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Matt_Cohn

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How will all these renovated courses age?
« on: May 21, 2023, 09:26:17 PM »
It would be easy to feel like all the cool courses that have done these incredible renovations are ďfixedď now, and that their current glorious state will be their permanent state. But what do we really think will be the case in 30, 40, or 50 years? Will we again see shrunken greens and built-up bunkers? Bunker faces reduced for playability? Flattened greens as green speeds ever-increase? Or are we past all that?

Mark_Fine

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2023, 10:27:01 PM »
Matt,
They are all living things and each will continue to evolve on their own and from normal maintenance practices, or from a perceived need for change, Öetc.  Most of us here could name literally hundreds of courses that have been improved/restored/renovated/remolded multiple times during their history. The same will happen with all these courses.  Do you think Tom Fazio thought his work at Oak Hill would have ever needed to be redone after he finished what he did?  Same goes for RT Jonesí work on the course before him. The PGA for example will be back at Aronimink in two years.  How many times has that course been ďrestoredĒ recently? The list goes on and on.  [/size]
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mike_malone

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2023, 11:34:56 PM »
I donít see a future for Oak Hillís bunker faces. They are too out of place and probably a maintenance nightmare.
AKA Mayday

Ben Stephens

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2023, 03:32:54 AM »
I donít see a future for Oak Hillís bunker faces. They are too out of place and probably a maintenance nightmare.


Mike - they were Woodhall Spa like steep faces :) it may be a maintenance nightmare however the club have sufficient amount of greenskeepers to maintain it

Sean_A

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2023, 06:40:59 AM »
I donít see a future for Oak Hillís bunker faces. They are too out of place and probably a maintenance nightmare.

Out of place? What do you mean?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Clyne

Mark_Fine

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2023, 06:52:33 AM »
These are all great comments both here and on the Chocolate Drops thread and a perfect example of why courses will always continue to change.  Several people said they didnít like the Oak Hill chocolate drops - they werenít original or natural looking.  Some said they didnít like the bunkers - too difficult, not natural looking, too hard to maintain,Ö.etc.  In time, comments like these will come from influential club members/committee members who are the stewards of the course and more change will take place.  Like it or not it is the circle of life for every golf course  :)

mike_malone

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2023, 08:30:13 AM »
Sean,


I was there Thursday to follow our teaching pro through the whole round and found the faces of the bunkers to be exaggerated, jarring, and different than the rest of the course.


Ben,


Woodhall Spaís bunker faces are benign compared to these.


I donít really care what they do and donít hate the faces. Iím just trying to find an answer to the question.


At Rolling Green our previous bunker work at the greens was very steep and proved unsustainable. The new Hanse work has a reasonable slope to it which I expect to be around longer and hold up.



AKA Mayday

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2023, 10:19:12 AM »
Sure, they'll change.  Especially in the next gen gca's make "Everything done after 1929 and before me was pure junk" their mantra, as previous generations of architects have done. ;D
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Kalen Braley

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2023, 11:38:15 AM »
As one reference point, Pasatiempo was completely redone what 20 years ago?  And its already going under the knife again.

i think for courses near the top of the food chain these renovations/restorations/redos will just become more and more frequent.

P.S.  I'm with Mike M on this one, those bunker faces looked and played absolutely horrific...




Sean_A

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2023, 10:45:49 PM »
Sean,

I was there Thursday to follow our teaching pro through the whole round and found the faces of the bunkers to be exaggerated, jarring, and different than the rest of the course.

Ben,

Woodhall Spaís bunker faces are benign compared to these.


I donít really care what they do and donít hate the faces. Iím just trying to find an answer to the question.


At Rolling Green our previous bunker work at the greens was very steep and proved unsustainable. The new Hanse work has a reasonable slope to it which I expect to be around longer and hold up.

I can't answer the maintenance side of things, but I have always preferred grass faces for parkland courses. Other than wishing the grass was shorter, the bunkers are about the only thing I like about the course. The presentation was appalling. Typical 70s/80s US Open style set up. After one round it was boring to watch "recovery" play.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Clyne

Ben Hollerbach

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2023, 11:01:07 PM »
I thought the bunkers looked amazing, but I'd imagine they'd be hell to play out of.

Which in reality sounds great, restore some of the danger to the bunker, make them play like 1/2 shot penalties.

Practically, would we expect them to play much differently than a stacked sod bunker?

Ben Stephens

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2023, 02:53:51 AM »
I thought the bunkers looked amazing, but I'd imagine they'd be hell to play out of.

Which in reality sounds great, restore some of the danger to the bunker, make them play like 1/2 shot penalties.

Practically, would we expect them to play much differently than a stacked sod bunker?


Agree with Ben - its steepness is almost like revetted faces - bunkers are supposed to be a hazard. From a GCA standpoint its easy for the pros and hard for amateurs whereas the chocolate drop mounds is easier for amateurs to get out of and harder for pros because it is harder to generate the spin they need to attack tucked in flag positions.


The PGA is now more like the US Opens of the 70s 80s and 90s - hard grind all the way.

Thomas Dai

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2023, 04:35:33 AM »
An aspect to consider is better record keeping these days. With photos, videos etc being much more readily available than in past times it ought to be easier to keep things the same rather than let them drift. With record keeping these days loosing information through say a Clubhouse fire as was not uncommon in times gone bye shouldnít be an issue, fingers crossed for Ďthe Cloudí etc.
But budgets have their place too and maintenance practices change as budgets change. Plus each generation seems to reckon they know better than the previous generation.
Atb

Ben Hollerbach

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2023, 09:52:55 AM »
You would hope that after spending $20M on a restoration, a club would pay for the highest quality 3d mapping possible of their course. In 20, 50, 100 years time That artifact would be a centerpiece for future restoration efforts.

Mike_Young

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2023, 12:39:25 PM »
IMHO, this is all industry driven.  Reno/Resto wasn't pushed this much until there was no new courses to build.  You don't see it as much in Scotland, Ireland.  Here we are seeing courses just go three or four years before another redo.  I love the look of the bunkers at Oak Hill but the members will change them sooner rather than later.  So many places over the years were saved because they did not have the money and now I just don't see that most places really need the rework they get. The new norm is to change whenever.   JMO.
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Tom_Doak

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2023, 03:46:18 PM »


From a GCA standpoint its easy for the pros and hard for amateurs whereas the chocolate drop mounds is easier for amateurs to get out of and harder for pros because it is harder to generate the spin they need to attack tucked in flag positions.



It's all hard when they mow [or don't mow] the grass like that.  The last time I remember seeing grass that thick was at Bethpage, where Kopeka also prevailed.

Tom_Doak

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2023, 03:48:31 PM »
IMHO, this is all industry driven.  Reno/Resto wasn't pushed this much until there was no new courses to build.  You don't see it as much in Scotland, Ireland.  Here we are seeing courses just go three or four years before another redo.  I love the look of the bunkers at Oak Hill but the members will change them sooner rather than later.  So many places over the years were saved because they did not have the money and now I just don't see that most places really need the rework they get. The new norm is to change whenever.   JMO.


Mike:


I was going to say I agree with you, but unfortunately you are starting to see the same thing in the UK now.  Shapers gotta shaper, and renderers gotta render.  And also, the top courses are trying to get ranked higher so they can raise their green fees.  [See Royal Dornoch.]


But kudos to your point that many places were saved because they didn't have the $$$ to mess around.  Crystal Downs was one of the best examples of that.  Summer clubs generally don't like giving up any part of their season for construction work.

Jason Topp

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2023, 05:13:10 PM »
I keep thinking of all the debt.  The last time clubs were struggling was just a few years ago. 

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2023, 05:27:13 PM »
They would age well because so many of the changes have been restorations. I would think that the only work would be normal maintenance.
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

Tom_Doak

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2023, 06:38:15 PM »
They would age well because so many of the changes have been restorations. I would think that the only work would be normal maintenance.


If that was actually true, then the courses would not have needed to be restored at all.

Tim Martin

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2023, 07:01:22 PM »
RTJ renovated/redesigned Golden Age courses while rarely considering that what was originally in the ground needed TLC rather than wholesale changes that fit his design style. He certainly isnít the only one that took this tact but the one that comes to mind first. The current generation of restorers have mostly tried to recreate original design features where routings remained intact and allowed for same. The best designers of the New Golden Age may escape this fate at least as long as most on this board are still around.




Mike_Young

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2023, 08:18:45 PM »
RTJ renovated/redesigned Golden Age courses while rarely considering that what was originally in the ground needed TLC rather than wholesale changes that fit his design style. He certainly isnít the only one that took this tact but the one that comes to mind first. The current generation of restorers have mostly tried to recreate original design features where routings remained intact and allowed for same. The best designers of the New Golden Age may escape this fate at least as long as most on this board are still around.
The reno/resto of today came about because you could hype an old guy as famous and not have to pay the fee you would an RTJ or a Fazio or Nicklaus...the only way all of these guys who have never designed their own courses get the work is by the ODG getting the hype...you know sort of like the guy who cleans up the Mona Lisa..  Note: I'm not saying they are better or worse than the signatures but the ODG renos/restos arose from hyping the orginal and not changing to a new signature...
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Michael Felton

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2023, 11:30:18 PM »
I would presume that history would repeat itself and in 40-50 years time these courses are going to need reno/resto once again.


I would also note that there are some aspects of this that aren't really up to anyone, like for example, the front lips of bunkers are always going to grow over time because they regularly get a showering of sand. Trees grow, cutting lines move, not on purpose, but naturally over time. Then someone comes along and points out that things used to be different and that certain things ought to change. And then they will.

Tim Martin

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2023, 07:10:55 AM »
RTJ renovated/redesigned Golden Age courses while rarely considering that what was originally in the ground needed TLC rather than wholesale changes that fit his design style. He certainly isnít the only one that took this tact but the one that comes to mind first. The current generation of restorers have mostly tried to recreate original design features where routings remained intact and allowed for same. The best designers of the New Golden Age may escape this fate at least as long as most on this board are still around.
The reno/resto of today came about because you could hype an old guy as famous and not have to pay the fee you would an RTJ or a Fazio or Nicklaus...the only way all of these guys who have never designed their own courses get the work is by the ODG getting the hype...you know sort of like the guy who cleans up the Mona Lisa..  Note: I'm not saying they are better or worse than the signatures but the ODG renos/restos arose from hyping the orginal and not changing to a new signature...


Mike-I think thatís a fair assessment. As to whether a course stays true/truer to the ODG style or is renovated in the style of a signature architect Iíve been a fan of the former. Iíve seen Tom Fazioís company do terrific work to existing ODG courses in all areas of the restoration and then use his proprietary bunker style which looks out of place. These at courses where there were drawings and or aerials from opening day as a reference.

Mark_Fine

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Re: How will all these renovated courses age?
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2023, 09:03:05 AM »
Mike makes a good point.  There should be two classes of architects; those that do new courses (so they can put their own name on it) and those that work on and study existing courses and who do restorations/renovations.  The second class are the architects who are more interested in taking the time to research the original architect, learning how the course evolved, and helping recommend what is best for the course/membership going forward vs blowing it all up and doing their own thing so they can get design credit. 

I think we often forget that the VAST majority of renovations/restorations are done on courses that will not host a U.S. Open or PGA Championship.  There is no glory and no TV interviews or articles published in the major golf magazines.  Most of the projects have minimal budgets and the modifications/changes recommended are usually made over a long period of time as funds are available.  The end result, however, for most of these projects is an improved playing experience for the golfers who play there. 

It has been said many times on this site, maybe only 10% of golf courses deserve ďrestorationĒ but 100% of them should be at least studied and researched as to how/why they have evolved over time before bringing in the bulldozers and ripping them up.  All courses are constantly changing whether naturally or by the hand of man (some for the better and some for the worst).  Thank goodness not every architect wants to start over so they can have their name on the course and there are some out there who are willing to work with what is there and help guide clubs/owners in a sound and fiscally responsible direction that is good for the golfers who will play there.

Restoration/renovation work is VERY different from building a new golf course.  It takes a totally different skill set and these skills should be recognized.  Some like Mike have called it smoke and mirrors, but I donít think for example what I saw at Oak Hill would be defined like that.  But what does someone like Andrew Green know about GCA, heís just a restoration guy ;)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2023, 09:20:59 AM by Mark_Fine »

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