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Max Prokopy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #75 on: January 23, 2023, 03:53:29 PM »

Hi Ira,


You have a valid point in some ways - however Friars is 50 percent dunes land which is part of the site and it already had the views like Pacific Dunes which does help in terms of routing and creating golf courses.

I am pointing out a dull flat piece of land with not great views possibly in middle of nowhere - JCB is in a part industrial area the golf course is by the JCB factory Robin has managed to design a course that you don't even see the factory at all or in the inner city which is a different kettle compared to what Doak and C+C have done.

I personally don't think the latest great triumvirate of GCA in the early 21st century are 'pioneering' they have 'elevated' GCA which is the difference because their skill levels are high to able to visualise and create these courses such as Friars and Pacific. 

Cheers
Ben


What about Trinity Forest? 


Ryan Van Culin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #76 on: January 23, 2023, 05:20:19 PM »
After the first several posts, I was very excited for this conversation. After dozens of posts arguing the definition of the word 'pioneer'... well, anyway.


I believe you CAN have too much of any one kind of hazard. Water, rough, gorse, trees, sand, etc. Of all of those mentioned, I'd rather have too much sand than any other.


If the sandy areas were all water, players would be dropping all day.


If it was all tall fescue, they'd be searching all day.


If it were all trees, they'd be chipping out all day.


At least sand affords the opportunity to play a myriad of shots, and take on a lot a risk, a little risk, and everything in between.


As for aesthetics, it all looks better than my cubicle.

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2023, 05:32:20 PM »

Hi Ira,


You have a valid point in some ways - however Friars is 50 percent dunes land which is part of the site and it already had the views like Pacific Dunes which does help in terms of routing and creating golf courses.

I am pointing out a dull flat piece of land with not great views possibly in middle of nowhere - JCB is in a part industrial area the golf course is by the JCB factory Robin has managed to design a course that you don't even see the factory at all or in the inner city which is a different kettle compared to what Doak and C+C have done.

I personally don't think the latest great triumvirate of GCA in the early 21st century are 'pioneering' they have 'elevated' GCA which is the difference because their skill levels are high to able to visualise and create these courses such as Friars and Pacific. 

Cheers
Ben


What about Trinity Forest? 



Good point Max - it seems to have gone off radar now and wasn't popular with the pros can't please everyone though.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2023, 06:18:04 PM »

He has improved golf course design as we know it know thanks to the use of technology - modern diggers, measuring and levels devices, accurate contour drawings plus much shorter time to travel to more sites than the pioneering Golden Age predecessors who came up with the imagination and originality which Doak has upped the ante in that regard.     


Cheers
Ben


Whilst I said Iíd take this offline, I will say I agree with some (but not all) of Seanís analysis. The international / variety aspect ainít relevant.


I will also say that if people actually think that TD & Renaissance are just rehashing the Golden Age, they are far off the mark. It is a very new take on design of that era.


Finally, perhaps the most pioneering element is the control & type of the detail in the build.


Doak & Coore - for better or worse - have influenced golf design so much in the past 25 years that we have never had a narrower take on what defines good architecture.

I think Doak is unusual for his foreign designs with OZ, NZ, Scotland, Ireland, France and Mexico. All highly respected and considered among the best in the world.

Ciao


Sean,


Its mostly down to the site what was there. TD has been rather fortunate to work on incredible sites that allows him to visualise and create holes of what is there in a skilful way like C+C as well especially in Cabot St Lucia. Has he worked often on blank and boring sites which in some respects needs more creativity to make the site feel 'alive'.


Most golf course architects work on bland sites, work within means and have to use more imagination to create something out of blandness. JCB was a bland site prior to Robin's work there and its unrecognisable now to what it was before. I think the nearest one for TD at the moment is the 2nd course at Cabot Highlands (Castle Stuart) can he and Clyde create something that makes it feel 'alive' I am interested to see it come to fruition and whether they come up with something different to what they normally have done over the years.


Cheers
Ben

I think Doak has worked on a few less than appealing sites. Wasn't the Texas Tech course made from nothing? I can't quite get my head around your reluctance about Doak. But hey...

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

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #79 on: January 23, 2023, 06:21:08 PM »

He has improved golf course design as we know it know thanks to the use of technology - modern diggers, measuring and levels devices, accurate contour drawings plus much shorter time to travel to more sites than the pioneering Golden Age predecessors who came up with the imagination and originality which Doak has upped the ante in that regard.     


Cheers
Ben


Whilst I said Iíd take this offline, I will say I agree with some (but not all) of Seanís analysis. The international / variety aspect ainít relevant.


I will also say that if people actually think that TD & Renaissance are just rehashing the Golden Age, they are far off the mark. It is a very new take on design of that era.


Finally, perhaps the most pioneering element is the control & type of the detail in the build.


Doak & Coore - for better or worse - have influenced golf design so much in the past 25 years that we have never had a narrower take on what defines good architecture.

I think Doak is unusual for his foreign designs with OZ, NZ, Scotland, Ireland, France and Mexico. All highly respected and considered among the best in the world.

Ciao


Sean,


Its mostly down to the site what was there. TD has been rather fortunate to work on incredible sites that allows him to visualise and create holes of what is there in a skilful way like C+C as well especially in Cabot St Lucia. Has he worked often on blank and boring sites which in some respects needs more creativity to make the site feel 'alive'.


Most golf course architects work on bland sites, work within means and have to use more imagination to create something out of blandness. JCB was a bland site prior to Robin's work there and its unrecognisable now to what it was before. I think the nearest one for TD at the moment is the 2nd course at Cabot Highlands (Castle Stuart) can he and Clyde create something that makes it feel 'alive' I am interested to see it come to fruition and whether they come up with something different to what they normally have done over the years.


Cheers
Ben

Doak has worked on a wide variety of soils and terrain, in a wide variety of climates and created a wide variety of course styles. I am not sure what you expect? Is it that Doak should turn down sandy, waterfront projects to prove himself on Midlands clay?

Ciao


He has been one of the fortunate few in this regard - good going for him its all about being in the right time and place.


Sometimes his influence and style in terms of reality doesn't work on other sites - some clients expect their courses to be like what Doak, C+C and Hanse have produced recently and we have to have a magic wand to do so.


Midlands clay - this is where other Architects/Golf Clubs have to think differently and making clubs realise/be aware the potential costs and pitfalls can be hard work at times.


For example bunker sand is an absolute fortune in the UK these days and one project we are looking at converting all sand bunkers into grassy hollows. This is where the 'real' GCA work is IMO.

Doak has more than one style in his toolbox. Again, your opinions on this matter are a bit baffling to me.

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

Jay Mickle

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #80 on: January 23, 2023, 07:20:55 PM »
I am looking forward to "Pinehurst #10".
@MickleStix on Instagram
MickleStix.com

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #81 on: January 23, 2023, 07:55:49 PM »
Ben,


It seems as if you have shifted from challenging whether C&C and Doak are ďpioneeringĒ to now asserting that they merely are the beneficiaries of good sites. Although I have enjoyed most of their courses that I have played, I am hardly ďin the tankĒ for either C&C or Doak. So I want to point out two examples where I think your assertion misfires:


Friarís Head consists of half wonderful dunes land, but the other half was a dull potato field. The routing C&C produced to weave the two halves together is brilliant. Plus the green complexes on the potato field holes transform dull into fun and challenging. Yes,it is 50% a great site, but 100% a terrific course.


Pacific Dunes is a beautiful site because of the ocean and the portions with dunes. However, the routing to maximize the site is not a simple proposition, particularly for the holes away from the ocean. But perhaps more to the point, Doak was far from famous when he produced Pac Dunes. It took vision and guts to design a layout for a resort course with a back nine consisting of four Par 3s (including back to back), three Par 5s, and only two Par 4s.


Other architects might have done as good work with such sites, but they would have to awfully darn good and bold.


Ira


Hi Ira,


You have a valid point in some ways - however Friars is 50 percent dunes land which is part of the site and it already had the views like Pacific Dunes which does help in terms of routing and creating golf courses.

I am pointing out a dull flat piece of land with not great views possibly in middle of nowhere - JCB is in a part industrial area the golf course is by the JCB factory Robin has managed to design a course that you don't even see the factory at all or in the inner city which is a different kettle compared to what Doak and C+C have done.

I personally don't think the latest great triumvirate of GCA in the early 21st century are 'pioneering' they have 'elevated' GCA which is the difference because their skill levels are high to able to visualise and create these courses such as Friars and Pacific. 

Cheers
Ben


Ben,


I have not played JCB nor any of Mr. Dyeís dead flat courses so I am open to being wrong about the ability to transform such a site without moving a ton of earth. However, I grew up outside of Chicago within spitting distance of two courses on sites that define ďdead flatĒ designed by Golden Age architects. Ross almost certainly is my favorite architect, but Evanston is truly meh or less to use your term (admittedly we used to sneak on there so I never saw the entire course), and I played a Langford (Bryn Mawr) nearby more than a hundred times which also is far from inspiring. My point is that you set a bar that even the best of the best could not meet if the bar is designing a world class course. The only (almost dead flat, not links) course that I think is truly exceptional is Woking.


Ira

Tim_Weiman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #82 on: January 23, 2023, 08:48:34 PM »
Sean,


I havenít actually seen the Texas Tech course but I have been to Lubbock. Trust me it ainít Philadelphia.
Tim Weiman

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #83 on: January 24, 2023, 01:45:06 AM »
After the first several posts, I was very excited for this conversation. After dozens of posts arguing the definition of the word 'pioneer'... well, anyway.


I believe you CAN have too much of any one kind of hazard. Water, rough, gorse, trees, sand, etc. Of all of those mentioned, I'd rather have too much sand than any other.


If the sandy areas were all water, players would be dropping all day.


If it was all tall fescue, they'd be searching all day.


If it were all trees, they'd be chipping out all day.


At least sand affords the opportunity to play a myriad of shots, and take on a lot a risk, a little risk, and everything in between.


As for aesthetics, it all looks better than my cubicle.


Ryan - I too wish Ben would stop replying and tempting others (including me) to keep going.


Despite all I said on being thoroughly fed up with the overuse of sand as primarily an aesthetic, I do think your very last sentence is the most important reminder of all.

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #84 on: January 24, 2023, 03:22:07 AM »
After the first several posts, I was very excited for this conversation. After dozens of posts arguing the definition of the word 'pioneer'... well, anyway.


I believe you CAN have too much of any one kind of hazard. Water, rough, gorse, trees, sand, etc. Of all of those mentioned, I'd rather have too much sand than any other.


If the sandy areas were all water, players would be dropping all day.


If it was all tall fescue, they'd be searching all day.


If it were all trees, they'd be chipping out all day.


At least sand affords the opportunity to play a myriad of shots, and take on a lot a risk, a little risk, and everything in between.


As for aesthetics, it all looks better than my cubicle.


Ryan - I too wish Ben would stop replying and tempting others (including me) to keep going.


Despite all I said on being thoroughly fed up with the overuse of sand as primarily an aesthetic, I do think your very last sentence is the most important reminder of all.


Ally and Sean - I have PM you both not to interfere with this thread.


I do feel the images show that the sand and multiple fairways look OTT. 

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #85 on: January 24, 2023, 12:51:56 PM »

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.

The hubris in this post. Wow.

Unless I misread something, you've seen just two courses that Doak designed and from that have concluded that his successes are due to great sites and that he would likely fail if given a poor one. And then you "challenge" him to do something to impress you. If he hasn't replied, it's probably because he's still laughing.

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #86 on: January 24, 2023, 01:40:19 PM »

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.

The hubris in this post. Wow.

Unless I misread something, you've seen just two courses that Doak designed and from that have concluded that his successes are due to great sites and that he would likely fail if given a poor one. And then you "challenge" him to do something to impress you. If he hasn't replied, it's probably because he's still laughing.


John


In my defence I never used the word 'fail' the courses on dull piece of land were 'meh' - its difficult to create a golf course out of a poor piece of land which most golf course Architects work on.


TD has worked on lots of sites that are far better than many golf course Architects have worked on or will ever work on. Pete Dye was very good at creating something out of bland sites however his later works became a bit over the top he never got the opportunity to work on a natural site as much as TD, C+C or Hanse whether he would be better than them I doubt it. Every designer has their strength and weaknesses nobody is perfect. 


Sometimes if you work for a long time on the same design approach it starts to become rather stale I have seen this with Architects with Buildings as well as golf courses. TD has had a business model that has worked well for him over the last 20 or so years however it can't be forever. Sometimes you have to evolve your design ideas to keep ahead in the game lots of people here don't really understand that. Architects are always trying to find new ideas and think outside the box.


All I'm challenging TD is to do something different that he has not done before because the opportunity is there at Cabot Highlands to do so as it is pretty much more like a blank canvas with great views and on site land resources (sand!). I would encourage him to do so instead of using a safe approach based on what Renaissance has done before and recently which the majority of clients would prefer - the client BCD is the right one as he seems to like taking on risks with designs as see on Cabot Citrus Farms.


Not seen a course by TD with his version of a collection of the template holes and large railway sleepered walls, squarish greens, small greens i could go on. You never know John TD and Clyde may surprise us.


Don't you see other architects work (buildings and golf course architecture) and how they have evolved over time?




Cheers
Ben

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #87 on: January 24, 2023, 08:01:23 PM »
Ben:


My problem with your harping in this thread is that it seems like you think I should do something that YOU would like, instead of doing something someone else [like, say, my clients] would like.  Whatever I do with the rest of my career, it will be because I think it's fun, not because you do.


Here's a summary of my last few projects, from my own perspective:


At The Loop we built an 18-hole fully reversible course.  That was pretty new, for me anyway.  Have you seen a better attempt?


At The National in Australia we took the least favorite course of the members, changed the routing, and made it their favorite.  95% of the earthmoving was to erase the work done by the first designers!


At Memorial Park we took a heavy clay site, built a course with 17 non-frilly bunkers, and kept the Tour players in check on a municipal golf course that does 62,000 rounds per year.  I actually got a couple of prominent Tour players to admit that hitting fairways matters there!  If you think it doesn't look cool that's fine, because the assignment was not about what it looked like.


At St. Patrick's we took a great site and built one of the best courses in the world.  Anything less would have been a failure.  That's not as easy as it looks, by the way; Ally took a long look at that job, too, but I don't hear him saying he'd have done better.


At Lido we re-created a course that's been gone for 80 years.  Has anyone else done that?


At Sedge Valley we are trying to build a world-class course with a par of 68.  I'm not sure that has ever been done before, honestly -- when Rye and Swinley Forest and Wannamoissett were built, they were thought of as "bogey 74".  It is a deliberate attempt to try and reverse the direction toward ever-bigger and ever more wasteful courses.


I have no interest in building square greens.  How in God's name do you consider that creative?  It would be more in keeping with very old-school courses to not be able to discern any shape or edge to the green.


I'd love to build a course with very small greens, but I can't get a superintendent to agree.  They think anything under 5000 sf will cause them trouble.  I keep trying.


I would love to do a course with lots of railway sleepers, but every client thinks that's crazy talk.  It is too heavily identified with Mr. Dye, in America at least. 


I think I'm going to do one or two projects in 2024 [in America] with artificial-turf revetted bunkers and try to make them as good as Muirfield's and St. Andrews's bunkers . . . I'm going to have to find a really good intern to tackle this.


We still aren't sure what we are going to do at Cabot Highlands, style-wise.  We've discussed the possibility of building zero bunkers, or a few blowouts but zero formalized / green side bunkers . . . we could make it challenging enough without them, but then most people here wouldn't know what to talk about.  [Much like your problem with Memorial Park.] 


What you should take away from this summary is that we try to do something different on EVERY project we do, without looking desperate in the process.  And for the most part, it has been pretty successful, despite your protestations.

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #88 on: January 24, 2023, 08:34:32 PM »
Tom,


Only two questions:


Railway sleepers?


How many people have already applied for the artificial turf revetted bunker internship?


Ira

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #89 on: January 24, 2023, 08:47:59 PM »
Railway sleepers?
     I love some of the things Mr. Dye did with railroad ties back in the 1960's.  The little step up on the approach to the 10th at The Golf Club is only a foot and a half, but with sleepers you are thinking about it.  The vertical ties on the 13th at The Golf Club and the 17th at Harbour Town are wild.  The small green at the 13th at Harbour Town with the bulkheaded bunker in front is awesome . . . even though Mrs. Dye would have chewed me out if I'd built the same thing twenty years later, and the one at Harbour Town was her idea!


How many people have already applied for the artificial turf revetted bunker internship?
     I haven't checked my email yet, but this is the first I've said anything about it, because I wasn't sure either of the clients would go for it.  In the past month, they've both signed off on the idea.  Applications can be sent to doakgolf@aol.com, but be advised, it will be difficult physical labor in two very warm climates!



Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #90 on: January 24, 2023, 09:18:08 PM »
Well, my invitation to The Golf Club got lost in the mail. But Number 8 at Kilspindie is pretty cool even if it just plank fencing along the water.


Please post us whether the internship applications are successful.


Ira

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #91 on: January 25, 2023, 04:12:31 AM »
Ben:


My problem with your harping in this thread is that it seems like you think I should do something that YOU would like, instead of doing something someone else [like, say, my clients] would like.  Whatever I do with the rest of my career, it will be because I think it's fun, not because you do.

Umm its not something that I would like you to do - a lots of designers are too much in their comfort zone at times they don't like to be challenged thats the difference - From experience I do learn more from criticism than praise.


Here's a summary of my last few projects, from my own perspective:


At The Loop we built an 18-hole fully reversible course.  That was pretty new, for me anyway.  Have you seen a better attempt?


The word used was 'pioneering' I questioned the use of it. Isn't St Andrews is the original reversible course (despite not using the reverse option that much) and didn't Tom Simpson came up with a design but didnt build it. Im sure the Loop is pretty good judging from other people especially your no 1 fan Ally in the DG ;D . Frank Pont has done a 9 hole reversible course in Holland as well it would be interesting to look at that one as well.


At The National in Australia we took the least favorite course of the members, changed the routing, and made it their favorite.  95% of the earthmoving was to erase the work done by the first designers!


Sometimes it is easier where there is an existing course and how to make it better. A blank canvas is more difficult from experience. One of my projects is similar by having to change the routing as the infrastructure of the key elements are changing which has a knock on effect on the course leading to this required change. Its different to the National as you were improving the whole course.


At Memorial Park we took a heavy clay site, built a course with 17 non-frilly bunkers, and kept the Tour players in check on a municipal golf course that does 62,000 rounds per year.  I actually got a couple of prominent Tour players to admit that hitting fairways matters there!  If you think it doesn't look cool that's fine, because the assignment was not about what it looked like.


My initial point to GCAers not directly at you is if you have a heavy clay site is gonna be difficult to get high up in the rankings compared with other courses with fantastic sites as you probably know better than most. I am sure you have done your best with the site at Memorial Park.

What GCA doesn't get is that there is a lot of very good golf course Architects that most of their work is on a bad site as you know well. Most of your work has been on very good sites lately which you are pretty fortunate to do so. Of course some of us Architects can be envious of you however you have made it very successful for you and your business it can also be being in the right time and place which has happened often for you lately. It is a strength of yours to elevate a great site into a very good golf course.


At St. Patrick's we took a great site and built one of the best courses in the world.  Anything less would have been a failure.  That's not as easy as it looks, by the way; Ally took a long look at that job, too, but I don't hear him saying he'd have done better.


It is very difficult to create the best courses out of a great site which you have done well (still surprised that there is 3 par threes in a similar compass point its what it is ;D ;D ;D not trying to repeat myself every golf course architect has their strength and weaknesses nobody is perfect plus flat, dull sites with no views is incredibly difficult to get a course high up in the rankings compared with a course on a great site. To me Dye was the master of getting as much out of flat sites.


At Lido we re-created a course that's been gone for 80 years.  Has anyone else done that?


Thats definitely a first or 'pioneering' in a GCA sense more thanks to Peter Flory who I feel should get more credit for making this happen (years and years of research, training and development of particular skills out of his own pocket) and the people who created/improved computers/software to make this possible plus the Keisers for providing a site and you/Renaissance who helped out with the construction side not the design side which was originally a CBM design.

I remember a GCA discussion a few years ago that you didn't like the possible use of computers and robots to create courses/shaping using GPS and you are more of hands on Golf Course Architect - it will happen more in future I was surprised that you got involved with Lido when you had quite anti 'computers' stance back then ;D

At Sedge Valley we are trying to build a world-class course with a par of 68.  I'm not sure that has ever been done before, honestly -- when Rye and Swinley Forest and Wannamoissett were built, they were thought of as "bogey 74".  It is a deliberate attempt to try and reverse the direction toward ever-bigger and ever more wasteful courses.


You have a great site at Sedge Valley to make this possible its your choice to make it a par 68 which is more or less out of the norm in the US not the UK there are plenty of par 68s and 69s here. The whole thing started off by Ally referring you as 'pioneering' which I disputed with Ally for saying this which has blown out of proportion a bit ;D . Is this pioneering golf course design - I don't think so. I'm glad the client is allowing you to do this and look forward to seeing this come to fruition.


I have no interest in building square greens.  How in God's name do you consider that creative?  It would be more in keeping with very old-school courses to not be able to discern any shape or edge to the green.


Thats your prerogative/design approach. I was 'throwing' things at you as it is difficult to read others peoples mind what they are thinking from a design perspective. Lots of famous courses didnt they start off with square 'ish' greens which was softened up later. In reverse most Architectural buildings are square the late Zaha Hadid one said 'there are 359 other degrees why only use one?' if you get the gist of it


I'd love to build a course with very small greens, but I can't get a superintendent to agree.  They think anything under 5000 sf will cause them trouble.  I keep trying.


One project I am working on in the UK the average size of the greens has to be 450sqm just under 5000sq.ft on average down to construction costs the size is more or less the UK norm. It is different in the USA where the greens have to be big with the exception of a few courses like Myopia. Isn't Cabot Highlands in Scotland thats different surely you could do this - if the head greenkeeper (UK speak) doesn't like it could it be two greens on one hole. Small greens is more acceptable in the UK than in the States. Sometimes its more what's around the greens like run off areas that are puttable etc. 


I would love to do a course with lots of railway sleepers, but every client thinks that's crazy talk.  It is too heavily identified with Mr. Dye, in America at least. 


Do it! do it your way/version. Other places have railway sleepers like Prestwick Brancaster and RND (not Dye courses and influenced him to produce his version) it really made the golf course. Hope BCD allows for this at Cabot Highlands  ;D


I think I'm going to do one or two projects in 2024 [in America] with artificial-turf revetted bunkers and try to make them as good as Muirfield's and St. Andrews's bunkers . . . I'm going to have to find a really good intern to tackle this.


I would definitely recommend Llewellyn Matthews from Ecobunker he is the the top expert at building this. Llewellyn is a Walker Cup player plays off plus 3 or 4 Im sure his boss who I know would let him go on a sabbatical to work for you. Llewellyn is a great guy. DM if you need his boss email address and I will pass it on to you.


We still aren't sure what we are going to do at Cabot Highlands, style-wise.  We've discussed the possibility of building zero bunkers, or a few blowouts but zero formalized / green side bunkers . . . we could make it challenging enough without them, but then most people here wouldn't know what to talk about.  [Much like your problem with Memorial Park.] 


Sand is very expensive in the UK I have been looking at creating bunkers with mostly grass surfaces and a small proportion of it being sand possibly closer to the green or fairway. It would speed up play and the smaller the bunker is the easier/quicker to rake it. Im sure you have plenty of sand to play with at Cabot Highlands and not overdo it like Cabot Barrens :o 

I don't have a problem with Memorial Park in the context compared with the great golf courses in the world and GCA's high standards it is 'meh' ;D - flat clay site in a built up area. In contrast it is better than most courses played on the PGA Tour its a pity they don't play the Houston Open the week before the Masters it would have given it greater exposure


What you should take away from this summary is that we try to do something different on EVERY project we do, without looking desperate in the process.  And for the most part, it has been pretty successful, despite your protestations.


Its not a protestation is more of challenging your perception golf course design wise I am forever trying to find new design ideas - I am sure you do try something different at each project however from my perspective your design style/appearance hasn't changed that dramatically over the years I totally understand that and most clients see it as a safe option.

Would definitely encourage you to do railway sleepers, small green(s) and grassy bunkers or hollows at Cabot Highlands it could make it stand out more than the archetypal Doak course ;D BCD if you ever look at this - let Tom do this!

I for one is looking at new design ideas for courses or facilities for disabled golfers making it more accessible for them to play without losing the challenge of playing the holes - this does need out of the box thinking in that respect.




Tom


To finish off with - thank you for your long response and being quite open about it appreciate the time you have put into it with a few eyeopeners. Wish you and Clyde all the best with Cabot Highlands I for one hope it will be different to the norm and get bums off seats! Always happy to have a discussion with you anytime on GCA or in private ;)


Cheers
Ben
« Last Edit: January 25, 2023, 04:21:44 AM by Ben Stephens »

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #92 on: January 25, 2023, 07:32:33 AM »
Ben - you need to stop. Every time you throw out an insinuation or an inflammatory comment, someone needs to defend themselves. Itís a bad spiral.


Whether you like it or not, Tom has led the way for a huge amount of others who now are in the business of designing and building golf courses. Your main gripe is that his golf courses look the same. If there is an overarching consistency in style, it comes about primarily by him executing his design touchstones throughout all his projects (e.g. width, hidden transitions, micro-undulations, greens that tie to fairways and surrounds seamlessly, options): You do not change what you believe in just to make a photograph look different. If you actually listened to what he said above or visited more of his projects, a lot of the differences / nuances become clear.


Does that mean heís infallible or that other takes arenít as good? Of course not.


But youíve gone way beyond that in your commentary.

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #93 on: January 25, 2023, 08:29:01 AM »
Ben - you need to stop. Every time you throw out an insinuation or an inflammatory comment, someone needs to defend themselves. Itís a bad spiral.


Whether you like it or not, Tom has led the way for a huge amount of others who now are in the business of designing and building golf courses. Your main gripe is that his golf courses look the same. If there is an overarching consistency in style, it comes about primarily by him executing his design touchstones throughout all his projects (e.g. width, hidden transitions, micro-undulations, greens that tie to fairways and surrounds seamlessly, options): You do not change what you believe in just to make a photograph look different. If you actually listened to what he said above or visited more of his projects, a lot of the differences / nuances become clear.


Does that mean heís infallible or that other takes arenít as good? Of course not.


But youíve gone way beyond that in your commentary.


Ally


Insinuation or Inflammatory comment?? come on Ally I don't think so!! we are all entitled to our views whether you like it or not - for example Tom said he doesn't like square greens thats his view have we heard that before and I quite like square greens - its difference of opinions - should we do every golf course the way that TD does it??. I am sure you have had some praise and criticism of your work at Carne from others would TD like it all what you have done - who knows.

Nobody is perfect - don't get me wrong Tom is one of the greatest modern golf course architects in the 21st century and he is not perfect but at the top shelf of Golf Course Architects ever for sure.   

There were other influences in the past - why are you referring to Tom has led the way for huge amount the business of designing and building golf courses?? - he didn't lead it he was influenced by past golf course architects!! to me thats a rather contradictory and misleading statement that you have really made.

Other golf course architects were or are probably better businessmen than TD but a poorer designer. Tom does really pick his projects nowadays rather than accept all of them and make as much money as he would like to. Thats more quality than quantity minded  a bit like Peter Zumthor in Architecture circles

For me Tom has increased exposure of what good golf course design is to the layman - for example the Anatomy of Golf Course Architecture is a great guide for non golf course architects. I am currently reading Golf Architecture in America by George Thomas written in 1929 which is some ways one of the predecessors to Toms book

I watched a documentary in the 1990s about the evolution of golf course design from late 19th century to 1990s - Tom wasn't in it how can you say he has led the way for a huge amount of others?? it was already there! are there as much golf courses being built now compared with the past - no. What about CBM, Donald Ross in America Colt, Braid in the UK and Alison in Japan and Mackenzie in Oceania they started all of this off and where would TD be without those guys?

You brought up the 'pioneering' comment for TD which I thought was disrespecting the forefathers of GCA. Others have chipped in saying that TD hasn't ever said that he is 'pioneering' you did!. The Loop is unique in this regard as an 18 hole reversible course was is the 'pioneer' referring to your original comment - not in my view.

I have visited two of his courses and played one that has been renovated there are bits that I like and others that I don't - surely others see that? There are versions of Dye and other architects courses that I like and don't like and so on the same for Buildings that Boony and I do discuss about. There is no such things as the perfect golf course or building.

Have I been influenced by TD works - yes I have in parts and other architects in other parts. Don't you think TD can do a different style of course I think he can if you have worked with Pete Dye in the past TD knowledge of railway sleepers probably far exceed most current Golf Course Architects its a shame he has not really implemented this in his works yet. I for one hope he does get that opportunity to show his version at Cabot Highlands or so. 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2023, 09:01:48 AM by Ben Stephens »

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #94 on: January 25, 2023, 09:03:01 AM »
At the risk of repeating myself, Ben's "commentary" is just a summary of what he thinks I should do.  It has exactly as much relevance for me as what everyone else on this board thinks I should do, which is very little.

The two ways to influence me are

1) hire me to do a project and tell me what you want - though if it's something I don't find interesting, I won't take the job
2) come work for me and build something cool that I will get a lot of the credit for  ;)
3) build something great yourself and make us all want to imitate what you've done



The PIONEERS who founded America didn't all have their own original idea.  Ideas are cheap; they only become meaningful when you prove them in the field.  A pioneer is someone willing to put in the work to back up their idea, to do it better than others and raise everyone else's expectations of what's possible.  That's what I think we accomplished with The Loop, to cite one example.[size=78%]  [/size]



Golf course design is all a matter of opinion.  But your opinion matters more to me when you've said something original, instead of offering "meh" critiques of work that didn't float your boat.


Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #95 on: January 25, 2023, 09:25:27 AM »
At the risk of repeating myself, Ben's "commentary" is just a summary of what he thinks I should do.  It has exactly as much relevance for me as what everyone else on this board thinks I should do, which is very little.

The two ways to influence me are

1) hire me to do a project and tell me what you want - though if it's something I don't find interesting, I won't take the job
2) come work for me and build something cool that I will get a lot of the credit for  ;)
3) build something great yourself and make us all want to imitate what you've done



The PIONEERS who founded America didn't all have their own original idea.  Ideas are cheap; they only become meaningful when you prove them in the field.  A pioneer is someone willing to put in the work to back up their idea, to do it better than others and raise everyone else's expectations of what's possible.  That's what I think we accomplished with The Loop, to cite one example.[size=78%]  [/size]



Golf course design is all a matter of opinion.  But your opinion matters more to me when you've said something original, instead of offering "meh" critiques of work that didn't float your boat.


Tom


Have I really written 'Tom I think you should do this or that' at least once?? your interpretation of what I supposedly said is rather contradictory - I am putting my opinion forward on this supposedly 'open' forum if some people see it as inflammatory thats their view - I don't think I have. I have used the wording 'Do it' as part of encouraging you to do so like the Nike motto 'Just Do It'


The main issue is that Ally brought up the word 'pioneering' for you which I disagreed with. For me the Loop is not the first ever 18 hole reversible course the first is 'pioneering'. The Loop for sure is unique in its own way (not pioneering thats my opinion others may see it as pioneering thats their view) that there is very few others compare with it - didnt Dan Hixson do a 18 hole reversible course as well. You have your view that is it 'pioneering' I just have a different view.


Looks like to me you are in some ways afraid of using railway sleepers I thought clients are supposed to 'trust' your design ability, views and how things should be done in the design of a particular course rather than them being scared of it??


'meh' to some is 'pretty average' in England however can be interpreted as 'uninspiring' and 'unexceptional' the there are lots of different ways of interpreting the English Language.


Lots of people on here and in life are afraid to put forward their opinions.

Ill buy myself a magnum of Champagne if you ever ranked one of my courses as 0 on the Doak Scale  ;D 


Ally - maybe Cabot Highlands site should be the next Amateur Armchair Contest if there will be one  ;D
« Last Edit: January 25, 2023, 10:22:06 AM by Ben Stephens »

Craig Sweet

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #96 on: January 25, 2023, 10:00:11 AM »
Most people are smart enough, or polite enough to state their opinion once or twice and then to let it go. Beating a dead horse is annoying....and it's being a douche bag.
He's nuttier than a squirrel turd.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #97 on: January 25, 2023, 11:22:39 AM »
Craig


Even if you think the abuse justified, do you think appropriate to abuse someone on a discussion board like GCA ?


Niall

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #98 on: January 25, 2023, 11:34:49 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.


Craig Sweet

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #99 on: January 25, 2023, 02:15:34 PM »
Niall, No it is not appropriate...That is why I told (politely) Ben to stop abusing TD.
He's nuttier than a squirrel turd.

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