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.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Golf Architecture Volume 4 - The Evolution of the Wolf Point Club Routing

Paul Daley's next volume got to my office last week. I was very pleased to have the pictorial essay entitled "Wolf Point Club Routing, USA — An Evolutionary Case Study" included. As our process for designing and building Wolf Point has included digital records, I thought it would be very interesting to show the evolution of the routing plan. Actually it is one of the first things I thought would work well on this blog.

So after one year of blogging, tomorrow I am going to begin sharing the routing plan's progression - I will probably show more versions than are in the book. I always enjoyed looking back at the iterations - I hope you do as well.

The above is the cover image and here is Fullswing Golf Publishing's website .

All of his books are excellent. I recommend picking up his past volumes, especially Volume 3 which included my inclusion: "Non-traditional paths to becoming a golf course designer".

Friday, June 27, 2008

Updated Beauty

The above image is a more recent version of this one from earlier in the year.

A few more people have seen the course to see our grass and play with our client. It is all extremely positive - they have been blown away.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bob Labbance Golf Historian & Writer

There is a great fund raiser going on this week in New Hampshire for golf historian and writer Bob Labbance. He has authored a number of great books and is a continual contributor to various industry magazines including a regular historical article in Superintendent Magazine.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The 4th green

From the 4th tee it appears as if the bunkers on 1 surround the fourth green. One of the benefits of having holes wrap around each other.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Amazing Fun!

While a playoff round on a U.S. Open course doesn't usually equate to fun - this picture sure tells a different story. If they can have fun here, why not let everyone else have fun on thier own home course - instead of making them too difficult.

It was riveting competition!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The 3rd Hole

If you can carry the bunkers and keep it out of the left rough on your tee shot, your are greatly rewarded. The par five green is reachable if you've come this far. Usually the play is to the right as the hole heads into the prevailing wind. Our client has definately grown to appreciate the benefit of keeping the ball left. The second photo below shows the path a little better. This construction aerial helps too.

The bunkers in the distance hug the green's right side and approach. So far I haven't carried the bunkers, or gotten home in two.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The U.S. Open is great for the best 156 golfers in the world...

It is a great tournament, compelling to watch & makes for a fantastic weekend. It's nearly perfect.

But for the other 50,000,000 golfers in the world I can think of a better way to play every day or even occasionally...

The above picture is of the yet to be opened 1st green and its very appealing entrance (from the left). I was partly inspired by the large subtle opening green at Jasper Park. I took this picture yesterday and I have a lot more from the day in the coming weeks - it is bursting at the seams.

Why would YOU want to play a U.S. Open course on any other day?

Have a great Father's Day weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My third round at Wolf Point

It appears as if our client has been improving way faster than I expected. There is definately a significant home course advantage. One new birdie for him - he hit driver off the deck to make a birdie on the tough par five 3rd (currently our 2nd)

The picture above is of the $20 I lost today.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What a great week...

The crew had planned a barbeque, so after my round at Wolf Point I got to also enjoy a great meal. What a perfect day.

Have a great US Open week - please grill all your meals.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The bunkers are coming...

Simple and strategic. Our bunkers are coming to life around the course.

When an architect draws an intial routing plan, it looks better with a lot of bunkers. That isn't always the case in the field. (see also swoopy lines)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Clubhouse View

Pictured above is the main clubhouse across the lake. The lake is big enough to create a sense of place. The construction is far enough along on the building which has enabled us to close in the golf course around the building.

If you click the clubhouse catagory (here) or to the right - the other clubhouse pictures will be displayed.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Memorial Day

I took this picture today. It seemed very appropriate for our recent Memorial Day.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The 15th Green

The par three 15th has been one of my favorite holes from the beginning. During my first round I played conservative shots to the right side of the green. One time it bounced towards the pin - result two pars. My second round it was a little different. I played a little more aggressively, and wound up in the gulley to the left of the green and then playing a little more timidly I wound up short - result two bogeys.

This was my view from within the swale. I love the hole. It plays hard and easy, but more importantly IT PLAYS FUN.
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