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Re: quirk in design
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2003, 01:33:57 PM »
Matt Ward:

Further to my question about which courses have an abundance of quirk, I spent some time thinking about Prestwick identifying those shots that are clear and borderline examples of quirk:

Clear Examples:

#3 – 2nd shot over famous Cardinal bunker
#5 – blind par 3
#17 – blind approach

Borderline Quirk:

#1 – tee shot (maybe…railway as OB)
#13 – second shot to very difficult green
#15 – second shot to tricky green
#18 – short par 4 finish  

So, we have three shots out of 36 that are clearly quirky and four others that are borderline on what is probably one of the quirkiest places in golf. Is this too much?

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


Re: quirk in design
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2003, 04:52:15 PM »
Tim / George / et al:

Fair enough. There are holes where architects deliberately end the fairway with either barranca or other interruptions and then force you to play a longer shot to the target. There's plenty of examples in the Southwest that come to mind. If I recall correctly Stone Canyon in the immediate Tucson area has two such holes -- one a par-5 on the front and another long par-4 on the back side. Another example is located at Quintero in Peoria -- just outside of Phoenix.

Let me mention the island green par-3 concept has plenty of quirk to it -- particulary because the high probability of unpredictability when playing such holes. I mentioned the former 7th hole at Stone Harbor -- although some said that wasn't quirk but poor design. Alas, people will quibble on the application of quirk depending upon their own view.

A couple of others --

The 2nd at Tattersall / outside Phillie
The 9th at NYCC
The 10th at Alpine
The 18th at Yale
The 13th at the Irish Course / Whistling Straits

Just realize this there are certain people who see quirk and say it's good design -- there are also others who are just as quick to separate quirk from bad design -- really?
Gentlemen -- there CAN BE quirk that's just bad period too!

Let me mention that simply because a hole is blind is not enough to say it's unfair or unpredictable. I am a firm advocate that the good shot / poor shot maxim in golf needs to be adhered to -- how you design a hole or what features are in or out has little meaning to me SO LONG as the core ingredient of reward and penalty are included with some sort of consistency.

I'll say this again there is a fine line between acceptable quirk and then the slippery slope descent to "sporty, tricky and gimmick." I guess the Potter Stewart tag likely applies here because one msn's legitimate quirk can easily turn into the sporty, tricky and gimmick approach I've said before.

Here's my homework assignment for you -- is quirk (however you define it) always acceptable? If not -- please explain. Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


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Re: quirk in design
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2003, 06:29:49 PM »
Matt Ward:

Thanks. I was inclined to think that it was easier to identify holes that pushed the limits of quirk than courses that had too many quirky holes.

As for examples where quirk might be pushed too far, I guess I'll stick with the Prestwick example and agree with a point I think Tom Doak made here recently. That is to say the blind par 3 #5 probably does push things too far. Much as I am a big fan of the course, that shot - complete with pot like bunkers - probably goes over the top.

Two holes worth comparing for the purposes of figuring out where quirk is pushed too far are #5 at Prestwick and the famous Dell hole at Lahinch. Both are blind par 3s, but the Dell - provided the hills are properly maintained - proves to be more fun. It's funny because the Dell is arguably more gimmicky, but it still brings more pleasure than frustration.

With #5 at Prestwick, finding one of those bunkers just kind of pisses you off in a way that doing exactly the same thing if the blindness wasn't there probably wouldn't.

I think your question is a good one. David Wigler said recently that a combination of factors pushed quirk too far. He spoke about a blind tee shot that was to a fairway that sloped into a hazard. I can certainly see where that wouldn't be much fun for the first time visitor.

But, what if you play the course regularly? Does that make a difference? Is quirk more acceptable when you play the course repeatedly?

Here in Cleveland the most quirky course might be Mayfield Country Club (Ross). The par 4 second hole is probably the most quirky.

"Hit left or right" I was told the first time a played it, "there is no middle of the fairway".

Well, there is and there isn't. The blind tee shot is too a severely crowned fairway. The trick is to find a lie and stance that you like. Play it a few times and you get the idea. Play it the first time and most people might well think it pushes quirk too far.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Tim Weiman


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