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Huh?

 
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Uisce Beatha
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Huh?
« on: April 10, 2007, 08:26:32 PM »

http://www.thegolfchannel.com/15100/22226/

I've not played Augusta.  For that matter, I've not played Hoylake.  I have played true links courses though and Augusta simply isn't one - no matter the conditions.  Running shots into five green complexes does not a links course make.  Tom Doak is my hero and I have to think he wasn't quite as supportive of the concept as Hewitt makes it sound.

Big reach, IMO.
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Re: Huh?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2007, 08:45:06 PM »

Augusta a links this past weekend?  Never entered my mind, and - even now that someone has mentioned it - I don't think it did.
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Torpedo
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Re: Huh?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2007, 09:03:48 PM »

Augusta was just Augusta. Smiley
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Re: Huh?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 07:44:51 AM »

Sausage links, maybe.
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Uisce Beatha
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Re: Huh?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 07:46:38 AM »

Sausage links, maybe.

With pimento.  Mmmmmmmmmm.
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"If you're darker than a caramel, Reverend Al speaks for you." - Aasif Mandvi
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stroh
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Re: Huh?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2007, 08:10:31 AM »

[Squinty eyed, spit, with chin rub] It's gay nane hools goin' oot, in nane hools coomin' bach! That's links lad.  Noot uh say, pleeys toofer than 'ell.[/Squinty eyed, spit, with chin rub]
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JDerion
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Re: Huh?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 11:13:56 AM »

I don't think the story is implying that Tom Doak, Hewitt, or Brad Klein, think that Augusta is a links course in any sense of the word. In fact, I'm very aware of Doak's definition of links because a good friend of mine recently interviewed him on that very subject. However, with that said, it's well documented that Jones and MacKenzie modeled Augusta off The Old Course in particular, and the great links courses of GB&I in general. They wanted the qualities of a links course in a parkland setting, and that is pretty much indisputable.

Hewitt's thesis is not particularly original as the same ideas have been bouncing around on golfclubatlas.com for several days (a site where Brad Klein and Tom Doak are frequent posters). Where he misses the mark, imo, is that Jones and MacKenzie envisioned a course that offered more than "links like" firm and fast conditions. Width, angles, and options were also part of the equation, just as they are on great links designs. Those characteristics are missing from the modern day Augusta National as ongoing tree planting has effectively choked the lines of play into narrow corridors.  It was supposed to be a second shot course just like a links course. Instead it is a course where the outcome of a hole greatly depends on your ability to hit the ball in play off the tee by threading the proverbial needle.

As for this line: "I had also observed, for the first time ever at Augusta National, that major championship nuance I had never seen anywhere but at the British Open: The distinctive puff of dust and dirt shooting up off the turf after a shot struck from the fairway." Did he happen to catch that tournament they held at Shinnecock a few years ago?
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Uisce Beatha
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Re: Huh?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2007, 12:31:21 PM »

Good post, good insight, JD. 

What you say about the planting of trees makes a lot of sense.  I'd add that the shaving of the areas near water are also 180 degrees away from encouraging players to play as they would on a links course.  It seems a very bad idea to play Augusta along the ground.

Links golf is about options.  JD, you've played Pacific Dunes I think.  Hole #5 comes to mind as a great example.  It's a par three yet there are at least a half a dozen ways to play that hole.  It might be deceiving on TV but Augusta's par threes seem to accommodate, in some cases depending on hole position, really only one solution.

I've played a good few links courses in Ireland.  They all have the characteristic of presenting multiple options.  Stepping beyond the look, the type of land, the sandy soil, the dunes, the lack of trees, etc. I think that's what really defines a links (or links-style) course.  Parkland courses are great and Augusta might be the best of the bunch, but I'm having a hard time drawing much of a connection between the tournament last weekend and the Open Championship.

I'm a relative newcomer to the world of golf course architecture.  I have only 2-3 books under my belt.  It's a fascinating subject and I intend to learn more.  I appreciate your contribution.
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"If you're darker than a caramel, Reverend Al speaks for you." - Aasif Mandvi
"Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man: no time to talk." - stroh
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