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Brett Meyer

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Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« on: January 23, 2023, 06:21:44 AM »
I found the other thread on whether there's starting to be too much flashy sand on these new courses to be addressing an important question which I've been thinking about for awhile and which I think the computer renderings of Pine Barrens bring to a head. But that turned into a thread about the meaning of 'pioneer' and discussion on this seemed to end.

For me when thinking about Pine Barrens, the issue of whether there's too much sand quickly becomes: "Should they have even redone Pine Barrens?" That's because the core of what I thought was so brilliant about Pine Barrens was the flow of the course. There were flashy, dramatic holes, but there were also a lot of subtle holes in between. While it certainly had enough great holes to be a great course, this restraint helped make it so that, to paraphrase Ian Andrew, "the whole is more than the sum of its parts."

I think that they should have just restored Tom Fazio's Pine Barrens (maybe without the right 12th green). That's especially because it's one of the best courses of one of the most important architects of the 'pre-renaissance' period. What do you think?

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.
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.
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.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 06:30:46 AM by Brett Meyer »

archie_struthers

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2023, 07:23:17 AM »
 8)


In the early days of GCA Tom Fazio was often the poster child for detractors of "big development" on this site. In some ways it was the "Renaissance Period" here on the site when minimalism,  maintenance melds and shovels over bulldozers were all the rage. Finding the holes was embraced  among the cognoscenti on board here. Names like Naccarato,  Paul and Mucci were frequent if not daily contributors and boy were they a fun read. Nascent stars like Cirba and the "Redan Man"  started showing up with great research and opinions on golf and the direction of architecture. I was intrigued and learned , listened and at times rebelled.


The question posed here is a good one !  Not having the pleasure of playing Pine Barrens in Florida but heard many good reports about Fazio's work there. Perhaps there is good reason other than the architecture to redo it. I confess to not having enough information to make that analysis here. But it's a good discussion point.


Given the expense of the acquisition does the new project have lodging or housing needs to make it viable. It appears the site is huge and so doubt this is the reason. Maybe the Keiser's want a feel throughout the resort that is blended. Again , given the scope and dynamic golf development here it's a good one for debate.


Stewart Abramson

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2023, 08:32:29 AM »
I played Pine Barrens numerous times. It was a solid DS 7 "An excellent course, worth checking out if you get anywhere within 100 miles. You can expect soundly designed, interesting holes and a pretty setting, if not necessarily anything unique to the world of golf" (note, I left out "good course conditioning", as that was no longer the case the last few years)


A DS 8 is a course that is one of the very best in the region and worth a special trip to see.


In most cases I don't think  it's worth the cost and effort to try to turn a DS 7 into an 8 (or higher). However, in the case of WW, the place wasn't ever a business success, notwithstanding the quality of the courses. The chances that a mere restoration would make the place a success was made even more unlikely given its proximity to the relatively recent addition of Streamsong.  In acquiring the facility Cabot likely felt the need to to have a place that is at least a DS 8... worth a special trip to see. So, in this case I can understand why they decided not to just retore PB.


Perhaps the question should be broadened to be  "Under what circumstances, if ever, is it justified to tear up and re-do a DS 7 rather than just restoring it?"

Kyle Harris

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2023, 09:00:53 AM »
What flow? Pine Barrens original routing was *awful*


Your crossed the same spot 4 times forÖ reasons. You walked a quarter mile between 15-16-17 each because Fazio routed Firestone through a quarry.



Rolling Oaks was the superior course simply because of how much better it flowed through the property and took you somewhere.


As for the open sand look. Look at the early photos of Pine Barrens. QED.

In fact, Pine Barrens is the poster child for the whole being LESS than the sum of the parts.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 09:04:04 AM by Kyle Harris »
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

Joe Andriole

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2023, 09:26:27 AM »
As is often the case I find myself agreeing with Mr. Harris. Pine Barrens was certainly flashier but ....

Generally, I'm beginning to feel that aesthetics are becoming too desirable to the detriment of the basic tenants of good architecture.

Brett Meyer

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2023, 09:40:21 AM »
What flow? Pine Barrens original routing was *awful*


Your crossed the same spot 4 times forÖ reasons. You walked a quarter mile between 15-16-17 each because Fazio routed Firestone through a quarry.


I think it was pretty clear from my post that I meant flow in the visual drama, with some holes being surrounded by flashy sand and others having more short grass and less flashy sand. I thought that this ebb and flow in the design style was a virtue and the new renderings make it look like that'll be lost, which I think, all else equal, would make for a worse course than its predecessor.

But was the flow in the routing really that bad? I fail to see how a routing crossing itself four times is bad in itself. You might see it exactly the opposite...as a creative way to deal with a challenging property or to include holes that you really want.

And how bad were the individual walks? It's been awhile since I've been there but they didn't seem that bad. I consulted Google Earth and it looks like there were two (1-2, 16-17) that were about 150 yards and one (11-12) that was about 180 yards. I'll give you that those are a problem.

But (1) no one was claiming that the course was a 10. And (2) is that really that bad? We have walk-forwards to more middle and forward tees all the time on courses that we all praise. And it's not like any of the walks are 300 yards. Assuming that you're often going to be walking 50 or 60 yards to get to the next hole anyway most of the time, is another 90 yards really that much of a problem? And if the benefit of this cost is that we get a greater variety of holes or fewer bad ones, it might be completely worth it. I can't say for sure that this was true with Pine Barrens, but there was certainly enough special about the course to make me sympathetic to Fazio on this point.

Ben Hollerbach

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2023, 10:46:24 AM »
Perhaps the question should be broadened to be  "Under what circumstances, if ever, is it justified to tear up and re-do a DS 7 rather than just restoring it?"
That is an interesting question, as one would expect the cost and time to restore / subtly improve a DS 7 towards a DS 8 would be noticeably less than tearing up the DS7 and trying to build a DS 8 from "scratch".

Ben Stephens

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2023, 11:05:34 AM »
Im more interested in seeing what Riley Johns and Keith Rhebb does to Rolling Oaks. Isn't Mike Nuzzo is doing the short course and practice area?


Re Pine Barrens it would be interesting to see what the Fazio routing is compared with Kyle Franz's


Also from experience CGIs sometimes are overdone that you try to rein it back a bit.

Rob Marshall

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2023, 11:36:16 AM »
Someone explain to me the value of the routing if the holes are good? Does it really matter if you walk 100 yards to the next tee?
"I used to get pissed at blowing leads until I quit having them" John Kavanaugh

Tim Martin

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2023, 12:11:20 PM »
Someone explain to me the value of the routing if the holes are good? Does it really matter if you walk 100 yards to the next tee?


Rob-I havenít played the subject course so I canít offer an opinion on the original routing. Generally the individual holes would need to be good/great to necessitate three treks of 150-180 yards between greens and tees.

Ian Andrew

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2023, 12:18:18 PM »
I think that they should have just restored Tom Fazio's Pine Barrens (maybe without the right 12th green). That's especially because it's one of the best courses of one of the most important architects of the 'pre-renaissance' period. What do you think?

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.
I'm only responding because you are using my quote to make a point - one that I don't share. But that's ok. No issues with you using the quote to make your point btw. That's fine by me.

I like Pine Barrens, did from the beginning, but they can do what they like. It's not something I would have preserved given the choice. It needed work to be a draw. Whether Kyle goes that extreme is up to Kyle. I'm interested to see the results. I wasn't going back to Pine Barrens if they cleaned it up and left it as is.
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.Ē ó Chuck Klosterman, But What If We're Wrong

Michael Chadwick

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2023, 12:29:26 PM »
It's a fair question, although it could only be realistically posed before Cabot became the new owner. A product represents its brand, and Cabot in my view doesn't appear to be a brand that would embrace a 'pre-renaissance' architect as you term it, Brett.


A different ownership group certainly could've taken that restoration angle. But with Congaree, Gozzer Ranch, and other well maintained Fazio designs elsewhere, Cabot's decision to overhaul the course with a next-gen architect seems more appropriate for its brand strategy and customer base.   
Instagram: mj_c_golf

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2023, 12:49:57 PM »
I have played WW a half dozen times over the years, and like a Doak 7 went because it was on my way to somewhere else. I enjoyed PB more than Rolling Oaks and agree that a good restoration would be preferable. I can see why the new owners have opted for a complete restoration. Flashy use of sand is the new de rigueur. I know it is not fashionable on this site, but I did not go more or stay in the vicinity longer because the infrastructure stinks. Even when the course was new, I hated being in the clubhouse. I'd grab lunch, play the afternoon round, then leave. Nothing about the place encouraged me to stay on-site or linger in the clubhouse.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Kalen Braley

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2023, 12:50:51 PM »
My question would be, did anyone ever ask Fazio what his opinion on all this was?

If it was your work and you were still around/in the biz, wouldn't you want some input or consideration?

For example what would the group's response be if someone else other than Tom was brought on to resurrect High Point?

Brett Meyer

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2023, 01:18:08 PM »
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.

I'm only responding because you are using my quote to make a point - one that I don't share. But that's ok. No issues with you using the quote to make your point btw. That's fine by me.

I like Pine Barrens, did from the beginning, but they can do what they like. It's not something I would have preserved given the choice. It needed work to be a draw. Whether Kyle goes that extreme is up to Kyle. I'm interested to see the results. I wasn't going back to Pine Barrens if they cleaned it up and left it as is.



Ian,

Maybe I mistakenly thought that you were making the point about Pine Barrens. But I guess that if I did, it was because I thought that Fazio's Pine Barrens exemplified the point. It had flashiness, but also a lot of visual breaks and the course stood out for me more than just about any other that I've seen in this mix of drama and restraint.

Would you agree that Pine Barrens did this well? What are some other courses that you think do a good job of this?

Rob Marshall

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2023, 01:31:14 PM »
Someone explain to me the value of the routing if the holes are good? Does it really matter if you walk 100 yards to the next tee?


Rob-I havenít played the subject course so I canít offer an opinion on the original routing. Generally the individual holes would need to be good/great to necessitate three treks of 150-180 yards between greens and tees.


Tim, I was always in a cart playing with my father but I can honestly say I don't remember going from green to tee as anything other than normal but It's been a while since I played there. Every time I looked to go back they were overseeding......
"I used to get pissed at blowing leads until I quit having them" John Kavanaugh

Tim Martin

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2023, 01:39:31 PM »
Someone explain to me the value of the routing if the holes are good? Does it really matter if you walk 100 yards to the next tee?


Rob-I havenít played the subject course so I canít offer an opinion on the original routing. Generally the individual holes would need to be good/great to necessitate three treks of 150-180 yards between greens and tees.


Tim, I was always in a cart playing with my father but I can honestly say I don't remember going from green to tee as anything other than normal but It's been a while since I played there. Every time I looked to go back they were overseeding......


Rob-Playing with your dad is all that counts. :)

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2023, 03:07:25 PM »
"tenets" of good architecture, not tenants. Tenants occupy a living space; tenets are rules/guidelines.
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

Kalen Braley

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2023, 03:10:16 PM »
I took some approx. measurements on Google Earth as the existing course still there:

(These assume the golfer isn't walking thru lines of play on other holes, ie cutting across the 2nd green from 16 to 17)

Transition  Yards
1 green to 2 tee
     190
3 green to 4 tee
120
6 green to 7 tee
160
11 green to 12 tee
220
15 green to 16 tee
135
16 green to 17 tee
250
17 green to 18 tee
225

Max Prokopy

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2023, 03:47:31 PM »
Is it possible that part of the purpose is re-branding the entire "experience"?  If the operation always lacked economic success, even with a big name like Fazio, then a restoration might not make enough of a financial splash. 


I know some GCA folks might not love Fazio's work, I don't particularly, but he is a "name" and attracts followers.  If that couldn't help them turn a profit then wholesale changes might be strategic more from a financial vs. golf architecture perspective.

Alex Miller

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2023, 04:13:24 PM »
I took some approx. measurements on Google Earth as the existing course still there:

(These assume the golfer isn't walking thru lines of play on other holes, ie cutting across the 2nd green from 16 to 17)

Transition  Yards
1 green to 2 tee
     190
3 green to 4 tee
120
6 green to 7 tee
160
11 green to 12 tee
220
15 green to 16 tee
135
16 green to 17 tee
250
17 green to 18 tee
225


These 7 holes alone have about double the green to tee walks of my home course. That seems... not good.


I haven't played Pine Barrens and probably best to remember the renderings we've seen are just not photos. Uncomfortable question: if nobody has asked Tom Fazio about restoring it, how much does that matter if the end result is universally accepted as an improvement? Of course we'll have to wait to see it, but it sounds like many including the new ownership thought that could be achieved.

Tim Martin

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2023, 04:16:48 PM »
"tenets" of good architecture, not tenants. Tenants occupy a living space; tenets are rules/guidelines.


And you wonder why people block youÖ. ::) ???

Rob Marshall

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2023, 04:28:58 PM »
I took some approx. measurements on Google Earth as the existing course still there:

(These assume the golfer isn't walking thru lines of play on other holes, ie cutting across the 2nd green from 16 to 17)

Transition  Yards
1 green to 2 tee
     190
3 green to 4 tee
120
6 green to 7 tee
160
11 green to 12 tee
220
15 green to 16 tee
135
16 green to 17 tee
250
17 green to 18 tee
225


I have to say it's been a long time since I was last there but I never would have guessed that. I never noticed it in a cart.
"I used to get pissed at blowing leads until I quit having them" John Kavanaugh

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2023, 04:56:34 PM »
One of Cabot courses' hallmarks and ongoing "tenets" is walkability, so it makes sense that they would like to minimize the length of walks from greens to tees.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Ben Hollerbach

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2023, 05:33:11 PM »
I took some approx. measurements on Google Earth as the existing course still there:

(These assume the golfer isn't walking thru lines of play on other holes, ie cutting across the 2nd green from 16 to 17)

Transition  Yards
1 green to 2 tee
     190
3 green to 4 tee
120
6 green to 7 tee
160
11 green to 12 tee
220
15 green to 16 tee
135
16 green to 17 tee
250
17 green to 18 tee
225


I have to say it's been a long time since I was last there but I never would have guessed that. I never noticed it in a cart.
It would be curious to know what the percentage of cart round vs walking were. Probably 85-90% carts.
In a cart going 15mph you can travel 440 yards in a minute, so the longest drive here would be just over 30 seconds.

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