Thirty or thirty-five years ago, I used to fantasize that if only golf architecture was a fair, level competition like golf itself, I would kick everyone's ass and get all the best jobs.
Then I grew up. Life's not fair, and neither is golf for that matter. I realized the only competition was to build the best projects you could on the best sites you could find, and let that lead to more work. And that is how I'm kicking people's asses now. I didn't do it on paper, I did it in the dirt.
Design competitions are a waste of time, for all of the reasons Ally states in his last post. In many cases, the decision has already been made, and the competition is just to make it look like all candidates were considered. [I have been told this directly by the clients at the end of a couple such competitions.]
In golf architecture, it's even worse, because most of the judges can't read a topo map or think in 3-D, so how do they even know what they are looking at? It is really all just a sales pitch by other means. Maybe the best drawing wins, or the best presentation, but that is not really the same thing as the best design.
The only people who take such competitions seriously are Architecture students. Many architects use their competition entries as evidence of their work and talent, even when none of those designs have ever been built. Their "suggestion" for redesigning the far end of Pebble Beach is their legacy. Apparently Ben is one of those guys. And he is trying to turn this thread into a debating competition and "win" against me in that way, so he can't admit defeat.
No wonder we can't reason with him. Please, everyone, let this be the end of this thread. Let him have the last word if he wants. I've got real golf courses to build.