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John Emerson

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2023, 08:19:45 PM »
I am curious if the site is naturally sandy or is that sand trucked in?
“There’s links golf, then everything else.”

cary lichtenstein

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2023, 08:49:34 PM »
Sensational!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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

Tom_Doak

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2023, 09:23:13 PM »
At what point does the desired aesthetic compromise playability? I think Kyle Franz got it right with his work in Southern Pines but there has to be a tipping point. I’ll reserve judgement until the project is completed as offered by a couple of other posters.


The answer is a matter of opinion / up to the observer.


Personally, I think the sand aesthetic has become overused and I am moving back in the other direction with my projects now.  There’s much less open sand at Te Arai North than at Tara Iti; much less at Sedge Valley than Sand Valley; and I’m betting there’s much less on my new FL project than at all the others down the street. But, you know me, I’m a contrarian.  If I can lure everyone else away from it, maybe I will go back to it when I’m 64.

Max Prokopy

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2023, 09:39:52 PM »
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?


Hello Steve, yes I think there can be.  I wrote as much about Sand Valley.  Though I love the resort and conditions, I'm with you in that some places on the Coore & Crenshaw course had too much sand.  People gave up trying to rake anything or bother to retrieve their balls in certain spots. 


Perhaps that is less about aesthetics and more about functionality, but anything can be overdone and sand is no exception. 

Craig Sweet

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2023, 10:49:36 PM »
Way too much make-up!
He's nuttier than a squirrel turd.

Sean_A

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2023, 11:05:54 PM »
I tend to take the broad view in this matter. There are relatively very few of these mega sandy courses around so why not? I generally don't like the idea, but it can be done well as Pinehurst 2 demonstrates. It's far better than mega bunkering. As demonstrated by Lytham, that is a style I dislike in the extreme. Even if done well such as at Muirfield, I don't like it. My two big issues with a lot of sand is it becomes very difficult to offer a true variety of recovery shots and hole designs tend to lean too far toward the penal end of the spectrum unless there is mega fairway width...which also can be problematic.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood & Ladybank

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2023, 02:31:04 AM »
At what point does the desired aesthetic compromise playability? I think Kyle Franz got it right with his work in Southern Pines but there has to be a tipping point. I’ll reserve judgement until the project is completed as offered by a couple of other posters.


The answer is a matter of opinion / up to the observer.


Personally, I think the sand aesthetic has become overused and I am moving back in the other direction with my projects now.  There’s much less open sand at Te Arai North than at Tara Iti; much less at Sedge Valley than Sand Valley; and I’m betting there’s much less on my new FL project than at all the others down the street. But, you know me, I’m a contrarian.  If I can lure everyone else away from it, maybe I will go back to it when I’m 64.


Thank you.


What happens with every trend is that the followers amp up the idea with lipstick until the whole thing feels loud and ugly and far removed from the beauty of the beginning.


Please keep on pioneering. Please remember quiet rather than loud.

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2023, 06:24:44 AM »
To follow on from my previous posts, I think the overly sanded style looks very manufactured, even when done well.


Firstly, because it is.


Secondly, because the landscapes it is trying to represent do not look like that.


If you subscribe to the theory that the origins of golf architecture was trying to mimic what was found on the links, then many of these courses are missing the mark. Which is a shame. Because the shaping is usually excellent


Links land - contrary to what some people believe - is not full of huge swathes of sand. Sure, there are blow-outs and open areas but they are usually transient. A dunescape (desert excepted) succeeds to grass and other vegetation by its very nature.


I appreciate what Tom did at Tara Iti where the decision to clear all the trees opened up the sand in the sub-soil. But that approach shouldn’t be the default for everyone if a natural looking landscape is the aim.


We all love those golden age (and before) photos of open sands scars with folks playing through and over them. But those photos were a moment in time. And usually just the one or two dramatic spots on a course, not representative of the whole place.


All that said, I am quite GB&I focused. I have seen some of the sites elsewhere in the world with plenty of exposed sand. None of them look like the finished golf courses though.

Ben Stephens

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2023, 07:16:07 AM »
At what point does the desired aesthetic compromise playability? I think Kyle Franz got it right with his work in Southern Pines but there has to be a tipping point. I’ll reserve judgement until the project is completed as offered by a couple of other posters.


The answer is a matter of opinion / up to the observer.


Personally, I think the sand aesthetic has become overused and I am moving back in the other direction with my projects now.  There’s much less open sand at Te Arai North than at Tara Iti; much less at Sedge Valley than Sand Valley; and I’m betting there’s much less on my new FL project than at all the others down the street. But, you know me, I’m a contrarian.  If I can lure everyone else away from it, maybe I will go back to it when I’m 64.


Thank you.


What happens with every trend is that the followers amp up the idea with lipstick until the whole thing feels loud and ugly and far removed from the beauty of the beginning.


Please keep on pioneering. Please remember quiet rather than loud.


Ally




Pioneering?? - are you kidding me for me Tom Doak is not a pioneer in regards to any form of new golf course design type - he has taken us back to an golden age style thats not new - more like the equivalent of Postmodernism in Architectural Styles. However he does it very well learning from the best on his travels when he was younger - would I want to play his new courses week in week out - probably not all the time.


Even the courses are of high standard I feel that Doak's designs can be too forgiving at times off the tee and the greens shaping both bit over the top at times based on my experience of playing Doak courses - St Andrews Beach and Renaissance (even though they brought the rough in for Renaissance Cup in 2014 it still felt wide)




Pioneers of Golf Course Designs in their time producing new type of golf course design type then


OTM/Willie Park Jr (late 19th C/early 20th C)


Harry Colt/Alister Mackenzie/CBM (1920s to 1940s)


Robert Trent Jones (1950s to 1960s)


Pete Dye (1970s-1990s)


Mike Strantz (1990s-early 2000s) one wonder if Strantz lived longer how much of the work of Doak/Hanse and C+C he would have got
Robin Hiseman is the nearest to Strantz and his JCB course is certainly different to the norm in UK/Europe


Would I put Doak, Hanse and C+C in that breadth - probably not in terms of pioneering design works - maybe yes in terms of the quality of golf course designs they have produced they are in the top bracket for many.


We haven't really had a real pioneering change in the 21st century in terms of golf course design in the 21st century - its more like going back/through the 'second Golden Age' with 'Minimalism' and 'Naturalism' monikers used often with better maintenance and grass technology.


Desmond Muirhead he tried to take it forward but too far with some crazy ideas he almost stood above the parapet of pioneering ideas.


Going back to the images - the sand looks OTT to me too much for the eye hope it is more restrained in the end than what was produced in the CGI images.




Cheers
Ben
« Last Edit: January 21, 2023, 09:21:29 AM by Ben Stephens »

Peter Sayegh

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2023, 07:29:50 AM »
To follow on from my previous posts, I think the overly sanded style looks very manufactured, even when done well.


Firstly, because it is.


Secondly, because the landscapes it is trying to represent do not look like that.


If you subscribe to the theory that the origins of golf architecture was trying to mimic what was found on the links, then many of these courses are missing the mark. Which is a shame. Because the shaping is usually excellent


Links land - contrary to what some people believe - is not full of huge swathes of sand. Sure, there are blow-outs and open areas but they are usually transient. A dunescape (desert excepted) succeeds to grass and other vegetation by its very nature.


We all love those golden age (and before) photos of open sands scars with folks playing through and over them. But those photos were a moment in time. And usually just the one or two dramatic spots on a course, not representative of the whole place.
Thanks Ally.
Would you opine the quest for "dramatic spots" has maybe too directed the overall design of modern courses, be they original or renovations?

jeffwarne

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2023, 07:40:24 AM »
Many things come to mind, and I concur with Tom Doak's original post.
And my comments are not about a course simply being rendered on a computer.



Exposed sand is a moving target. Bermuda grass loves water and heat(about 10 months of heat in Brooksville) and WILL creep, and evolve, so the starting product will not be the finished product, and few will even realize how fast this will happen unless retaining the original amount of exposed sand is a full time project, which it never is, and is futile anyway.
The original World Woods had far more exposed sand at opening than it did at closing-grass grows, and as budgets shrink it gets even more pronounced.


Second, walking around in exposed sand is really hot when it's above 80 degrees and the reflection magnifies the glare and sun intensity. Not my favorite feeling when walking through broken ground from tee to fairway and/or chasing another wayward tee shot.
Florida weathr/heat IMHO is not the ideal environment for an excess of such a treatment given the heat most months, especially when walking.


I also agree with Ally about constructing an entire site(not just greens fways and tees) becoming(a bit too much of) a thing, even on sandy soil.


and water does move faster across unvegetated open land, especially when it's not pure sand.


« Last Edit: January 21, 2023, 08:07:51 PM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Ian Andrew

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2023, 08:40:34 AM »
I think your better served with a little restraint

I prefer a few more visual breaks being used to emphasize the next impressive architectural high note.
Too much, simply undermines the best work, by blurring and blending it together.
The sum becomes less than the parts.


We're starting to behave as if we've reached the end of human knowledge. And while that notion is undoubtedly false, the certitude it generates is paralyzing.” — Chuck Klosterman, But What If We're Wrong

Niall C

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2023, 11:44:10 AM »

Pioneering?? - are you kidding me for me Tom Doak is not a pioneer in regards to any form of new golf course design type - he has taken us back to an golden age style thats not new - more like the equivalent of Postmodernism in Architectural Styles.



Ben


Perhaps what is pioneering about Tom's work is that he bucked the prevailing trend of the time and now he is looking at doing that again. Is he the first to adopt a certain style ? Maybe not but he's perhaps one of the first to adopt a certain style when everyone else is doing something different.


Niall

Don Mahaffey

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2023, 12:15:00 PM »
I am curious if the site is naturally sandy or is that sand trucked in?


No sand is being trucked in. In fact, no aggregates at all.

Ira Fishman

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2023, 04:50:52 PM »
This thread has several weird elements.


1. Some of the most astute architects/superintendents/avid players are commenting based on computer renderings about a course that is at least a year from opening.


2. It has led to characterizations about architects who are not even involved in the project. I never have seen C&C or Doak claim that their work is pioneering.


3. Bunker styles defining architecture strikes me as confusing the cat and the milk. Great routing and well placed hazards is what matters. The look of the hazards is way down the list.


Ira

Kalen Braley

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2023, 05:00:06 PM »
This thread has several weird elements.

1. Some of the most astute architects/superintendents/avid players are commenting based on computer renderings about a course that is at least a year from opening.

2. It has led to characterizations about architects who are not even involved in the project. I never have seen C&C or Doak claim that their work is pioneering.

3. Bunker styles defining architecture strikes me as confusing the cat and the milk. Great routing and well placed hazards is what matters. The look of the hazards is way down the list.

Ira


Ira,

I think your first two points are fair.

But I'm not sure about #3.  If Fazio modified the bunkers at TOC, and kept them in their exact place and approx, size, but replaced them with his signature sugar bowls with stark white sand, would that not materially affect the course?  I wish I had some Photoshop skills, would be interesting to see! ;)

Erik J. Barzeski

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2023, 08:49:14 PM »
1. Some of the most astute architects/superintendents/avid players are commenting based on computer renderings about a course that is at least a year from opening.

2. It has led to characterizations about architects who are not even involved in the project. I never have seen C&C or Doak claim that their work is pioneering.

3. Bunker styles defining architecture strikes me as confusing the cat and the milk. Great routing and well placed hazards is what matters. The look of the hazards is way down the list.
Thank you for this.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, and Lifetime Student of the Game

Max Prokopy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2023, 10:16:19 PM »

#16 at Mammoth Dunes?  I thought that was the better design at the resort, in part due to less sand (in area and depth).



I think your better served with a little restraint

I prefer a few more visual breaks being used to emphasize the next impressive architectural high note.
Too much, simply undermines the best work, by blurring and blending it together.
The sum becomes less than the parts.



Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2023, 01:00:59 AM »
Ira, Kalen, Erik,


The thread is entitled “Can there be too much sand?”. The posts seem very much on point in that context. The render of the course in the opening post is surely used as the entry point to a larger discussion.


I am the one who used the word “pioneering” for Tom Doak. I’ve no idea if Tom considers himself a pioneer but Ben is way off the mark if he doesn’t consider him one. I could list all the ways that he is but I wouldn’t want to offend the three of you for taking the thread down a weird direction.

Ben Stephens

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2023, 03:31:50 AM »
Ira, Kalen, Erik,


The thread is entitled “Can there be too much sand?”. The posts seem very much on point in that context. The render of the course in the opening post is surely used as the entry point to a larger discussion.


I am the one who used the word “pioneering” for Tom Doak. I’ve no idea if Tom considers himself a pioneer but Ben is way off the mark if he doesn’t consider him one. I could list all the ways that he is but I wouldn’t want to offend the three of you for taking the thread down a weird direction.




Ally,


I guess you are a 'Doakite' ;D ;D - guess we have to agree to disagree on 'pioneering'. You may see that in the Loop - wasn't the TOC an reversible 18 and Tom Simpson preached reversible courses and never got the opportunity to do one? this is a long way before the Loop came into existence. Didn't Frank Pont do a reversible 9 hole course just before.

Mr Doak for me as a designer is not 'pioneering' in terms of golf course design history he is in the crowd alongside Hanse and C+C who have intensively researched their predecessors mostly in the golden age of golf and have interpreted similar approaches design wise as Mackenzie, Thomas, Colt, Simpson and so on very well of high quality in this day and age.

Will they as a group stand out in 50 years time be seen as pioneering - probably not if you give someone a picture of 3 holes they have produced they will look similar hard to see who stands out unlike comparing Trent Jones, Nicklaus and Dye which looks more obvious (for me Dye would easily stand out).

I don't see it pioneering as they as a 'Second Golden Age' group are all producing very similar design approaches influenced by the top designers of the past with sensational pieces of land that is a 'given' for them plus have used similar shapers across the board - could they create a golf course on a blank canvas/dull land that requires real imagination with lots of fill or shaping - thats questionable. For me like OCM, Kyle Philips, Fry/Straka, Robin Hiseman and Brian Scheidner recently have had to create something with basically nothing to something thats more unique for me that is closer to using the word 'pioneering'.


I would like to challenge Tom to do something different maybe at Cabot Highlands which looks a dull piece of land with great views (Thad Layton of Palmer Design produced a intriguing design which is now been shelved in favour for a design by Tom and Clyde) to produce a course that is more out of the box using a different style or approach that he hasn't used in the past and then if he pulls it off that may be 'pioneering' plus makes me jump out of my seat that the Renaissance failed to do so for me.

Desmond Muirhead crazy gold course designs made my jaw drop to the floor likewise Will Alsop for Architecture - it looks wrong but its different and fun! They stood out and still do as they are no longer with us.


Cheers
Ben
« Last Edit: January 22, 2023, 03:40:54 AM by Ben Stephens »

Ben Stephens

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2023, 03:51:11 AM »

Pioneering?? - are you kidding me for me Tom Doak is not a pioneer in regards to any form of new golf course design type - he has taken us back to an golden age style thats not new - more like the equivalent of Postmodernism in Architectural Styles.



Ben


Perhaps what is pioneering about Tom's work is that he bucked the prevailing trend of the time and now he is looking at doing that again. Is he the first to adopt a certain style ? Maybe not but he's perhaps one of the first to adopt a certain style when everyone else is doing something different.


Niall


Niall,


To me Tom is using the best design style/approach models originally created by pioneers of the Golden Age of Golf Course Design and interpreting that in his own way which he does very well alongside Hanse and C+C. Does he have his own style that stands out - I am afraid I can't see that.


For example Strantz was different at the time to the others (imagine if he was alive how many more of his courses there could have been and whether he change his style over time - we are the ones that miss out) or Robin's JCB is different to what has been seen in the UK with a blank canvas.


St Patricks looks similar to many links courses and the land was already there. This is creativity in a different way by seeing 'it' on the available ground in front of them routing and placing the greens where they are for me thats 'skill' not 'pioneering' which is a different kettle - if you understand what i mean.


Interesting that Ira pointed out that C+C and Doak haven't claimed that their work is 'pioneering'  ;D


Cheers
Ben

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2023, 04:00:36 AM »
Ben,


I think we better take this conversation elsewhere - ideally offline - before this thread does actually get derailed.


Suffice to say I disagree with huge swathes of your responses above.

Sean_A

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2023, 04:01:49 AM »
To quibble over "pioneer" is beside the point.

That said I would consider Doak a pioneer in revitalising classic architecture, but with his own twist on it. Renaissance is an accurate name for his company.

I might also consider Doak a pioneer in the variety of projects he has taken on, especially when considering their international locations.

I don't think Doak's ideas and work of perfecting the blending of nature and man made should be underplayed.

Perhaps not pioneering, but Doak's influence on modern architecture is unmistakable. In terms of original design and consulting work, he may well have been engaged with more top courses than anybody practicing today Then there is the written work and people he has worked with. Doak's fingerprints are all over the boom of outstanding architecture the past three decades.

I can understand if folks don't enjoy or like Doak's work. What I don't understand is downplaying his impact on architecture the past 30 years.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 22, 2023, 04:12:38 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood & Ladybank

Brett Meyer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2023, 06:52:02 AM »
I agree with many on this thread that the sandy blowout look is getting overdone and that it'd be nice to see architects pull back from it on sites where they could have used it. I think that the Loop does this very well; Doak et al could have done something Sand Valleyesque there but they restrained themselves and it's a refreshing change of pace from other recent designs.

I have a bigger problem with the renderings of Pine Barrens: that in going with the sandy blowout look throughout the course, they're eliminating one of what I thought was the biggest strengths of Fazio's design, the mix of subtle and dramatic. More than anything, I was impressed about the flow of the design of the original course. It started with a hole of middling visual interest, followed by two holes that were visually quite tame (some beautiful, simple short grass work around the 2nd green), then cranked up the visual drama and design complexity with the multi-route 4th and 5th. Then it was back to simpler and more subtle with the 6th and 7th. I especially liked the simple fall-away green on the par 3 7th.

It continued this way throughout; 9-13 simpler (not the right 12th green), 14-16 dramatic, finish somewhere in between.

Fazio seems to have fallen out of favor with many in the influencer crowd these days and I just don't understand it. Perhaps they spent too much money to build some of those courses and there was a bit too much shaping sometimes where there could have been less. But his courses always looked very good and most of the ones that I've played had several holes with real interest.

And I thought that Pine Barrens was the best of the bunch because of how it flowed. So most of all what bothers me here is that they're taking a course that was excellent and exemplary of one of the most important architects of the past 50 years and turning it into something else. I disagree with making these changes on substantive grounds for the reasons above but I disagree with them even more because they're eliminating one of the most important works of arguably the best architect in the pre-renaissance period. Hopefully they've got good photographs of the original because in a few decades when we decide that Fazio et al from the 80s actually did some really interesting stuff and we've lost a lot of our best examples of it, we can restore Pine Barrens to the original design. That's what they should be doing now.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2023, 07:34:45 AM »
Ira, Kalen, Erik,


The thread is entitled “Can there be too much sand?”. The posts seem very much on point in that context. The render of the course in the opening post is surely used as the entry point to a larger discussion.


I am the one who used the word “pioneering” for Tom Doak. I’ve no idea if Tom considers himself a pioneer but Ben is way off the mark if he doesn’t consider him one. I could list all the ways that he is but I wouldn’t want to offend the three of you for taking the thread down a weird direction.




Ally,
Tom Simpson preached reversible courses and never got the opportunity to do one? this is a long way before the Loop came into existence.






So.... a Philadelphia city boy in 1730's who preached "going west" but never actually leaves the city is the pioneer, and Daniel Boone, who actually does go west.. ISN'T the pioneer? because someone else preached it first?

With that logic many amateurs on this board are "pioneers" with big ideas they never act upon.


Building bad golf courses that stand out in their mermaid fin idiocy isn't "pioneering", speaking out and then building great ones against the tide of 1980's faddish  mediocrity IS pioneering-even if many of the concepts came from previous eras in golf history.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

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