The Renovation Trend

bp56011.jpgBrad Klein writes about the renovation/restoration trend.

If, as hoped, Morrish also gets to redo Las Colinas, he'll get a little meaner with tighter bunker patterns and longer tee shots. He'll do so admitting a little bit of confusion in dealing with distance these days – a problem that confronts all architects.

"I don't even know where to put bunkers anymore," said Morrish. In looking back at his four decades in the business, he sees a continual evolution of distance, and wishes it would come to an end. Forty years ago, when he supervised construction of Spyglass Hill Golf Club, everything in the industry was calculated on the basis of 750 feet (250 yards). When Morrish worked on Muirfield Village in 1972-73, Jack Nicklaus broke new ground by relying on 800 feet as a turn point for doglegs and for bunker placement, and less than a decade later at Castle Pines, a mile high in Colorado, they went to 850 feet. Now, 900 feet is commonplace.

When Pete Dye was redoing his original design at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass – Dye calls it "the fifth time he's gotten to rework it" – he settled on 330 yards, which also happens to be the distance Fazio relied upon at Augusta National for the carries required to clear fairway bunkers.

Klein also writes about the wonderful trend of big name architects getting to redo their own work because it was so bad the first time around (wait, wouldn't that be the case with Morrish redoing Las Colinas!?). Anyway, in this story he focuses on Doonbeg and this anecdote gave me a chuckle:
When it opened four years ago, the stunning links-style setting on 377 acres of rugged dunes overlooking Doughmore Bay in southwest Ireland was unrelenting to play and nearly impossible to enjoy. Evidence for that was clear enough in the inaugural match that saw course designer Greg Norman lose seven golf balls while playing against homeland favorite Padraig Harrington.