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John Kavanaugh

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2023, 07:05:57 PM »
I saw zero value in Muirfield today.

Daryl David

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2023, 07:16:22 PM »
Interesting that there are 6 separate tee boxes on 18. Scorecard must be 8 by 11.5.

Max Prokopy

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2023, 10:05:08 PM »

One more thing about RCD that makes it for me clearly one of the top 2 courses that I've played (along with Pinehurst no. 2): the course has an incredible balance of difficulty. There are a lot of blind drives, but they're usually to fairly open landing areas. The one that's a bit tighter (no. 6) is a short par 4. And it also compensates for that shortness with one of the most difficult green sites. The land gets a bit tamer at the end, so the 18th cranks up the fairway bunkers. Also, I don't have a problem with the tame finish because the course to that point, while well balanced, is still obviously very difficult. Some people complain that the greens are basic. But would you want such a difficult course from tee-to-green to have difficult greens?

That's a strength of Pacific Dunes too--the greens are narrow and hard to hit but when you're on them, they're not so hard to putt. Again, good sense of balance. And that's the opposite of the course next door, Old MacDonald, where it's easier to hit the greens but hard to putt them.
 


Brett, I appreciate the insights.  Perhaps in 50 years we'll be lucky to have a scenario where the architect or dedicated member lives/hangs around their modern masterpiece and tinkers with it, a la Ross at Essex or members who massaged places like Myopia or RCD over decades. 


The thing with the modern beauties, as sort of mentioned in this thread, is those lifetime tinkering scenarios seem far less likely to occur than what took place 100 years ago.  Be it money or location or developers, I that C&C would/could ever move to Sand Hills and just hang out and tinker for 15 years. 


Perhaps it's that massaging shaped by years of study that makes the classics more appealing to me. 

Brett Meyer

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2023, 09:25:21 AM »
To push back a little, I'd mentioned that outside of golf, people who like old things/quirk are readily able to say the newer versions are better while still admiring what they love about the old. Very few antique car guys would actually rather be in a Model T or '61 Continental than a new Mercedes on a cross-country car trip. In golf, we have a harder time (me included) making this type of distinction. I'm not sure why, but I notice this most in golf. I'd love to hear if someone sees it, on this large a scale among the well-informed, in areas other than golf. There are caveats as well. The bad old golf courses (cars, tools, etc.) didn't really survive...and so on, but I'm curious.


Charlie,

If function is a large part of our assessment of the object, cars and golf courses may not be a great analogy because there have been so many technological advances that have made cars perform better. You can't compare today's cars in terms of function to those from decades ago. But while there have been technological advances in building golf courses, it's still just hitting a ball across a piece of ground. So an old course can function just as well as a new one, especially because you can make tweaks to improve drainage, soften slopes that have become too steep, or many other small changes that retain the form but improve the function (I guess you could also put a new engine in an old car).

And the limitations of the past in golf course construction are probably why we have some of the quirks that I admire so much in the older courses. They couldn't bulldoze the dunes at RCD, so they did the best they could, which was to leave enough room to hit to on the other side. Site limitations like these also make it more likely that you'll have a lot of originality because every site is different and if there are some strange/challenging things that you can't avoid, you may end up creating something really great and different from it.

Or you may just create something awkward. From what I had heard, I was concerned about this with RCD. I thought that it might be too narrow and difficult, especially given the wind. I didn't think it was. But other old links courses that I like, like Perranporth or Rye, don't strike the balance between quirk and playability that RCD does, which is part of why I think that RCD is a superior course.

So as I'm sure others have said on this website many times before, not all quirk is good quirk. We still assess its function and may have different views on that. A lot of people love the unusual 4th hole on Rye, with its fairway routed along the dune ridge. I think it's too narrow, especially in a cross wind. But because they can change them, modern architects don't have to figure out how to make something of these site limitations. And while that removes some of the risk of creating something bad, it also probably reduces some of the opportunities to create something original and good. The best courses of the past stand apart in the latter.

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2023, 11:55:30 AM »

You made good points Brett, I especially like the following.




...may not be a great analogy...


You're right about the analogy. I've been on the lookout for a good analogue to golf courses and have never come up with one that makes any sense. They're just too big, diverse, interactive, and alive for any other comparison. Car racing tracks are similar in scale and interactivity, but the old ones just killed too many people to be justified in keeping them the same. The search continues!







But because they can change them, modern architects don't have to figure out how to make something of these site limitations. And while that removes some of the risk of creating something bad, it also probably reduces some of the opportunities to create something original and good. The best courses of the past stand apart in the latter.


I really like this sentiment. I wonder how a contemporary architect could overcome this limitation, or is it only a limitation to architecture geeks like us?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2023, 11:57:12 AM by Charlie Goerges »
Severally on the occasion of everything that thou doest, pause and ask thyself, if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives thee of this. - Marcus Aurelius

cary lichtenstein

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2023, 09:20:42 PM »
I saw zero value in Muirfield today.


I'd have to agree with John
Live Jupiter, Fl, was  4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 4 back surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms. Last course I played was Augusta

Tom_Doak

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2023, 10:28:50 PM »
Maybe the old classic course rests upon the land better? Like a pair of shoes that have broken in and fit their feet.....naturally.

I agree with much of what others have said about why the top classics are probably rated ahead of the top moderns. I haven't played most of the top classics or several of the top moderns, but I have played Royal County Down, the Sunningdales, Portrush, and Royal St. George's among the classics and the Bandon and Cabot courses among the moderns. And while I can't say anything about where I'd rank any of these courses in a top 100, I think my favorites among the classics (Royal County Down, Sunningdale (Old), and Royal St. George's) have some features than incline me to put them ahead of my favorites of the moderns, which are Pacific Dunes and Bandon Trails.

And it's kind of what Craig said, that the former seem to fit the land better. But I mean it in a specific way. All of the courses above seem (as far as I can tell) very well routed and have many very good holes. But the older courses all have a bit of oddness, a bit of quirk that fit their sites well that the latter don't seem to have. Each has several blind shots and some of them just feel very unusual, like the quick uphill drives on Sunningdales's 7th or RCD's 11th. I especially like how on Sunningdale 7, when you crest the hill after that funky drive, the hole opens into a vast expanse framed by pine forest. It's strange and surprising...and wonderful.

Also, there seems to be less order to the architecture on these classic courses, so their great holes seem to be more original than the modern courses. Who'd build a green like the 4th on Royal St. George's or a hole like the 13th at RCD? I guess in golf architecture, like in music, I like a little grit. It's kind of a marvel that given the shape and nature of the property, Pacific Dunes is so not-quirky. But I think I'd like it a little more if it had a few more weird shots on it. Many of my favorite shots on the great courses in the British isles are blind shots and many of my favorite holes don't really fit any kind of template (some became the template).

One more thing about RCD that makes it for me clearly one of the top 2 courses that I've played (along with Pinehurst no. 2): the course has an incredible balance of difficulty. There are a lot of blind drives, but they're usually to fairly open landing areas. The one that's a bit tighter (no. 6) is a short par 4. And it also compensates for that shortness with one of the most difficult green sites. The land gets a bit tamer at the end, so the 18th cranks up the fairway bunkers. Also, I don't have a problem with the tame finish because the course to that point, while well balanced, is still obviously very difficult. Some people complain that the greens are basic. But would you want such a difficult course from tee-to-green to have difficult greens?

That's a strength of Pacific Dunes too--the greens are narrow and hard to hit but when you're on them, they're not so hard to putt. Again, good sense of balance. And that's the opposite of the course next door, Old MacDonald, where it's easier to hit the greens but hard to putt them.


This was an interesting post with a lot of points Iíd argue.


Last point first, Old Macís wide fairways and wild greens also demonstrate balance, though itís not the weighting you prefer.


Also - when we were building Pacific Dunes, toward the end of the project, there was a discussion of whether 12 and 15 should have more difficulty or quirk.  I said no - and pointed out that we already had a blind tee shot/narrow fairway on 1, a center bunker with a dead tree stump (since removed) on 2, a split fairway on 3, a lumpy approach on 5, a 20-foot-deep bunker on 6, a bunch of moguls interrupting the fairway on 7, and two greens, with a gorse bush (since removed) between a bunker and the lower green on 9.


So I think you donít know quirk when you see it.  You just donít credit it because you know it was a conscious decision by an architect you know.




Brett Meyer

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2023, 06:44:41 AM »
That's a strength of Pacific Dunes too--the greens are narrow and hard to hit but when you're on them, they're not so hard to putt. Again, good sense of balance. And that's the opposite of the course next door, Old MacDonald, where it's easier to hit the greens but hard to putt them.


This was an interesting post with a lot of points Iíd argue.


Last point first, Old Macís wide fairways and wild greens also demonstrate balance, though itís not the weighting you prefer.


Also - when we were building Pacific Dunes, toward the end of the project, there was a discussion of whether 12 and 15 should have more difficulty or quirk.  I said no - and pointed out that we already had a blind tee shot/narrow fairway on 1, a center bunker with a dead tree stump (since removed) on 2, a split fairway on 3, a lumpy approach on 5, a 20-foot-deep bunker on 6, a bunch of moguls interrupting the fairway on 7, and two greens, with a gorse bush (since removed) between a bunker and the lower green on 9.


So I think you donít know quirk when you see it.  You just donít credit it because you know it was a conscious decision by an architect you know.



Hi Tom,

Sorry for the lack of clarity; I agree that Old MacDonald achieves balance. What I meant is that it achieves it in the opposite way from Pacific Dunes, with big greens that are hard to putt like you say. Like RCD, I think both score very high on the balance scale. And that they're so different brings variety to the resort, which is a huge plus.

On the latter points, I guess we'd have to have a debate about what counts as quirk. I'd have to think about it a lot more to give a coherent answer. It just seemed to me that the old courses I mentioned had a few more unusual features and unusual holes than Pacific Dunes or Bandon Trails. I guess that split fairways and multiple greens per hole are quirky too, but a lot of courses have these. Unless those split fairways/multiple greens have some unusual feature, just having a split fairway or second green doesn't strike me as unusual/original the way that the incorporation of a natural feature in a way unlike what I've seen before does.

Obviously someone who just sees the final product doesn't see all the decisions that went into making it. Maybe some of the stuff that you left on Pacific Dunes was controversial and you could have gotten rid of it or worked around it, but chose not to. Maybe that counts as quirk. I don't credit those decisions because I don't see them (maybe this is all in the Making of Pacific Dunes, which I haven't read). But what's there doesn't seem to be on the order of the blind drives or some of the other features on the three courses I mentioned.

Ultimately this is all nitpicking. I was just trying to give some reasons why I feel a slight preference for RCD and a few of the other top old courses over some of the top moderns. It's not like I think this creates some chasm between them, where I think it'd be unreasonable for anyone to think that the latter are better than the former. And as I said, there's something to marvel at in how not-quirky Pacific Dunes. It's not like it's on some vast property where it was a complete open book as to what you could do. I just thought there was reason to give the original poster some pushback and make an argument for the olds.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2023, 07:55:57 PM »
But because they can change them, modern architects don't have to figure out how to make something of these site limitations. And while that removes some of the risk of creating something bad, it also probably reduces some of the opportunities to create something original and good. The best courses of the past stand apart in the latter.


I really like this sentiment. I wonder how a contemporary architect could overcome this limitation, or is it only a limitation to architecture geeks like us?





I missed this point earlier.  My response would be that the architect can easily self-impose the "limitation" of being able to move dirt, by sticking to the idea of being a minimalist.  Indeed, I think that one reason people like our courses is because we do leave some more quirky features in the mix.  Get ready for the 8th hole on the new course at Pinehurst!

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2023, 08:49:14 AM »
But because they can change them, modern architects don't have to figure out how to make something of these site limitations. And while that removes some of the risk of creating something bad, it also probably reduces some of the opportunities to create something original and good. The best courses of the past stand apart in the latter.


I really like this sentiment. I wonder how a contemporary architect could overcome this limitation, or is it only a limitation to architecture geeks like us?





I missed this point earlier.  My response would be that the architect can easily self-impose the "limitation" of being able to move dirt, by sticking to the idea of being a minimalist.  Indeed, I think that one reason people like our courses is because we do leave some more quirky features in the mix.  Get ready for the 8th hole on the new course at Pinehurst!




I don't know if this will make sense or not, but I'll try to ask anyway. What's more common, holes on great/good, old courses where modern construction equipment/methods would have made worthwhile improvements...or...holes on great/good, new courses where a lighter touch would mean worthwhile improvements? I realize that's convoluted, but I'm trying to get a sense of something.
Severally on the occasion of everything that thou doest, pause and ask thyself, if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives thee of this. - Marcus Aurelius

Thomas Dai

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2023, 09:38:24 AM »
I missed this point earlier.  My response would be that the architect can easily self-impose the "limitation" of being able to move dirt, by sticking to the idea of being a minimalist.  Indeed, I think that one reason people like our courses is because we do leave some more quirky features in the mix.  Get ready for the 8th hole on the new course at Pinehurst!
Sounds intriguing. Curiosity piqued!
atb

Michael Chadwick

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2023, 12:59:39 AM »
Lukas Michel's better tapped into the zeitgeist than me, and he's written both a more thorough and visually captivating piece related to this topic. I encourage everyone to take a look: https://contours.golf/journal/from-pixels-to-putts/   
Instagram: mj_c_golf

Tom_Doak

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2023, 03:01:27 AM »

I don't know if this will make sense or not, but I'll try to ask anyway. What's more common, holes on great/good, old courses where modern construction equipment/methods would have made worthwhile improvements...or...holes on great/good, new courses where a lighter touch would mean worthwhile improvements? I realize that's convoluted, but I'm trying to get a sense of something.


Well, that's a matter of opinion, I suppose.  Recent changes to places like Royal Portrush (Dunluce) and Royal Dornoch are two good examples of applying modern construction methods to older courses that wouldn't have considered the newer holes back in the day.  Those are generally hailed as positive changes by most observers, but not by me.  There are good reasons for my work to imitate Dornoch, but there is no good reason for Dornoch to imitate my work.

Sean_A

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2023, 03:10:16 AM »
I haven't seen the RD work, but the concept seems sound.

People love the new Portrush holes, but my concern was more about the sacrifice of two cool Colt holes to make it happen. That little valley was one of the highlights of the Valley Links.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Clyne

Tom_Doak

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2023, 03:18:57 AM »
I haven't seen the RD work, but the concept seems sound.People love the new Portrush holes, but my concern was more about the sacrifice of two cool Colt holes to make it happen. That little valley was one of the highlights of the Valley Links.



Yes they were.  And personally, I don't rate either of the new holes as highly as either of the holes that were sacrificed to make them.  The par-3 7th was a terrific hole, and the little par-4 was a beauty, too.  The new par-5 is difficult but not great, and the new par-4 is the most awkward hole on the property.  They got away with murder by comparing the new holes to the old 17th and 18th, instead of the holes that occupied that same property.


EDIT:  I just had to fix the text size here.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2023, 04:13:47 AM by Tom_Doak »

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2023, 04:00:02 AM »
Regarding Portrush, the concept of the new holes was a good one. Iím just less enamoured with the detailing.


Going back to Brettís conversation - and Tomís response - there is a big difference with approaches to links work. If you start with a construction approach that is minimalist, through choice and often budget, you more often than not end up with a very natural feeling course that doesnít feel new and built like many modern courses do.


What has disappointed me with much links work Iíve seen is when I see sand brought in to entire fairway corridors and wholesale reshaping occurring. This is what happened at Trump and this is what happened with the 8th at Royal PortrushÖ a braver approach to the 8th would have been purely to soften the fantastic humps and hollows that were there, leaving the natural ground in place. Instead we have the usual tell-tale signs of rolling waves of tie-ins to the side dunes.


Construction techniques and abilities have definitely improved over the years. Thatís not in doubt. But limitations - whether enforced or self-imposed - can bring about some of the best and unique work.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2023, 05:57:58 AM »
But because they can change them, modern architects don't have to figure out how to make something of these site limitations. And while that removes some of the risk of creating something bad, it also probably reduces some of the opportunities to create something original and good. The best courses of the past stand apart in the latter.


I really like this sentiment. I wonder how a contemporary architect could overcome this limitation, or is it only a limitation to architecture geeks like us?


I missed this point earlier.  My response would be that the architect can easily self-impose the "limitation" of being able to move dirt, by sticking to the idea of being a minimalist.  Indeed, I think that one reason people like our courses is because we do leave some more quirky features in the mix.  Get ready for the 8th hole on the new course at Pinehurst!

I saw the hole at the weekend, and Tom is seriously NOT KIDDING!
« Last Edit: June 16, 2023, 06:01:04 AM by Adam Lawrence »
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Brett Meyer

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2023, 06:52:47 AM »
People love the new Portrush holes, but my concern was more about the sacrifice of two cool Colt holes to make it happen. That little valley was one of the highlights of the Valley Links.

Ciao


Regarding Portrush, the concept of the new holes was a good one. Iím just less enamoured with the detailing.

I didn't see the old holes, but I liked the new 8th. It's a tough driving hole like the rest of the course, but it brings something a bit different with the drop-off on the left.

The 7th is gorgeous but kind of eye candy. And it's a good example of reducing character with earthmoving. One of our caddies told us that Mackenzie and Ebert 'softened' some of the dunes in the left side of the lay up area to reduce balls collecting in one area and creating a lot of divots. It also looks like that would have improved the sight line for the second shot. If so, that's too bad--the drive is wide open and a little blindness and more of a decision about whether you can carry the dunes on the second would have added character. 

Just as much as the old 5th and 6th on the Valley Course, I would have liked to have seen the old 17th and 18th on Dunluce. I know they were on flat land past the parking lot, but I'm sure that Colt added plenty to make things more interesting. I should have gone out there and walked them.

Good holes as they are in their own right, new 7 and 8 feel different from the rest of the course. Even if old 17 and 18 weren't as good, I bet they would have made up for it by bringing greater consistency in character to the course.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2023, 07:54:43 AM by Brett Meyer »

Jamie Pyper

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2023, 09:35:11 AM »
People love the new Portrush holes, but my concern was more about the sacrifice of two cool Colt holes to make it happen. That little valley was one of the highlights of the Valley Links.

Ciao


Regarding Portrush, the concept of the new holes was a good one. Iím just less enamoured with the detailing.

I didn't see the old holes, but I liked the new 8th. It's a tough driving hole like the rest of the course, but it brings something a bit different with the drop-off on the left.

The 7th is gorgeous but kind of eye candy. And it's a good example of reducing character with earthmoving. One of our caddies told us that Mackenzie and Ebert 'softened' some of the dunes in the left side of the lay up area to reduce balls collecting in one area and creating a lot of divots. It also looks like that would have improved the sight line for the second shot. If so, that's too bad--the drive is wide open and a little blindness and more of a decision about whether you can carry the dunes on the second would have added character. 

Just as much as the old 5th and 6th on the Valley Course, I would have liked to have seen the old 17th and 18th on Dunluce. I know they were on flat land past the parking lot, but I'm sure that Colt added plenty to make things more interesting. I should have gone out there and walked them.

Good holes as they are in their own right, new 7 and 8 feel different from the rest of the course. Even if old 17 and 18 weren't as good, I bet they would have made up for it by bringing greater consistency in character to the course.


Ally and Brett

If you thought losing the old 5th and 6 holes on Portrush's Valley was upsetting, wait until to see the
Martin Ebert two phase proposal for the Portrush Valley course. Sorry I can't post at this time because the proposal is presently being reviewed by the membership for a vote later this year, but I'll leave you with this teaser.  If passed, 80 % of the course will be altered in an exciting re-do that will include, in Phase one, 7 new or severely altered holes. Phase two will re-work two tees and a green for better sea views. This will really raise the bar for the Valley and I personally quite like the final results as proposed. I'll post when appropriate as it will be interesting to get the groups thoughts on whether the end justifies the means.




John Mayhugh

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2023, 09:43:26 AM »
Construction techniques and abilities have definitely improved over the years. Thatís not in doubt. But limitations - whether enforced or self-imposed - can bring about some of the best and unique work.

Exactly. It's a large reason why so many modern courses feel disconnected from their site.

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #45 on: June 16, 2023, 09:58:08 AM »
People love the new Portrush holes, but my concern was more about the sacrifice of two cool Colt holes to make it happen. That little valley was one of the highlights of the Valley Links.

Ciao


Regarding Portrush, the concept of the new holes was a good one. Iím just less enamoured with the detailing.

I didn't see the old holes, but I liked the new 8th. It's a tough driving hole like the rest of the course, but it brings something a bit different with the drop-off on the left.

The 7th is gorgeous but kind of eye candy. And it's a good example of reducing character with earthmoving. One of our caddies told us that Mackenzie and Ebert 'softened' some of the dunes in the left side of the lay up area to reduce balls collecting in one area and creating a lot of divots. It also looks like that would have improved the sight line for the second shot. If so, that's too bad--the drive is wide open and a little blindness and more of a decision about whether you can carry the dunes on the second would have added character. 

Just as much as the old 5th and 6th on the Valley Course, I would have liked to have seen the old 17th and 18th on Dunluce. I know they were on flat land past the parking lot, but I'm sure that Colt added plenty to make things more interesting. I should have gone out there and walked them.

Good holes as they are in their own right, new 7 and 8 feel different from the rest of the course. Even if old 17 and 18 weren't as good, I bet they would have made up for it by bringing greater consistency in character to the course.


Ally and Brett

If you thought losing the old 5th and 6 holes on Portrush's Valley was upsetting, wait until to see the
Martin Ebert two phase proposal for the Portrush Valley course. Sorry I can't post at this time because the proposal is presently being reviewed by the membership for a vote later this year, but I'll leave you with this teaser.  If passed, 80 % of the course will be altered in an exciting re-do that will include, in Phase one, 7 new or severely altered holes. Phase two will re-work two tees and a green for better sea views. This will really raise the bar for the Valley and I personally quite like the final results as proposed. I'll post when appropriate as it will be interesting to get the groups thoughts on whether the end justifies the means.


Thanks Jamie - I knew there were proposals underway. I also understood that the design was open to tender but no-one else bid as they suspected Martin Ebert had it tied upÖ


I didnít know the extent of the works.


For what itís worth, I - unlike Tom and Sean - thought the concept behind adding the two holes on the Dunluce was the correct one. I just wasnít over-enamoured with the execution.


As for the 4 new holes on the Valley that resulted, some of that work I also liked, some I didnít.


I canít possibly fathom how such wholesale change that you mention will improve the course or is needed. I say this knowing that some of Coltís green-sites are superlative. It will quite probably be another case of ďlooks good on plan, adds drama, loses the subtlety, uniqueness, detailing and flowĒ. I eagerly wait to find out!

Sean_A

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2023, 02:58:40 AM »
Enjoying the responses thus far!


Sean--I'll touch on my sense of "problem" here differently. In my mind it has more to do about the perception of the differences (or to phrase it more strongly, an artificially construed gap) between classic and modern design. Touching on Thomas Dai's comment here, the age, exclusivity, or price of admission onto any course should not affect the quality of a course's holes or its standing in a critical analysis. Yet we all know that's not the case, and that, for me, is problematic. For example, if Pacific Dunes was the only course on the Bandon coastline, and it was a private club with a membership comparable to Sand Hills, my guess is its ranking would be better than it is now. Which, were that to be true, would be a fault of rater culture. 


More importantly for me is that I think it would be a disservice to golf course architecture if either contemporary architects and/or players and raters are not operating under the belief that any new course has the potential to surpass Pine Valley, Cypress, TOC, Shinnecock, etc. That is not to say any particular modern course can or will do it, but if the possibility is a closed door in people's minds, we as a community are mistakenly keeping the ceiling too low.

I guess it's not a big deal to me. Rankings are opinions. New or old matters little to me except for the general baggage that tends to come with each. I prefer to visit clubs rather than resorts/public courses, but I count Kingsbarns, St Pat's and Castle Stuart among the best in GB&I.

Time is my key. I see courses a bit differently with each visit. Time in the larger sense is also important because attitudes and desires will be different. I think we can see a stark change of philosophy starting around 1990 compared to earlier. People slowly bought into it and now that philosophy has sprouted different ideas. That is a function of time.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Clyne

David Kelly

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #47 on: June 23, 2023, 05:36:46 PM »
People love the new Portrush holes, but my concern was more about the sacrifice of two cool Colt holes to make it happen. That little valley was one of the highlights of the Valley Links.

Ciao


Regarding Portrush, the concept of the new holes was a good one. Iím just less enamoured with the detailing.

I didn't see the old holes, but I liked the new 8th. It's a tough driving hole like the rest of the course, but it brings something a bit different with the drop-off on the left.

The 7th is gorgeous but kind of eye candy. And it's a good example of reducing character with earthmoving. One of our caddies told us that Mackenzie and Ebert 'softened' some of the dunes in the left side of the lay up area to reduce balls collecting in one area and creating a lot of divots. It also looks like that would have improved the sight line for the second shot. If so, that's too bad--the drive is wide open and a little blindness and more of a decision about whether you can carry the dunes on the second would have added character. 

Just as much as the old 5th and 6th on the Valley Course, I would have liked to have seen the old 17th and 18th on Dunluce. I know they were on flat land past the parking lot, but I'm sure that Colt added plenty to make things more interesting. I should have gone out there and walked them.

Good holes as they are in their own right, new 7 and 8 feel different from the rest of the course. Even if old 17 and 18 weren't as good, I bet they would have made up for it by bringing greater consistency in character to the course.


Ally and Brett

If you thought losing the old 5th and 6 holes on Portrush's Valley was upsetting, wait until to see the
Martin Ebert two phase proposal for the Portrush Valley course. Sorry I can't post at this time because the proposal is presently being reviewed by the membership for a vote later this year, but I'll leave you with this teaser.  If passed, 80 % of the course will be altered in an exciting re-do that will include, in Phase one, 7 new or severely altered holes. Phase two will re-work two tees and a green for better sea views. This will really raise the bar for the Valley and I personally quite like the final results as proposed. I'll post when appropriate as it will be interesting to get the groups thoughts on whether the end justifies the means.
In 2021 I spent 20 minutes listening to the starter at the Valley course rant about how the changes to Dunluce have ruined the Valley. This might kill him. 


All it does is allow me to skip the Valley in future trips and either go around Dunluce twice or head on down the road.

"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

Joe_Tucholski

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #48 on: June 23, 2023, 11:54:30 PM »

Ally and Brett

If you thought losing the old 5th and 6 holes on Portrush's Valley was upsetting, wait until to see the
Martin Ebert two phase proposal for the Portrush Valley course. Sorry I can't post at this time because the proposal is presently being reviewed by the membership for a vote later this year, but I'll leave you with this teaser.  If passed, 80 % of the course will be altered in an exciting re-do that will include, in Phase one, 7 new or severely altered holes. Phase two will re-work two tees and a green for better sea views. This will really raise the bar for the Valley and I personally quite like the final results as proposed. I'll post when appropriate as it will be interesting to get the groups thoughts on whether the end justifies the means.


The Valley course is my pick for best value in Ireland.


My concern is they'll take a very good and very affordable course, potentially make it marginally, better but then have perceived justification to dramatically increase greens fees.


My desires as a visitor understandably don't align with the voting members.

Kyle Harris

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Re: Are the Greatest Modern Courses Still Undervalued?
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2023, 08:42:28 AM »
TL:DR

But of course they are. Time is a cruicible and modern implies they will be undervalued.
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.

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