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mike_malone

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Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« on: July 31, 2023, 08:00:49 PM »
As I walked around my home course today during the Philadelphia PGA Assistantsí Championship I could feel the wind freshening from the west which is the prevailing direction.


Four of the five par threes have the prevailing wind diagonally and the one and  two handicap holes ( pre the new system) are into the wind.


I marvel at the way Flynn routed this course.


What are your thoughts?
AKA Mayday

Jeff Evagues

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2023, 11:31:48 PM »
C&C designed Kapalua Plantation with the prevailing winds in mind.
Be the ball

Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2023, 11:51:02 PM »
Iím pretty obsessed with wind, . If I were ever to buy a piece of property or have a chance to work on a course, my first move would be to put wind gauges everywhere to see how the terrain effects speed and compression.

Then I would probably try to model different holes in a video game engine.

I really like the way holes work that force players to play the ball up against a prevailing wind at an angle. It really forces players to be able to control the ball in a very, very different way. If you play the fade, can you play it low enough to get it through, or play it powerful enough to get it the distance you want. Playing the draw, you have to get the angle just right or risk pushing the shot way too far left, or are you okay with running it up the fairway. All interesting choices.

Sadly my favorite simple wind based par 3 (#2 at GGPGC) is being redesigned, but another one Iíve posted about here at Carrick Knowe is alive and well.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2023, 12:59:06 AM by Matt Schoolfield »
Building an encyclopedia of golf courses that anyone can edit: Golf Course Wiki
Some strong opinions on golf: Wigs on the Green
I really think golf culture should be more like beer culture than wine culture

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2023, 02:16:47 AM »
Mike, how do you know that was high on Flynnís mind when he routed the course? Be interested in the C&C example too.


I happen to think that prevailing wind is usually not a high priority when getting your initial stick routing down. Variety of wind direction is a slightly higher priority but still not right at the top of the pile.


Thatís not to say you donít consider wind direction. You absolutely do. But in my experience, it comes in to play more when you are developing that stick routing further: Maybe you find a few extra yards for a certain hole, place your hazards differently, design your green in a certain way, soften a dogleg or add more width.


Bottom line is that architects always consider prevailing wind but other priorities come first at the routing stage, particularly on difficult sites.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2023, 02:18:57 AM by Ally Mcintosh »

Thomas Dai

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2023, 02:43:54 AM »
Another element in reversible golf courses.
atb

Sean_A

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2023, 03:09:34 AM »
Mike, how do you know that was high on Flynnís mind when he routed the course? Be interested in the C&C example too.


I happen to think that prevailing wind is usually not a high priority when getting your initial stick routing down. Variety of wind direction is a slightly higher priority but still not right at the top of the pile.


Thatís not to say you donít consider wind direction. You absolutely do. But in my experience, it comes in to play more when you are developing that stick routing further: Maybe you find a few extra yards for a certain hole, place your hazards differently, design your green in a certain way, soften a dogleg or add more width.


Bottom line is that architects always consider prevailing wind but other priorities come first at the routing stage, particularly on difficult sites.

I would have thought having wind as a high priority would be a great luxury for archies. I mean, the site is the site. If wind was high priority my guess is that usually the walking aspect is compromised, possibly to the point where the course becomes cart golf.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Ken Moum

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2023, 07:19:37 AM »
I don't know what anyone was thinking, but the course I played several hundred rounds on in Topeka was an unpleasant beast in the winter prevailing winds, and a lot of fun in the summer winds.  I quickly came to the conclusion that Donald Ross did it on purpose.


Conversely, there's another more modern course I played a fair bit that had some of its toughest, narrowest holes playing into a prevailing head wind or quartering headwind most of the summer. I hated the place. On one hole, I watched during an AJGA event, many of the best juniors in the country were laying up with a wedge second shot on an easily reachable par four.


Did the ODGs consider the wind? I have no idea, but I think they might have.
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

mike_malone

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2023, 10:35:02 AM »
Mike, how do you know that was high on Flynnís mind when he routed the course? Be interested in the C&C example too.


I happen to think that prevailing wind is usually not a high priority when getting your initial stick routing down. Variety of wind direction is a slightly higher priority but still not right at the top of the pile.


Thatís not to say you donít consider wind direction. You absolutely do. But in my experience, it comes in to play more when you are developing that stick routing further: Maybe you find a few extra yards for a certain hole, place your hazards differently, design your green in a certain way, soften a dogleg or add more width.


Bottom line is that architects always consider prevailing wind but other priorities come first at the routing stage, particularly on difficult sites.


Ally,


I donít know if it was high on his mind but it seems integral to the routing particularly on the par threes.
Some holes where it is at your back are the long par three 10th and the 1/2 par 18th (4/5).


I was wondering if this is a standard thought process or just an oddity for our course.
AKA Mayday

Ben Sims

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2023, 10:38:25 AM »
A few thoughts.


The site is the site. Unless it isnít. Thereís tons of examples of architects pointing over yonder and looking at the principle and asking ďwho owns that?Ē  I have to imagine that wind plays a small part in that sort of thing.


When we were tailing Clyde and Tom around Cabot Highlands, the wind was pretty brisk from east to west. Definitely not the prevailing in that part of Scotland, I was told. That made a few of the holes we looked at (5 and 15 in particular) play distinctly different than they will under the prevailing Moray Firth west to east wind.


Wind is the main reason I really like the combo of 8-9 at Nairn. Back to back short fours in opposite directions play very differently day-to-day. St Andrews has this at 9-10 to a degree.

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2023, 11:18:45 AM »
The many tour pros I worked with over the years always suggested that we align everything we could with the wind.  If the wind is blowing left to right, they wanted (if possible) the dogleg and/or the target zone to angle right, the green to angle right, and the hazards to be on the right (i.e., only an overcooked shot would find them).  They love it when all the factors that can affect a shot line up, it gives them the confidence to hit the "correct" shot.  They all hate taking even a slight chance in hitting a shot where they have to aim over a bunker or pond to access the target.


That said, because the prevailing wind does vary, I never designed more than 2/3 of the holes that way.  Also, since very few of even the top players bend the ball equally well in both directions, I could make the case for only 50% of holes to bend that way.  Not to mention, more and more just seem to be playing straighter shots.



Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2023, 11:56:56 AM »
The many tour pros I worked with over the years always suggested that we align everything we could with the wind.




Forgive me, but that is almost a perfect argument for doing the exact opposite. If the pros like it because it makes their job easier, do anything but that!
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

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2023, 12:02:43 PM »
Charlie,


I know many here feel that way, but in reality, there isn't a whole lot of point in purposely designing something good players (and others) won't like.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2023, 12:11:56 PM »
Charlie,


I know many here feel that way, but in reality, there isn't a whole lot of point in purposely designing something good players (and others) won't like.




You're right probably not to just do stuff to piss people off, but would you really change alignment rather than say, giving more bailout room or a wider fairway or something like that?
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

Kalen Braley

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2023, 01:19:46 PM »
Interesting question.

I guess i'd start with how do you determine what is "prevailing"?  A wind direction that occurs more often than others?  What if the most common one is only 30% of the time?

Only place i've ever lived that had anywhere near a typical wind direction is the Bay Area on the East Bay side.  But go over one set of hills just 15-20 miles away and its likely entirely different.

Ben Sims

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2023, 01:47:18 PM »
Interesting question.

I guess i'd start with how do you determine what is "prevailing"?  A wind direction that occurs more often than others?  What if the most common one is only 30% of the time?

Only place i've ever lived that had anywhere near a typical wind direction is the Bay Area on the East Bay side.  But go over one set of hills just 15-20 miles away and its likely entirely different.


People that build airports/runways for a living use *years* worth of data to determine prevailing and non-prevailing wind patterns. In places where that isnít possible due to land constraints or preexisting conditions (before these sorts of things were considered; Midway, SFO, or LaGuardia) youíll find lots of cross runways.

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2023, 02:38:43 PM »
Charlie,


I know many here feel that way, but in reality, there isn't a whole lot of point in purposely designing something good players (and others) won't like.




You're right probably not to just do stuff to piss people off, but would you really change alignment rather than say, giving more bailout room or a wider fairway or something like that?


Not many players, even bad ams, typically aim for the bailout, as in "I didn't come all this way to bail out (or lay up.)  But yes, one of my design responses to a shot with "conflicting signals" was wider fairways and bigger roundish greens (fewer tucked pins) that allowed golfers to find the target with a good shot in their more customary shot pattern.


In truth, those conflicting signal shots are still pretty common.  If the land suggests a green angled right, it just never seemed to work trying to angle it left, as it was usually awkward and/or nearly impossible to build.  So, I did try to consider it in routing, but as Ally says, there are more important problems to solve in routing, so it was generally a lower priority, knowing that on flatter green sites I could do what I thought was right.  And, most designs, it seemed like about 6 green sites favored the "right" orientation, 6 were flat enough to allow me to do what I wanted, and 6 required we do something else than the favored angle, so there is variety.


As mentioned, there were only a few pros of that generation who worked it both ways, and that is on the decline, as most teachers (cue Erik B) and stats teach us that the preferred pattern produces a tighter dispersion.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2023, 03:04:13 PM »
If the land suggests a green angled right, it just never seemed to work trying to angle it left, as it was usually awkward and/or nearly impossible to build.




This is what I was trying to get at I think, probably more snarkily than I should have.
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

Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2023, 03:42:17 PM »
I guess i'd start with how do you determine what is "prevailing"?  A wind direction that occurs more often than others?  What if the most common one is only 30% of the time?

Only place i've ever lived that had anywhere near a typical wind direction is the Bay Area on the East Bay side.  But go over one set of hills just 15-20 miles away and its likely entirely different.

https://www.windfinder.com/locations/
It's usually well documented stuff as nearly every weather station has has wind gauge, and we've been tracking wind patters from multiple locations in almost every city for decades.
Building an encyclopedia of golf courses that anyone can edit: Golf Course Wiki
Some strong opinions on golf: Wigs on the Green
I really think golf culture should be more like beer culture than wine culture

mike_malone

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2023, 08:10:43 PM »
At Rolling Green we have a high point which then drops down from the west across the course. That may add to the persistence of the already prevailing wind.
AKA Mayday

Tom_Doak

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2023, 06:23:06 PM »
The many tour pros I worked with over the years always suggested that we align everything we could with the wind.

Forgive me, but that is almost a perfect argument for doing the exact opposite. If the pros like it because it makes their job easier, do anything but that!




Of note, Ben Crenshaw does exactly what Jeff outlines, most of the time.  We talked a lot about how the wind influences play when we were pen pals, back while I was in college.  Asking a Tour pro to hit a hook off a fade lie into a left-to-right wind is pretty difficult; asking the average golfer to do it is just stupid.


Likewise, Ben was also a big advocate for wider fairways on windy sites, and especially so if the hole might play crosswind.


I have worked in some very windy places.  The top five:


1.  Barnbougle, Tasmania
2.  Lubbock, Texas
3.  Bandon, Oregon
4.  Gullane, Scotland
5.  Dismal River, Nebraska


Honorable mention:  Cape Kidnappers, St. Patrick's, Sebonack, Tumble Creek


In most of these places, there IS a "prevailing wind" [usually from the west or the north].  But in most cases, the second-most common wind is from exactly the opposite direction, so if you load up all of the short par-4's to play into the prevailing wind and all of the longer par-4's to play downwind, the course is almost unplayable when the wind blows from the "wrong" direction.  So we generally hedge our choices and just make everything wider.


Sometimes I get flak for making my courses very playable in the wind and having them be "too easy" on calm days, but I am very happy with that trade-off.  [The more you align the holes into and down the prevailing wind, instead of across, the more chance players have to keep control.]  I did smile seeing that even in the tough windy conditions at the Scottish Open two weeks ago, Robert Macintyre could still shoot a great round on Sunday, and Rory McIlroy could still hit a what he called a couple of the best shots of his career into 17 and 18 . . . while Royal Porthcawl was pretty much unplayable for the seniors two Sundays after, with all of its crosswind holes.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2023, 06:27:13 PM by Tom_Doak »

Tom_Doak

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2023, 06:25:22 PM »
Mike, how do you know that was high on Flynnís mind when he routed the course? Be interested in the C&C example too.


I will totally believe Mayday that the wind was a factor in Flynn's design of Rolling Green, because it was 100% the driving force behind his design of Shinnecock Hills.  You can't do much better than that in dealing with a windy site.

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2023, 06:58:08 PM »
No doubt that once a course has a general stick routing, the design concept of the holes should then allow for wind direction. But I find it hard to believe that the hole corridors / skeleton routing are ever chosen with prevailing wind in mind as more than a passing consideration.


For sure, you move the routing around to give different directions and different lengths of holes in different directions (this is before width, greens, bunker placements etcÖ are designed i.e. playability) and you may not repeat a dogleg against a prevailing wind on more than a couple of occasions. But if you have the luxury of choosing holes because they suit some notion of best wind direction, then you have a pretty large site with an almost unlimited choice of potentially great holes. Most architects are first and foremost trying to find the best natural holes on the land with a routing that flows well with variety in their type. If they find that, the wind will then be accommodated in the best way possible with the detail.


In what way might the prevailing wind have changed Flynnís routing at Shinnecock? Genuinely interested.

Sean_A

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2023, 07:36:44 PM »
The many tour pros I worked with over the years always suggested that we align everything we could with the wind.

Forgive me, but that is almost a perfect argument for doing the exact opposite. If the pros like it because it makes their job easier, do anything but that!




Of note, Ben Crenshaw does exactly what Jeff outlines, most of the time.  We talked a lot about how the wind influences play when we were pen pals, back while I was in college.  Asking a Tour pro to hit a hook off a fade lie into a left-to-right wind is pretty difficult; asking the average golfer to do it is just stupid.


Likewise, Ben was also a big advocate for wider fairways on windy sites, and especially so if the hole might play crosswind.


I have worked in some very windy places.  The top five:


1.  Barnbougle, Tasmania
2.  Lubbock, Texas
3.  Bandon, Oregon
4.  Gullane, Scotland
5.  Dismal River, Nebraska


Honorable mention:  Cape Kidnappers, St. Patrick's, Sebonack, Tumble Creek


In most of these places, there IS a "prevailing wind" [usually from the west or the north].  But in most cases, the second-most common wind is from exactly the opposite direction, so if you load up all of the short par-4's to play into the prevailing wind and all of the longer par-4's to play downwind, the course is almost unplayable when the wind blows from the "wrong" direction.  So we generally hedge our choices and just make everything wider.


Sometimes I get flak for making my courses very playable in the wind and having them be "too easy" on calm days, but I am very happy with that trade-off.  [The more you align the holes into and down the prevailing wind, instead of across, the more chance players have to keep control.]  I did smile seeing that even in the tough windy conditions at the Scottish Open two weeks ago, Robert Macintyre could still shoot a great round on Sunday, and Rory McIlroy could still hit a what he called a couple of the best shots of his career into 17 and 18 . . . while Royal Porthcawl was pretty much unplayable for the seniors two Sundays after, with all of its crosswind holes.

I suspect Porthcawl's were narrowed a fair amount over the years. The field too wasn't exactly world class either.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2023, 03:16:31 AM »
The Talking Heads on TV would have us all believe that the wind direction changes with the tide.
I've also been told that the Moon is made of cheese.
atb

Niall C

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2023, 05:32:11 AM »
The wind direction does tend to change with the tide. The strength of the wind also changes. That certainly is the case on the west coast of the UK but perhaps other parts are different ? At Silloth they also used to talk about the summer wind and the winter wind with the change in the prevailing wind direction at different times of year. I've no idea about the moon though.


And what exactly does prevailing wind actually mean ? That the wind blows one way more than it does another ? That just tells you it blows in different directions so why design a hole for the wind blowing in one particular direction ? That just seems a fools errand to me but perhaps there are places on earth where the wind blows constantly the one way, and at a consistent strength.


Niall

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