Originally Posted by PhilsRHman
I'm glad to see this thread. I played the Paiute courses in Vegas and enjoyed them all. Of the three I liked Wolf the least. The best way to put it, is the course funnels your ball to the trouble. It's the most "dye" of the three and it's overly tough but s a whole the three Paiute designs are fun and playable as well as interesting.
But more recently I've played Pound Ridge in NY, not far from the city. I won't even get into the price, but the Dye design is so penal that it simply isn't fun. Ice played it twice and it was no better the second time. My handicap got as low as a 3.8 this summer but the day at Pound Ridge there was no way I was breaking 90. I think I shot 96 and I actually played shortish tees (around 6500 if I remember right). I was paired with two guys who probably shoot 90 on a normal day and they were so ready to leave by the 13th hole. A bad shot here isn't just in trouble, it's a lost ball. Not just on the tee, but even into greens. Once you reach the greens they're so contrived with massive humps and bumps. He uses elevation in a way that makes no sense to me. Those two guys I played with were there to celebrate graduation from business school. I felt terrible watching the course beat them up.
AT a certain point it's no longer a challenge it's just frustrating.
Compare that to a course like Longaberger in Ohio. Arthur Hills took this phenomenal piece of land and built a big grand layout that is long tough and a real test. But it's not a grind. As a signe digit I can battle to break 80 and be paired with a 25 who can spray it a bit but never get discouraged. He realizes that it's ok to turn a less than perect drive into a 2-3 club longer approach. Not a lost ball.
Id love to play more Hills designs, and will never seek out another Dye (but I'd definitely play sawgrass or Harbortown since they are in a class of their own).
I have played a LOT of Dye designs, as I'm from central Indiana where it seems he has built half or more of the courses that exist here, and he still lives in Carmel on Crooked Stick. I've also played a fair share of his resort courses in my travels.
I will say this...there is a WIDE variance in the difficulty level of his courses. You always know that you are on Dye course, but some are very, very playable, and others are borderline ridiculous.
In defense of the guy, he will say that it all comes down to what the owner of the course requests. With courses like Pound Ridge and French Lick, they wanted courses that were built to be ridiculously difficult tests of the game, and as such I can't see how many amateurs get much enjoyment out of playing them.
But he also has built some great courses that are challenging but certainly playable. One that is at the top of my list is the Ocean Course at Kiawah. I've played it probably 10 times, and I'd play it every day of my life if I could. The fariways and landing areas are very wide....you can run the ball onto most every green, save a few, and there are amble bail out areas around the greens...though you may have a tough pitch/chip. The difficulty all comes in what tees you pick, becuase I think it ranges from like 5000-7600 yards...and the wind is always something to consider. If you do spray the ball wildly off line, you'll be in the sand dunes. But there is nothing unfair about that course. If anything, I have found some of his older designs like Harbour Town more unfair, because the greens are so small and the fairways so tight.
I think many people only play Dye courses that are resort courses, and typcially very high end at that. So in an attempt to justify the $200+ rounds, they have Dye build extreme courses, and he is happy to do so. But if you play some of his more "regular" public courses, or private country clubs, you'll find that those are very, very playable....
Here in the Indy area courses like Brickyard Crossing, Plum Creek, The Fort, Woodland CC, Crooked Stick, Bridgewater, Purdue Univ course....if any of you played any of those tracks you'd find a very playable, very enjoyable course, that challenges you but is beyond fair.