Calling the historians among us.
Successful restorations of Golden Age designs are typically noted for the amount of tree removal, reclamation of green sizes/shapes, as well as fairway width. In the US, this predominantly has occurred on parkland style layouts, where decades of arboreal and vegetal growth worked in concert with an era of enthusiasm for increasingly narrow playing corridors, smaller greens, and intimacy between holes.
The restoration of Oakland Hills South, for example, did not change the overarching style of the golf course. It was always, and remains, a parkland course, though the detailed expression of what that means changed dramatically.
A different phenomenon occurred in the Western US, where Golden Age designs not immediately on the coastline were laid out among far more arid, dusty, oftentimes treeless and rugged terrain. Whether the land was an orchard or a canyon floor with occasional water running through it, these courses did not begin as parkland. They would've appeared more links like, regardless of their soil or the quality of their playing surfaces, because the edges of their turf ceded to dry scrubland and roughened dirt instead of forests or meadows.
Yet after WWII, and in the decades that followed, many of these designs, including Southern California's best examples like LACC North, Riviera, and Bel Air, underwent transformations that changed their original identities. They became parkland courses. Native flora was eliminated, and in exchange maintained rough and non-native vegetation was planted. Their ruggedness was domesticated until it was tamed like a garden, and the player experiencing wall to wall sod would have to look beyond the club's property lines to get a glimpse of the gnarled, baked out Los Angeles landscape through which these courses were initially routed.
What do you think were the primary contributing factors for the parkland-ization of Western US golf courses?
Were there significant improvements in irrigation technology, scalability, and cost?
Was it part of a broader post-WWII industrial and economic boom that carried with it an enthusiasm for overpowering and engineering nature?
How influential has Augusta been on this subject? Its first airing on live television was 1956, and since then, committee members of other clubs have had annual exposure to what might've represented in their minds how an American golf course should look.
What separates how remarkable the restorations of Cal Club, Bel-Air, or LACC with, say, Oakmont or Oakland Hills South, is that these California courses had to be restored not only to how their greens where shaped and sized, or how their bunkers appeared, but crucially how they were suited to their own natural environments. Their aesthetic identity had to be pulled away from the parkland style forced upon them in order to reconnect to their mediterranean climate of California.
There are countless Western clubs with pre-1930 histories that remain rooted to their postwar misrepresentations, with Lakeside being chief among them. Fortunately the clubs that have risked returning all the way to their Golden Age originations, and in doing so re-naturalizing their sense of place as a Western golf course, has been met with acclaim. One can only hope more inland clubs follow suit, as I have to imagine that reincorporating native landscape and vegetation in the long run will improve a course's standing with water usage, which will only become a more contentious topic.