Matt Ginella, obviously never having actually seen Ben Crenshaw in action during construction of a Coore-Crenshaw design, or having considered that Bill Coore would not be getting the design jobs he's getting today if it weren't for Crenshaw, nonetheless, I still can't fathom the reason for the reference to Crenshaw expressed on Morning Drive today when talking about the upcoming Cabot Links project:
Coore confirmed that although his design partner, Ben Crenshaw, always said he never wanted to work on courses outside of the U.S., that in this particular case, given the property and the upside of the project, that he will be involved. To what degree, Coore can’t say, but Crenshaw has always simply served as top-dressing to their finished products, which includes the recent restoration of Pinehurst No. 2, Keiser’s Bandon Trails and Bandon’s new par 3 course, Bandon Preserve.
It is amazing to me that the one "celebrity" architect who has actually had an impact is increasingly downplayed in the role he plays for making the most success design team thrive these days.
**I heard from Ken Bakst, 1997 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and developer of what I believe to be Coore and Crenshaw's most complete design, Friars Head.
Here's what he had to say about Ben as "top-dressing":
Crenshaw has always simply served as top-dressing to their finished products? If I am correct that Matt Ginella means window dressing and is just trying to be funny with the golf reference, because I only know top-dressing to mean the application of a sand/soil mixture over a grass surface, nothing could be further from the truth from my perspective. Yes, it’s true that Bill spends far more time on site than does Ben, but to say that Ben is just window dressing is completely inaccurate and unfair. Ben has an incredible eye, and his involvement at Friar’s Head was and continues to be invaluable and there are holes and features that wouldn’t be as they are today without Ben’s input.