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Jeremy_Glenn.

The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« on: April 06, 2003, 04:52:21 PM »
I'll invite other golf course architect, as well as non-gca's who would have stories to tell, about golf courses and projects where certain situations made you weep at night and/or roll your eyes in disbelief.  Sort of like the "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture, if you will.

Here's one:

We designed a golf course with a par three going over a wetland.  Yes, OVER the wetland.  

But the EPA or whoever the hell was in charge of protecting the planet said the hole would not be approved, I guess because balls might end up in the wetland and "contaminate" it.  So we had to relocate the hole within a quality, mature forest.  And yes, that meant cutting down all the trees.

But was given the OK.

 ::)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Jim_Kennedy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2003, 05:10:00 PM »
Jeremy,
Definitely sounds outrageous but they were probably more concerned about the mutt who'll go in over his $200.00 Dry Joys to retrieve a $2.00 golf ball. ;)

I know of a situation where the persons in charge of turning on the water for a course wouldn't do it because they were concerned about the lines freezing. It was a particularly warm, dry, windy early April and the course lost much of the grass at the circumference of their greens and nearly lost the remaining grass too. Ah yes, the penny wise and the pound foolish.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:04 PM by -1 »
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2003, 06:34:11 PM »
How about the one in my area where the land owner-developer had a farmers hand shake agreement about a property line, and then had that neighbor watch him construct about half of the 12th and 13th hole on his side of the line, and then decided to demand a lease agreement for the easement, and the archie didn't make sure this item of property lines was legally locked up?  Although, in speaking of it on GCA, I have been told that one shouldn't blame the archie. But, I do give him some of the blame. >:(
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2003, 08:26:09 PM »
A biologist once thought he dicovered a new species of tree on the Big Island of Hawaii we were impressed. A few months later he dicovered, instead, an old horticultural guide which proved that the tree was actually...extinct!

Amazing as this was the U.S. Government does NOT protect extinct trees. No one cared. The Endangered Species Act caretakers could have cared less. I supposed that if a Dodo Bird waddled into Washington D.C. the agency folks would break for coffee and ask us to come back the following year.

Fortunately we all were good natured and re-routed the golf course. The "extinct" species was protected and is now, thankfully, on the endangered list.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

TEPaul

Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2003, 04:05:19 AM »
Forrest:

Good story. I thought everyone understood the New Reality that if there isn't a box to check for something then it can't exist!

I've often wondered if you put two people shoulder to shoulder and asked them to look at a tree if they'd see the same thing. It's good of you to have saved that tree in Hawaii but you wasted your time. In the New Reality it doesn't exist.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

David Wigler

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2003, 05:19:03 AM »
My favorite, told to me by two reliable sources.

After the gutless board of directors hired Art Hills to do the restoration work at UofM, a set of the original plans were found.  One of the people brought the plans to Hills at a dinner meeting.  Hills handed them back without looking at them and said "I don't need to look at plans to know what MacKenzie wanted here."

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
And I took full blame then, and retain such now.  My utter ignorance in not trumpeting a course I have never seen remains inexcusable.
Tom Huckaby 2/24/04

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2003, 07:02:10 AM »
We had a par 3 over a lake and one enviro objected, on the basis a fish might get hit by a golf ball.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

lesueur

Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2003, 08:08:12 AM »
Great effort (and some expense) was taken to control contractors movement around an ancient water well structure next to a new green site on a course in the middle east. We discovered during the grow in that it was a 12 year old storage bin.

It's still in all the marketing material as an exciting feaure on the courses "signature hole".
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

ian

Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2003, 05:45:17 PM »
We have a project where looking at a plan "the authorities" designated a section of "creek" as a potential cold water fish habitat; which requires 30 metres (100') as a vegitated buffer. It was pointed out that this was actually a new road side swale, put in the previous year, for the county road running beside the property. The buffer stayed because he said it still had "potential" to be returned to a cold water fish habitat.

We had another instance where a city planner wanted all areas with tree removal (from a mature forest) to have new plantings at the base of the remaining trees to protect the trees from blowing down. He/she actually thought the entire forest may blow over once it is opened up.

There are unforetunately lots more of these, and people can't understand why I perfer renovations.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2003, 06:04:02 PM »
Pete Galea told me a funny incident that happened as if scripted in a cartoon involving Art Hills, some drawings, a golf cart and a bunker.  But, perhaps Pete will see this and give the details. ;) ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Richard Chamberlain

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2003, 07:11:57 PM »
Our drawings for a new 18 were about to be submitted to the local authority. The fellow looking after the whole application asked me to change the words "halfway house" to kiosk or rest area.
There are some smart arses who will be reviewing our application and they will flag the issue of why a drug rehab place (halfway house) will be on the golf course.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

JohnV

Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2003, 07:26:46 AM »
Someone I know argued against a golf course being being built because it was "not natural", as opposed to the farm land it was replacing.  When I pointed out that, in Oregon, trees and grass were probably at least as "natural" as 150 acres of plowed, harvested corn field she didn't seem to get it.

Or the people who successfully defeated a golf course on an island with a pair of very popular beaches by arguing that the all the traffic going to the course would disrupt their lives on their farms.  Somehow a maximum of 4 cars every 10 minutes wouldn't seem a lot compared to the thousands of people who went to the beaches there every weekend in the summer.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2003, 07:56:56 AM »
Two more stories:

1 -- A terribly confusing and complicated project in 1985 was built partially on preserve desert land that was acquired in a trade in which the park district received more pristine desert land than it was giving. Very wise, yet a hot debate. A lady who lived up against the new course argued at hearings that wildlife would be forced back into the preserve and our "destruction" would cost her her valuable homesite. Two years after the course was built she appeared again, this time pleading with the park district to erect a fence along the golf course "so the damn animals would stop coming down to the golf course and bother her."

2 -- One of my "favorite" arguments against golf development is that "you golf course designers are always building courses above natural rivers and oceans putting our waterways in harm's way from the chemicals you use..." Well, I ask, "Except for a very few places on our fine earth that are below sea level, where exactly would you suggest that we build golf courses so they are not above oceans and waterways?" And, I also throw in the thought that, "...at least golf courses are managed by licensed, profit-making personnel that apply legal materials according to state laws there is never room for waste or over-application as no one offers a subsidy for such materials." This, of course, in contrast to agriculture where 14-year-olds can often apply pesticides and 55 gallon drums of chemicals are regularly supplied through government programs.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2003, 08:33:32 AM »

Quote
We had a par 3 over a lake and one enviro objected, on the basis a fish might get hit by a golf ball.

At Giants Ridge? That sounds like a Minnesotan to me!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

Michael Dugger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The "Dilbert" of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2003, 09:13:09 AM »
So, it doesn't really apply to the design and planning realm.....but here's a good construction story.

I was told to head out to the back nine and shoot in AND STAKE a couple of greensites for some rough shaping.  As I'm gathering my tools and so on together, I realize I don't have a hammer.  After driving from one corner of the property to another in search of the const. super., I finally find him pulling a few ZZZs in one of the remote corners of the property.  I drive up to his truck and tell him that I don't have a hammer.  I ask if I can borrow his and he saysno.  I said, "What in the hell am I suppose to do then?"  He told me to use a rock.

Another time, a shortage of shovels almost led to a fist fight.

You work for a multi-million dollar golf course construction company and you've got to beg, or bring your own, hammer? ::)

Before I showed up on site I heard another frustrated college intern recently quit after having engaged in a blow out argument with the super.  I don't know if it was over a hammer or not, but I do know that the following evening the portable office was mysteriously burned to the ground.    
    
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
What does it matter if the poor player can putt all the way from tee to green, provided that he has to zigzag so frequently that he takes six or seven putts to reach it?     --Alistair Mackenzie--

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