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Alex Miller

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Quirk
« on: April 28, 2011, 04:00:11 AM »
What is it? How do we define it? Some have suggested that it is variety in a round, but I think there's a lot more to it than that. I think that to some degree quirk is bad architecture, or architecture that doesn't really make sense, which appeals to the golfer. Quirk is probably also just another way of describing the uniqueness of a hole or a course, but is that always a good thing? Is there good quirk and bad quirk?

I ask these questions because the term is ubiquitous on here and it's not used the same way every time. "That course has quirk, that hole has quirk, there's too much quirk in that course for my tastes." Maybe we can do a better job of defining the word so we all have a better idea of what the hell each of us really means to say.

For example, which is quirkier?
A)


or B)


or C)



James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 04:17:17 AM »
Alex,

I don't really see any quirk there to be honest. I remember a discussion several years ago along these lines, and I'll try and find it, but I was unhappy at using the term quirk, as I felt it had negative feel to it. By the end of this other thread, I was happy with it though... I think it comes from playing on plenty of old courses here in the UK where what people from outside the UK consider "quirk" is actually pretty normal?

I'd say that "quirk" is utilising a feature in the existing landscape, in an innovative or unexpected way, that would otherwise be ripped up and replaced, but gives the green, hole or course a little something extra as far as character is concerned, enhancing the spirit of place?

I'm thinking the 13th at North Berwick: The wall is part of the existing landscape, so using it really ties the hole to the site, but pushing the green to the far side of it brings the green closer to the beach and gives a unique hazard that woukld otherwise be totally ignored or taken away?

Cheers,

James
2023 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Aberdovey, Royal St Davids, Woodhall Spa, Broadstone, Parkstone, Cleeve, Painswick, Minchinhampton, Hoylake

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Ulrich Mayring

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 04:33:24 AM »
So according to that definition C) would be quirky. It certainly uses the existing landforms in an unexpected way :)

Ulrich
Golf Course Exposť (300+ courses reviewed), Golf CV (how I keep track of 'em)

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 05:50:51 AM »
Yes, for me C is definitely quirky regardless if the features are man-made or not because of the unusualness of the hole.  Growing up aerial golf seemed to be the norm so any feature which encouraged ground golf had a much better chance of being quirky.  Its actually pretty unusual for a wall or something to be in play on a golf course in an unusual way (mostly they are used as boundaries).  I think the more quirky stuff is down to terrain.  I would also say blindness is easy to see as quirky, but for me there has to be something which sets the blindness apart from the usual.   There is also the case where there isn't a lot of flat out quirky stuff going, but a fair amount of borderline funk because of the nature of the property.  I think Pennard falls in this sort of category.  When you think about it, there is very little funk going on, but the totality of bits of quirk add up in the total analysis.  For instance, Burnham has several elements of funk with the 3rd green, 7th green, 10th tee shot, bridleway on 13, 15th tee shot and green site and the 16th green.  I don't think Pennard has that much pure funk, but few people would think of Burnham as funkier than Pennard.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 06:26:37 AM »
I don't see photo C, above as quirky, just boring and dull. Its a hole down the middle of a valley, whether the valley is man made or not, I don't know, but holes along valley bottoms, or through the base of dune valleys happen all the time. This one just happens to be a very boring version of this. Now if the fairway was all down one slope with the cart path at the base of the valley that would be quirky  ;D

Sean, I certainly agree with your comment about Pennard as having few significantly quirky features, but as a whole the courses certainly feels that way. However, I don't really agree with Burnham when it comes to quirky? 3rd and 15th green are just good historical examples of punchbowl greens that have survived the test of time. 10th tee shot being blind is only quirky for the fact that I dont think of Colt as being one for blind shots. Yes the bridlepath on 13 or the 16th green are quirky, but as a whole I just see a fine example of a links course utilising the existing land?

Cheers,

James
2023 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Aberdovey, Royal St Davids, Woodhall Spa, Broadstone, Parkstone, Cleeve, Painswick, Minchinhampton, Hoylake

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 02:49:36 PM »
Alex,

I don't really see any quirk there to be honest. I remember a discussion several years ago along these lines, and I'll try and find it, but I was unhappy at using the term quirk, as I felt it had negative feel to it. By the end of this other thread, I was happy with it though... I think it comes from playing on plenty of old courses here in the UK where what people from outside the UK consider "quirk" is actually pretty normal?

I'd say that "quirk" is utilising a feature in the existing landscape, in an innovative or unexpected way, that would otherwise be ripped up and replaced, but gives the green, hole or course a little something extra as far as character is concerned, enhancing the spirit of place?

I'm thinking the 13th at North Berwick: The wall is part of the existing landscape, so using it really ties the hole to the site, but pushing the green to the far side of it brings the green closer to the beach and gives a unique hazard that woukld otherwise be totally ignored or taken away?

Cheers,

James

James

I would also suggest there has to be a rarity value otherwise it would be pretty standard, therefore what is quirky today might have been the norm back in the day such as the case you sight of the 13th at NB. Back then walls were regularly used as obstacles.

Niall

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 03:05:20 PM »
I don't see photo C, above as quirky, just boring and dull. Its a hole down the middle of a valley, whether the valley is man made or not, I don't know, but holes along valley bottoms, or through the base of dune valleys happen all the time. This one just happens to be a very boring version of this. Now if the fairway was all down one slope with the cart path at the base of the valley that would be quirky  ;D

Sean, I certainly agree with your comment about Pennard as having few significantly quirky features, but as a whole the courses certainly feels that way. However, I don't really agree with Burnham when it comes to quirky? 3rd and 15th green are just good historical examples of punchbowl greens that have survived the test of time. 10th tee shot being blind is only quirky for the fact that I dont think of Colt as being one for blind shots. Yes the bridlepath on 13 or the 16th green are quirky, but as a whole I just see a fine example of a links course utilising the existing land?

Cheers,

James

James,

You are way wrong on that! C is a do it yourself Dell hole. The fairway is only 12 yards wide, so if you miss over the dunes right or left, you have just created a Dell hole for yourself. Other than the cart path, the hole is entirely natural landscape with a truly minimalist design.

I think we have quirk all wrong. Melvyn is correct! What we call quirk is simply acceptance of golf in a natural environment. The massive movement of earth to create artificial features to me is the true quirk. If you build a course where every green only accepts a high fade, then you have the epitomy of redundant quirk. That is of course if quirk can be redundant. ;)
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 03:12:28 PM »
To answer Alex's question, the 12th at Augusta is quirky. My understanding is that it has been modified by backing up water into the stream in front. It has been modified by creating unsightly deep bunkers and filling them with unnatural colored sand.

The other two are examples of golf in a more natural environment. True to the origins of the game.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 04:41:31 PM »
I will attempt a very modern definition:

Quirk = Any feature of a golf course that will cause some golf players to say WTF ... while at least many of the true golfers, if not all of them, will say OMG.

Quirk = Any feature of a golf course that causes an architect to wonder if too many golf players will say WTF, while too few true golfers will say OMG.

Of course, the best architects will plow ahead despite their doubts -- because all true golfers love quirk. There is no such thing as bad quirk.

When true golfers don't love a bit of quirk, it's not quirk. It's bad design.

"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

Terry Lavin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 05:08:32 PM »
I'd say that "C" is quirky.  If I recall correctly, this is a photograph from Astoria?
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.  H.L. Mencken

Dan Grossman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 05:25:00 PM »
I'm not sure that you can isolate quirk to one hole.  In my opinion, it needs to be a thread which is present throughout the round / course.  I view photo C as quirk because I have played the entire course and there is a bit of quirk that is present throughout the course.  In isolation, photo C would just result in a "WTF is this?" moment on the course.

Any of the holes from Prestwick, Lahinch, Elie, The Island (or any number of courses) when viewed individually and out of context would be strange and potentially bad architecture.  However, viewed in context, they are charming and add to the experience.

Maybe similar to the difference between being weird versus eccentric?  (although, that is usually just a function of money, so maybe not appropriate)

Kalen Braley

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Re: Quirk
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 05:25:36 PM »
In a perfect world where I owned 200 acres of at least workable, if not primo land and money is no big deal...I'd hire one of the best in the biz and give them only 1 instruction.

"Let your imagination run wild and build an 18 hole golf course with nothing but over the top crazy, unfettered, and un-orthodox quirk....the further-out-of-the-box, the better".

It probably wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but that'd be fine as it'd be private!  ;)


Chris Cupit

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 06:24:59 PM »
A.  Great quirk.
B.  I would never think of quirk there--at least nowadays :(  #11 is long, straight, matter of fact and bail right.  #12 is as non quirk as it gets--hit it an exact distance to a pancake of a green.  Penal hole demanding correct distance control more than anything--it's like hitting to an island green surrounded by hazards.
C.  Crap

Jamie Van Gisbergen

Re: Quirk
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 06:31:01 PM »
I think the truest definition of quirk is probably INTEREST. The 8th green complex at Pebble has what some might say is quirk, narrow entrance, bunkers all around, kind of an oddity; but its a very interesting shot. I suppose I could say that same about #7 green as well. The enormity of the greens at Old Macdonald is kind of quirky/odd, but also add interest to the course (BTW, since I know a lot of guys have played there recently, how are the greens doing? When I played last July, they were rather lean, I thought). In my opinion, the term quirk has been used by many in a near derogatory form for features that simply aren't liked by them. Not saying the initial writer here thinks that about the holes he posted though.

Brian Ross

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2011, 07:12:46 PM »
How about something like this?  This bunker is approximately 4' x 4' with a 2 1/2 to 3 foot high face.  It is one of the last places you would ever want to find your ball and located directly in the bend of the dogleg.  So, while serving a purpose, the chances of actually ending up in there are pretty unlikely given its size.  To me, THIS is quirky.  Just one of those Pete Dye things, you either love em or hate em...

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

http://www.rossgolfarchitects.com

Kalen Braley

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Re: Quirk
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2011, 07:54:03 PM »
For all J/Ks talk about half pipe bunkers and such...I've never seen a more perfect half pipe than that one.

I understand its a completely natural land form and all, but I gotta agree with Chris on this one...looks like crap!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 08:28:04 PM by Kalen Braley »

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2011, 08:03:46 PM »
Quirk...
















Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2011, 08:35:59 PM »
Quirk:










Keith OHalloran

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Re: Quirk
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2011, 09:08:34 PM »
Quirk, like beauty, seems to be in the eye of the beholder. I would bet that 90 percent of this site would say that the Dell hole at Lahinch is a great example of quirk. On the other hand, if Tom Fazio built the same hole on his next course, I would guess that 90 percent of this site would hate it and it would generate 20 pages of discussion.

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2011, 09:21:31 PM »
I would bet that 90 percent of this site would say that the Dell hole at Lahinch is a great example of quirk. On the other hand, if Tom Fazio built the same hole on his next course, I would guess that 90 percent of this site would hate it and it would generate 20 pages of discussion.

True that!

Kalen...where is that last picture from?  That is neat!!
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2011, 09:40:20 PM »
I would bet that 90 percent of this site would say that the Dell hole at Lahinch is a great example of quirk. On the other hand, if Tom Fazio built the same hole on his next course, I would guess that 90 percent of this site would hate it and it would generate 20 pages of discussion.

True that!

Kalen...where is that last picture from?  That is neat!!

That's Black Rock in CDA, Idaho.

But be careful about what you "like", you might get labeled an "Engophyte"  ;D

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2011, 09:46:55 PM »
Kalen...

I can't help what I like, God made me what I am and I've found if I fight it, it just makes it worse.   8)

Regardless, I'd love to hit that shot at Blackrock.  It looks really neat.
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2011, 09:49:39 PM »
Kalen...

I can't help what I like, God made me what I am and I've found if I fight it, it just makes it worse.   8)

Regardless, I'd love to hit that shot at Blackrock.  It looks really neat.

I was fortunate to play it...the hole is nothing short of fantastic and thrilling.

As for me,  I bounced my approach shot off one of the rocks but still saved single bogey!  ;D

Scott Warren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2011, 10:06:14 PM »
It may just be me, but I'm struggling to see anything quirky in most of the pics on this page.

As with a lot of terms and catchphrases, it gets overused to the point that it no longer means anything.

David Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Quirk
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2011, 10:17:05 PM »
Quirk, like beauty, seems to be in the eye of the beholder. I would bet that 90 percent of this site would say that the Dell hole at Lahinch is a great example of quirk. On the other hand, if Tom Fazio built the same hole on his next course, I would guess that 90 percent of this site would hate it and it would generate 20 pages of discussion.

Can you point to anything in his work that would lead you to believe that Fazio would design anything like that?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 02:27:31 AM by David Kelly »
"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

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