Sunday, November 15, 2009

Golf Architecture as Art

The following quotes are from the artist of the above self portrait. I thought they were most fitting to also describe designing and building a golf course.

"As human beings we don't view the world like a camera does, indiscriminately treating all details the same. A work of art done from life is the result of decisions made moment by moment by an artist. The result of which is an artistic interpretation of the subject based on the time shared between the two.

“Originality and quality are rarely achieved under such pressure (of a photograph). This same pressure has given contemporary portraiture an artificial, contrived and homogenized look.

As with any collaboration, communication is a key part of the process. If you’re having trouble communicating with an artist, search elsewhere. For an artist, to be chosen for a commission is an honor. Many artists understand the collaborative process and are a pleasure to work with. Finding that artist can be the difference between a work of art that you will cherish for years or a painting that ends up in the attic.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I am not a fan of the newly decided configuration of golf in the Olympics.
The IOC was not interested in golf unless the stars (Tiger) would be playing.
I would rather watch an amateur team match play event.

The following quotes are from a Golfweek published article
"There’s already discussion about building a facility, and that could lead to PGA Tour Golf Course Properties unveiling a TPC-branded layout in Rio, Golfweek has learned."
Their goes that objective position.

“It (the golf course) won’t be some white elephant that’ll never be used again” Ty Votaw
I do not see how that type of course would help grow the game in Brazil.
Expensive and not built by the local workforce.

“Nicklaus Design would be very interested in creating a Jack Nicklaus Olympic Golf Facility for Brazil”.
It seems odd to place anyone's name before the word that has defined sport for 2,785 years.
This doesn't smell like the best thing for the game either.

At top is my illustrative guess for what will be created for the Olympics.
And a quote from its designer:

"We decided to build five sets of tees so every nation in the world would be able to enjoy the new TPC Olympic venue. We also added a 6th tee to represent the future growth of the game in Antarctica."

I don't think 99% of the world will need the back four tees of any course that gets built.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Te echaré de menos a Lan.

Lan passed away last night. He was a part of the crew that built Swanson's. We worked hard in the summer Houston heat, and had many ice cold beers together celebrating. The project would not have been the same without Lan.

One small highlight, of an otherwise difficult day, would be giving Lan a hero's cheer after showing a feat of strength. The old Bat Cage used to have 85' tall steel poles with heavy guide wires that were anchored deeply to the ground. The remnants of the anchors would pop up during construction, and had to be removed, unless we wanted to ruin a mower or someones wrist hitting a golf shot. The expression Lan weighed 110 pounds soaking wet, had more meaning while working in this summer's heat, because it was both true and measurable.

We found an immovable old anchor just above the ground. I tried to pull it out, and it wouldn't budge. Someone went to get a shovel and pick while Lan quietly walked over to the protruding piece of steel. He bent over tried to move it a few times, I tried to stop him, but he continued. He worked it a little, then with a firm pull the anchor came out like a fish hook from a Marlin, an Old Man and the Sea sized marlin.

I don't know how he did it. Every time we found an anchor afterwards, there were many, Lan came to the rescue. And every time he pulled an anchor free, he was exalted with a cheer after he put his arms up flexing his two fully loaded guns.

Muchas gracias.
Buen trabajo.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why there are so many water features on a golf course?

Answer: Because they are fun to build.
The above flash slideshow from Swanson's Golf Center is a creek that we built this summer.
First is an image of the old entrance with standard plant beds followed by the sketched water feature after clearing.
Last is the image of the finished creek and waterfall.
The objective was to let every visitor know that they were entering some place different and could enjoy and relax for their stay.
The waterfall used 70 tons of rock, most of which were placed by hands - mine included.
It was great fun.
Especially since it wasn't an artificial one on a golf course - which I do not prefer.

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