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Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2011, 07:26:01 PM »
Ted,

Please point out/explain how I was off-base by asking Joe to explain this?

Quote
It is hard to lose a golf ball on all 4 courses at the resort. 


I'm sure he's an excellent caddy and all, but honestly, what else am I to think when he says something looney tunes like that?

rjsimper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2011, 08:02:48 PM »
Maybe the better metric is where do the caddies play?

Andy Troeger

Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2011, 08:29:16 PM »
I think liking Old Mac mainly comes down to whether you are willing to accept a course where a pretty large percentage of the challenge and interest lies in the green complexes and surrounds. For the better player its not hard to get on/around most of the greens in regulation, but its still tough to make pars or better once you get there. Some people (including some of you) love that aspect of the course. Others don't. I think the greens are great, but my personal preference is a course that has a great balance between the long game and the short game, and I think OM falls a bit short there compared to the other courses at the resort (especially Trails and Pac) that have both great greens and great interest tee-to-green. On future trips, I would spend more time on those two courses and less at OM. BD is somewhere in the middle. Its a polar opposite from a place like Atlanta Athletic Club, where too much of the emphasis is tee-to-green for my liking. I haven't played AAC and I'm not saying AAC is in the league of Old Mac, just pointing out the total contrast of styles.

I'm not saying there isn't interest tee-to-green by the way, just that the BALANCE of the features leans toward the greens, perhaps moreso than any other course I've seen.

Kalen,
I lost one ball in four rounds at the resort, and you know I hit the ball all over the yard. The only lost ball was the first shot of the day at BT and I admittedly didn't really look hard since the group allowed me a 2nd try. Might depend on the time of the year, but generally I would agree its tough to lose balls at least in a comparative sense. I'm sure it can be done.


Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2011, 08:33:14 PM »
Joe, Could you answer me this? How many, what percentage, of Old Ma's detractors use the word "unfair" when describing why they don't like it?
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2011, 08:47:38 PM »
Andy,

I had heard they have done some Gorse removal on Pacific since I played it in 2008.  Perhaps they removed a lot of it, if not all of it, because balls were very easily lost on the gorse holes out there, especially playing into the wind when the slightest slice or draw turned into big curvy balls.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2011, 09:13:57 PM »
Maybe the better metric is where do the caddies play?


Ryan:

That's not the metric Mr. Keiser would use, since the caddies don't pay.  In fact, it might be the opposite of the correct answer -- the course where the caddies play is likely the one that isn't as busy with paying customers!

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2011, 09:18:11 PM »
The dilemma or paradox is why and how so many others wouldn't and don't.  It is a big question, and I guess this board really isn't interested in answering those types of questions.  
I'm consistently disappointed with how little thought people will put into what they'll type on the internet.....

As for me, and probably quite a few others: I'm consistently disappointed by how few of the Bandon courses I have played -- and, consequently, how unable I am to give meaningful thought to your question.

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

Peter Pallotta

Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2011, 09:24:25 PM »
Tom - you've mentioned the "26% of play" measuring stick in earlier OM threads, and to be honest even the first time I read it my thought was "Why so modest a goal?"   I understand that the situation at Bandon is unique, and that with 4 courses the breaking down into 'quarters' works neatly, and thus so too does that particular yardstick for success.  But still, it strikes me that this may be the first time you have ever used such a yardstick, and the first time the goal for a course of yours was to be only a fraction more popular/liked than its neighbours.  Why so modest a goal? Did you sense that the 'concept' might put certain limitations on the appeal?

Andy - thanks, good post.

Peter

Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2011, 09:29:12 PM »
I do think that Old Macdonald presents a dilemma, at least for me.

The things that make it special and different and cool are some of the same things about which I am unsure.

1. Old Macdonald lacks the definition of hole corridors seen on most other golf courses and ends up seeming to be a course built without boundaries,  which is both cool and disturbring.

2  OM has greens larger than any other course on the planet and one can easily be on the green and yet many yards from the hole,  which is both cool and disturbing.

3.  At OM, one can generally putt from nearly anywhere and one generally does putt if within 50 yards of the green (Nearly all the recovery shots are putts.  I play a higher percentage of my shots at OM with a putter than on any other golf course), which is both cool and disturbing.

4.  The course utilizes concepts on most of its holes that I have seen repeated many times (admittedly in interesting and creative ways... but nonetheless, my favorite hole is the unique 7th) which is both cool and disturbing.

5.  The course offer tremendous numbers of options and plays remarkably different depending on hole location and wind...so many options that one can never really get to know and understand the course, which is both cool and disturbing.

I am certain someone will come on and claim that I posted without much thought.  However, any lack of clarity comes strictly from the limits of the quality of my thought and not the effort ;).

Bart
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 09:32:36 PM by Bart Bradley »

Peter Pallotta

Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2011, 09:33:01 PM »
You won't hear a peep from me, Bart. That was an excellent and for me enlightening post. Thanks
Peter

Andy Troeger

Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2011, 09:50:20 PM »
Bart,
Good post. I think points #1, 2, and 3 especially were things I haven't quite gotten my mind around in terms of OM.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2011, 10:27:01 PM »
Tom - you've mentioned the "26% of play" measuring stick in earlier OM threads, and to be honest even the first time I read it my thought was "Why so modest a goal?"   I understand that the situation at Bandon is unique, and that with 4 courses the breaking down into 'quarters' works neatly, and thus so too does that particular yardstick for success.  But still, it strikes me that this may be the first time you have ever used such a yardstick, and the first time the goal for a course of yours was to be only a fraction more popular/liked than its neighbours.  Why so modest a goal? Did you sense that the 'concept' might put certain limitations on the appeal?

Peter


Peter:

I had that goal in mind from the start of the project, because I knew it was important to Mr. Keiser.  I think he always had his doubts that it was something we could achieve, and if we didn't achieve it, then the project would bring down the overall quality of the resort and not be worth the trouble and expense.  And I have great respect for all three of the neighboring courses in Bandon, so I figured if we could achieve that modest goal, the rest would take care of itself.

I would also prefer to have a different goal every time out, instead of focusing on the same things repeatedly.  At Pacific Dunes, we only concerned ourselves with building a contrast to Bandon Dunes that people would like just as much -- well, that and not screwing up the best site anybody might see in our lifetimes.   At Ballyneal, we just kept talking about building something fun to play, and making sure we had 18 different holes than Sand Hills.  At Cape Kidnappers, we had to build a course people would want to fly halfway around the world to play; at Barnbougle, we knew the key was to build a course that golfers from Melbourne and Sydney would fall in love with and want to come back every year.  All of them clearly had the potential to be great courses, but those goals I just mentioned helped give each its own charm.

We've got two clients right now [only one of whom you've heard about on GCA] who talk openly about wanting to build a "World Top 50" course (!).  I cringe a bit at that, because I've got a healthy respect for all the courses in that group -- and also for a lot of courses which have fallen short of that mark.  I know it's achievable, if everything from start to finish goes perfectly, if I have nothing but good days on site, if there's an ocean close by ;) , and if the politics work out right ... but as a goal, it's pretty crazy. 

To his credit, Mike Keiser never talked about rankings [in front of me, anyway] on any of the four courses at Bandon.  He talked about building courses which would please the retail golfer, and trusted that if he succeeded, the rankings would take care of themselves.

Peter Pallotta

Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2011, 10:51:00 PM »
Thanks, Tom, I really appreciate the answer, as it never occurred to me that you'd be setting such goals in addition/in parallel to the main goal of routing the best course you could. It's given me something to think about in terms of my own goal setting (or lack thereof!)

Peter

Bill Brightly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2011, 11:14:37 PM »
Great post by Bart. I love the combination of "cool and disturbing." I think almost all golfers would agree that OM is replete with cool features, but being cool to look at does not automatically mean it will be great to play golf on. For me, the "coolness" of the features make it a blast to play but I can see how others might get frustrated or simply prefer simpler features and more predictable results.

I put a positive spin on Bart's use of the word "disturbing" and take it to me that it creates a sense of uneasiness for the golfer. The huge greens, the great variety of shot options, the wind, etc. all add to the mental challenge of playing golf. I love that about OM but I can see where others are overwhelmed by it.

Nice writing Bart. Cool and disturbing.

Greg Tallman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2011, 11:20:46 PM »
Bart,

Heard comment similar to your number 3 from a top 100 panelist... "What's so great about hitting a putter after your approach everytime regardless of the quality or lack thereof on your approach?"

I think Tom has addressed that criticism here previously.

John Kirk

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2011, 11:50:46 PM »
I say Old Macdonald yields shots of great interest.  Pacific Dunes is prettier and more coherent, but Old Macdonald is a shotmaker's dream.  So many fun shots to look forward to.
 

Doug Wright

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2011, 12:05:05 AM »
I say Old Macdonald yields shots of great interest.  Pacific Dunes is prettier and more coherent, but Old Macdonald is a shotmaker's dream.  So many fun shots to look forward to.
 

That's interesting John. I always thought that Pacific Dunes was a "shotmaker's dream". There are so many opportunities to play interesting/unique--and high quality too--shots at Pacific.

Those who dislike the features of Old MacDonald must REALLY dislike playing in Scotland. 
Twitter: @Deneuchre

Joe Bentham

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2011, 12:13:48 AM »
Bart--

Thanks for the thoughtful post.  

Adam--
Much of the criticism players have of Old Macdonald centers around its 'unfairness' or randomness.

Kalen--
Almost 8 years of full time looping at the resort equips me with a certain perspective on things Bandon Dunes related that your one round at Pacific just doesn't.  
Are balls lost?  Of course they are.  Sometimes at an amazing rate.  There are a couple of observations though that prove my point.
Players are consistently amazed at how few balls they lose.  They come expecting to dump pro-v after pro-v into the gorse or over the cliff.  It doesn't happen.  Andy's experience isn't the exception to the rule, it IS the rule.
Higher handicappers usually play better then their handicaps here.  Why?  Because tee balls that would be lost at home are in play here.  I wish I had a dollar for every big group over the years that gave their highest handicapped friend a hard time all trip for winning all the money and being a 'sand bagger'.
Every effort has been made at Bandon Dunes to design, build and maintain courses that are playable.  It is an essential part of the experience.  I'd argue it is one of the many unique aspects of our golf that makes it so appealing to the return customer.  Keeping lost balls to a minimum is essential part of that equation and the width that is presented at the resort proves the intent.
  

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2011, 03:27:12 AM »
I do think that Old Macdonald presents a dilemma, at least for me.

The things that make it special and different and cool are some of the same things about which I am unsure.

1. Old Macdonald lacks the definition of hole corridors seen on most other golf courses and ends up seeming to be a course built without boundaries,  which is both cool and disturbring.

2  OM has greens larger than any other course on the planet and one can easily be on the green and yet many yards from the hole,  which is both cool and disturbing.

3.  At OM, one can generally putt from nearly anywhere and one generally does putt if within 50 yards of the green (Nearly all the recovery shots are putts.  I play a higher percentage of my shots at OM with a putter than on any other golf course), which is both cool and disturbing.

4.  The course utilizes concepts on most of its holes that I have seen repeated many times (admittedly in interesting and creative ways... but nonetheless, my favorite hole is the unique 7th) which is both cool and disturbing.

5.  The course offer tremendous numbers of options and plays remarkably different depending on hole location and wind...so many options that one can never really get to know and understand the course, which is both cool and disturbing.

I am certain someone will come on and claim that I posted without much thought.  However, any lack of clarity comes strictly from the limits of the quality of my thought and not the effort ;).

Bart

Bart or whoever

Could you go into more detail about #1?  That concept strikes me as perhaps the most under-utilized in architecture and one I have really enjoyed the few times I saw it pulled off well.  If I am understanding you correctly the disturbing aspect is the wide open choice with seemingly little trouble no matter which route (if they can be called that) is taken.  This may the sort of the feature which takes time to understand and may be more appreciated once one learns pin positions, wind and a general idea of what score one hopes to acheive.

Ciao

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

Důnal ” Ceallaigh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2011, 04:06:21 AM »
I do think that Old Macdonald presents a dilemma, at least for me.

The things that make it special and different and cool are some of the same things about which I am unsure.

2  OM has greens larger than any other course on the planet and one can easily be on the green and yet many yards from the hole,  which is both cool and disturbing.

3.  At OM, one can generally putt from nearly anywhere and one generally does putt if within 50 yards of the green (Nearly all the recovery shots are putts.  I play a higher percentage of my shots at OM with a putter than on any other golf course), which is both cool and disturbing.


With such large greens, golfers get away with wayward approach shots that are 20-30 yds off line. Perhaps the issue here is that they don't acknowledge that on any another course they would probably have ended up in a pond, thick rough or OOB. They end up with a 100 ft putt, and not surprisingly they three putt it. What's the first emotion they feel? Frustration. they may have hit the green in regulation but they end up with bogey. Golfers hate to three putt and during a post mortem of a round, will highlight the number of GIRs and the three putts they had.

Anthony Gray

Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #45 on: August 18, 2011, 07:38:00 AM »
Here's another ringing endorsement for Tom. ;D

People figured it was just about time for Tom to have a high rated course so they did it for him with Pacific Dunes. They were mistaken, they should have waited until he helped Jim Urbina bring the truly great course there. ;D

Clearly sticks are going to like Pacific Dunes. Clearly sticks are more apt to travel to places like Bandon. Clearly if high numbers of high handicappers were to travel to Bandon and give their opinions to caddies (which they aren't hiring, because they ain't paying for golf lessons either) then it would be Old MacDonald in a landslide.


  Are you saying that OM is easier for the higher handicapper than PD?

  Anthony


Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #46 on: August 18, 2011, 07:49:03 AM »
  If I am understanding you correctly the disturbing aspect is the wide open choice with seemingly little trouble no matter which route (if they can be called that) is taken.  This may the sort of the feature which takes time to understand and may be more appreciated once one learns pin positions, wind and a general idea of what score one hopes to acheive.


Sean:

That's the sort of feature that many people are NEVER going to appreciate; many will give up on it before they understand it.

But, that's the course.  So far, the criticisms are that's it's too wide open, you hit a putter for your recovery shot, it's too random, it's unfair.  I don't hear many people telling me it's too easy -- because it's not.  It's just difficult in unconventional ways that frustrate some types of players.

Anthony Gray

Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #47 on: August 18, 2011, 07:49:53 AM »
I don't consider it a dilemma though..more like choosing between butter pecan ice cream, which I love, and chocolate fudge ice cream, which I don't happen to love but can completely understand why others do...

That's it! If and when we ever meet, we are definitely droppin' the gloves!

Wish I could comment on OM...

  Isn't this Joe's reason for the thread? Also the 26% thing makes no since because many travelers are coming to play the new course. Of course its going to get more than 26% of the play. I still have the hmmmm also fealing about OM. I wish it was not a replica course and Tom could have just done his thing with the land. THe best hole is this 8th which ironically is not a template.

  Anthony


Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2011, 07:56:00 AM »
Anthony:

The 26% is the long term goal.  We can't really measure that until next year or the year after and see how it's holding up.  But I expect it to hold up fine.

Mr. Keiser hates the term "replica course," so be careful or they won't take your reservation to return.  ;)  As for another Doak original, if Mike had been comfortable with an original, he would have hired a new designer instead.  I'm glad he didn't.

Anthony Gray

Re: The Old Macdonald dilemma....
« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2011, 08:06:40 AM »
Bart,

Heard comment similar to your number 3 from a top 100 panelist... "What's so great about hitting a putter after your approach everytime regardless of the quality or lack thereof on your approach?"

I think Tom has addressed that criticism here previously.

  For the higher handicapper its fun. And its far from everytime and OM. Those putts are not approch shots they are recoveries.

  Anthony


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