News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
An architectural student's curriculum
« on: October 08, 2011, 08:31:41 PM »
As we enter the 4th quarter of 2011, I am putting the wraps on this year and thinking of next year.  I've been on a whirlwind tour the last 2 years seeing anything and everything I possibly could.  Due to the ever increasing demands of life (time, money, career, family, etc), I can not continue to see anything and everything.  Rather I need to be selective and see specific courses for specific reasons.  For instance, I haven't played a George Thomas course...so I need to see his work.  I haven't seen Merion or Wannamoisett, courses with highly regarded routing and small parcels of land.  And Highlands Links, for starters a Stanley Thompson (whose work I haven't experienced) and a uniquely routed course.

What things (courses, holes, routings, greens, landscapes, clubs...whatever) need to be seen by someone with a passion for golf, architecture, and history?

I am sure some usual suspects will come up (Pine Valley, etc) and that is great...as those need to part of the curriculum.  But what lesser known things need to be part of the course of study?  Also, don't feel the need to hold things back if they need to be on the curriculum even if you know I've seen it (like the Old Course)...as it is my hope this thread can be more universal to all people with an interest in golf and not specific to me.

With that...fire away!  
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Colin Macqueen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 09:15:22 PM »
Mac,
As the architectural student I would want your curriculum to go something like this.
There may be no thrills and spills but, remember, this is an academic exercise not a licence to engage in extreme sport! Think of it along the lines of a doctoral thesis!

Read and research all one can regarding NGLA.
Peruse all and any photographic evidence available.
Gain access and walk/play the course a goodly number of times.
Attempt to quantify just how much the classic type holes were "copied" and how they were adapted to suit the NGLA site.


As an encore now go to Wethered and Simpson's "The Architectural Side of Golf" and photocopy Chapter V "The Ideal Golf Course".
Research the existence, modifications, and modern day playability of each of these holes. Visit the courses these greens were selected from and assess whether or not this set of greens, if they still exist, can still claim to be ideal.

Provide a written report on the success of both endeavours to Golf Club Atlas!

Thanks in advance,

Colin.
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 09:45:36 PM »
Mac:

Everything you need to learn is in Scotland.  Have you been?

Brett_Morrissy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 09:50:56 PM »
Tom,
Would you care to give a small list of courses or holes that would make up a good beginning or starting point?
@theflatsticker

Mike Wagner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 10:09:13 PM »
I assume you've been to Bandon, so that's page 1.

Another loop I like for this exercise is in WI:

Whistling
Erin Hills
Lawsonia
and my favorite of architectural interest..
Blue Mound CC - love that course- one I would be happy playing every day. 

It's a good mix of old & new.

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 10:12:09 PM »
Colin...

that is great stuff!



Tom...

Yep.  I was there earlier this year.  Over two weeks, I saw Muirfield, Rennaisance, North Berwick, Old Musselburgh, Old Course, Jubilee, Crail Balcomie, and Askernish.

Do you really think everything I need to learn is there?    

Edit...Mike W. posted while I was typing.
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 11:07:31 PM »
Mike...

If you could elaborate on why these courses are on the list and what someone will see/experience when they play them.
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Michael Goldstein

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 05:46:58 AM »
Mac, I suggest in 2012 go to scotland again. Three weeks and play endlessly.

Brett, I'd advise to not only see the big name courses but also lesser knowns courses such as Montrose, Moray, Nairn, Boat of Garton, Panmure, Irvine, Machrie, Dunaverty etc.  Go for it Mac.
@Pure_Golf

Melvyn Morrow

Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 07:50:38 AM »

Mac

It is always refreshing to read you post, you add that little thing that at times is so lacking on this site  That is of actually asking questions and more importantly listening to the response prior to making any further comment.  You allow the conversation to develop examining all the details in the process. As I said, a breath of fresh air.

As for Tomís comment re Scotland, I would certainly endorse it but I would suggest that if you travel over again, do not cram in too much golf, all that does is dull the memory of each and every course experience. Instead, take three weeks and allow at least one or two day between games. By all means visit courses, make notes and obtain their details, scorecards etc, plan them in or dismiss them for any future trip.

I canít remember if you have been to Prestwick, but thatís a must and take away with you the old/new course plans, then visit Prestwick St Nicholas just up the read, this club did share Prestwick course for the first 15-20 years and have the same designer C Hunter. As M G said play Machrie and I would include Machrihanish, you loved Askernish so you may find it of interest.

Golf is a great game and itís even more enjoyable if approached from a relaxed fresh state of mind and body. I understand time is short, travel and hotels are not cheap but if travelling with the wife and/or family then itís a must that you ENJOY your trip, but be totally awake to appreciate it. Many cram too much into their short stay (understandable) and IMHO do not come away with a real deep feeling of satisfaction or contentment.   Play the course twice in a day, experience the real nature of each course and environment, noticing the subtle changes even in the way the different AM/PM light has upon your ability to read/understand the course. Savour the moments, would you go to an expensive Restaurant but leave after only half way through, yet still paying for the whole meal. Your taste buds deserve spoiling from time to time, so does your golfing self. 

Thanks for your many interesting posts.

Melvyn

Ian Andrew

Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 08:26:21 AM »
A single trip suggestion:

I found these three courses offered me more than anywhere else I ever went to see:

Prestwick
The Old Course
North Berwick

A comprehensive list would cover multiple countries and about 10 years worth of travel

Peter Pallotta

Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 10:46:06 AM »
Mac - my two cents: you've already finished your graduate studies, you just don't know it/haven't embraced it.  I've known a couple of fine people who, for one reason or another, ended up getting bogged down with their PhDs, and slogged through the process well into their late 30s getting slightly more crazy and unhappy with each passing year.  I think it's because we are not meant to be "students" our whole lives -- "learners" yes, but not forever children sitting at the feet of the masters.  Graduation comes when one embraces/values one's own knowledge and experience and insights, and stops looking over one's shoulder to see if others approve/agree. 

Peter   

Tom Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2011, 11:11:18 AM »
Follow Melvyn's advice when you play the good stuff.

Play some really average non-descript golf courses, to help you work out why the good ones are so good.

Visit the Melbourne Sand-belt.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 11:14:24 AM by Thomas Kelly »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2011, 11:38:35 AM »
Mac

Whats the rush?  Take your time and pick off a course here and there.  But if you were going to do another "tour", I would suggest England.  The variety of landscapes and designs is seriously deep and there are plenty of GCAers about. 

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

Cristian

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 11:46:42 AM »
Mac: Play golf on different turfs on different continents in different climates. It will show you why things that work in one place cannot always be copied to another place...

Kyle Harris

Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 11:48:11 AM »
Are you a student of knowing what is good architecture or why is it good?

Playing the golf course is probably 5% of your curriculum.

Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2011, 11:56:42 AM »
I love the road Kyle is traveling here...I would suggest hanging out with Kyle or Kye Goalby or any of the shapers/diggers/trenchers for a week on site, then hang out another week with the architect while she/he is on site (to get the master of the fief's perspective) for 2012. If you happen to pick off courses in the process, well that's proper, too.
Coming in August 2023
~Manakiki
~OSU Scarlet
~OSU Grey
~NCR South
~Springfield
~Columbus
~Lake Forest (OH)
~Sleepy Hollow (OH)

Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2011, 11:57:47 AM »
For a third week, hang out with your home-club super down there in 'lanta town and ask her/him what y'all members are misunderstanding.
Coming in August 2023
~Manakiki
~OSU Scarlet
~OSU Grey
~NCR South
~Springfield
~Columbus
~Lake Forest (OH)
~Sleepy Hollow (OH)

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2011, 12:14:16 PM »
Now this is good stuff!!!

I like the idea of playing fewer courses, more times.  Getting to know them, so to speak, in more detail.  My second plays at some of these gems has opened my eyes even wider as  to why they are gems.  However, I think my second (third and fourth) plays on some not so highly regarded courses has proven even more valuable...as I can see what gets old/tiring with multiple plays.

I love the the ideas of seeing different places with different climates and turfs.  I'll never forget my first play at NGLA.  It rained and rained and rained the night before and I just knew the course would be soaking wet, nasty, and borderline unplayable...as the wet bermuda grass on clay soil in Georgia would have been.  But, no sir, the soil drained perfectly and the course was in great shape.  That was stunning to me.  Frankly, I've heard interesting things about the sand in Australia...can't wait to experience it.

I also love the idea of spending some time with a super and/or design/construction team.  Spending some time with Chris Cupit while he rennovated a few holes at Rivermont over the course of a few weeks was incredible.  Seeing the new Dismal course come to life has been, and I'm sure will continue to be, an eye opener.  But more stuff like this should prove to be invaluable.

Maybe these last two concepts are the actual key.  Understanding what is possible due to certain climate and landscapes and knowing how one can go about maximizing these features/limitations for fun golf.  Great thoughts.

And to Peter's point, I have without question learned what it is that I like in a golf course...even if others don't.  In fact, I think that is what makes discussion so interesting (as long as people can respect others opinions).  And it is with this knowledge that I can see how others might like something I don't...and how others might not like what I like.  I know people who love Atlanta Athletic Club Highlands course, I don't like it...but they do.  And guess what, most of them are scratch golfers.  I know people who hate Ballyneal, I love it...but they don't.  Guess what, putting is the worst part of their game.  Seeing this type of stuff first hand and people's reactions to architecture they either love or hate is fascinating.

And Ian...I'd love to see that full list.  God-willing, I'll have at least 10 years of golf left in me.

And Sean...I'm not in a rush.  I just enjoy this stuff and would like to fill my time with more joy-filled experiences.  In fact, I'd love to link up with you in England one day.

Kyle...I don't think I understand what you are saying.  Could you elaborate/explain more in-depth?

Please keep this stuff coming...it is very educational.
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2011, 12:17:14 PM »
Mac,

I second England. 2 or 3 Heathland courses with any number of us London based GCA'ers (let's go for Swinley Sunningdale and Woking), Huntercombe with Philip Gawith,  3 links courses in the Southeast with Tony Muldoon, Mark Chaplin, myself etc (Deal, St Georges, Rye) - a couple of "Sean Arble specials" (Painswick and Kington?) and Notts with James Boon.

There. Trip sorted. Sorry, I know you weren't looking for trip advice but there is a lot to learn there that won't break the bank if you are hosted...Ran doesn't call it the best country for golf in the world for nothing!

Brian...the heathlands is HIGH up on my list.  Be careful, I might just take you up on your offer!!   :)
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Kyle Harris

Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2011, 12:19:35 PM »
Mac:

When is the last time you felt fear on the golf course?

Why?

How did the architect contribute to, or ameliorate, that fear?

What is your emotion standing over a 170 yard approach over a pond?

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2011, 12:24:41 PM »
Kyle...

Gotchya.

This reminds me of what Herbert Warren Wind said.  It was something like, most people describe golf courses/holes incorrectly.  They say 'the hole is 420 yards with a dogleg to the left with a creek in front of the green'...but to get to the essence of a hole, you have to describe how it makes you feel.  And I think that is what you are saying, right?

Also, I have been trying to do this for quite some time.  Tom Paul actually told me to take notes on how I thought a course was going to be before I played it...then take notes right after the round to see how you actually felt...and then a few weeks later go back to those notes to see if you still felt the same way.  Then analyze "why" you felt that way.   He said this should unlock what you like and prefer in golf architecture.

I've tried to be diligent about this and I think it has been key to unlocking the type of courses I prefer.

Good stuff, Kyle...good stuff!!
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Kyle Harris

Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2011, 12:57:21 PM »
Mac:

That's only the first level of abstraction though.

Think about how an island green makes you feel as the 17th hole as opposed to the 7th hole. Think about the context of medal play and match play (both are equally "pure" in my estimation - the idea that match play allows a golfer to voluntarily divorce themselves from a golf hole at the cost of only 1/18th the opportunity to gain on an opponent takes away from the architectural argument that match play allows for more aggressive play).

Think about contexts of specific groupings of holes and how they relate to the site.

Then let's move on to grassing lines.

All in all though, the idea that there is a method or idea around the process of building a golf course is very trite. A noted author, when asked how to write a book simply answers, "You sit down, and start writing a book."

Kyle Harris

Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2011, 01:00:02 PM »
The point of that last anecdote is really that it does not matter how you connect the dots. Just connect them and use what works for you.

Mac Plumart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2011, 01:22:58 PM »
Kyle...

that is good...good...good stuff!!!  That is a layer up from where my thinking has been.  Thanks!!! 
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An architectural student's curriculum
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2011, 02:15:19 PM »
and the fact that Mac is thinking...places him a layer up from me~~
Coming in August 2023
~Manakiki
~OSU Scarlet
~OSU Grey
~NCR South
~Springfield
~Columbus
~Lake Forest (OH)
~Sleepy Hollow (OH)

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back