Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Charles Joachim and I first met over ten years ago when a local golf contractor asked me to GPS map their bunker work at Champions Golf Club. Charles was the superintendent for 28 years over both courses, Cypress Creek and Jack Rabbit. During his tenure he was responsible for a USGA Amateur Championship and five PGA Tour Championships. He oversaw the complete remodel to Jack Rabbit, and improved the Cypress Creek course in countless ways, including resurfacing all the greens - which includes floating out and shaping the huge historic putting surfaces - they average over 10,000 square feet.
Charles office has been a breeding ground for highly successful superintendents. One very proud accomplishment of his was how he mentored several assistants who have gone on to manage other highly regarded clubs. He spent so much time teaching and still answers their questions when they could use great advice.
Charles gave me countless tours of Cypress Creek and Jack Rabbit. We would talk about all the details we could improve and what was the next priority. I acted part architect and part stenographer when compiling all of our notes over the years.
I am lucky to have had his help away from Champions over the years too, always adding great practical suggestions and lessons learned. Fortunately we will continue to work together, as he is helping Don Mahaffey and myself on a current Greens renovation project south of Houston.
Pictured above is Charles, myself and Mr. Jackie Burke Jr., owner of Champions and the 1956 Masters Champion. It was hard to tell where Charles ended and Mr. Burke began as they are both full of so much history, golf and business knowledge.
Charles will always be a dear friend. Thank you.
You can find Charles here on LinkedIn if you'd like some help too:
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Recently Boston University, my alma mater, profiled my career experiences. I changed majors 12 years ago and have enjoyed bringing my engineering experiences and skills to golf design. Mark Dwortzan, the author and fellow alum, even found the recent mention of Wolf Point in Golf Magazine. You can read the article here: http://www.mnuzzo.com/pdf/ENG_Spr2013.pdf or the whole issue here http://issuu.com/bucollegeofeng/docs/engineer_spring_2013/27
Thursday, April 11, 2013
It has been a MacKenzian spring indeed! This week I visited Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters for the first time with my father, followed by a round of golf together at Palmetto Golf Club. This visit occurred only 11 days after visiting Melbourne, Australia where I played and studied Royal Melbourne West and East, Kingston Heath Golf Club and Victoria Golf Club. 6 MacKenzie influenced or designed golf courses, separated by 9,825 miles. I have no idea how he did it via ship. I will share more about my experiences and many details about what made all the courses great. Pictured above is one of the best three shot holes in the world, the 13th at Augusta National. For now I hope everyone enjoys this week's Masters, it is a special event and place for sure. Cheers
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Architect's Digest in Texas Golfer Magazine: My most recent essay details a little of what I would recommend for a new course and how to encourage the beginning player to join us for some fun. Click to read the pdf or the link to the entire digitial issue.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Great to read this months Golf Magazine. Above is an article in Golf Magazine (March 2013, pg. 38) by Tom Doak listing his favorite discoveries from 2012. We are honored to have Wolf Point be a golf course that was worth his travels and studies. "I've looked for inspiration in out-of-the-way courses, and where I found it most was in the work of less celebrated names like Willie Park Jr., ... and Mike Nuzzo." You can see Tom travels the globe for work and inspiration!
I'll share more from our round together on a future blog post, I have a great picture of a great shot.
Thank you Tom.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Recently I read about a municipality building a six hole beginner course to compliment its main golf course. They will be using donated funds in an effort to introduce people to golf - it will cost $10 and not take very long. This sounds great, I'd love to have someplace to bring youngsters to play, I can think of no good place in Houston. Hopefully they will be able to use the existing golf infrastructure to keep costs minimized.
One thing puzzled me however:
"The course would be set up as a “learning center” with flat greens, flat bunkers and holes just 60 to 120 yards long, where golfers of all ages and abilities could play."
Why build flat greens? The most famous putting course in the world, The Himalayas at St. Andrews, is also the wildest. All ranges of people have been playing there since 1867! Check out these pictures. It costs $3. And it was something I was looking forward to playing when I visited St. Andrews a few years ago.
Flat greens are boring. If I were to introduce someone to the game, I would like them to see the fun parts first. Golf is interesting, and complex. Why hide its best qualities?
Pictured above is the 17th green at Wolf Point - it is filled with interest - so can every green.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
How the ball interacts with the ground is at the soul of good golf. The natural, random land conformations found on links are ideal but skilled artifice is needed for an inland course to enjoy the same playing attributes. In all the world, some of the most graceful man-made contours of the sort that are perfect for golf are found at Wolf Point, a Mike Nuzzo design in Texas. Appreciate the scope of contour in the photograph against the silhouette of Green Keeper Don Mahaffey.
Ran Morrissett, the author of the above quote, started Golf Club Atlas ~12 years ago as a place to share pictures and golf stories with his friends. It has grown into much more. He came to visit recently. Wolf Point is currently the welcome picture to his website. I'll be sharing more in the future about our round and his thoughts on the course. Cheers
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The Old Course at St. Andrews was established in 1552, and has enjoyed the recreational golfer since the early 1400's. It is a public and publically owned golf course. On Sundays it becomes a park for anyone to stroll the grounds - pets are welcome too!
Today a fellow player, Colin Donaldson, tweeted the above picture - he shot a 72 amongst the rubble.
The picture is of The Eden green (#11) and is roughly 10,000 square feet – not counting the adjoined 7th green.
I’ve heard, and remember, the slope of the green is more than 4%, or it rises 1 foot for every 25 feet.
To get the slope down to "their" desired pinable level, or more fair?!?, it would have to be reduced to ~2%.
That means if the change in elevation from the front of the green to the back is 4 feet, the back would have to drop 2 feet.
To drop the back 2 feet, it would require almost the entire side to be disturbed.
That is what is happening in the above picture.
They chose a starting point for where the green would need to be cut to achieve the 2 ft drop in the back without looking like a shelf.
The area is large, it appears as if they are disturbing 2,500 sft.
The sod has been cut and removed and placed so it can be replaced and replanted when complete.
They are using a laser to help measure and ensure that the desired slopes are achieved.
It is a usually slow process.
I assume they would also need to adjust the irrigation line and lower the surrounding irrigation sprinklers.
Why does this matter?
Last week this was one of the coolest holes in the World, now it is a little less unique.
You can follow us on twitter for now and we’ll be posting more about this greatest of holes.
It is too late, but still informative: #Savetheoldcourse.