioneer, I don't know and don't really care. But if you want to argue that this is a lack of stylistic variety, well I think that's pretty much wrong.

V_Halyard

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #121 on: January 27, 2023, 07:31:15 AM »
https://beyondthecontour.com/first-look-cabot-citrus-farms/


I saw the above storyline and I think they did a great job with the before and after.


Here is my question.  Is it me or is too much exposed sand a bit much on these course.  I had the same thought when I played Sand Valley the C&C course in WI.  The pictures on the new holes at Cabot Citrus are WOW, but it just seems too much.


Kind of the less is more or leaving them wanting for more. 


Am I wrong here?


Thereís no wrong answer, only preferences. As a big fan of Sand Valley, I remind that it is literally on a prehistoric, geological desert of sand, so the options were to build a course with a lot of sand around it, or try and grass over all of the sand. Architectural preferences.
"It's a tiny little ball that doesn't even move... how hard could it be?"  I will walk and carry 'til I can't... or look (really) stupid.

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #122 on: January 27, 2023, 08:01:43 AM »


Kalen


TD uses a very similar look aesthetic and design wise from his early courses to his latest ones - soft, natural, curves similar shaping irrelevant of what site it is thats what I am looking at from a fellow designers perspective which you probably don't understand. I have seen building architects use similar material and style on different building sites rather than experiment and do something different.


Sometimes to be ahead of the game you have to evolve - Frank Lloyd Wright is an example his early buildings are different to the one in his later years. If you are comfortable in what you do there is an element of risk that if you will end up being left behind others who over takes you I think thats the risk TD has. 10-20 years time could be a different clientele who are more like the computer game generation they will probably want some thing different.


Cheers
Ben

Ben,

Do you actually have a good sense of how Doak's style has changed (or not) across his career? I mean, did you see High Pointe or Black Forest, then Pacific Dunes or Cape Kidnappers, then Old MacDonald, Tara Iti, or the Loop?

I certainly haven't seen most of what he's done, but I have seen a half dozen of his courses and from different periods in his career. And to suggest that there's little variation in the style--and not even across his career but in courses from the same period--is not well-justified.

Take High Pointe and Black Forest. Anyone would have been hard pressed to tell that these were designed by the same guy. High Pointe, save for a few greens was quite minimal. The bunker shaping was fairly simple. Black Forest was the opposite of this--wild greens, flashy bunkers. Maybe a bit too much at times given the hilliness of the site, but whatever its faults, you wouldn't say that it's similarity to High Pointe was one.

And neither looked like Old MacDonald or the Loop, which also don't look like each other. Old MacDonald has big, heavily undulating greens. The Loop's greens are smaller and most have less interior contour, with a lot of the difficulty coming from the slopes around the greens. Old MacDonald and Black Forest both had very undulating greens, but they weren't too similar to each other; the former were larger and more free-form while the latter were smaller with some steep slopes.

As for all of the curves being soft and natural, what are you looking for here? Square-shaped mounds? I know square-shaped greens came up earlier, but I fail to see how a lawn mower running in a line, then stopping and turning to change direction vs. one that runs continuously in a curve makes for something either substantively different or interesting. That Doak et al's shaping seems soft and naturalistic seems to me to be a major virtue--wherever they work, they do a good job blending the shaping into its surroundings. And you really downplay the difference in degree across his courses. Some, like the Loop are much more subtle with a lot of small contours. Others--again Old MacDonald--have big, bold ones. Hell, even the Loop has a lot variation within in big vs. small contours.

And I see one of Doak's courses that I mentioned at the beginning, Pacific Dunes, as being quite different in style from the others. It has the least-busy greens of all of Doak's courses that I've seen (huge contrast to Old MacDonald). The emphasis here is on playing angles. Most of the greens are narrow and deep, so it's critical to be in a certain spot in the fairway so that you're not playing into the green from a shallow angle. It's a good thing too because with the challenge that this imposes on iron play and the windiness of the place, heavily contoured greens would be too much.

Whether any of this makes him a pioneer, I don't know and don't really care. But if you want to argue that this is a lack of stylistic variety, well I think that's pretty much wrong.


Brett,


I appreciate your response and your views.


You have your view I have mine - should everyone think the same?. You may think I am wrong thats your opinion isn't what this Discussion Group is for? TD work is to me is becoming more and more repetitive (thats my opinion whether its right or wrong) irrelevant of the size of the greens, location, landforms that existed before and so on etc.

Some people think TD has done different things golf course design wise thats their view mine is different. Colt, Braid, Simpson and even M+E have certain design traits (for example the sand wastes becoming common ::) ) that continue over time or see in many of their designs. Architects have this as well - very few have made me go wow I didn't think of that or thats a beautiful detail - you may think my standards are too high - we all think differently.

Every site is unique it does make the course or holes look different from the bigger picture thats why I can see why people think 'oh wow thats different he hasn't done that before' or thats 'pioneering' however for me its the details - naturalistic, smooth, curves, soft touch, minimalistic - a number of TD trademarks which are visible to me but not to others on this site whether they are simple or OTT with no complicated detailed drawings which is their approach and rely on great shapers which some are used repetitively that certain approach/details seen on multiple courses not just one.


I just see things differently - it may baffle (or frustrate  ;D ) most of you - its what it is. My view is that C+C are in a similar mould to TD - I would say Hanse has more variety out of the Big Three.

If I had the choice of visiting a new Doak course (knowing what he and his shapers are more likely to do) or an unknown who looks like their work is different to others - I would go to the unknown its what I am. I know its more likely that most of you would rather go to a new Doak course than an unknown who has done something different. It's the same for me in Architecture as well as Boony would testify.

Regarding sand in this thread - some think its OTT and others think its awesome. Some prefer Trump and others prefer Biden, Republican or Democratic/Conservartive or Labour in UK. Variety is the spice of life, everyone has different views and I do know I am in a very small minority on this site ;D  which others may think my views are warped.


Cheers

Ben
« Last Edit: January 27, 2023, 08:08:41 AM by Ben Stephens »

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #123 on: January 27, 2023, 08:43:10 AM »
Niall, No it is not appropriate...That is why I told (politely) Ben to stop abusing TD.


Craig


The abuse I was referring to was you basically calling Ben a douche bag. As far as I recall Ben has never abused Tom in that manner although a lot of folk, including Tom I suspect, think his comments are way off the mark. Being persistent with a point of view that most would challenge and continuing to defend your corner when challenged probably betrays a stubborn streak. Ben certainly has that, but I don't see him being abusive in the way you have been.


Niall

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #124 on: January 27, 2023, 09:01:05 AM »

If I had the money I would never hire an 'established and older' golf course architect - I would give the opportunity to an unknown if the talent and ability is there to produce something different and out of the norm probably a design competition where one design is likely to stand above the others.


TD has been there and done it he is now in what most designers interprets as the 'comfort zone'. He is doing very well at present the question is will he or his disciples in the future by continuing this trend? thats an unknown. 



Ben


As a 57 year old who is currently trying to change job your comments resonate with me. Let me assure you the penchant for youth isn't restricted to the field of GCA. It's very disheartening going for jobs knowing that even though you've got more than the requisite knowledge and experience that you're highly unlikely to be considered due to your age profile.


Of course I'm not a high-flyer in my field of work the way Tom is in his. So if Tom is continuing to attract prime commissions due to his superlative track record then good on him. He wouldn't still be getting considered if he wasn't coming up with the goods every time.


As for doing something different, I've probably seen the same 2 Doak courses you have and stylistically I think most folk would struggle to see an obvious resemblance between the two, particularly non-GCA types.


Niall

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