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Amol Yajnik

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Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« on: September 12, 2023, 12:04:18 PM »
Golfpass with the scoop: https://www.golfpass.com/travel-advisor/articles/gil-hanse-redesign-the-links-at-spanish-bay-pebble-beach-resorts


I'm very curious to see how this turns out. I'm actually shocked that the Pebble Beach Company wants to put money into a redesign.

Dan_Callahan

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2023, 12:21:03 PM »
I played there years ago and thought it was a huge letdown. But it also seemed to me that the architects were probably hamstrung by environmental restrictions? If that's the case, I wonder how much leeway Hanse will have to make significant changes.

mike_beene

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2023, 08:50:03 PM »
It has always been popular to criticize Spanish Bay. But it really is more fun than Spyglass. And it is beautiful. I understand the restrictions make it less than pure, but there are few better resort courses. A nice walk including the walk in from 18.

Joe_Tucholski

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2023, 09:08:46 PM »
The big resorts follow trends to stay relevant. 


Some of my favorite golf and golf adjacent memories occurred at Spanish Bay.

Tim Leahy

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2023, 10:20:36 PM »
As long as the Coastal Commission requires Riparian areas be untouched SB will be a big disappointment compared to PB and SH. Good luck to the new GCA's though. 8)
I love golf, the fightin irish, and beautiful women depending on the season and availability.

Matt MacIver

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2023, 09:07:32 AM »
I too like Spanish better than Spyglass, thought the former had more interesting shots and greens vs. the bowling alley feel of the latter.  Do we know if the redesign includes material re-routing of the course? 

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2023, 10:16:43 AM »
Pinehurst #4 is a disaster and now charges a premium. Sounds like a canít miss investment.

Matt_Cohn

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2023, 12:59:44 PM »
I'm actually shocked that the Pebble Beach Company wants to put money into a redesign.


Rack rates are $465 at Spyglass and $335 at Spanish. If a renovation allows them to charge at Spanish what they do at Spyglass, I can only imagine they'll make their money back and more. Plus extra hotel and food revenue, and the need to compete effectively with Bandon, etc.

Rob Marshall

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2023, 02:39:46 PM »
I too like Spanish better than Spyglass, thought the former had more interesting shots and greens vs. the bowling alley feel of the latter.  Do we know if the redesign includes material re-routing of the course?


Never played SB but I thought Spyglass was pretty darn good. I still think the view from the first tee is spectacular. Harder than Pebble under normal conditions. Loved the ocean holes and the forest holes.
If life gives you limes, make margaritas.Ē Jimmy Buffett

Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2023, 03:04:40 PM »
I know itís probably impossible, but am I even allowed to hope the use fescue? The only time I visited (for drinks and the piper) I laughed out loud when I saw the poa everywhere.
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Matthew Petersen

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2023, 05:17:40 PM »
I know itís probably impossible, but am I even allowed to hope the use fescue? The only time I visited (for drinks and the piper) I laughed out loud when I saw the poa everywhere.


The course was originally fescue but the resort never stuck with it. I don't think there's much chance they'll do it again on any redesign.


I, too, am very interested at exactly how much leeway Hanse et al have with this redesign. I was there 4 years ago and they still had green-tipped stakes out in plenty of areas but I don't recall any admonishments from the starter about staying out of those areas and the caddie in our group seemed blase about it. That said, I've read enough commentary here to understand that people walking through dunes to grab a golf ball is one thing and the CCC allowing people on heavy machinery pushing sand/dirt around is another so we'll see.


The thing is, I think Hanse can do a lot of good within the existing corridors, even if that's all he's limited to. There are any number of holes that, whether because of awkward changed forced by ESAs or the way the holes now play different because of how the game has changed with many people hitting it farther, just feel poorly conceived. The third for example feels like an idea for a hole that needs to be stretched. It feels like you ought to choose which of the three bunkers you want to try to carry and choose a club accordingly but for most players (not even especially long ones), a decently hit driver over the left bunker is going through the fairway and into the dunes. There's not a lot of space on this hole ( so just a reimagining of the strategy and the visual off the tee here would make the hole make a lot more sense to the player. There's a lot of this at Spanish Bay - cramped holes where driver probably isn't the right play, which isn't always a bad thing, but but it's tough on a resort course, especially if there aren't a lot of visual cues for the player to get the message.

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2023, 11:58:36 AM »
...



The thing is, I think Hanse can do a lot of good within the existing corridors, even if that's all he's limited to. There are any number of holes that, whether because of awkward changed forced by ESAs or the way the holes now play different because of how the game has changed with many people hitting it farther, just feel poorly conceived. The third for example feels like an idea for a hole that needs to be stretched. It feels like you ought to choose which of the three bunkers you want to try to carry and choose a club accordingly but for most players (not even especially long ones), a decently hit driver over the left bunker is going through the fairway and into the dunes. There's not a lot of space on this hole ( so just a reimagining of the strategy and the visual off the tee here would make the hole make a lot more sense to the player. There's a lot of this at Spanish Bay - cramped holes where driver probably isn't the right play, which isn't always a bad thing, but but it's tough on a resort course, especially if there aren't a lot of visual cues for the player to get the message.


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John Kavanaugh

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2023, 12:08:11 PM »
Does it even matter what they do? Just for the photo ops alone, how you not gonna love it?

Ben Stephens

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2023, 02:27:35 PM »
Apparently it says on their website that they are also working at Mid Ocean in Bermuda - that one will also be interesting

Jim Hoak

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2023, 09:42:20 PM »
Two thoughts--


--As alluded to by Ronald above, the success of this project will depend as much as anything on their ability to get the California Coastal Commission to be reasonable and even cooperative, a tough project.


--With reference to the point about the current course layout feeling cramped, I have always felt that the course was designed with reference primarily to the back tees, strange for a resort course.  If you play the course from shorter tees, I think it does feel cramped.  The many doglegs are too sharp from the up-tees, but seem to play softer and smoother from farther back.  Anyone else feel that?  My game is better suited to shorter distances now, but on the occasional times I have gone back, the course played much better.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2023, 09:44:11 PM by Jim Hoak »

Joel_Stewart

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2023, 02:53:27 PM »


--As alluded to by Ronald above, the success of this project will depend as much as anything on their ability to get the California Coastal Commission to be reasonable and even cooperative, a tough project.



I don't think its going to be a big problem with the CCC, it's going to be with the county of Monterey to see if they have more reasonable people then they had back when the course opened.   In September of 2008, GCA did an interview with Sandy Tatum who was one of the architects of Spanish Bay along with RTJ Jr and Tom Watson.  He said the following " the county of Monterey came out with about six people and designated everything outside the irrigated areas as sensitive. These are the areas we created. So not only could you not play your golf shot, you couldnít even go in and retrieve your golf ball. The Pebble Beach Company wasnít willing to take it on legally so the fact that the golf course has survived as a first rate experience is a commentary on the effectiveness of the design because itís as though those holes have water hazards on each sides of the fairways from the tee to the green."



Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2023, 03:19:26 PM »
designated everything outside the irrigated areas as sensitive. These are the areas we created. So not only could you not play your golf shot, you couldnít even go in and retrieve your golf ball.

These environmentally sensitive areas (ESA's) are quite common in California. They are noted under rule 2G(1) No Play Zones: What May Be Marked as a No Play Zone. They are all over Sharp Park, and I actually find them to be a very interesting type of hazard. The danger of OB, but with a smaller penalty. They can, arguably, be intentionally implemented for strategic reasons.
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

Matt_Cohn

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Re: Hanse/Wagner to redesign The Links at Spanish Bay
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2023, 03:20:47 PM »
So many of the holes currently have pinch points or forced layups. And as Joel alludes to, the peripheral areas are now designated as sensitive, so I wonder how much Gil will be able to provide additional width where it would be helpful.


The old sand mine:



« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 03:22:49 PM by Matt_Cohn »

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