Ron Whitten sort of buries the lede (in a copy and paste kind of way) when he repeats this story about the Jack Nicklaus-Tom Doak dream design pairing (why can't we have this on tape?).
Out in the dirt at Sebonack:
Jack: "Why leave that knob? The only criticism it'll get will be from good players who can't see the fairway."
Tom: "My thing is visual. All you see is green grass. The knob makes it visual. It pulls the green toward us. It plants the idea of going for it."
Jack: "In the mind of a scratch player or an 11-handicapper? You've said a bunch of stuff that a scratch player would never think."
Tom: "Well, a low-handicapper. If the green looks close to him, he'll overswing and get into trouble."
Jack: "All this stuff over one little pile of dirt. Look, it's my tee back here and if I want to get rid of it, I'll get rid of it."
They move down the fairway, where a plastic-lined, environmentally dictated retention pond was installed at the base of a hill below the proposed green. Both agree the pond looks too artificial.
Jack: "What if you built a waste bunker along the edge of the lake, break up that linear look?"
Tom: "I don't want to put a waste bunker against water. That looks like a hundred other modern golf courses. That's what I really don't want to do."
Jack: "You really don't like it?"
Tom: "I like to let human nature work against golfers sometimes. Why bunker right up to the water and dictate their shot? If they're silly enough to hug the lake on their second shot, then it's their fault if they go in."
Jack: "But we have to take up the elevation somehow. There had been a cliff between the pond and the fairway. Another option is to put that cliff back."
Tom thinks about it for a minute, then shakes his head.
Jack: "OK, let me throw out another idea for you to reject."
What a shame with this economic crisis, it's going to be so hard to get these two modest, humble men together for another collaboration.