Crenshaw On Prairie Dunes, Minimalism

Ben Crenshaw at the Senior Open Saturday:
Q. Jim Thorpe mentioned that you talked a lot at breakfast today about how the greens used to be here until they made the changes, about how this course actually was early on.

BEN CRENSHAW: There haven't been any changes on the greens, really. The first two greens we redid in 1986, but it's so minor. The contours themselves have been here. One nine was built in' 37, the other nine was in '57, so they're original. They're fascinating. Nobody would have the heart to touch these. They're magnificent.

Q. Would anybody build a golf course like this these days? I mean, even

BEN CRENSHAW: If anybody got a piece of property like this, I hope they would. I hope they would try.

Q. (Inaudible.)

BEN CRENSHAW: No, it's not. And they could still, you go out and look at the course and it's it shows you how timeless his work is and how much he did not want to impose himself into this piece of land. It's fascinating how he routed this. How he routed the original nine. You look at that and you go, wow, that's unbelievable.

Q. But don't you think architecture has changed back to this style of golf course?

BEN CRENSHAW: You have a lot of

Q. With dunes and sand hills?

BEN CRENSHAW: Well, you're right. You have a lot of young architects that are seeing the value in it, and that's an understatement. Because if you do it like this, it's economical. It's vastly economical.

Q. Less land, less moving dirt.

BEN CRENSHAW: Yeah. Take a good piece of land and work with it. It's going to be economical and it's going to be more natural.

Q. Are you finding owners coming to you asking you to look for land more and more?

BEN CRENSHAW: Yes. Yes. Not in droves, no. Not in droves. But we have some calls that people want sort of a quiet golf club on a nice piece of terrain and not much else, which is nice. After all, that's why we play golf. And so we just that's what we try to do is try to pick good pieces of property and then have hopefully have the freedom to do a nice routing before anything happens. That's what we enjoy doing.

Q. How much do you limit yourself to the amount of work that you guys are involved in at a certain time?

BEN CRENSHAW: Oh, quite a lot. We do one or two at a time, so. Two is plenty for us. We have a little small crew and we like to go around, but that's what we enjoy spending the time on.

Q. When you're working now, I mean do you almost try to even though you have all the equipment at your disposal, do you almost try to envision what it was like with the mules and that?

BEN CRENSHAW: Yes, very much so. You get the movement. I mean we talked, you know, until we're blue in the face about getting the movement.