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Tim Bert

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Golf Course Architecture and Music
« on: January 09, 2011, 12:47:30 PM »
I know this isn't an unexplored topic, but I've got several things on my mind that I need to throw on the floor in hopes that some of you will assemble the pieces for me.  Warning: Brain dump of unrelated scrambled thoughts forthcoming.

I just finished listening to The Bends by Radiohead for the very first time this morning.  While I relaxed and sat in isolation, my mind began to wander. 

First, a couple thoughts on Radiohead.  I heard the song Paranoid Android when it was first released and it immediately went to the top of the stack in terms of songs.  To this day, it remains one of my favorites.  It wasn't the first Radiohead song I'd ever heard, but it was the first to make me say, "Wow!"  For reasons unexplained, I never connected with the band at that time.  I probably listened to one or two songs off of OK Computer and didn't get it and thought to myself "One hit wonder."  As any Radiohead fan will tell you, that couldn't be further from the truth, but it is how my love affair with the band began.  Definitely not love at first sight.  About a year ago, I decided to give OK Computer a shot in its entirety.  It had been long enough since I had heard any sound off of the album, other than my old standby Paranoid Android, that it was a completely fresh listening.  For whatever reason, I really enjoyed it that time around.  The album hit heavy rotation for me, and I decided that I was going to slowly introduce myself to the world of Radiohead.  About 4 or 5 months ago, I purchased In Rainbows.  It didn't have the same effect on me as OK Computer (or maybe it did since I didn't love that one immediately) but it was still enjoyable.  I decided that with the new year upon us, it was time to explore some more Radiohead.  I decided to go with The Bends as mentioned above.  I can definitely say I have become more in tune with Radiohead as this was the first of their albums that blew me away the first time through.  I'm not sure that it has songs on it that I will enjoy MORE than some of the individual songs on OK Computer but top to bottom, I think it may be a stronger effort and I wouldn't be surprised if 6 months from now I have a new favorite Radiohead album.  I can't believe I've wasted 12 years without listening to it, but at the same time it is nice to know there are some "unexplored classics" in this genre out there waiting for me.

As I was exploring the music on this album, I started thinking about a few things:
 - What are the albums that have revealed their greatness to you upon an initial listen?
 - What albums have grown with time to be favorites despite the fact that they may not have been my favorite right off the bat?
Here's where I started thinking about golf:
 - If I were to walk a course with an iPod, which course / album combos would create a sublime experience?
 - Is it better to experience the great golf courses for the first time with no knowledge and no pre-disposed notions or to do so armed with reading and/or a working knowledge of the course? 
 - Does that answer vary by course?
 - Does that last answer change if you will only experience the course once and does the answer vary by course? 
 - For those of us that are frequent posters and readers on GCA, a classic course revealing itself to you with no knowledge is probably not a frequent event.  Please share your experiences if you have some good ones.
 - Finally, how has the way you first experienced a great course influenced your opinion of that course?

I'll kick it off by sharing a few of my thoughts...

Best albums that revealed their greatness with one listen - Almost ever TOOL album falls into this category for me, which is why TOOL remains my favorite band today.  I have listened to every one of their full-length albums on release day, other than the first LP, and every single one explores new territory, surprises, pleases, and brings new emotions to the table.  No other band has ever consistently done this for me.  Others would be Throwing Copper by Live.  I had enjoyed Mental Jewelry but their second full-length album blew me away with the first listen and remains a top to bottom favorite for me.  Dirt by Alice in Chains slapped me in the face pretty hard the first day I listened to it and it has remained a favorite for me.  So dark, yet so scrumptious.  More recently, and all the classic Iron Maiden fans shall cringe... A Matter of Life and Death.  My goodness, I had no idea that Maiden had this in them at this late an hour in their career.  Finally, I'll mention Stop Making Sense - more so in the movie sense than the album sense, but the album is a nice representation of the film as well and I enjoy both to this day.

Albums that needed some time to grow - I already mentioned OK Computer.  I'll add Gnarls Barkley's first effort St. Elsewhere as well "The Yellow Album" by Days of the New.  Many more out there and I may add some later, but I want to get to the golf part...

Walking a course with the headphones on - Probably not advisable unless you can get a nice secluded experience very early or late in the day when you don't need to worry about other golf balls being hit your way.  I would love to play Sand Hills listening to 10,000 Days by TOOL with a storm on the horizon.  Aenima or Lateralus would be the TOOL album of choice for Kingsley.  I think Radiohead would be nice golf course music as well, which is why my mind wandered this direction while listening to The Bends.

Experiencing a course for the first time - Experiencing The Bends this morning made me think how cool it would be to explore one of the great golf courses without any pre-conceived notion of what I was going to see.  I have spent so much time reading about courses and looking at photos of the greats that it probably isn't as easily done as said.  Yale stands out to me as one of the true great first-time experiences.  I knew of the biarritz and I knew that it was a course that involved many template holes and I knew the 18th hole was designed "over and around" a small mountain but that was about it.  I wasn't prepared for what I would see and learn that day.  I also needed multiple rounds to comprehend what was going on - and I'm still a long way off.  Another really cool first-time experience to me (though not on the same caliber golf course as I posed the question) was my inaugural round at Vanderbilt Legends North.  Played with our very own Mike Hendren, I didn't have any idea what I was going to see on that course.  I had played the neighboring public (at that time) South course several times, but had only seen glimpses of a hole or two on the North.  The combination of some really good holes and features, combined with Bogey as the tour guide, made for a unique and fun experience.  I went on to join Legends (though I'm not currently a member) but I'm not sure I ever enjoyed a better round than the first one.

Contrast these experiences with my one-time play at Cypress Point Club.  I owned the book and had read it and explored it many times over.  I knew "exactly" what to expect - ok, so you can't ever really be prepared for an experience like that, but I was a well prepared as I could have been having never stepped foot on the property.  Which brings me to one of my other questions - does this differ for a one-time play?  I think that Cypress Point Club would have been incredible under any circumstances, but I for one enjoyed the anticipation and the "research" leading up to the event and I can't imagine enjoying my morning there any more than I did.

Still, I can't help but wonder, are certain courses "better" going in cold turkey and is there anything particular about one course or another that would lend it to being more enjoyable with no background information.

Finally, I started thinking about the recent Sand Hills vs. Riviera topic that has received significant play recently.  I have played both courses, though I've only played Sand Hills 4 times on one visit and I have only played one round at Riviera.  For me, the comparison of the courses isn't close - Sand Hills wins.  I wanted to internally challenge this though process, which is where I came up with the last question on my list regarding how you first experienced a golf course.  It is easy to recognize that both are great courses for anyone that has had the privilege to walk or play both.  At Sand Hills, I played the right set of tees for my game and I walked the course in near isolation.  At Riviera, I played the wrong set of tees for my game and I rode in a cart.  I created the wrong tee problem for myself by not speaking up, but I was playing with three members that I did not know.  Ultimately, I likely made their round less enjoyable as well as mine, and I learned a nice lesson that day.  Still, I can't help but think that while I appreciated so much of what was going on there, I also missed a whole lot more than I saw.  Thinking back, I have played almost every great course I've experienced walking and carrying or with a caddie and I can't help but think that riding in a cart has unjustly cost Riviera some points in my mind as well.   

I have no idea where I want this thread to go.  I just wanted to get my thoughts out of my head and onto my computer.  I can honestly say it has been a long time since I sat down alone with a record as good as The Bends for a first time listen and ended up just thinking.


jonathan_becker

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 01:00:16 PM »
Tim,

Just a quick thought about Paranoid Android....

I've listened to Paranoid Android literally thousands of times and it never gets old. EVER.  In fact, it's in my car right now. 

Listening to music and mixing it with golf it something I've been doing since I've started playing and PA might be the best song to mix with any course.  It was also a great song to get lost in when I used to ride the el and dream of playing golf instead of my actual ride to work.

JC Jones

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 02:07:49 PM »
Brilliant.  Thanks for sharing.
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Bill_McBride

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 02:29:39 PM »
After reading your post I found "Paranoid Android" on Pandora and listened to a bit.  Had to play half an hour of Jerry Jeff Walker and David Allen Coe to regain my sanity!

Peter Ferlicca

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2011, 02:48:57 PM »
I must also comment, I am an obsessive Radiohead fan.  I could just listen to their vast library of music for the rest of my life and be more than pleased.  Though I enjoy playing golf with some friends, I find nothing more peaceful than a late afternoon round out on the golf course by yourself walking with the ipod playing.  My Ipod consists of almost all Radiohead solely just because I think they are that good.  My favorite time ever was three summers ago when I played Stone Eagle every weeknight from 7 to 9pm just by myself.  I would go up there plug in my Ipod and get lost in myself while playing golf.  Having to boom a drive while listening to Idioteque, or watching the sunset on your final putt with the melody of Karma Police is about as good as it gets.  Or the dark clouds come rolling in with Climbing Up the Walls or I Might Be Wrong, sometimes you are visualizing yourself as part of the song.

I have listened to so much music while playing Stone Eagle, that there are times where stepping on certain tees a song just pops into my head.  Hole number 4, the treacherous right to left tee shot that kills me every time, the immediate song that pops into my head is How to Disappear Completely, because I just want to disappear from the shot.

Many times if you are listening to a certain song while playing a memorable golf hole, you have deja vu instances.  While playing the golf hole again you will always think of that song, or if you are listening to the song in the car, that golf hole will create that lasting image in your eyes.  

Each person has their own music taste, but I highly suggest if you are going out by yourself sometime bring your Ipod along.  You might be surprised how much you enjoy the experience of golf with music.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2011, 02:53:54 PM »
Tim - thanks.

There's so many ways to approach this, and your post deserves better than what follows (especially as I have often thought/written about the connections).  But this time, something you wrote sent me off in another direction, i.e.

I think the experience of a great golf course is more akin to the practice of yoga in a master-class than it is listening to an album, even one by great  musicians.  That's because practicing yoga (like walking a round of golf) is a 'whole body' experience, not merely an 'aural' one.  Yes, listening can certainly be a 'participatory' experience - an active and alert listening; but, if we might be spirits/souls, we certainly are bodies, and I don't think we can separate the two, i.e. what the body does (and is called to do, and to experience in sight and sound and smell and touch, as in a round of golf) is deeply connected to what the spirit/soul experiences.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 03:00:24 PM by PPallotta »

Bill Seitz

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2011, 03:37:35 PM »
Tim, you should give this a shot:
http://puddlegum.net/radiohead-01-and-10/

Basically, you create a playlist (in iTunes for example) with Ok Computer and In Rainbows.  You alternate songs (1. Airbag, 2. 15 Step, 3. Paranoid Android, 4. Bodysnatchers, etc.) with a minor tweak around Karma Police.  Set the crossfade for about 10 seconds.  The two albums were meant to be listened to together.  It actually sounds really cool.  FWIW, OK Computer is one of my three favorite albums of all time (along with the first Stone Roses album and Ocean Rain from Echo and the Bunnymen).

To answer at least one of your questions, I can think of two albums from the last two years, each of which ended up being my favorite album of the year, that really took a long time to sink in.  In 2009 it was Bitte Orca from the Dirty Projectors.  It was being pegged by critics as one of the best albums of the year, so I gave it a shot.  It sounded like something I'd like, but I couldn't get into it and put it away for a few weeks.  I tried it again a few times, and had the same reaction.  Finally, about a month later I gave it another shot, and it hit me in a completely new way.  It took a while, but it's a terrific album that I've probably listened to about a 100 times since then.

in 2010, the album that required some work but also ended up as my favorite album of the year was The Monitor, from Titus Andronicus.  It's got a lot of things working against it.  It's a bit of a slog.  It's 67 minutes long, with only 10 tracks, two of which are very short.  It's sort of a concept album, about a disaffected young man's journey from New Jersey to Boston, set in the current day, but told through Civil War motif.  It took a lot of listens to sink it, but once it did, I couldn't stop listening to it.  I was fortunate to see them in concert four different times last year.  Funny enough, it was a perfect album to take to the driving range, since it lasts about as long as it takes me to get through a couple large buckets.  Here's the write up I did on it at the end of the year.
http://laseitz.blogspot.com/2010/12/year-in-music-my-favorite-album-of-2010.html


Dan Herrmann

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2011, 09:03:45 PM »
I've always put golf course designs into musical categories of sorts.

For example:
Merion East - Bach.  Classic course deserves great classical music
Pete Dye Golf Club - Helter Skelter
Pacific Dunes - Jon Swift (he even has a song called "Bandon by the Sea"!)
Torrey Pines - Love's Theme
Augusta National - Georgia

I loved Richard Zokol in the early 80's.  I used to see him with a Walkman walking the fairways of Glen Abbey during the Canadian Open.  I'd love to know what he was listening to!

Tim Bert

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2011, 01:01:59 PM »
Anyone else have some thoughts on the merits of playing a golf course with / without advance study or research, and which experiences have been the most satisfying for you?  For those of you that have played NGLA - had you read Mr. Bahto's book on CBM first?  To me, I know much less about the top tier courses in Scotland and Ireland than I do about those in the US.  As I haven't made the trip yet, I hope for that to one day be my sensory overload trip where I experience so many things firsthand without forming expectations up front.  There are certainly some top tier courses in the US where I could accomplish that as well, but far fewer where I haven't done some exploration or reading.

Bill - You can't listen to Paranoid Android "for a bit" or you miss about 5 different style changes.  It isn't for everyone!

PF - I suspect that my 2011 will have a few rounds mixed in like your Stone Eagle experiences.  I will start with TOOL, but could see extending that privilege to Radiohead as well.

PP - When I was typing this thread, I will admit you are the only poster that popped in my head as someone that might make it through my entire post.  Thanks for sticking with me.  Master yoga sounds immensely cool.  I've recently started some very basic stuff and once I can balance on one leg and touch my toes I might continue to pursue it.

Bill - I tried your playlist last night and fell asleep two songs in the rotation.  I'll give it another try, though it is hard to imagine enhancing the experience of OK Computer for me just because my view of the quality of those two albums is that they aren't on par with one another.

One other band that required more "grow on me" time than any other... System of a Down (Bill, don't bother!!!)  Here's a band where a friend offered to let me borrow his CD years ago and I literally laughed out loud as I was listening.  "What the heck is this garbage'" I thought on more than one occasion.  I literally didn't pick up the CD for several months.  I think I then heard one of their songs on the radio one day and though that it was crazy but it had some merits.  I listened again.  It was still pretty painful, but now some of the laughs were chuckles of joy and understanding instead of absurdity.  It finally made it into rotation, and let me tell you, if you like hard music and don't mind a little screaming mixed in from time to time, I'm not sure if there is a more diverse and quality progressive metal band out there (I still prefer TOOL but they aren't as aggressive as System of a Down.

 

Brian Ross

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2011, 01:29:47 PM »


One other band that required more "grow on me" time than any other... System of a Down (Bill, don't bother!!!)  Here's a band where a friend offered to let me borrow his CD years ago and I literally laughed out loud as I was listening.  "What the heck is this garbage'" I thought on more than one occasion.  I literally didn't pick up the CD for several months.  I think I then heard one of their songs on the radio one day and though that it was crazy but it had some merits.  I listened again.  It was still pretty painful, but now some of the laughs were chuckles of joy and understanding instead of absurdity.  It finally made it into rotation, and let me tell you, if you like hard music and don't mind a little screaming mixed in from time to time, I'm not sure if there is a more diverse and quality progressive metal band out there (I still prefer TOOL but they aren't as aggressive as System of a Down.

 


Which System of a Down album did your friend give you?  I ask because I used to be quite the fan...until they sold their souls to be on MTV.  Their first release, which was their self-titled album from 1998, was absolute genius.  Absurd, but passionate music with deep meaning that probably no one but Serj Tankian himself could really attempt to explain.  I highly recommend checking that one out, if you haven't already.  As early as their second album (Toxicity) in '01, my interest began to wane, though.  It still had a lot of the absurdities and catchy lyrics that make them interesting in the first place, but it lacked the genuine passion that I saw in the first release, and seemed contrived.  It kind of reminds me of when rappers get rich.  All of a sudden, they can't really rap about being broke and from the streets anymore, or how hard life was.  So they just make stupid songs about how much money and bling they have.   :P
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

http://www.rossgolfarchitects.com

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2011, 01:37:16 PM »

Royal Dornoch The song and logistics required is well summed up if following an overseas Four Ball Party with Caddie. Hopefully the title of the song will explain all   ;)     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ7hYEJt2UY

TOC The only song that can describe the full experience of The Old Lady when the wind and rain chaperones her and you are looking down the 18th Fairway.  No one looking but one still hears the cheers and clapping  ::)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm-sbOH-nEc&feature=related

Prestwick The Majesty and History of the course and site can only be matched by the thrill of the pipes.  :'( :'( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmwoeBJpcDs&feature=related

Melvyn

George Pazin

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2011, 01:46:23 PM »
Bought OK Computer back when it came out. Listened to it once. Haven't listened to Radiohead since.

Music is almost too personal to discuss, if that makes any sense. But I did enjoy the opening post, there is a lot of meat in there.

I think learning about a course in advance can enhance the experience - and probably can ruin the surprise a bit as well. I'm glad I didn't know much about Mountain Ridge prior to playing there recently - but I'd probably re-read George's book if I ever got an invite to NGLA. So I guess it probably depends on the course.
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

Tim Bert

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2011, 03:34:06 PM »
George - Agreed that music is very personal.  Music was intended to be a springboard for the discussion about golf courses, but I felt like I needed to provide some context to jumpstart the discussion.  Maybe you ought to try a second listen - not my intent to winning over new Radiohead fans on this thread but something inspired you to buy the album, so it must be worth at least a second shot. 

Brian - Guilty as charged.  The first album I touched was Toxicity.  While I have since gone back to their roots as well, as is often the case, the music that inspired you to be a fan in the first place is what sticks the best.  I think they've got a lot of good stuff on both Steal this Album as well as the most recent Hypnotize / Mesmerize.  Actually, the double CD is probably my favorite to listen to start to finish of all their work.  Two things about your comments - 1. I don't care much what they are singing about in the case of SOAD.  It is really just the music, massive stylistics change in the midst of a song, and the two voices and how they play on one another that I love.  I'm not particularly inspired by their message, so any sell out factor that you reference doesn't bother me one bit.  I like how the music sounds and that's what drives me to buy the records.  2. Unlike the rapper example that you cite, I find that SOAD is always a bit more concerned with war / oppression / societal injustice / etc.  There is always enough of that stuff going around to keep them inspired.  Or was, at least, before they got tired of it themselves and stopped making new music. 

Jud_T

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2011, 04:05:09 PM »
One disk for Kingsley and your choice is Tool?  May have to have a reconvening of the membership committee.... 8)
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Tim Bert

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2011, 04:11:14 PM »
One disk for Kingsley and your choice is Tool?  May have to have a reconvening of the membership committee.... 8)

Just let me know what you'd like for me to label the album and songs in iTunes, and I'll make it look like whatever you want on my iPod...  ;)


JC Jones

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2011, 04:12:38 PM »
One disk for Kingsley and your choice is Tool?  May have to have a reconvening of the membership committee.... 8)

Just let me know what you'd like for me to label the album and songs in iTunes, and I'll make it look like whatever you want on my iPod...  ;)



For Jud's approval, I'd go with Mandy Patinkin.
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Tim Bert

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2011, 05:08:11 PM »
One disk for Kingsley and your choice is Tool?  May have to have a reconvening of the membership committee.... 8)

Just let me know what you'd like for me to label the album and songs in iTunes, and I'll make it look like whatever you want on my iPod...  ;)



For Jud's approval, I'd go with Mandy Patinkin.

Hello, my name s Inigo Mpntoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2011, 06:21:32 AM »
I see a great deal of connection between golf courses and music of the baroque and classical periods. They're both about form and structure. There are givens such as 18 holes, mostly par 4s, some par 3s, some par 5s. How many and where they come in the round are similar to the variations found in a 4-movement symphony or string quartet, 3-movement concerto, multi-movement suite and so on. How the music is managed within that form is not dissimilar to the routing of a golf course. The endless possibilities for variation within what would appear to be very limiting structural demands of a fugue can be breathtaking:

Professor Peter Hill is a world-renowned Messiaen scholar but he is also a co-author with his father of one of the standard histories of Royal St George's GC. By chance I was talking to him only yesterday. Additionally Peter is a distinguished pianist and has recently been recording Bach's 48 for CD. Of the fugues he commented that if you knew 47 of them you couldn't possibly predict what the 48th might be like. It's akin to the constant surprises of good golf course design, and, like the finest courses, you never tire of hearing (or, better still, playing) these pieces again and again for there is always something new to discover each time. I'm also finding that coaching this sort of music reveals even more - as detailed study of a good golf course does.

BCrosby

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 10:08:22 AM »
There are parallels between golf and music at many levels.

One is that they are both performance arts based on a score (music) / plan (golf). In both disciplines the creator sets the parameters within which a third party performs.

The quality of music/golf architecture is not a function of the quality of the score/plan itself, but rather a function of the quality of the  third party performances that the score/plan calls for.

Bob     

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2011, 11:48:16 AM »
You can't help thinking of golf and music together when you see the name BCrosby flash up!

George Pazin

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2011, 12:26:38 PM »
Of the fugues he commented that if you knew 47 of them you couldn't possibly predict what the 48th might be like. It's akin to the constant surprises of good golf course design, and, like the finest courses, you never tire of hearing (or, better still, playing) these pieces again and again for there is always something new to discover each time. I'm also finding that coaching this sort of music reveals even more - as detailed study of a good golf course does.

Amazing post - these notions deserve threads of their own!

Tim, no worries, I knew what you were getting at, and as I said, your post is very interesting. I don't even know where my copy of OK Computer is. :)
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

Peter Pallotta

Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2011, 12:41:51 PM »
Yes, wonderful post, Mark. You made me think of the double cd set I have of Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations -- the first recorded when he was a young man in 1955 and the other in 1981, when he was a old(er) man. The music 'allowed for' or 'contained' (neither the right word, but I hope you get my meaning) both the flash and ego of the young pianist as well as the meditations and confidence of the older pianist. I don't know classical music very well at all -- but that 'potential range of expression' must be one definition/characteristic of great music.  Perhaps sort of like The Old Course.

Peter

JNC Lyon

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2011, 05:30:02 PM »
I've been wrestling with this topic for awhile these last few days.  Over the last couple of months, I've been thinking more about music and less about golf course architecture.  But both are passions for me, so I would like to find some connection between the two.  I suppose I could find different types of music or different albums and compare them to different golf courses.  However, everyone's choice in music is different, so everyone would have different songs or albums for different golf courses, so, for me, comparing golf courses to albums will not accomplish anything groundbreaking.  It's fun, no doubt, but it also pure opinion.

Tim, I think your most interesting points were in regard to the Sand Hills-Riviera thread.  Specifically, you ask how a golf course/album affects the golfer/listener after one play and after repeated plays.  That, I think, gets to the core of appreciating music and appreciating golf courses.  A golf course or an album can be an instant hit after one play.  Some of my favorite golf courses and albums are hits for me after one play, and therefore I have some level appreciation for them.  But over time, this appreciation will be fleeting.  Courses like Garden City or Yeamans Hall were places that I absolutely loved after one play.  Yet, as time passes, I find myself remembering less and less about those courses.  I remember some specific holes, like the dramatic 14th at Yeamans or the neat finisher at GCGC.  I also remember how I felt when I played each of these courses.  Nevertheless, I missed many things playing those courses once, and I could never have the same appreciation for GCGC or Yeamans as someone has played those courses countless times.

The same idea, I submit, is there for music.  The Bends is clearly a fantastic album that resonates after one play.  But does that fact alone make it better than Paranoid Android?  I say, no way.  Music, like golf course architecture, reveals itself, for better or worse, over time.  We can only truly judge a course or an album after many listens.  Therefore, when I pick an album off the shelf (this week it was Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks") I try to remember what I felt before, but I also look for new things that can inspire.
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Tim Bert

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2012, 09:10:43 PM »
A year later and I am now a full fledged Radiohead nut.  I own every album, and I was wrong about The Bends. It is a nice effort and it came out the get strong but it has settled much lower on my favorite album list than I expected. OK Computer I think is their best effort but they have a lot to offer on every record. I probably like The King of Limbs more than most others, which is a good thing because they are playing it in heavy rotation on the recent tour and I am going to see them live tomorrow night for the first time.

I never got around to playing that round of golf at Kingsley with my music in my ears but I am determined to make it happen in 2012!

Grant Saunders

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Re: Golf Course Architecture and Music
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2012, 10:18:37 PM »
Tim, interesting stuff.

Its kind of funny you bumping this now as I have been thinking about what you were getting at regarding playing a course without knowing too much about it first.

I feel that it is more accurate to evaluate a course for yourself if done without anything beyond a consensus of its overall pedigree. In other words, recommendation that a course is good/great but with less emphasis on why or specifics such as holes or features. I believe if you experience a course having been told of what to look for, you may either  not notice other things which fit your own personal criteria for greatness or you may allow others thoughts influence your own perception.

I think many people become too hung up on certain designers or their brand and are quick to lose objectivity. They start seeing greatness simply by association of those involved. Likewise, this works in reverse by automatically have a lower opinion of a course because it is by an architect who they do not like.

To assign you music based comparison, I am not a big Rolling Stones fan but am quick to acknowledge the greatness of some of their songs. At the same time, I am a huge ac/dc fan yet I can freely admit they have produced some below average stuff and the latest offering from them, or any band, should not be held up as excellence just because of who produced it.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 11:07:26 PM by Grant Saunders »

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