Monday, June 30, 2008

The R Routing Plan

Wow. It was only two weeks into the project. I was very excited about the prospects and details. Here were my constraints: very private, don't loose a ball in long grasses, very fun, very windy site, raw materials nearby - sand, challenging, lots of land and wind! Today it still sounds like The Old Course at St. Andrews.

Today and for the next two weeks I'll be detailing the evolution of the routing plan at Wolf Point Club as recently published in Paul Daley's new Golf Architecture - A Worldwide Perspective - Yesterday's Blog.

The above image is my first routing plan to get a feel for the client and the land requirements. My goals were to minimize expenses - I keep the holes in the cleared areas and tried to locate the lake where some sand could be excavated. There was also an preference for the motts of live oaks on the site. Note how the 4th hole plays around a large Oak.

This first solutions high points are that the holes play in a variety of directions and are varied in length. The fairways are also wide. I definately stayed in the cleared area - the 12th hole is in an old drilling area - note the fairway mimics the clearing - that is what I'd call fitting a hole to the site. The 18th hole at NGLA finishes along the clubhouse - so did this version.

Early routings generally have a looser hole spacing - I tighten them as they evolve - but I have no idea why I kept 7 green so far from 8 tee other than the walk from 13 to 14. Early routings usually also have lots of big bunkers - it looks better on a drawing. Unfortunately many times they get built that way too. I think the best method is to keep the best ones and lose the rest - Don Mahaffey even more so!

What I learned from this version: Keep away from the property lines - there was going to be no free golf views for neighbors - a 400' buffer was requested. And keep out of the smaller cattle ranch - area below fence line in picture - holes 2 through 6 had to move north.

I called it the R routing for its shape. I love the routing process.
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