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« on: March 29, 2003, 11:52:57 AM »
Well, there weren’t as many participants as I had hoped, but I suppose there were more than I feared.

First things first, we had four submissions:  Andy Levett, Chris Clouser, George Pazin and Scott Cullen, with Ben Cowan-Dewar showing much interest but never actually handing in his effort.  Great job, gentlemen!  8)

I asked all the contestants if they had any objections to my commenting on their respective offerings, and none seemed to mind.  In fact, Andy said he didn’t consider the exercise “THAT” hard (his emphasis), and George warned me he was ready to defend his ideas (which I took to mean that I’d have to defend mine as well…).  

George’s genius:

Andy’s attempt:

Chris’ concept:

Scott’s stab at it:

Here, for better or worse, here are some comments regarding their work:  (Disclaimer: obviously, these are just my opinion, and should not be seen as authoritative in any way, or taken personnaly, or whatever… They are given in a constructive way to promote discussion.  So don’t freak out guys.  This is supposed to be all in good fun. )  :)

- The first thing I noticed is that Scott and Chris have a phobia of numbers, and left it up to me to figure out the mess and understand which hole was which.  Scott’s was fairly easy to understand, but I had to add numbers myself to Chris’ routing or else I would have been hopelessly lost. Thankfully, they had added text descriptions, but seriously, hole numbers would have been nice…

-  The other thing to notice is the many similarities between each proposal.  All had seen the “cape” hole at the very top left – expept for George who’s 13th has his green farther from the coasline (time to defend your ideas, George!) – and the other “cape” opportunities along the top (east) side of the lake at the bottom of the picture (except, once again, for George whos straight 2nd hole stays away from the lake.)

- Scott was the only “counter-clockwise” routing who seemed to try to save the best (lake and coastline) for last.

- Chris’ effort also saved the lake and some coastline for the back nine, but by then most people would have walked about 5 miles on the front nine, going from green to the next tee, that they’d be too damn tired to appreciate it.

-  There is very good spacial relation between the holes on Andy’s design, expect perhaps a few little areas (the dance between holes 4 and 6, the area of 8 green – 9 tee – 17 green, and the proximity of holes 14 and 16 to the road, although that last one could be easily fixed.  Seriously though, Andy’s concept shows a very good understanding of the space needed for golf holes, and exhibits good flow from one hole to the next, with very little awkward holes.  It’s not an easy thing to do, and is often a major shortcoming of many routings of armchair architects.   Same with George’s and Scott’s routing, who’s overall layouts are very comfortable (good flow).   Great job guys

- Everyone seemed to have problems dealing with the lower left-hand corner.  I think each routings could be improved in that area.

- I liked the routing of holes 2, 3 and especially 4 on Andy’s option.  However, I question the idea of and driveable par four as the second hole (especially following a par three first).  It might lead to some severe traffic jams.  And I got to wonder how one will reach the landing area on the fourth hole.  It’s either an environmental nightmare, an expensive bridge, or a lawsuit when somebody gets konked on the head from players on #6.  And the carry might be a bit rough for Mrs. Hemsworth (because there’s nowhere to put a forward tee).

- I like the par 3 11th on Chris’ routing.  A quite little hole, although once again poor old Mrs. Hemsworth might go through her shagbag trying to clear the pond.  I also like his 4th hole (or Andy’s 11th), a cape style par 5 around the beach.  On the other hand, Chris has six holes under 265 yards, and nothing between 265 and 400 yards.  A couple of driver-wedge holes might be in order?

- George’s 3rd hole wins the originality contest.  An “island” green on a links course.  Hmmm…..

- It’s unfortunate that Andy’s 15th and George’s 14th and 15th cross the road.  Surely there is room to avoid crossing the road.  Could he have not put that par three between the 16th and 17th holes in Andy’s case?  And it would seem that George did so on purpose, but this isn’t St.Andrews.  Public roads can’t be used as hazards.  This may be my fault, as I should have specified it earlier (even though I didn’t think I had to).

- I really like the par three at the top corner over the coastline (Andy’s and George’s 12th, and Scott’s 7th) .  I hadn’t “seen” a hole there when I was working on the routing options myself.  I’ll keep it in mind, since I think a short hole in that area would work well.

However, by default, Andy Levett and Chris Clouser are the finalists.  I say by default, because they were the only ones who took into account (or seemed to take into account) the two-phased aspect of the routing, returning after nine-holes until an additional nine holes are built.

But the long walks between holes on Chris’ routing dashed his hopes for a winning design. So Andy is the winner, mainly because, as I said earlier, the flow of his routing worked very well.  A couple of things though: 1- I believe it might be improved by working on holes 5, 6, and 7 to get out of the way of the great 4th hole.  Maybe 6 should be a par three and 7 a par four?  2-  I think he’s creating congestion by getting the 8th hole so close to the road.  I know it’s done for the routing of the 9-hole first phase, but it should be safer  3- Like I suggested, I feel it would be great to get the 15th on the same side of the road.

And finally, here is the routing we came up with last week, while the consest was being held:

Apologies for the image being "bigger" than the others.  It's not an ego thing, it's just oriented differently.  :)

We’ve figured two ways of doing the two-phase thing.  The first would be to play the front nine exept for the par-three 8th, and the second option would be to play the back nine as is (better golf holes, but longer walk to the first (10th) hole), using the first and ninth green as practice greens, and adding a temporary practice range in the place of the future holes 2 and 9.  That second option (not using holes 1 or 18 ) was not available to you when the contest began, so our routing had less restrictions than the ones mentioned for the contest.  But I just thought I’d show you what we came up with for those of you that were curious.

Now when the snow melts, we’ll go on site, find out none of it works, see other spectacular holes, and start the process all over again.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Brian Phillips

  • Karma: +0/-0
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2003, 03:27:24 PM »

I think they have all done well.  I didn't read the results until I had made a decision myself on which routing I liked the most myself and Andy's was the best as you said because of the flow of his routing.

I have a couple of questions about your routing, how long is that walk from 17 to 18?  And what are your feelings about the walk from the 17th tee to the green?  Are you going to walk past the 10th tees, the 8th green and the 7th tees?

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

Andy Levett

  • Karma: +0/-0
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2003, 01:06:17 AM »
Wow. I’m actually quite thrilled to have won this, though like Jeremy I was surprised there were not more entries from armchair architects. Anyway, it was a great idea of his and good of him to put in the time and effort to do it.

To defend/discuss my routing:

Hole 2: Yes, it’s a driveable par 4 following a par 3 opener but in this case I thought it was worth it for a really cool risk/reward Cape hole.
Once having put this hole in though I was more or less stuck with a clockwise routing, and  as Jeremy said a counter-clockwise routing like Scott’s does save the best terrain for last.

Hole 4: I wasn’t quite sure what that brown area the drive must carry was but if you can’t walk through it then, yes, I suppose a bridge would be needed. I’d be reluctant to lose 5 or 6 so you could walk round.
One of my favourite courses, Harry Colt’s Brancepeth Castle, makes great use of a ravine on several holes. A necessary bridge over it was built by the Royal Engineers (part of the British Army). I don’t know the history of it but I’m presuming they did it for free as a training exercise. So maybe you could save on the cost of the bridge that way…
As for Mrs Hemsworth, I take the point but the carry from a forward tee would be about the same as your 17th over the lake. She just needs a few more lessons from the pro  ;)

Hole 15: I didn’t know how major the road was, or where it went. As it looked like a rough track on the map I figured it would be worth crossing to get a hole by the ocean on that side.
But there is room to put the hole with the others on the left of the road.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the progress of Jeremy’s course. I love the holes in the bottom corner (14 and 15). On the par 5 seventh would  that sandy area cutting across short of the green have to be made into fairway?


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


« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2003, 03:26:15 PM »

The walk from 17 to 18 would probably be over 150 yards, maybe a bit more.  Put it this way, you've got to have 50 yards from the green to the road, another 50 yards from the road to the 1st green, and another from the 1st green to the 18th tee.  As to the walk from the 17th tee to the green, I would imagine it players would walk around the pond (behind the other holes, as you said).  But the 17th green might need to be located near the 2nd tee, depending on the ease of crossing the pond near the road.  And anyway, who knows what we'll see on site...  This routing is basically pure theory.


The holes that are drawn on our routing are totally generic and conceptual.  No design thought has been put into them whatsoever, other than the routing.  So no, we won't bulldoze over dunes or anything.  :)   In fact, the holes were drawn on our AutoCAD base mapping, and then the aerial placed on top.  But since the aerial has small distortions, the holes are not shown in their exact location relative to the aerial.  For example, the third tees would not, in fact, be built atop the left hand lane of the highway, and the sixteenth hole should be closer to the pond than is shown.  At this stage of the design, it's pretty minor stuff though.

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


« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2003, 04:35:56 AM »

Thanks for offering this up for us to participate.  I agree with most of your comments on my design.  There were some long walks in there.  I thought there were some excellent greensites and actually found 17 great ones but connecting them all would have created about 7 or 8 par fives so I tried to shrink some of the holes and it created some of those walks.  I also had a problem with an the 8th hole that would get the player back towards the clubhouse.  I guess I painted myself into a corner.  I didn't think of going off the aerial you provided or I probably could have come up with a drive and pitch hole or two.  

As for the 11th, if Mrs. Hemsworths shag bag is emptied on a 150 yard hole, then perhaps she shouldn't be on the course.  Just kidding.  But that's all the longer that hole would have been.  

The layout provides an opportunity for something that is rare in the form of many great par 5s.  That is something that I haven't seen on too many courses that I have played.  Usually there is one good one and two or three of low merit on the courses I see.  

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

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2003, 06:56:13 AM »
I'll try to respond more in depth later, but a couple of quickies:

- For anyone looking at my design, the par 3s are blue, the par 4s are red, the par 5s are yellow.

- Moving the 13th away from the coast was intentional - I felt like too many of my holes were either cape type holes or holes with something like beach or road running all down one side. I figure with detailing around the greensite, it could be plenty interesting. Moving it toward the coast would along the entire par 3 14th across the road, though, so it probably would be a good thing.

- I'm a little surprised you felt we all struggled with the lower left corner. I haven't looked at the other submissions yet, but I felt that my lower left loop was the strongest part of my routing. I'll try to expound on this later.

- Re: crossing the road. I definitely know it's easily fixable - in fact, I figure I would probably end up changing it if I were doing this for real with a real client. I simply like the long par 3  14th & the par 5 15th where they are, & I know from my experiences in business that it's easier to go for the harder thing first & then concede than vice versa. Besides, didn't Tom D say a few weeks ago that most of the top 35 courses in the world cross a road?:)

- I also didn't utilize the beach flow for the late holes intentionally. What can I say, other than my 11th grade history teacher drilled into my head the need to avoid cliches.:)

- I'll try to explain later why my routing is better than yours. ;D (Big joke here - I haven't even looked at yours yet).

Thanks again for the fun exercise - I'd love another stab, so let us know if you ever want to do this again. A little more notice & a contour map would be nice, however. One last  :)

P.S. Regarding not following the nines built separately guidelines, I'll say this for now: there are several nine hole loops within my design, depending on how you wish to proceed with construction. I'll expound more later.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:03 PM by -1 »
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2003, 03:21:55 PM »
I have a little more time now. It's kind of eerie how similar my effort & Andy's are - makes me wonder how similar different architects would be on the same piece of land.

I'm a little disappointed others haven't participated and/or commented - thank you very much Jeremy & Brian for sharing your thoughts. I was kind of hoping to hear from Forrest Richardson, seeing as how he's our resident routing expert.:) I guess everyone else would rather complain about ratings or restorations. ;D

I'd like to think that some of my holes would appear better if I could flesh out the details. I'd like to think that, anyway....

For instance, on the par 4 #2, I'd angle the green to fit along the lake, and fit a greenside bunker along the right. The green would presumably drain toward the water. Hence, the further left one drives, toward the water, the better angle. That's why I left that nice big area short & left of my green. Otherwise, you're coming in over a bunker to a green sloped awway from you.

The par 4 3rd isn't original at all, sorry to say - it's stolen from George Thomas' par 4 around the lake at (I think) La Cumbre - it's well explained in his book & Geoff's The Captain. The idea is that the length would be such that it's driveable with a heroic carry of just over 250, otherwise the green is kind of redan like. So much for the originality award....

I tried to avoid shots over water - it's my own personal bias against what I perceive the average golfer's correlating water holes with quality holes. I think my only carry over water was my par 3 4th, and you could put tees all around the lake to minimize the carry.

The par 5 5th is supposed to be around 500-525, with the goal of making the question of go/no go with the burn in front interesting.

The par 4 7th is also intended to be driveable, hitting over the vast sand, or safer route would be around. Green would be also kind of island like, surrounded by sand.

Can't say I really like my 8-9-10 sequence, but I was trying to bring the golfer back toward the entry area.

Maybe I misunderstood the 9 hole building constraint. It seems to me my loop of your #1 through my #9 doesn't leave you all that far from the clubhouse, but if it does, you could always build 9 & 10 later & use 17 for your temporary 9th.

Similarly, I could find other 9 hole loops throughout my design, such as 2-3-7-8-9-10-11-16-17, or 2-9, then a temporary tee to the 17th, though that would result in 3 par 3s.

One thing I tried to avoid was crossovers - something I was under the impression most golfers dislike. I personally like them, because I like interaction with other golfers & I like the opportunity to other mini loops, where one could sneak out in the morning or evening & play a quick 4-6 holes.

I specifically did try to avoid too many cape holes. I originally had something similar to both Chris & Andy, wrapping holes around the lake, but after much internal debate, I decided I had too many holes of this sort on my layout, so I changed my routing around to avoid this. This was also my logic for not making the 13th a cape. Like I said before, it probably would be better to make 13 a cape, so there would be more to bring 14 across the river.

I should have known you'd be biased against the road crossings, Jeremy - didn't you look unfavorably upon the Road Hole after your trip across the pond? :) Me, I love it. I guess I'd have to ask what kind of traffic that road receives - it probably would be best to bring everything back across the road. :(

I'll try to analyze Jeremy's routing tonight.

Thanks again for the fun exercise. I'll keep bringing this thread up till Forrest cries uncle. ;D (Just kidding)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:03 PM by -1 »
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04


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