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Cliff Hamm

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Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« on: December 07, 2011, 11:35:26 AM »
Quick read on golfweek.com where in Brad's words: "The 10 courses listed here represent a sample of some of the most important works in U.S. design."  The choices are interesting as by and large they are not the usual suspects:

http://www.golfweek.com/news/2011/dec/06/klein-crash-course-great-architecture/
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 01:20:03 PM by Cliff Hamm »

Peter Pallotta

Re: Brad Klen: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 11:53:46 AM »
Thanks, Cliff.  Very nicely done, Brad  - you have a real knack for getting to the heart of the matter without dumbing it down.  I've been on this site for years, and yet found myself thinking "Oh, so THAT'S why architecture matters".

Peter

Garland Bayley

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Re: Brad Klen: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 12:08:05 PM »
All courses with public access.

Good job Brad.
"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

Mac Plumart

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Re: Brad Klen: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 12:57:12 PM »
They comprise a curriculum that will provide a better understanding of architecture

Excellent!!!
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Mike Tanner

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Re: Brad Klen: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 01:00:31 PM »
+1 on the public access angle. And, yes, good job.
Life's too short to waste on bad golf courses or bad wine.

John Mayhugh

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Re: Brad Klen: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 01:05:37 PM »
A really nice read.  Thanks.

Cliff Hamm

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Re: Brad Klen: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 01:16:39 PM »
Garland - A+ that they are all public access.  Did not catch that...

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: Brad Klen: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 01:23:30 PM »
Thanks for posting the link to the article Cliff.

I also like the focus on public courses, if good architecture is going to be appreciated by a wider audience they ought to know where it can be found.  
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

cary lichtenstein

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 02:19:31 PM »
I'd add:

Blackwolf Run River Course
Whistling Straits-Dye
Cog Hill #4-Wilson
Spyglass
Pebble Beach
Lakota Canyon or Redlands Mesa
The Quarry at Giants Ridge
Bethpage Black

Live Jupiter, Fl, was  4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 4 back surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms. Last course I played was Augusta

Cliff Hamm

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 02:26:21 PM »
Bethpage Black is listed

Kalen Braley

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 02:27:27 PM »
I would have put Wine Valley in the original list of 10.

Andy Troeger

Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 02:34:32 PM »
I'd be curious what other courses were considered. I like how the list comprises modern and classic along with different styles. You could make an argument for other courses, but it seems like there is one from every genre. I'd have liked to have seen Black Mesa included, but its hard to argue with what's there. I like the inclusion of Tobacco Road--its not for everyone but should be seen.

Mike Nuzzo

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 02:38:32 PM »
fellas who wish to make a replacement
please explain why and how they are a better sample
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil & Tiger.

Howard Riefs

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 03:28:22 PM »
Really nice article and analysis.

Good to see the inclusion of Lawsonia, which often doesn't see much play in the golf press.
"Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: Taking long walks and hitting things with a stick."  ~P.J. O'Rourke

jeffwarne

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 03:39:33 PM »
Quick read on golfweek.com where in Brad's words: "The 10 courses listed here represent a sample of some of the most important works in U.S. design."  The choices are interesting as by and large they are not the usual suspects:

http://www.golfweek.com/news/2011/dec/06/klein-crash-course-great-architecture/

we will have truly entered a Golden Age when an article is written profiling these same 10 places that doesn't have a qualifier that they are "important works in US Design", but rather that they are "10 great places to play golf"
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Michael George

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2011, 03:47:02 PM »
Brad:

Great work.  I loved how you chose different architects at all public courses so that anyone could experience the designs from great and differing architects.  Especially liked the inclusion of Tobacco Road, Lawsonia Links and Wild Horse, instead of just listing a Nicklaus or Fazio design.

I do have a couple of questions:

1.  How close were you to including Pacific Dunes over Old Macdonald for viewing a Doak design.  While I love Old Mac, you are almost including 2 Macdonald courses by listing Greenbrier and Old Macdonald?

2.  Did you consider listing a RTJ design just so someone could see the difference between strategic and penal designs?  I don't know if there is a great public design to show this - but Firestone would certainly highlight the differences.

3.  I don't know what public course would qualify, but I would have loved to see a Colt/Alison design in the list, as I think their style is different than the others listed and maybe as good as any architects ever.
"First come my wife and children.  Next comes my profession--the law. Finally, and never as a life in itself, comes golf" - Bob Jones

Dan Kelly

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2011, 04:57:03 PM »
Well worth reading, I agree, but...

... it's not a Crash Course in Great Architecture.

It's "10 Well-Designed Courses You Can Play," with dollops of architectural instruction here and there.

A crash course in golf-course architecture would take one (or, better yet, several) of these courses and walk a reader through, shot by shot, hole by hole, showing what the architect was attempting to achieve.

Seems to me, anyway.

And, yes, I'd much prefer, personally, to read that other story. I'm sure Brad could write it well.
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

Bill Brightly

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 05:00:03 PM »
Well worth reading, I agree, but...

... it's not a Crash Course in Great Architecture.

It's "10 Well-Designed Courses You Can Play," with dollops of architectural instruction here and there.

A crash course in golf-course architecture would take one (or, better yet, several) of these courses and walk a reader through, shot by shot, hole by hole, showing what the architect was attempting to achieve.

Seems to me, anyway.

And, yes, I'd much prefer, personally, to read that other story. I'm sure Brad could write it well.


Dan,

While you make a good technical point, I am just thrilled that many golfers (outside of GCA.com) will read the words "Great Architecture" and perhaps contemplate what they mean...

Kalen Braley

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2011, 05:40:27 PM »
I guess I would take issue with two of the courses on the list....

...if a key component of good architecture is building minimalistic courses with reasonable budgets, then how does Chambers or PGA West - Stadium course make it in here?  In this day and age when budgets have become tighter than a frogs spinkster, how could undertaking projects like this be responsible in any way, shape, manner, or form?  I think Chambers is a fantastic course, but it sure was a massive price tag.  Especially given that they still aren't done making changes and spending money.  Perhaps they got lucky in landing a US Open which could mean a massive financial windfall and long-term viability, but how about the other guys who try and fail.

A course like Wine Valley was likely built at a teeny fraction of the price of Chambers, and is almost every bit as good in my opinion.  These are the kinds of examples that should be highlighted.

P.S.  I'm thrilled to see WildHorse on the list and very much look forward to giving it a play next summer!

Tim Pitner

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2011, 05:57:40 PM »
I too was surprised to see Old MacDonald instead of Pacific Dunes because, as mentioned, a MacDonald course was already included and Pacific Dunes is representative of the original work of Tom Doak, an important modern architect.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 06:00:19 PM by Tim Pitner »

Andy Troeger

Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2011, 06:04:24 PM »
Kalen,
I think the point of something like this would be to highlight all the different styles of architecture...not a bunch of the same thing. I also think its written for somebody who isn't well read or traveled on architecture, not somebody who has already played 7 of them and wants to debate whether Black Mesa would have been a better inclusion than Wild Horse or whatever.

You might come to the conclusion from the exercise that "a key component of good architecture is building minimalistic courses with reasonable budgets," but I think this is more about the journey than the results. I think a reasonable budget is a good business practice, by the way, but not necessarily a component of good architecture. One can spend a lot of money to build a great course, and I'd still be excited to play those courses. If it were my money being spent to build a course, that minimalist guy would be high on the priority list though!

RJ_Daley

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2011, 06:15:00 PM »
Well it is Brad's list of which he thinks is illustrative of diverse architecture.  His qualifier is that the examples should be 'accessible'.  Otherwise, he may have been more able to demonstrate an obligatory example of diverse great architecture by MacKenzie, and substitute Crystal Downs for Pasa.  But, Pasa fits the accessible bill better, and it is still a good MacKenzie example.  

One might think of substituting Sawgrass for PGA West, to demonstrate similar design principles that Brad calls attention to, with regard to Dye's long lateral hazards of sand or water, tempting but deceptively difficult carries, etc.  

Why wouldn't Brad nominate Old Mac, which his input gives him much credential to discuss the exemplary nature of demonstrating diverse and significant classically traditional architectural features of an earlier genre, easy to play upon, confounding and challenging to try many types of shots, and skills.

I like how Brad gets the notion of restoration architecture in the mix of considerations, with C&C's Pinehurst2, Lester's Greenbrier, and Renaissance's Pasa.  If we are to think in terms of the art and craft of great architecture, examples of restoring great architecture should also be considered along with new original significant designs that exemplify GGCA.  
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Brad Klein

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2011, 06:49:15 PM »
I love it how, when someone asks me for my five favorite golf courses and I name five, they immediately argue with me for leaving one out. My snarky answer is always that if you wanted ten maybe I would have included the one you were looking for.

So as with any piece, here I was operating under constraints, mainly it all had to be around 1,700 words or so to fit the original print space. Added constraints, self-imposed, were that they all had to be public access, equally divided between Classic (pre-1960) and Modern (1960+), from ten different design shops and geographically diverse.

Kalen Braleyís assumption (Reply #18) that ďminimalismĒ is some sort of standard worth emulating as an inherent virtue makes no sense to me; itís certainly not one I have ever committed to.

Cary Lichtensteinís list of additions (Reply #8) suggests some interesting courses but Ė outside of Bethpage-Black (which I include) do not convey designs that in my estimate are distinctive enough embodiments of styles worth studying, even if they have some considerable virtues Ė like Pebble Beachís figure 8 routing. If I were teaching an ethics course, Iíd focus on Plato, Aristotle, Kant, et al and not Dilthey, Bergson and Rawls, even if the latter are worthy later on.

Andy Troeger (Reply #11) asks which courses I considered. All I can say is that I have seen thousands of them, have a huge collection of scorecards and books, and I flip through my mental roll-a-dex each time I write such an article and sort through very unsystematically to come up with such a list.

Michael George (Reply #15) asks a great question of whether, in choosing Old Macdonald, I committed a mistake by basically including two Macdonaldís, since I already had Greenbrier-Old White. But of course Old Macdonald is a Doak-Urbina design, not a Macdonald, itís their version, I know that course as well as almost any other, and itís much easier for me to explain its distinctive features than just about any other since I was witness to its genesis. Iím big believer in being didactic, or as I often say, itís more important to be effective than to be right.

As for a Colt-Alison, well, something had to give and I'd be hard pressed to name a quality public course they did; I also left out Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus. Had I room for 20 I would not have.

R.J. Daley (Reply #21) asks about TPC  Sawgrass-Stadium over PGA West as the paradigm for Pete Dye. All I can say is that PGA West is a starker embodiment of his visual genius, though TPC Sawgrass is more sophisticated strategically. But it would take longer to explain it whereas thereís nothing subtle and everything is in front of you (or on the side for smart players) out at PGA West.    
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 10:15:52 PM by Brad Klein »

Adam Clayman

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2011, 07:42:36 PM »
RJ, Brad is both effective and correct in mentioning PGA West. It's just unique enough to provide a crash course in gca. Sawgrass, and Hilton Head might be better courses, but as he said, would take too long to explain to a relative novice.

At first I was surprised to see Chambers Bay, but after listing the constraints, it's perfect.

For someone who wants a crash course, this article should pique their interest. Well Done!
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

William_G

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Re: Brad Klein: Crash Course in Great Architecture
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2011, 07:47:57 PM »
well done, +1 on Chambers Bay as a Trent Jones insertion in the Crash course...what's next?  lol
It's all about the golf!

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