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Grant Saunders

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Does subtlety have a future?
« on: May 05, 2012, 12:20:06 AM »
In this modern world of instant communication, big budget construction, attention deficit disorder and short attention spans, will there exist the practice of subtlety in golf course design?

Time is short these days with many pressures and competition for peoples time. Fast fading is the regular golfer who can be found religiously attending their once a week game at their local course. Now, maybe that same person is playing only 2 from 3 weeks or even 2 out of 4.

I read often on here of the great courses whose intricacies and subtleties are only revealed after many rounds being played on the course. Is design that requires a large number of rounds to be played on the same course going to become less and less as golfers will simply not be able to dedicate the same level of involvement to golf?

People are becoming so accustomed to a world of things happening quickly with feedback only moments later. Perhaps design will need follow suit and provide the player with a great golfing experience that they are able to appreciate in a manner more in line with today's society driven goals.

While I see a niche still existing for the course which gradually reveals its greatness to you I see exciting challenges in how to blend the pasts design philosophies with todays thirst for instant gratification.

For me, a good example of a course that fits the criteria of one that gets better with repeat play is the Old Course. I have heard that sentiment often and have met many people that have played it the once and been less than blown away by it.

At risk of offending:

Would the Old Course receive anywhere near the same play is does now if it were built today?

Do more people play it because of the history and its recognition amongst the general public than those who play it for the challenges it offers?

Jason Thurman

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 12:41:48 AM »
I read often on here of the great courses whose intricacies and subtleties are only revealed after many rounds being played on the course. Is design that requires a large number of rounds to be played on the same course going to become less and less as golfers will simply not be able to dedicate the same level of involvement to golf?

That kind of design still matters a ton on courses that receive high amounts of local play. It's what keeps the locals coming back. However, in the current economy, it's hard to imagine all that many courses reliant on local play opening in the next few years. It seems most projects that make it through completion lately are designed to draw a fair bit of tourism.

Quote
For me, a good example of a course that fits the criteria of one that gets better with repeat play is the Old Course. I have heard that sentiment often and have met many people that have played it the once and been less than blown away by it.

At risk of offending:

Would the Old Course receive anywhere near the same play is does now if it were built today?

It would never be built today. That's part of the charm right?

Quote
Do more people play it because of the history and its recognition amongst the general public than those who play it for the challenges it offers?

Of course. But that doesn't render the challenges insignificant. Source of motive and source of quality/significance don't need to be the same thing. Just because a lot of people play the course so they can get the t-shirt doesn't mean they're playing a course of less quality than one played by "purists."

Your question is a good one though. I play a lot of courses in my travels that I may not get to see more than 1 or 2 times. I always wonder what I missed, and feel like I just scratched the surface of much of it. But I also think that's what keeps me thinking about and processing the courses I play, and why I go back through my photos and yardage books, and why I play them in my mind on the driving range. I'm trying to find the things I missed. Maybe that's what makes those of us in the treehouse different than everyone else though.

I know someone who plays all over the country, and rarely plays a course twice. His conclusions on many are flat out puzzling, and I believe the way he plays shapes his view of design greatly. He believes principles of good design require things like a full view of the hole from the tee, few uphill shots, little to no blindness, predictable and easy-to-read greens, obvious features like water and trees, etc. It's clear that much of what he looks for is based on his only playing many courses once and not having the opportunity to use course knowledge.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2012, 08:52:49 AM »
Grant:

Subtlety has been slowly fading away for many years.  Even on the courses which have it, it becomes pretty well lost underneath all the visual excitement of other parts, so that few people ever notice.  One of the most subtle courses we've built is Cape Kidnappers (!) where it took two years for anyone to say anything to me about the relatively sparse bunkering or the number of greens that slope away from the line of play -- and to this day, only two people have noticed those things out loud.

No, The Old Course would never receive the acclaim it has today if we hadn't been told for eons how great it is.  You are right in identifying it as the great course that the most players tend to dismiss as overrated after their first round -- of course, that does have something to do with its fame, too.  But it seems to me that the two reasons for it are simple: 

1)  most tourists don't get to see the most interesting hole locations, which are reserved for important events, and

2)  golfers can't make out the strategies of the holes because the features are so difficult to see, visually.

It is the latter feature for which a designer today would be roasted.

Niall C

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2012, 09:00:57 AM »
Grant

If TOC were built today it would definitely get a level of interest due to its unusual nature and I imagine it would divide opinion with perhaps more of a slant towards those that hate it than is the case today. The reason for that is, as you allude to, I think the courses history and iconic status.

Regarding subtlety, I'm not sure it necessarily takes numerous plays to pick up on subtle design features that are either intentional or unitntentional from the gca's point of view. I do think that subtle features are more likely to appear with firm conditions. You often see that with links courses, that you don't need wild contours to provide a defining feature, as long as the ball is running a slope with little contour can have a definign effect on strategy.

Niall

Grant Saunders

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2012, 06:21:21 PM »
Thanks for the feedback guys and humouring me on one of those "wondering out loud" type of questions.

A recent thread about mounding and the 8th green complex at Augusta National started my train of thought on the issue. From the pictures I have seen, I feel the features used at that green site manage to combine strategy with interest in a balance that provides the thinker with an advantage that doesnt take an unrealistic amount of time to understand. All this is achieved with a very simple design and low maintenance requirement. I will reserve full judgement on the full merits of this until I have played the hole (Tiger woods on playstation might be the closest I get) but I do see this as a great example of blending many requirements into a great product.

Tom

Interesting to hear you talk about Cape Kidnappers as one of your more subtle designs. I have yet to play it and because of that, I have intentionally refrained from studying it too hard or looking at all the photos available. From the little I have seen, the short par 4 (sorry, dont know the number) with its single bunker on the left of the green struck me in its contrast to the land. The simple understated use of features really stands out amongst the drama of that landscape.


I know someone who plays all over the country, and rarely plays a course twice. His conclusions on many are flat out puzzling, and I believe the way he plays shapes his view of design greatly. He believes principles of good design require things like a full view of the hole from the tee, few uphill shots, little to no blindness, predictable and easy-to-read greens, obvious features like water and trees, etc. It's clear that much of what he looks for is based on his only playing many courses once and not having the opportunity to use course knowledge.

Jason

This discussion group is always quick to jump on the way "those who dont get it" form their ideals and what they look for in a golf course (Myself included). I think the challenge is to accept the view points of others and find the way to help educate them while at the same time listening to them because they form the majority. The goal should be how to produce a course that encompasses not only what we look for but it also carries that message in a form that is understandable to those who dont spend their free time posting about such things on line.

For a group who is supposedly concerned with the future and sustainability of the game, I often feel our narrow mindedness would kill the game quicker than anything if we were given full power to dictate the game and its landscapes.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 06:23:27 PM by Grant Saunders »

jeffwarne

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 08:46:32 PM »
Grant:

Subtlety has been slowly fading away for many years.  Even on the courses which have it, it becomes pretty well lost underneath all the visual excitement of other parts, so that few people ever notice.  One of the most subtle courses we've built is Cape Kidnappers (!) where it took two years for anyone to say anything to me about the relatively sparse bunkering or the number of greens that slope away from the line of play -- and to this day, only two people have noticed those things out loud.

No, The Old Course would never receive the acclaim it has today if we hadn't been told for eons how great it is.  You are right in identifying it as the great course that the most players tend to dismiss as overrated after their first round -- of course, that does have something to do with its fame, too.  But it seems to me that the two reasons for it are simple: 

1)  most tourists don't get to see the most interesting hole locations, which are reserved for important events, and

2)  golfers can't make out the strategies of the holes because the features are so difficult to see, visually.

It is the latter feature for which a designer today would be roasted.

With respect,
I have to disagree.
What architect, given a good to great site-say a Bandon /Sebonack/Bridge/Friar's Head piece of land , has dared to build subtle?

I say it would be well received if done on such sites, just that architects have to justify their fees/stature/initiation fees/green fees.

Not saying recent sites haven't been maximized (many geat courses have been built in the last 10-15 years) just that subtle hasn't been what architects have tried to sell on premium sites/projects.

So we're not really sure if subtle is fading, or simply not being offered on high profile projects.

I'll put my helmet on now.....
"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

Tom_Doak

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 08:56:13 PM »
Grant:

Subtlety has been slowly fading away for many years.  Even on the courses which have it, it becomes pretty well lost underneath all the visual excitement of other parts, so that few people ever notice.  One of the most subtle courses we've built is Cape Kidnappers (!) where it took two years for anyone to say anything to me about the relatively sparse bunkering or the number of greens that slope away from the line of play -- and to this day, only two people have noticed those things out loud.

No, The Old Course would never receive the acclaim it has today if we hadn't been told for eons how great it is.  You are right in identifying it as the great course that the most players tend to dismiss as overrated after their first round -- of course, that does have something to do with its fame, too.  But it seems to me that the two reasons for it are simple:  

1)  most tourists don't get to see the most interesting hole locations, which are reserved for important events, and

2)  golfers can't make out the strategies of the holes because the features are so difficult to see, visually.

It is the latter feature for which a designer today would be roasted.

With respect,
I have to disagree.
What architect, given a good to great site-say a Bandon /Sebonack/Bridge/Friar's Head piece of land , has dared to build subtle?

I say it would be well received if done on such sites, just that architects have to justify their fees/stature/initiation fees/green fees.

Not saying recent sites haven't been maximized (many geat courses have been built in the last 10-15 years) just that subtle hasn't been what architects have tried to sell on premium sites/projects.

So we're not really sure if subtle is fading, or simply not being offered on high profile projects.

I'll put my helmet on now.....

Jeff:

I agree that if anyone built a course as good as St. Andrews [which of course no one has], it wouldn't be completely lost in the shuffle.  But I don't think it would wind up in the top 50 of the rankings, either.

And you are right that generally, we haven't been going for subtle.  Bill Coore builds some of the most subtle features of anyone, but as long as he's turning Jeff Bradley loose doing the bunkers, nobody is going to call that subtle ... nor when I turn my own crew loose.

The one time in the last six years I really went for a subtle course was at Tumble Creek, which a lot of people thought was a letdown.  Or, look at Wild Horse ... a very good course but one which nobody really goes gaga over, because it doesn't have loads of bunkers and because it's inexpensive to play.  Everybody likes it, but hardly anyone really supports it as one of the great courses in America.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 08:57:45 PM by Tom_Doak »

Mac Plumart

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2012, 09:17:43 PM »
Two things...

First off, Grant...I really loved what you wrote here...

I think the challenge is to accept the view points of others and find the way to help educate them while at the same time listening to them because they form the majority. The goal should be how to produce a course that encompasses not only what we look for but it also carries that message in a form that is understandable to those who dont spend their free time posting about such things on line.

For a group who is supposedly concerned with the future and sustainability of the game, I often feel our narrow mindedness would kill the game quicker than anything if we were given full power to dictate the game and its landscapes.


Secondly, subtely has a future, a present, and a past.  A truly great course reveals more of itself over time, in essence its subtelty comes out over time with more plays.

Jeff...you make a great point on specific courses that made a splash right off the bat.  But think about this...how many courses have made a big splash in the rankings then faded?

I keep a list of all the World Top 100 courses and I've got that broken down regarding which courses entered, which courses exited, which have climbed, and which ones are falling.  I strongly believe these non-subtle courses can make a big splash right off the bat, but fade over time.  While the truly great ones, at least, last...if not gain traction in the eyes of the afficianados.

Black Diamond Ranch appears on this list in 1991 at 75; it is off the list now.

Haig Point in 1989; out 1991

World Woods in 1995; out 2005

Old Head in 1999; out 2001

Pac Dunes in at 27 in 2001; now at 19

Sand Hills in at 17 in 1997; now at 11

Friars Head in 2005 at 74; now at 38


I truly believe that great courses will be recognized as such in due time...and the pretenders will fade over time.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 09:19:58 PM by Mac Plumart »
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Grant Saunders

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2012, 09:52:38 PM »
"Secondly, subtely has a future, a present, and a past.  A truly great course reveals more of itself over time, in essence its subtelty comes out over time with more plays."

Mac

I completely agree with your statement here.

However, I see a shift in society where people are either too restricted in time or resources to devote the necessary energy to get to know a course as well as people once upon a time did. Also with so many alternatives available and the MTV generation coming through attention spans are diminishing quickly. Competition for that limited focus is fierce and I feel the days of people simply putting in the effort required to "study" a course (or anything for that matter) are fast fading.

This is where the marrying of the old and new perceptions needs to happen but done so in a respectful way. I think a course needs to posses enough first up impact to impress the player and also contain long term interest that makes you want to return.

Your lists are interesting and for me strengthen the substance versus style debate. Interesting of the ones you have listed that have ascended, do you feel it was the repeat plays of the raters that allowed them to understand those ones better and rate them higher? Alternatively, did repeat play of the ones that have fallen reveal a lack of substance that became apparent and affected their opinions?

Mac Plumart

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 10:04:28 PM »
I think a course needs to posses enough first up impact to impress the player and also contain long term interest that makes you want to return.

Agreed 100%.


do you feel it was the repeat plays of the raters that allowed them to understand those ones better and rate them higher?

I don't know for sure, Grant.  I'd have to imagine so.  I can't think of another reason.  I am all ears.


Alternatively, did repeat play of the ones that have fallen reveal a lack of substance that became apparent and affected their opinions?

On this one, I feel more confident in my answer of; Yes.  For instance, BDR is really cool.  Quite special.  In fact, I think it is a must play to see those quarry holes.  But those holes don't make a course great.  They make it cool.  Do "cool" holes remain cool after you've played them 50 times?  I don't think so, in this context.  The members I know at BDR say most of the members play the other 18 hole courses there on a day in and day out basis, rather than the Quarry course.  So that tells me something.

On the flip side, I know people who were students at St. Andrews who played the course well over 100 times while they were studying there and still jump at the chance to play it.  A friend of mine, and GCAer, is a member of the St. Andrews Golf Club (I think that is the name of the club), he's played it a zillion times, still talks lovingly about it, and can't wait for his next round.  THAT IS GREATNESS!

Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Mike_Young

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 07:24:04 AM »
Subtlety has a big future.  It will not garner recognition as top ten material etc but it will allow many golf courses to either survive or profit as the game moves forward.  IMHO ;)
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Niall C

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2012, 07:45:12 AM »
As a matter of interest, what does everyone think is subtle about TOC as opposed to what is just blind. I was thinking along the lines of features that were small and/or had fairly light contours but defined the strategy of the hole. As an example I was thinking of the small bump middle to left of the front of the 16th green at Gullane no. 3.

As another example, to my way of thinking the Valley of Sin on the home hole at TOC isn't in anyway subtle which is not to say its not a very good feature.

Niall

Tom_Doak

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2012, 08:42:17 AM »
As a matter of interest, what does everyone think is subtle about TOC as opposed to what is just blind. I was thinking along the lines of features that were small and/or had fairly light contours but defined the strategy of the hole. As an example I was thinking of the small bump middle to left of the front of the 16th green at Gullane no. 3.

As another example, to my way of thinking the Valley of Sin on the home hole at TOC isn't in anyway subtle which is not to say its not a very good feature.

Niall

Niall:

The Valley of Sin may not be so subtle, but the contouring of the approaches at #2 and #3 and #4 and #6 and #10 and #12 and #15 and #16 and others certainly are.

Joe Stansell

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2012, 09:05:16 AM »
The one time in the last six years I really went for a subtle course was at Tumble Creek, which a lot of people thought was a letdown.  Or, look at Wild Horse ... a very good course but one which nobody really goes gaga over, because it doesn't have loads of bunkers and because it's inexpensive to play.  Everybody likes it, but hardly anyone really supports it as one of the great courses in America.

Tom, do you think there is a correlation between how much it costs to play and one's impression of the quality of a course?

I absolutely loved Wild Horse -- and its low cost was, to me, a huge bonus. But I'm primarily a public course golfer. Which is somewhat lamentable, I suppose, as Tumble Creek is a mere 1 hour drive from me and I have yet to play it.   

Tom_Doak

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2012, 11:48:30 AM »
The one time in the last six years I really went for a subtle course was at Tumble Creek, which a lot of people thought was a letdown.  Or, look at Wild Horse ... a very good course but one which nobody really goes gaga over, because it doesn't have loads of bunkers and because it's inexpensive to play.  Everybody likes it, but hardly anyone really supports it as one of the great courses in America.

Tom, do you think there is a correlation between how much it costs to play and one's impression of the quality of a course?

I absolutely loved Wild Horse -- and its low cost was, to me, a huge bonus. But I'm primarily a public course golfer. Which is somewhat lamentable, I suppose, as Tumble Creek is a mere 1 hour drive from me and I have yet to play it.   

Many people are impressed with courses which cost more to play, assuming they must be worth more.  [The same goes for name-brand anything in the modern world.]  And, it's generally true that courses which cost more to play are spending more money on conditioning, though greener and more pure does not necessarily mean better in that regard.

On the other hand, there are a few people [Sean Arble would be one] who demand "value for money" and for them it is more of an inverse relationship ... expensive courses are viewed with suspicion.

The rarest of all are people who can completely put the $ out of their minds, and just see the course for what it is and isn't.

Mike Nuzzo

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2012, 11:58:19 AM »
Joe
Why haven't you been to Tumble Creek?
I bet there are a few holes there worth the drive alone.

Tom
Do you have some favorite holes at Tumble Creek?
What makes it unique?

I have a trip up to the area next year, I'd rather play there than Chambers Bay.
I would say Chambers Bay's direction was the opposite of subtle.

Cheers
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil & Tiger.

Sean_A

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2012, 02:19:25 PM »
The one time in the last six years I really went for a subtle course was at Tumble Creek, which a lot of people thought was a letdown.  Or, look at Wild Horse ... a very good course but one which nobody really goes gaga over, because it doesn't have loads of bunkers and because it's inexpensive to play.  Everybody likes it, but hardly anyone really supports it as one of the great courses in America.

Tom, do you think there is a correlation between how much it costs to play and one's impression of the quality of a course?

I absolutely loved Wild Horse -- and its low cost was, to me, a huge bonus. But I'm primarily a public course golfer. Which is somewhat lamentable, I suppose, as Tumble Creek is a mere 1 hour drive from me and I have yet to play it.   

Many people are impressed with courses which cost more to play, assuming they must be worth more.  [The same goes for name-brand anything in the modern world.]  And, it's generally true that courses which cost more to play are spending more money on conditioning, though greener and more pure does not necessarily mean better in that regard.

On the other hand, there are a few people [Sean Arble would be one] who demand "value for money" and for them it is more of an inverse relationship ... expensive courses are viewed with suspicion.

The rarest of all are people who can completely put the $ out of their minds, and just see the course for what it is and isn't.

Tom

I don't think it is quite right to write I view expensive courses with suspicion, but I do view fancy wine bottles with suspicion - tee hee.  My position is more that I expect that if a course costs X amount more it should be X amount better.  This PoV stems from being quite happy to play courses, which if one is being honest, could never be called great, but are plenty interesting and challenging for the likes of me. 

I don't think subtlety is completely gone nor will it disappear.  I have a trust in archies as a group to continually experiment with new and different ideas and concepts. I can appreciate that it is difficult for archies to create meaningful and recognizable subtlety, but given enough plays and an opportunity to express an opinion if asked, a great many golfers would see the benefit of importance of subtlety. 

Some of this discussion harks back to the idea of "breather" holes and how they can help with the pacing and structure of a routing. 

TOC wouldn't nearly as well thought of it was a new build, that said, tons of championship courses wouldn't fare as well today without the championship pedigree.

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

Peter Pallotta

Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2012, 02:30:59 PM »
Interesting thread, Grant, thanks.

It reminds me of what someone said about the old "the emperor has no clothes" fable. She said,"we try to teach our kids to speak truth to power, but we've forget to tell them that doing so will cost them something".  If a course is subtle, if an architect has the taste and commitment to design what is truly subtle, why should it surprise anyone that a) most people don't see it right away, b) some people may never get it, or even try to, and c) that the architect won't get rewarded, at least not immediately -- in other words, why should it surprise is that it "costs" something.  As long as architects (first) and golfers (second) are willing to pay the price, subtlety will have a future....

Peter

Grant Saunders

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2012, 07:16:04 PM »

 in other words, why should it surprise is that it "costs" something.  As long as architects (first) and golfers (second) are willing to pay the price, subtlety will have a future....

Peter

Peter

It is the second part of your statement where see the difficulty in times ahead. The cost both monetary and time are where I see the golfers cutting back in the future.

Grant


Colin Macqueen

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2012, 12:19:43 AM »
Gentlemen, A naive question.

Tom D. says "The Valley of Sin may not be so subtle, but the contouring of the approaches (on TOC) at #2 and #3 and #4 and #6 and #10 and #12 and #15 and #16 and others certainly are."

Now these contours around the greens. Are they original lie of the land or scaled replication of ground in the vicinity? Is it Nature that has been subtle? Or did greenkeepers (Old Tom and his compatriots) and architects cotton on to the variety and fun that this contouring provides and built this subtlety into the green complexes over time? Maybe even a mixture of both?

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

Joe Stansell

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2012, 08:42:37 AM »
Mike, my not having played Tumble Creek yet has much more to do with lack of opportunity than it does with lack of interest. In fact, the more Tom talks about it, the more intrigued I get.

I've always wondered what would happen if one divided raters into two groups -- those who are "comped," and those who pay and play anonymously. I'm betting that not paying makes "exclusive" clubs rate better; at the same time, I'm betting that paying would make some of the "value" courses (like Wild Horse) rate higher.

Sean_A

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2012, 09:12:07 AM »
I've always wondered what would happen if one divided raters into two groups -- those who are "comped," and those who pay and play anonymously. I'm betting that not paying makes "exclusive" clubs rate better; at the same time, I'm betting that paying would make some of the "value" courses (like Wild Horse) rate higher.


Joe

Of course, if we are talking only about quality of golf, we don't want either situation. 

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

Joe Stansell

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2012, 09:17:44 AM »
Sean, I suppose you're right, but in the real world, mortals like me pay for golf. I'm interested in what courses are best in the abstract, of course, but I'm probably even more interested in what courses I should play given my limited resources. I'm betting that I'm not unique in this regard -- except perhaps on this website.

Sean_A

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Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2012, 09:30:53 AM »
Sean, I suppose you're right, but in the real world, mortals like me pay for golf. I'm interested in what courses are best in the abstract, of course, but I'm probably even more interested in what courses I should play given my limited resources. I'm betting that I'm not unique in this regard -- except perhaps on this website.

Joe

I am a broken record on this issue.  I am far more interested courses which offer a balance of quality and value very well rather than ones which focus solely on quality.  I didn't add focusing solely on value because I believe value begins with good quality.  I really don't know how most on this board feel about it, but I get the impression that for a significant percentage of folks, its all about quality.  I seriously doubt the rest of the golfing world feels similarly, but so what?  Its grand to have a choice.  That said, I have a very healthy bit of skepticism for any rater's opinion who is comped.  I think that system is so far off ideal that the results are at the very least circumspect.

Ciao

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

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Does subtlety have a future?
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2012, 09:33:04 AM »
As a matter of interest, what does everyone think is subtle about TOC as opposed to what is just blind. I was thinking along the lines of features that were small and/or had fairly light contours but defined the strategy of the hole. As an example I was thinking of the small bump middle to left of the front of the 16th green at Gullane no. 3.

As another example, to my way of thinking the Valley of Sin on the home hole at TOC isn't in anyway subtle which is not to say its not a very good feature.

Niall

Niall:

The Valley of Sin may not be so subtle, but the contouring of the approaches at #2 and #3 and #4 and #6 and #10 and #12 and #15 and #16 and others certainly are.

Tom

The 2nd and 12th ? Internal contours maybe, but the approaches ?

Niall

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