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Steve_Lovett

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2023, 06:23:17 PM »
I played both Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks several times over the years. Both solid. Neither sacred. Their condition and interest to me diminished over the years. I'll withhold judgment until I see it all in person, but the photos look over the top, stylistically.


Like others have said, the whole place never had much of an experience. It had a trunk-slamming muni feel to it (not in a good way) and was no place you'd want to hang out and spend time. The experience and golf needed a full overhaul - not a tweak or restoration of what was there. I hope it's successful.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2023, 06:30:24 PM »
Im more interested in seeing what Riley Johns and Keith Rhebb does to Rolling Oaks.


Well you are going to be disappointed then, because they’re no longer involved.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2023, 07:10:45 PM »
As to the original post, my initial reaction was that they should have restored the course.  That’s one reason I shied away from accepting the job.  But they are trying to make it a walking golf destination, and you couldn’t really preserve the original design with those green to tee walks.  It just wasn’t designed to be walkable.


I played it two years ago and that is the only time in recent memory that I have played out of a cart!

Tim_Weiman

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2023, 09:56:59 PM »
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.


Archie,


Thanks for the enjoyable post. Oh…..the good old days.


I played Pine Barrens a couple times when it first opened and thought it was pretty good. Not great, but certainly worth playing if you were in the vicinity.


Was there too much flashy sand back then? Not that I recall. Honestly, I remember also playing Whistling Straights close to when it first opened and thinking there was too much flashy sand, much of which was really out of play.


Back then advertising for WS called it “Pete Dye’s tribute to Ballybunion”. Might have been good advertising, but it was also false IMO. Ballybunion doesn’t feature flashy sand.
Tim Weiman

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2023, 12:14:30 AM »
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.


Definitely noticed the rides.
The bar was lower in the early 90s though.
Always preferred  Rolling Oaks.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2023, 01:41:16 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.


Archie,


Thanks for the enjoyable post. Oh…..the good old days.


I played Pine Barrens a couple times when it first opened and thought it was pretty good. Not great, but certainly worth playing if you were in the vicinity.


Was there too much flashy sand back then? Not that I recall. Honestly, I remember also playing Whistling Straights close to when it first opened and thinking there was too much flashy sand, much of which was really out of play.


Back then advertising for WS called it “Pete Dye’s tribute to Ballybunion”. Might have been good advertising, but it was also false IMO. Ballybunion doesn’t feature flashy sand.


No links course features flashy sand (see the other thread). The closest you get are some of the open - and natural - blow-outs in Carne or St.Patricks but they are few and far between.

Paul Rudovsky

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2023, 02:27:29 AM »
For those who minimize the importance of routing, I suggest a visit to Ellerston in NSW, Australia.  Built on Kerry Packer's private family estate on what I recall as being 100 sq miles in area, the golf course may have the best collection of 18 holes I have ever seen on a golf course (certainly top ten in that regard).  That said, it also has the worst routing I have ever seen...with long long distances from green to tee (but I do not recall crossovers). 


I only played the two tracks at WW once (in late 2011) and have no recollection of the routing, but IMO routing is a critical element of design...golf courses are NOT just the sum of their 18 holes.  Ellerston may be an extreme example but it screams that message.


Related to this point, I have a strong sense that large sites may be a detriment to great architecture...almost like it can make the routing task too simple and straightforward.  That may inhibit creativity.  On small sites (Merion being a great example but far from the only one), I sense the architect has to "dig deeper" and that shows in the final result. 


BTW...if you want to play Ellerston these days I gather it may be tougher to access than ANGC!




Tim_Weiman

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2023, 03:05:17 AM »
For those who minimize the importance of routing, I suggest a visit to Ellerston in NSW, Australia.  Built on Kerry Packer's private family estate on what I recall as being 100 sq miles in area, the golf course may have the best collection of 18 holes I have ever seen on a golf course (certainly top ten in that regard).  That said, it also has the worst routing I have ever seen...with long long distances from green to tee (but I do not recall crossovers). 


I only played the two tracks at WW once (in late 2011) and have no recollection of the routing, but IMO routing is a critical element of design...golf courses are NOT just the sum of their 18 holes.  Ellerston may be an extreme example but it screams that message.


Related to this point, I have a strong sense that large sites may be a detriment to great architecture...almost like it can make the routing task too simple and straightforward.  That may inhibit creativity.  On small sites (Merion being a great example but far from the only one), I sense the architect has to "dig deeper" and that shows in the final result. 


BTW...if you want to play Ellerston these days I gather it may be tougher to access than ANGC!
Paul,


Over the years there have been many different topics pertaining to golf architecture discussed here, but I don’t recall us ever discussing whether a large site can actually be a detriment to good architecture.


In your opinion, is Ellerston just a one off or do you think there are many such examples?
Tim Weiman

Ben Stephens

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2023, 04:51:09 AM »
Im more interested in seeing what Riley Johns and Keith Rhebb does to Rolling Oaks.


Well you are going to be disappointed then, because they’re no longer involved.


Drat!!

Brett Meyer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2023, 06:25:45 AM »
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

Kalen,

I was being a bit charitable to Fazio with some of my green-to-tee walk estimates and I missed 17-18. Thanks for doing a more careful job collecting the numbers.

But I suspect that practically speaking, the actual walks are probably a bit less bad than your numbers suggest. One, I'd start measuring from 15 or 20 yards off the back edge of the green because you're always going to have to get a bit away from the green for the next tee (maybe not at St. Andrew's). Maybe you already did this.

And I'd also always knock off what I think is an average (and reasonable) walking distance between holes. I'd say that's around 50 or 60 yards. When assessing the architect's routing, they get a free, no-questions-asked 50 or 60 yards between every hole. Beyond that is when you start to deduct points. And with some of the walks at Pine Barrens, like 3-4, there isn't much left, maybe 50 or 60 yards.

To be sure, this still leaves a few 140 yard walks and more if you're playing forward tees (whether we should discount that is another discussion). I'd knock Pine Barrens for having several of those. Yet on the courses where the gaps between holes really start to bother me, you get several walks over 200 yards, even discounting the initial 50 or 60 yards. These especially become a problem if the course allows both carts and walkers. These long walks will really challenge the walkers to keep ahead of the riders.

The Pine Barrens longer walks, while still too numerous, are never so long that this would become a real problem. I think you have to keep something like that in mind when criticizing a course for having long green-to-tee walks. Anything over 120ish yards is a problem and it's especially a problem if there are several of them, but this is far less of a practical problem than if you have a few 300 yard walks.

Kyle Harris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2023, 07:11:58 AM »
If you’re going to make me walk through a golf course with ball in pocket there better be a good reason.


The 17th/18th holes at Pine Barrens were never good reasons.


The lack of golf between 1-2, 6-7, 11-12, 17-18… an area in the middle of the golf course one traverses FOUR times with no compelling features or focal points on the property? Of the 8 holes coming into/out of the area only the 2nd, 6th, and 11th got the fizz going.


The juxtaposition of the old 3rd and 16th was a little odd to me, too. One that created a crossover and an odd, fake, pond.


The entire Pine Barrens routing existed to serve two holes (4 and 15). It was justified through cart use.


Nothing on Pine Barrens could match the excitement and flow of Rolling Oaks felt while standing on the 12th tee and then climbing out of the bottom of the most interesting portion of the property. The equivalent position on Pine Barrens lead you back to… yup… the same bill space for the fourth time.
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.

Rob Marshall

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2023, 08:01:39 AM »
I would think that the importance of routing the course is the best use of the land not the distance from tee to green.
"I used to get pissed at blowing leads until I quit having them" John Kavanaugh

Sean_A

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2023, 08:09:05 AM »
I would think that the importance of routing the course is the best use of the land not the distance from tee to green.

Among other things it depends on if the course is meant to be walkable. If the goal is a walkable course that walk should be one of the priorities of the routing. Of course the concept of an acceptable walk is subjective. And of course there is more leeway the better the course...at least from a consumer PoV. But there isn't much point in a so called walkable course that encourages people to use carts because of long transitions between holes.

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

Paul Rudovsky

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2023, 08:33:24 AM »



Over the years there have been many different topics pertaining to golf architecture discussed here, but I don’t recall us ever discussing whether a large site can actually be a detriment to good architecture.


In your opinion, is Ellerston just a one off or do you think there are many such examples?


My sense is that Ellerston is an extreme example...and so few have played it that it would be hard to get a consensus on it. But I do think our day to day lives are filled with examples where excess availability of something leads to "careless" use of it (and that statement is from someone on the right side of of the political spectrum).  It is just a natural tendency...if something is fairly limited and "dear" we wisely work hard to use it carefully so we don't run out (while also looking for more or acceptable substitutes).  If something seems to be unlimited...why worry about it? (or at least worry less about it)

Paul Rudovsky

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2023, 08:35:49 AM »
BTW two other examples of great architecture coming from limited land availability would be Harbour Town and Wannamoissett (spell?)

M. Shea Sweeney

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2023, 09:31:17 AM »


Like others have said, the whole place never had much of an experience. It had a trunk-slamming muni feel to it (not in a good way) and was no place you'd want to hang out and spend time. The experience and golf needed a full overhaul - not a tweak or restoration of what was there. I hope it's successful.


The fact that you didn't feel compelled to hang there is why I felt compelled to go play golf there.

Those sentiments are exactly why I loved going to World Woods. Back when this was first announced I knew that was it for a "great escape". It was the type of place you could arrange 3 or 4 groups and have at it without much fuss (caddies, rules, $$$ etc)


 Tough to have low key experience and real big golf in Florida- more time goes on the less it exists.





« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 09:33:10 AM by M. Shea Sweeney »

Max Prokopy

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2023, 03:25:44 PM »
BTW two other examples of great architecture coming from limited land availability would be Harbour Town and Wannamoissett (spell?)


"Wanny" was the first to come to my mind, squeezed into an urban area.  It is a master class in routing. 


Being a painter, I find the blank canvas of a place like Sand Valley a much tougher task.  When I played there I could picture 50, 60, 70 possible greensites just in the immediate areas.  Narrowing those down and configuring something sensible, walkable, and playable seemed heroic. 

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2023, 05:15:32 PM »
BTW two other examples of great architecture coming from limited land availability would be Harbour Town and Wannamoissett (spell?)


"Wanny" was the first to come to my mind, squeezed into an urban area.  It is a master class in routing. 


Being a painter, I find the blank canvas of a place like Sand Valley a much tougher task.  When I played there I could picture 50, 60, 70 possible greensites just in the immediate areas.  Narrowing those down and configuring something sensible, walkable, and playable seemed heroic.


Don’t let anyone kid you on that routing on a huge site is harder than routing on a really tight site, just because you have so many choices.

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2023, 06:27:31 PM »


Like others have said, the whole place never had much of an experience. It had a trunk-slamming muni feel to it (not in a good way) and was no place you'd want to hang out and spend time. The experience and golf needed a full overhaul - not a tweak or restoration of what was there. I hope it's successful.


The fact that you didn't feel compelled to hang there is why I felt compelled to go play golf there.

Those sentiments are exactly why I loved going to World Woods. Back when this was first announced I knew that was it for a "great escape". It was the type of place you could arrange 3 or 4 groups and have at it without much fuss (caddies, rules, $$$ etc)


 Tough to have low key experience and real big golf in Florida- more time goes on the less it exists.


Not quite sure what you mean. The last time I was there the clubhouse wasn’t even clean. I couldn’t wait to get in my car.
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

Paul Rudovsky

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #44 on: January 24, 2023, 06:54:34 PM »
Being a painter, I find the blank canvas of a place like Sand Valley a much tougher task.  When I played there I could picture 50, 60, 70 possible greensites just in the immediate areas.  Narrowing those down and configuring something sensible, walkable, and playable seemed heroic.


Don’t let anyone kid you on that routing on a huge site is harder than routing on a really tight site, just because you have so many choices.


Ally--I can't speak for others but I am NOT saying routing on a large piece of property is harder.  I am saying that routing on a small of property requires more concentration and focus.  It is almost like a golfer who steps up to a wide open hole ands loses concentration and bows the tee shot left or right into the rough.   I think the increased concentration with a small restricted piece of property often brings very creative solutions


Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2023, 07:20:06 PM »
I've had the great fortune of doing routings for expansive properties on many occasions -- at Rock Creek I was given my choice of 80,000 acres, but then they second-guessed that because some of the land was leased from the government, and I had to change my routing!


Routing on a huge site is just different.  Many architects are tempted to do the Ellerston thing and not worry about the green-to-tee distances, but I try to minimize those as much as I can.  When you are walking between holes, you lose focus on the game at hand.  That's okay if you are walking along a beautiful view, but otherwise it's going to wreck the experience IMO.


Routing on a small site gives you more limited options, and if something isn't working well you have to fix it with the bulldozer.  With a bigger site, I always think I've got a chance to fix the problem by rerouting a hole or two.

Don Mahaffey

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2023, 07:26:50 PM »
Has Fazio group done many restorations? I can’t remember any, but I’m probably missing some. 

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2023, 07:45:51 PM »
Has Fazio group done many restorations? I can’t remember any, but I’m probably missing some.




Don-Three I can think of are CC of Scranton, Wee Burn CC and Fox Chapel Golf Club.




archie_struthers

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2023, 07:50:25 PM »
 8)


Good stuff Tim , and they do a lot of re-tinkering


Joe Bausch

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Re: Shouldn't they have just restored Pine Barrens?
« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2023, 07:52:53 PM »
I wish I could say my photo albums of the old WW courses are my two of my faves, but they aren't. But they are better than nothing.


http://www80.homepage.villanova.edu/joseph.bausch/images/albums/WWPineBarrens/index.html


http://www80.homepage.villanova.edu/joseph.bausch/images/albums/WWRollingOaks/index.html
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:
https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

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