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Monday
May222017

Alice Dye Slams New TPC Sawgrass 12th: "It doesn’t fit the course."

I've been mulling the new 12th at TPC Sawgrass in the aftermath of this year's Players and in thinking back to the golf I watched out there, my admiration for its intricacies has grown.

Did it achieve perfection on the first attempt? No. But few of the great short par-4s were perfect from the get-go. Shoot, Riviera's 10th only ascended to its current place atop most lists when technology (and all of that core work) allowed more players to go for the green.

Did the new 12th achieve the goal of adding intrigue to the early back nine holes and some much needed nuance at what was previously not a good hole?

Definitely.

Did it take one of the most one-dimensional, unimaginative and strange short par-4s on a great course and improve it?

Absolutely.

The Dyes, apparently, do not agree. Tom Weiskopf also chimed in from afar with some astute and bizarre remarks. I believe had they watched some of the golf in person and witnessed the strategy sessions at the tee box, or have seen some of the player shotmaking that the hole elicited, they might judge the new 12th less harshly. 

Matt Ginella writing for GolfAdvisor.com quotes Alice, who watched much of the coverage and came away unimpressed.

"It’s an awkward hole," says Alice Dye. "It doesn’t fit the course. He OK’d it, but it’s not a Pete Dye design."

But many would counter that as much as we love a good Pete Dye design, interesting short par-4s are not of interest to him. Even Alice confirmed this.

"Pete has never believed in drivable par 4s," says Alice. "If a player is supposed to reach the green from the tee and you’re always allowed two putts, well, that’s a par 3."

Alice, who watched the tournament with Pete all week, on a course that is one of the most iconic of the Dye’s 100-course portfolio, was not impressed with the new 12th.

"Even for the players who laid up, they were left with an awkward shot to a target that was angled across their body, the pins were hidden and weren’t accessible and the green sloped away from them, towards the water. The players who laid up weren’t able to be on the offensive. Either TV didn’t do a good job of presenting it or the hole didn’t create the excitement or the drama they were hoping for."

Actually, the visibility issues were for those who played back in the fairway. Those who sneaked their lay-ups closer to the green got better views, a great nuance to the hole that developed as players got to know the features better.

As for any issues, I think there are two small tweaks that would encourage more aggressiveness without turning it into the automatic-driving situation that Alice laments: keep the lake bank at a higher cut and flip the tee over to the left so that the angle better fits the right-hander's draw-show eye. Currently the players are hitting across themselves a bit. The angle probably accentuates the narrowness of the hole opening and the lefthand lake bank that was declared too severe by many.

A move of the tee so that the hole to set it up more like a long Redan could mean more enticement to attack.

But to suggest the hole was a failure is to look past the intrigue, interest, variety and skill sets the new 12th hole introduced.

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Reader Comments (93)

First of all, cheers to Mrs. Dye for telling everyone what she really thinks of the changes. Sadly, Pete is no longer in any shape to tell it like it is, and shame on the Tour for taking advantage of that to push through their plan.

As to Geoff's comments, I find them hypocritical. Does anyone think he'd have the same stance if the TPC were a George Thomas course and it was being modified? [Indeed, not many years ago, Tom Marzolf tweaked the 10th at Riviera based on ShotLink data ... was Geoff in favor of that?] So why does it not matter what the Dyes think of one of their own most iconic courses?

I went to Florida this past weekend for the ASGCA dinner honoring Mrs. Dye and was pleased to see that she is still sharp as a tack. Few people in golf understand just how important she was to Pete's work; she was the one who would tell him to tone it down a bit, or altneratively, that an edgy hole was just fine. The guys who reduce her contributions to improving the game for women must never have walked around a course with her during construction.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom_Doak
Wow Tom_Doak. Why such tenacity? The TOUR didn't take advantage of Pete to push through their plan. How do you take advantage of someone who cannot fully participate in the design changes presumably due to health reasons. The 12th hole was awful well before technology changed and needed to be improved. Is it perfect? No. Is it better than what it was? Absolutely. Does it need to continue to be tweaked? No doubt.

I don't think anyone is questioning Alice Dye's role in course design. There was no reason for the TOUR to engage Pete or Alice in the redesign for that matter. They did so as a courtesy and that's it. So yes the 12th hole was better and will continue to improve as time progresses.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
Tom Doak's loyalty to the Dye's is admirable. However after reading the post several times I am still trying to find where Geoff says "why it does matter what the Dyes think of one of their own most iconic courses."
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLynn S.
Reaper,
You state " There was no reason for the TOUR to engage Pete or Alice in the redesign for that matter. They did so as a courtesy and that's it. "
I disagree. While there may have been no requirement for the TOUR to engage the Dyes there was a reason. IMHO that logic is why we have so many chopped up classics. I haven't seen the hole but there is enough Dye lineage out there to have had one of them do it. I haven't seen the hole in person.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered Commentermydgolf
Hi Lynn!

Geoff's attitude toward the hole is one of acceptance, especially the last part where he encourages more subtle tweaks. He is clear that he doesn't agree with Mr. or Mrs. Dye's view that drivable par-4's are not essential elements of a golf course, so I took his post to mean that he thought the Tour was right to make the big change to the course, even though the original designer would not have built a hole like it.

Reaper:

I don't know who you are and prefer to have conversations with people not hiding behind a pseudonym. For all I know you work for the TOUR. Your opinion of the 12th hole is your own; I didn't even state my own opinion of it, because mine doesn't matter. But Mr. Dye has had the chance to tweak the TPC at Sawgrass continuously from its opening in 1980 right up through the massive rebuild that happened 3-4 years ago, and he pointedly did not change #12. It's quite possible this very change was brought up a few years back. And now it has been made, right after he got to the point of not being able to object, due to health reasons. I termed that "taking advantage," and I'll stand by that opinion.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom_Doak
TPC Sawgrass, is and always has been a very awkward course, from a playability perspective. Pete Dye takes pleasure in forcing his will on the golfer, rather than giving them options of play. From a demented viewpoint the new 12th hole at TPC Sawgrass fits in well, because it’s awkward, the whole course is awkward to play.

When Pete Dye completed TPC Sawgrass, the Tour immediately insisted Pete go back and make changes to it – the playability factor was off the charts. It was ridiculously more awkward and harder than it is today.

Why is it accepted that it’s okay to design/build a hole or golf course then have to go back to fix the design because it doesn’t play well. Shouldn’t good architecture get it right the first time?
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterZokol
To be honest the 12th would be better as the 17th hole and the 17th as the 12th. While the 12th was no ones favorite hole the Tour didn't help themselves by doing the redesign themselves. The hole looks like design by committee, which it probably was.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
Zokol:

Having worked on the plans for the Stadium Course at PGA West, I can tell you that one of Mr. Dye's goals was to deliberately make the course awkward for a TOUR player. He believes that TOUR players are so good that you can't beat them with obstacles on the ground, without making the course impossible for the rest of us, so he cultivated ideas that would get under the skin of the better players while being ignored by the average golfer.

For the Stadium course, Pete decided that two things that drove the players nuts were half-wedge approach shots [in the age before they all carried three or four wedges], and half-blind shots into greens. So we built the short par-4's and the par-5's to give you a half-blind shot or an awkward stance if you laid up to 100 yards, and made you pick your poison.

To say he did not give players options, is just not true. He gave them options they didn't like. On purpose. I was not around for the creation of the original 12th at the TPC, but I believe it was built with the same mind-set.

Good architecture does get it right the first time. The problem is, not everyone recognizes good when they see it.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom_Doak
I can agree with TD as to taking advantage of the Dye's current situation. There may have even been a contractual requirement to have Pete Dye "sign off" on any changes before they execute the changes. I know at my beautiful, out of the way course in ND any changes to the design are contractually required to have the approval of the course designer.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRon Seeley
Tom D thx for posting and generating insightful, interesting, and intelligent golf architecture conversation for us lay people. Please come back more often. GCA needs you less than we do!

Zokol thx for opening our minds and eyes a little more about the course that Pete and Alice desinged and built at TPC Sawgrass. I couldn't agree more. I worked for the tour in 2000 and was fortunate to play this wonderful and unique golf course many times and only for a cart fee. The old 12th was intentionally designed and according to Tom D was intentionally left to be in its original state. Apparently it was supposed to do exactly what it was doing and to change it without direct involvement by the Dyes, potentially makes the whole roller coaster less Dye. Makes it diluted and less than something that I agree Geoff would think less of if it was George Thomas's while still alive but not actively involved in a new 10th at Riv.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAri F
Ron S we are talking about the Tour and their flagship course and even! You really think Pete and Alice Dye have it in them right now to go toe to toe with the machine itself??? Who desinged your course in ND?
On
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAri F
No question Alice was a huge part of the game. The Dyes certainly have created quite a lineage of architects as well (Doak, Urbina et al). It is not really right to tweak a hole on a designer when they are so opposed to it philosophically. It would be like getting rid of a drivable par 4 from a Weiskopf course, or making a dogleg left hole on a Nicklaus course ;).

Eventually, you will get clamoring to restore the course to its original intent as architects like TD have done. It's just a little sad to start messing with a course when a designer cannot defend itself. It's unseemly, but it's the tour. No surprise there...
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMJRnation
The new 12th looks very artificial to me. It seems like they didn't accomplish anything in regards to how the hole was played by the best players , so it seems to be an expensive failure . I value Geoff's opinion on architecture , but it's telling that Alice Dye and Tom Doak don't like the changes.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJJBeck
This driveable par business that Mike Davis started is a fad that needs to stop; not that there isn't a place for the short par four, but this hole at the TPC is way out of place, especially with those green speeds.

The new 12 was not designed with Pete Dye's handwriting. It looks like it belongs somewhere else.

The old 12 was a bit of a break between the water holes 11 and 13; an easy par if you tried to make par.

Dye is the father of modern golf course design, just like Jimmie Rodgers is the father of modern American music. Dye's work at the TPC should not be destroyed.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterZimmer
Tom- I find it interesting that you seem to think your opinion of the hole doesn't matter, despite authoring a book offering your opinions on golf courses worldwide at the worldly age of 27. What made you decide to change after all these years? Or do you only release your opinions in 5 volume sets so you can get paid?

Your love of the Dye's is admirable, loyalty like that is not common these days. But let's be honest Tom. If the TOUR had contacted you to redesign 12 and your thoughts were not in line with Alice or Pete's, you would have stuck with your plans and would have relegated their thoughts to the classic "taken under advisement" category just as the TOUR did.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
Dibs on the popcorn concession for this thread.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTremendous Slouch
Hey Tom,
The concept of “Tour player proofing” a course without it affecting the rest of golfers who play it is a flawed concept.

You are right, in that Pete does provide options, please allow me to restate. He provides “his” option (typically in the air) rather than allowing alternatives that are comforting to the level of the player. This remains where the playability factor falls short. It seems Pete imposes his heavy-handed will over the player.

Your design work is commendable for excellent playability as is most all of the other Pete Dye disciples for bring wonderful “playability factor” into their design work, but Pete seems to be the only one who struggles with this.

Thank goodness his inherent masochism wasn’t passed down to his pupils. I cannot help but think of the Emperors new cloths.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterZokol
Reaper:

Please post your name and job title, then.

I don't consult for the TOUR or for any of their courses. One of the reasons for that is that I don't play political games to suck up for future work. If the Tour had contacted me to redesign the 12th hole, I would have said no thanks, and I would not be the only architect to pass. But none of that matters when they've got an in-house architect with his own ideas.

I don't believe, as Ron Seeley suggests, that it was part of Mr. Dye's contract with the Tour that they couldn't change anything without his sign-off. Contracts weren't done like that back then, and the Tour has considerable weight to throw around, when it wants to -- not that any of that would have changed Mr. Dye's opinion. It was just a common courtesy that they adhered to for 30+ years, until now.

As Mr. Dye once said to me, everything in golf is a matter of opinion. So, arguments about whether the new hole or the old hole is good, or not, are ultimately fruitless. Even a guy who won't post his name can have an opinion. In this case, what motivates me is that Mr. Dye's opinion is not considered to count for any more than yours.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom_Doak
Tom,

Thanks for chiming in on this. They must have fed you some good hooch down at the ASGCA meeting! Great to see you getting an invite though, a tartan jacket next?

First, if you were reading back when the changes at Riviera's 10th were made, you'd know I've been critical of Marzolf's tweaks and I'd un-tweak them in a heartbeat. But in spite of those changes, it's still fascinating to watch. I've also been critical of horrific changes there that you've been oddly silent on, but I also think George Thomas and Billy Bell were geniuses. It concerns me that you don't see that they were in a different stratosphere than Pete Dye, particularly in the strategy department. That doesn't bode well for pure restoration at Bel-Air.

Second, I greatly admire Alice's views but I'm disappointed neither of you has seen the finished product in person or made these judgements based on seeing how the players dealt with the new hole. Talking to players and caddies at the Players was interesting too. I can't speak for you, but most architects would have been thrilled to hear some of the feedback, questions, complaints and praise, including Pete I believe. The hole added new dimensions and energy on a part of the course that was a real dead zone. It developed varying theories on how to attack. It lured players into unwise plays and a few pulled off some truly thrilling shots under pressure.

Mr. Dye had a chance to improve the 12th a few years ago and kept it a fairly simple drive and pitch, which was his prerogative. But it was in no way a great hole, whereas tweaking the 10th at Riviera is a pretty well established gem and therefore warrants a different protectionist attitude. The TPC is a tournament venue and we've seen that short par-4s are often the most interesting tests of skill in the modern game. Having one that introduced options, decisions and precision has made the course better.

I find it staggering that you can look at what the TPC was and think that the aesthetic shift under Tim Finchem and Pete Dye is a positive. The ship sailed on protecting the original Dye vision, which is a shame. But Pete helped untie the ropes at the dock, so clinging to his original vision when the architect himself contributed to the shift is confusing to me. He has not had a consistent vision at the TPC Sawgrass.

The PGA Tour recognized the 12th as a weak spot in the course and in no way went about this carelessly. The Dye's signed off on it, were consulted by Steve Wenzloff and this change was undertaken after much contemplation with many people. There was great concern for not disrespecting Mr. Dye by Jay Monahan, Steve Wenzloff, Stephen Cox and many others. In fact, they've actually not lengthened many holes there out of respect for his wishes, even though the muting of driver on a few key holes really holds the course back as a compete test for the modern player.
05.22.2017 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Touche Tom.

Looking forward to your reply to Geoff, who is right in all that he has stated.

So which course architect are you referring to who has sucked up to the TOUR for future work? Gil Hanse perhaps? He's the only architect that I can think of that has done work for the TOUR lately.

And my name and job title is irrelevant for the purpose of this discussion. But it's great that you continue to try to be a bully ; )
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
Popcorn concession indeed...

Hard not to agree w/ Zokol or Reaper here, but I would add that the course is awkward for all handicaps.
Not to be disrespectful, but the "Old Dead Guys" era of architecture doesn't need TV or working relationships to explain its merits.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered Commenterbc
bc- couldn't agree more about Sawgrass being awkward for all handicaps. And if you haven't had a chance to play the Stadium course at PGA West that Dye designed, completely awkward and very difficult. In fact the staff there seem to take pride in how difficult the course is.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
Reaper & bc

I love Ben Crenshaw’s position where he said (paraphrasing) it’s easy to build a difficult golf course. It’s not easy to build a course that challenges both the advance player at the same time offering the lesser players proper challenges.

There were too many similar golf courses from the Pete Dye era… Pete Dye not only set this precedent but he defending it with comments like, “life isn’t fair so why should I build a course that is fair.” … most of these courses never had good soul from a playability perspective. TPC Sawgrass and Stadium Course at PGA West are good examples. Too many equate being difficult to being good. It’s just not the case.

The awkwardness of TPC Sawgrass is perfect for the Players Championship, because it keeps Tour players off balance and inspires dramatic finishes for this great event… but this is one tournament. TPC Sawgrass is an architectural success in a number of aspects but playability is not one of them.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterZokol
Geoff:

You greatly admire Alice's views, but dismiss them because you personally like drivable par-4's? That's not really admiration. And please don't put words in my mouth about the TPC of today; I've put some thoughts in print over the years and you should really stick to those.

I expect you are a bit compromised in talking about the Tour's design office; many others feel the same way in hopes of getting future work out of them. Reaper should have put you on his list.

As for Bel Air, I've told them from day 1 that I will restore every bit of the course that they let me restore. It still seems to be holding up well; I've compromised on exactly one feature so far, and that's the package they're voting on this week.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom_Doak
What a hall of fame comment section this turned into
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon
Well said Zokol.

Geoff- I am adding you to my list. I guess based on Tom's comment it's apparently you and Gil sucking up to the TOUR. I am sensing sour grapes on someone's part that the master has been surpassed by the protégé. Having met Mr. Hanse at one point in time, I would call him a true gentleman and an exceptional architect. Perhaps why everyone wants to hire him.

I have never met Tom, so much like him not offering an opinion of hole 12, I will not offer my opinion. But as the saying goes, "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar".
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
Tom,
I'm not sure why I'd be compromised by the Tour's design office, please explain. I like Steve Wenzloff but most definitely not on the payroll!

I dismiss yours and Alice's views on this because you haven't actually seen the hole. For someone who has lectured folks over the years on judging courses by television, I'm utterly confused how you can now declare this hole a failure based simply on one tournament and a telecast. And same with Alice. She should give it a shot in person before declaring it a failure.
05.22.2017 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Speaking of PGA West Stadium Course.....they charge 'stay and play package' resort guests at La Quinta a green fee premium (its either $50 or $100) to play a round on the Stadium while the Mountain, Norman, and Nicklaus et al are included in the golf package at no extra fee -- a bit of a head scratcher for me since I would rate the golf experience at 2 or 3 of the other 'public resort tracks' there in the desert ahead of the Stadium Course....but as Tom D posted above - everything about golf is a matter of opinion.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
.....probably should not have got in the middle of this thread :)
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
Geoff:

Please stick to what I said. I certainly did not "declare the hole a failure based simply on one tournament and a telecast." I didn't watch one minute of the telecast ... I don't think I have watched one minute of golf on TV this year. [I was in Asia for The Masters, which I would normally watch.]

Instead, I said I think they never should have rebuilt #12 in the first place, because it goes directly against the design philosophy Mr. Dye believed in. And if you don't believe me on that, you have Mrs. Dye's comments on offer. If they'd done as she suggests, there would be nothing for you or anyone else to compare. But now it's a matter of opinion that can never really be resolved ... instead of a Pete Dye golf hole. I think it was actually one of the few holes left at the TPC that hadn't been significantly changed.

I said what I needed to say in my original post. I don't know why either your or Reaper is trying to make this about me. I'm only defending Mr. Dye's work because he can't defend it himself.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom_Doak
Tom- don't flatter yourself. Not trying to make this about you and there is no need for you to speak on Alice or Pete's behalf.

Why do you feel the need to defend Pete Dye's work?

Things change, courses change. Sawgrass will continue to change over the years and will need to change over the years to stay relevant and because the TOUR thinks they have Augusta National 2 on their hands, which they don't.

And I agree with you yet again Geoff. Alice should make a visit to TPC Sawgrass and walk the hole, rather than being an armchair quarterback.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
Geoff -

You miss Tom's point. The issue isn't whether the 12th is now a better hole. Nor is the issue that you need to see it in person to appreciate how really good it is,

The issue, one I would have thought you as a historian would appreciate more than anyone, is whether a hole designed by a historically important architect on an iconic golf course should be changed because a group of people think they can improve it.

That is the argument that was used to justify changes over the years at Riviera, ANGC, TOC and many other historically significant courses. Changes, as I recall, that you have objected to. Those sorts of courses are special. Modifying them needs more of a justification than that those currently overseeing them have some "better ideas".

That someone thinks he has a "better idea" for a hole is a tempting argument. You hear it all the time. But I am disappointed to hear you making it. You know better than most that such arguments often lead to bad outcomes for historic golf courses. TPC Sawgrass, like any number of other important courses, has earned the right to a higher burden of proof before you crank up the D-6's.

BCrosby
05.22.2017 | Unregistered Commenterotey
Geoff
You were there watched and while commenting early called out the "group think" of the players making the 12 a lay up
Hope. Then, in a shock to us all based on your knowledge of professional golf we saw a big number to for the green.
Now the tenth at riviera shows better due to technology and another snarky shot at players (core) but the recent changes are wrong.
I'm
Really glad a true architect is chiming in on this thread
Golf
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSmugprius
It's a reality TV event we're talking about.
Geoff is correct - you have to play it or at least walk it to form your opinion.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered Commentersiloth
Tom,
You proudly refuse to watch professional golf, but you begrudge the rebuilding of the TPC's 12th hole and the views of those who found positives?

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that you "don't consult for the TOUR or for any of their courses" because you don't actually watch the golf or care about it. I don't think that constitutes sucking up. That's willful ignorance. So to accuse the tour of taking advantage of Pete's condition to make this change, without actually having seen how the hole played (before or after), is pretty lame given that the accusation is both untrue and fueled by your choice to remain uninformed. If you'd talked to the folks and heard the process by which they went about these changes, you'd understand they were doing their best to respectfully improve their course and tournament while trying to also respect Mr. Dye.

I happen to believe that paying attention to the pro game might inform one's insights and work, especially in the restoration world where so many projects are inspired by tournament golf or elite players. While we all hate to see length added to courses, the one positive byproduct of the need to update has been the opportunity provided at many venues to also highlight masterful design work in the process.

If you tune in or watch pro golf from time to time, you might see some fantastic stuff going on with short par-4s that happens to be advancing the cause of strategic design, even in the face of trying working conditions brought on by distance advances. If you'd watched The Players the last decade, you'd know the 12th hole was doing little other than providing a walk from the 11th green to the 13th tee, interrupted by the need to hit a lay-up and a wedge shot. The new hole has improved the course and tournament test that is the Players, and with a few massages will only get better. Too bad you won't be watching and learning.

otey,
As editor of the Little Red Book (how did you think of that original title!), my empathy goes out to you. But on your logic, Pete's extensive redesigning of his own work since his courses have opened and abandonment of his aesthetic at the TPC, suggests that his original work was not perfect in his eyes. And it wasn't. So at what point do we lock in his designs? Because I can't tell? Pete has cranked up the D-6s at the TPC many times (as has Bobby Weed), abandoned the swamp golf aesthetic and actually made the 12th hole less interesting in redesigning a hole that Tom Doak suggested was solid from the start (Psst...tell Tom in a late night Little Red Book edit session that Pete actually redid the hole in 2006, because Tom doesn't watch pro golf and may not know).

I'm afraid you are defending work that, while interesting, is not on nearly on the level of the others you mentioned, reinforced by the original architect's willingness to edit himself.

smugprius,
If I understand your point, you are shocked that I was shocked players were declaring it an auto lay-up by Tuesday, which I was, because it was early in the week and inevitable some would go for it. And they did. So it was a valiant, if garbled effort to point out a contradiction, so try again. With more clarity.
05.22.2017 | Registered CommenterGeoff
"If a player is supposed to reach the green from the tee and you’re always allowed two putts, well, that’s a par 3."

Someone please tell this to Mike Davis.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
A great reachable par 4 and favorite of the TOUR players, #15 River Highlands. Designed by Dye protégé Bobby Weed. I guess Alice/Pete wouldn't agree that it's a great hole, for professionals and amateurs. Many options off the tee and a potential 2 can become a 6 (or worse) in a hurry.
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
Geoff -

Pete Dye is not one of the most important architects of his generation?

TPC Sawgrass is not, an iconic modern course?

Because Ross made numerous changes to PII over five decades, it is now o.k. to change it because someone has a "better idea"?

BCrosby
05.22.2017 | Unregistered Commenterotey
Sawgrass is the Chinese food of golf courses. I love it when I'm watching it, but 2 hours afterward I can't remember one hole. ( Well, maybe just one).
05.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFatboy
BCrosby,
Yes Pete is important to his generation, but his generation isn't on the level of the list you referenced (Riviera, Old Course, Augusta) and I think his protege's and other assorted members of the Dye family tree have walked through the door he opened, and produced more interesting and lasting work. He certainly reawakened the world to links golf and classic architecture, his greatest contribution by far. And he has built some fun courses to watch and play once or twice, but will anyone use his design ideas as template holes beyond island greens? Did he create architecture with permanence that people want to play every day? That's up for debate, whereas that's not the case with some of the others.

Your Ross/Pinehurst example is fascinating. You know both Rees Jones and Jack Nicklaus did think they have a better idea and have changed No. 2, but their ideas haven't been undone by Coore and Crenshaw. I'd argue that's infinitely more important architecture to debate than TPC Sawgrass, and that's as someone who actually has watched the pro golf at both!
05.22.2017 | Registered CommenterGeoff

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