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Ira Fishman

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2023, 08:20:32 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


This is spot on.


And as a twist, Doak was a modern pioneer in golf course architecture criticism.


Ira

Dan Gallaway

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2023, 09:23:05 AM »
Does anyone have insight into the plans for the Rolling Oaks property?  The Rhebb & Johns website indicates that their involvement has been tabled.  Will that be the land that Nuzzo Design uses for the new 9-holer?

Ben Stephens

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #52 on: January 22, 2023, 10:12:01 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.


Hi Ally,


Agree - I am happy to hear and discuss with your our views offline even Boony and I don't always agree whether it is to do with Architecture or Golf Course Design we respect each others views - however there different ways of interpreting the word 'pioneering'


Cheers
Ben

Ben Stephens

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2023, 10:22:58 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


This is spot on.


And as a twist, Doak was a modern pioneer in golf course architecture criticism.


Ira


Sean


You have pretty much hit the nail on the spot on your first paragraph. 

Regarding second paragraph - not sure if Doak is a pioneer in regards to International locations didn't CBM and Wille Park jr leave our shores to the 'new world', Mackenzie to Australia and Alison to Japan these guys are the original 'pioneers' spreading the 'gospel' of good GCA.

Doak, Hanse and C+C are revitalising that notion in the 21st century with some incredible sites in front of them as i pointed out to Niall it is a 'skill' to be able to create courses when the landforms are already there which I don't see as 'pioneering'

Third paragraph - for sure his influence globally as a golf course Architect already is there to see and looks like the footprint will be increasing in the near future I wish him all the best.

My interpretation of pioneering is more to do with originality - of something that has not been done before or seen before. For example away from GCA the James Webb Space Telescope is a new pioneering design idea thats not been done before - the images are astonishing I have to say an incredible acheivement.

Cheers
Ben

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2023, 10:31:01 AM »
Ira, Kalen, Erik,


The thread is entitled ďCan there be too much sand?Ē. 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 ďpioneeringĒ for Tom Doak. Iíve no idea if Tom considers himself a pioneer but Ben is way off the mark if he doesnít consider him one. I could list all the ways that he is but I wouldnít 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.


Jeff


Not sure where you are coming from my interpretation example would be Frank Whittle the guy who invented the Jet Engine thats originality/pioneering acheivement he did not patent the design and since then companies have improved on it better and better - thats how i would describe Tom Doak's work if you get the gist of it.


Mercedes F1 team reverse engineered a CPAP breathing device (invented by another) during the highest point of Covid crisis and improved much more effectively and made it cheaper to product - that is sort of what Tom Doak is doing in another way of trying to explain it in an different context.


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


 

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2023, 10:59:24 AM »
It might encourage players to move to the correct tee, and it might get more groups to think about match play as their format of the day.

"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2023, 01:38:38 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.

Tim_Weiman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2023, 02:14:20 PM »
Ira, Kalen, Erik,


The thread is entitled ďCan there be too much sand?Ē. 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 ďpioneeringĒ for Tom Doak. Iíve no idea if Tom considers himself a pioneer but Ben is way off the mark if he doesnít consider him one. I could list all the ways that he is but I wouldnít 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


Ben,


I have known Tom Doak for a long time and donít recall him ever using the word ďpioneeringĒ to describe his work.


Tom is well known for having strong views about golf course design, but basically his focus is always doing what he thinks is best for site he has to work with.







Tim Weiman

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #58 on: January 22, 2023, 03:21:53 PM »
It might encourage players to move to the correct tee, and it might get more groups to think about match play as their format of the day.


Jim


With that sentence you've just convinced me there can indeed be too much sand.


Niall

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #59 on: January 22, 2023, 03:33:02 PM »
Ben


I see the points you are making in terms of defining pioneering but not sure it is entirely worthwhile arguing the point. Whether he was the first to do something isn't necessarily that important but what I think is is that he's a recognised leading GCA who is influential, and therefore if he does something then others are going to sit up and take notice.


For instance, someone posted a link to a podcast recently where Tom made comment on the increasing width of holes on new designs and suggesting that things were getting extreme and maybe time to start pulling the fairway lines in a bit.


Personally I've been thinking and saying that for a while. That in no way makes me a pioneer to reference Jeff's analogy about going out west, and neither does it make me influential since no one takes much if any notice of what I say, however if Tom is saying it, and not only says it but incorporates it into his designs then that will have an impact.


Whether that gets tagged pioneering or just influential doesn't really matter IMO.


Niall

Edward Glidewell

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2023, 04:19:02 PM »
I still don't understand why they made major changes to Pine Barrens in the first place. It was a very good golf course.


They should have done a restoration instead of a renovation that made significant alterations to some of the holes.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2023, 06:45:51 PM by Edward Glidewell »

Max Prokopy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2023, 04:34:59 PM »
Ben


I see the points you are making in terms of defining pioneering but not sure it is entirely worthwhile arguing the point. Whether he was the first to do something isn't necessarily that important but what I think is is that he's a recognised leading GCA who is influential, and therefore if he does something then others are going to sit up and take notice.


For instance, someone posted a link to a podcast recently where Tom made comment on the increasing width of holes on new designs and suggesting that things were getting extreme and maybe time to start pulling the fairway lines in a bit.


Personally I've been thinking and saying that for a while. That in no way makes me a pioneer to reference Jeff's analogy about going out west, and neither does it make me influential since no one takes much if any notice of what I say, however if Tom is saying it, and not only says it but incorporates it into his designs then that will have an impact.


Whether that gets tagged pioneering or just influential doesn't really matter IMO.


Niall


Perhaps, not to quibble too much, the developers (Keiser et al) should at least be in the running for the word pioneer.  That is to take nothing away from the architects...it's clearly not a zero-sum game as the thriving of both entities has benefitted us all. 




Sean_A

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2023, 05:51:23 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
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Clyne, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, West Byfleet, North Foreland & Ladybank

Stewart Abramson

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2023, 06:28:42 PM »
 Can there be too much sand discussion on the meaning of pioneer? ;)

Tim Gavrich

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Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2023, 11:29:00 PM »
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.


Wanted to flag this as one of the more fascinating and provocative sentences I've read on this website in quite some time. I need a good long think on this one; very interesting take here, Ally!
Senior Writer, GolfPass

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2023, 02:36:00 AM »

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.




Ally,


TD and Renaissance get amazing sites and the details were already there before they work on it - its a 'skill' to create a golf course and possibly elevate the use of the site with a few tweaks there and there. They don't tend to rip up a lot of things but use what is there.


Most golf course architects do not get that opportunity to work on great sites like TD does. You have had that opportunity at Carne. Does an amazing site make it easier for the architect to visualise holes rather than a site that is flat like a blank canvas.


Cheers
Ben


 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 02:45:05 AM by Ben Stephens »

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #66 on: January 23, 2023, 02:43:39 AM »

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


Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #67 on: January 23, 2023, 02:47:21 AM »
Ben


I see the points you are making in terms of defining pioneering but not sure it is entirely worthwhile arguing the point. Whether he was the first to do something isn't necessarily that important but what I think is is that he's a recognised leading GCA who is influential, and therefore if he does something then others are going to sit up and take notice.


For instance, someone posted a link to a podcast recently where Tom made comment on the increasing width of holes on new designs and suggesting that things were getting extreme and maybe time to start pulling the fairway lines in a bit.


Personally I've been thinking and saying that for a while. That in no way makes me a pioneer to reference Jeff's analogy about going out west, and neither does it make me influential since no one takes much if any notice of what I say, however if Tom is saying it, and not only says it but incorporates it into his designs then that will have an impact.


Whether that gets tagged pioneering or just influential doesn't really matter IMO.


Niall


Perhaps, not to quibble too much, the developers (Keiser et al) should at least be in the running for the word pioneer.  That is to take nothing away from the architects...it's clearly not a zero-sum game as the thriving of both entities has benefitted us all.


Didn't Tufts do it at Pinehurst earlier? just saying. Keiser has added more resorts that focuses more on the golfer and the golfing experience. 

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #68 on: January 23, 2023, 02:50:11 AM »
Harris Kalinka I have to say are one of the best in the business they have innovated and improved CGI's using what is available. The rest will start catching them up as the tools available are becoming easier to use.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #69 on: January 23, 2023, 02:57:59 AM »

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


Ben, you seem to assume that the Renaissance crew will not be as creative on bland sites. You are basing this on only seeing their work on good sites.


I donít think you should be basing your question on ďblandĒ rather than soil type. We know that they can be incredibly creative on a bland but sandy site. Think of the constructed from nothing project in China that never opened. There is also an element of sand at Cabot Highlands, which along with some existing features and water views will Iím sure give us an excellent course.


On the other side of the coin, heís built what looks like a really lovely course on clay at St.Emilion. Why not look at the other projects where he has worked on clay? I doubt youíll find any of the finished products lacking in creativity.


What about courses like Common Ground or his major renovations like Memorial.


And when you are talking about lack of creativity, then you clearly havenít seen The Loop.


In other words, I think you are projecting your perception.


(EDIT - If you want to know the areas where Iíve no idea whether Tom would excel from the pack, it wouldnít be to do with creativity. I think that is without question. I donít know whether Tomís routing skills on very tight sites are better than everyone elseÖ or whether he understands the technical aspects of design, engineering and drainage on a poor site better than others. Those are areas that most architects have to deal with on all projects, even if the final product doesnít get the glamorous column inches. Those are the areas where other architects probably donít get enough credit.)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 08:31:55 AM by Ally Mcintosh »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #70 on: January 23, 2023, 03:46:34 AM »

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
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 #71 on: January 23, 2023, 04:59:43 AM »

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.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 05:06:47 AM by Ben Stephens »

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #72 on: January 23, 2023, 10:06:02 AM »
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

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #73 on: January 23, 2023, 10:49:04 AM »
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 Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Can There Be Too Much Sand?
« Reply #74 on: January 23, 2023, 11:03:04 AM »

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


Ben, you seem to assume that the Renaissance crew will not be as creative on bland sites. You are basing this on only seeing their work on good sites.


I donít think you should be basing your question on ďblandĒ rather than soil type. We know that they can be incredibly creative on a bland but sandy site. Think of the constructed from nothing project in China that never opened. There is also an element of sand at Cabot Highlands, which along with some existing features and water views will Iím sure give us an excellent course.


On the other side of the coin, heís built what looks like a really lovely course on clay at St.Emilion. Why not look at the other projects where he has worked on clay? I doubt youíll find any of the finished products lacking in creativity.


What about courses like Common Ground or his major renovations like Memorial.


And when you are talking about lack of creativity, then you clearly havenít seen The Loop.


In other words, I think you are projecting your perception.


(EDIT - If you want to know the areas where Iíve no idea whether Tom would excel from the pack, it wouldnít be to do with creativity. I think that is without question. I donít know whether Tomís routing skills on very tight sites are better than everyone elseÖ or whether he understands the technical aspects of design, engineering and drainage on a poor site better than others. Those are areas that most architects have to deal with on all projects, even if the final product doesnít get the glamorous column inches. Those are the areas where other architects probably donít get enough credit.)


Commonground and Memorial are 'meh' nothing special its ok but doesn't get bums off seats like Dye did with Sawgrass originally an alligator swamp or compared with Doak courses which are ranked higher or on better sites. There could have been budget constraints and limitations on what they could do with them.


St Emilion does look nice and restrained however its not flat the landscaping was there before!  ;D  Sometimes 'less is more'


Kye Goalby/Zac Blair are creating an interesting course at Tree Farm whose routing was Doak's utilising the existing land forms and Brian Scheidner/Blake Conant have done what looks interesting work at Old Barnwell and Llanerch recently both look flatter - Are they free from 'Renaissance' to express themselves more who knows. Rob Collins has done what looks spectacular upgrade of the course at Sweetens Cove.


Norman Foster has done buildings that are incredible and others which are 'meh' same for Frank Lloyd Wright.


Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.


Cheers
Ben


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