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Joel_Stewart

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Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« on: November 14, 2023, 07:10:56 PM »
I enjoy listening to Bruce who occasionally does podcasts. Bruce doesn't have social media.


Fried Egg released an interview today and he touches on a variety of topics which are interesting. One topic is that how some classic course restorations are influenced by Instagram.


I highly recommenced it.

Daryl David

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2023, 08:23:45 PM »
Bruce doesn't have social media.


I knew there was a reason I liked Bruce!

Brian Finn

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2023, 09:08:52 AM »
Bruce gave a terrific presentation at the 2012 Midwest Mashie Saturday dinner, discussing his work at Broadmoor, which we had played that day.  It was really enjoyable and informative.  I don't do too many podcasts, but I will make a point of listening to this one. 
New for '24: Monifieth (Medal & Ashludie), Montrose (1562 & Broomfield), Panmure, Carnoustie (Championship, Burnside, & Buddon), Scotscraig, Kingsbarns, Elie, Dumbarnie, Lundin, Belvedere, The Loop (Red & Black), Forest Dunes, Arcadia Bluffs (South & Bluffs)...

George Smiltins

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2023, 11:37:05 AM »
I thought it was a great listen. He spends the first 30 minutes or so talking about his work with the Percy Warner muni in Nashville. Gives me hope that places like Buffalo and Cleveland (and every city) will get their act together and do some meaningful, low budget work on their existing courses.

Scott Szabo

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2023, 02:09:40 PM »
I met Bruce at Ballyneal a few winters ago when he was on site to shape the bocce ball court. He caught me walking down one fairway and we had a nice chat for about 15 minutes or so.  I really enjoyed talking with him.
"So your man hit it into a fairway bunker, hit the wrong side of the green, and couldn't hit a hybrid off a sidehill lie to take advantage of his length? We apologize for testing him so thoroughly." - Tom Doak, 6/29/10

Ian Andrew

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2023, 08:37:31 PM »
I'm a big fan of Bruce. He's humble and tremendously talented. His skill with grassing lines is among the best in the business. He's a great teacher and someone very willing to point out the talent of others. He's worked on some very special courses and done some remarkable restorations on his own. I really enjoyed listening his stories and point of view.
With every golf development bubble, the end was unexpected and brutal....

Jeff Shelman

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2023, 11:52:41 AM »
Agree that it was a good listen. Found myself nodding in agreement in some spots.

BCrosby

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2023, 05:03:25 PM »
Great interview. Garrett is very good at leading a conversation in interesting directions.


I was struck by Bruce's comment that one of the things he admires most about Doak is his architectural restraint. Bruce said something to the effect that Doak knows when to stop work on a feature. Too many other architects don't have the same restraint and end up with highly finished features that lack the feel/edginess of an old course that has been around for a while. Or something like that. Good stuff.


Bob





Jaeger Kovich

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2023, 05:15:36 PM »
Love Bruce and the pod. Just 1 question though… Would love to know what a modern golf course tastes like  ;D

Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2023, 06:59:53 PM »
I finished the podcast today. Kudos to Garrett for making niche architectural topics much more approachable. He does a great job here asking a tight question that allows Hepner to really respond with lots of depth.

I feel like outing myself as a bit ignorant here. I was very confused about Hepner's discussion of "old"/"blue blood" courses/clubs for their restraint, while at the same time criticizing other clubs for "monkey see monkey do." Billy bunkers... Why are they bad? Modeled grass... Why is it good?
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Tom_Doak

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2023, 08:39:29 PM »
I was very confused about Hepner's discussion of "old"/"blue blood" courses/clubs for their restraint, while at the same time criticizing other clubs for "monkey see monkey do." Billy bunkers... Why are they bad? Modeled grass... Why is it good?


It's "mottled" grass and he is describing how typical northern grasses separate out over time . . . you get a patchy quilt look of fescue and three different kinds of Bentgrass and bluegrass, instead of a mono stand.  That's what old courses in the Northeast and in the UK always looked like when I started going around to them in the 1980s . . . that's how you could tell right away that they were had been there forever and evolved to the local conditions.


I was appalled when Rees Jones started renovating all of those northeastern courses and tearing out all of the old grasses and throwing down bluegrass sod everywhere to make them look perfect.  They looked perfectly wrong to me, like they'd been built yesterday.


As to all the various new bunker liners, personally I think they are a ginormously expensive solution to the problem, but I'm the sort of person who doesn't mind if a bunker is washed out for a couple of days after a severe rainstorm.  Members of modern clubs think all the damage should be fixed before they see it, or not need to be fixed at all because the liners prevent washouts.  Old money members of places like Somerset Hills and Piping Rock don't want to spend their families' money on those sorts of priorities.

Jaeger Kovich

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2023, 06:10:57 AM »
Just FYI- Somerset Hills just completed putting Capillary concrete in their bunkers like a year or 2 ago… although they did to it cheaper by doing it themselves.

Joel_Stewart

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2023, 06:03:49 PM »
I listened again to the podcast coming back from a trip (I'm a slow learner) and still pondering his comments on making some restorations Instagram ready.  Knowing that agronomy is so much better and the prevalence of white bunkers, the recent redo of Olympic comes to mind as being Instagram ready. Bel Air has some strikingly beautiful bunkers that probably didn't have the pop back in the 1930s.  Any other examples/ 

Lukas Michel

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2023, 05:27:22 AM »
I listened again to the podcast coming back from a trip (I'm a slow learner) and still pondering his comments on making some restorations Instagram ready.  Knowing that agronomy is so much better and the prevalence of white bunkers, the recent redo of Olympic comes to mind as being Instagram ready. Bel Air has some strikingly beautiful bunkers that probably didn't have the pop back in the 1930s.  Any other examples/


My experiences at Merion and Oakland Hills resonated with Hepner's words about grassing, bunker sand/liners, etc. In their cases, I assume it has less to do with the preference of the architect and more with club ambitions to host Majors and the preference of those organisations for more consistent surfaces and easier management in extreme weather.

Lynn_Shackelford

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2023, 03:04:35 PM »
Agree that it was a good listen. Found myself nodding in agreement in some spots.


One of the best golf podcasts in a long long time.  Congrats to Bruce and the Fried Egg.
It must be kept in mind that the elusive charm of the game suffers as soon as any successful method of standardization is allowed to creep in.  A golf course should never pretend to be, nor is intended to be, an infallible tribunal.
               Tom Simpson

PCCraig

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2023, 11:56:41 AM »
Merion is perhaps the best example of a club taking all of the patina out of their playing surfaces. They used to have such a crazy combination of different grasses in the fairways and especially the rough. It gave it a lot of character. But then the club regrassed everything in the Hanse renovation and, while "perfect" it lost all of its patina...it would be like polishing the Statue of Liberty back to its bare copper.


There have been a number of clubs here in the Twin Cities who have re grassed their entire courses to bent, primarily in response to some bad winters that killed poa greens. But similarly to Merion I personally think it looks too uniform...but members at those other clubs seem to love the look and the Supers seem to enjoy the lower maintenance. So...?


I can understand regrassing greens if you have a poa/winter kill problem as the greens essentially aren't functioning. But I like classic courses that have a little more mature worn in look.
H.P.S.

Jeff_Mingay

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2023, 06:25:21 PM »
Pat,


You won't be surprised to hear that the auld sod is being lifted, cared for then re-laid following our works at your old stomping ground, Town & Country Club, next year. As you know, Bill Larson wouldn't have it any other way.


I'm excited to see our new stuff immediately looking old.


P.S. Great podcast with Hepner, who's been a friend for a lot of years and someone I respect tremendously.
jeffmingay.com

Tony Ristola

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Re: Bruce Hepner interview on the Fried Egg podcast
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2023, 09:37:28 AM »
Merion is perhaps the best example of a club taking all of the patina out of their playing surfaces. They used to have such a crazy combination of different grasses in the fairways and especially the rough. It gave it a lot of character. But then the club regrassed everything in the Hanse renovation and, while "perfect" it lost all of its patina...it would be like polishing the Statue of Liberty back to its bare copper.


There have been a number of clubs here in the Twin Cities who have re grassed their entire courses to bent, primarily in response to some bad winters that killed poa greens. But similarly to Merion I personally think it looks too uniform...but members at those other clubs seem to love the look and the Supers seem to enjoy the lower maintenance. So...?


I can understand regrassing greens if you have a poa/winter kill problem as the greens essentially aren't functioning. But I like classic courses that have a little more mature worn in look.


Around 1995 or 96, Golf Course News did an interview with Bruce Hepner. Was great. Some stuff that I recall was his attitude about "finishing", over-polishing and the method of slashing and gouging at something and cleaning it up. Look forward to the FriedEgg interview.

I recall an interview with Matt Shaffer when he was prepping Merion for the US Open. That they'd been topdressing the fairways over the years to the point that they buried all the weed and poa. And that they never used mechanical practices (aerifying) because it would have brought the undesirable seed to the surface.

Matt Schaffer also commented on the roughs. That it is a hodge-podge of grasses and clover, and if I recall correctly, they were even seeding areas with different grasses to enhance that effect. Find it hard to believe this would be undone. Has it been?


A short article from Links Magazine about Merion:
https://linksmagazine.com/a_simpler_game_perfectly_imperfect/


Quote
“We have total disregard for the grass,” he says. “I know that sounds bizarre but that’s just the way I operate. This course doesn’t have a homogenous stand of bent or anything anywhere. Our greens have anywhere from five to nine different varieties of bent. Mr. Davis really likes our rough because it’s so inconsistent.”
The Hanse restoration took place before the US Open. This and the interview I'd seen took place just before it, and they're admitting to having a mix of turf types everywhere.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2023, 09:50:06 AM by Tony Ristola »

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