or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance - Page 12

post #199 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

If you think Jack deals with "actual budgets and costs" on the courses he designs (particularly the post-construction costs like maintenance), then I've got some oceanfront property in Idaho to sell ya…

 

The true cost savings are less than 5%. Talk to an actual superintendent or something.


Jack is actually really involved in Muirfield's budget and accounting. He is not solely responsible for it, but he is actively involved in budgeting and renovations.

I think it's funny that he suggests a 20% rollback in distance with the driver, yet 2 years ago he expanded Muirfield's driving range by roughly 50 yards to better accommodate players and promote "safety" since players would often hit beyond the 286 yard net.

post #200 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

Jack is actually really involved in Muirfield's budget and accounting. He is not solely responsible for it, but he is actively involved in budgeting and renovations.

 

We have different definitions of "really involved" then. a3_biggrin.gif He's involved with the club (it's his Augusta) more than others, but he still has people to do the accounting for him. He's a "big picture" guy (as he should be), even at MFGC. I've asked him and seen him asked particulars about how much things cost, and he can tell you how much making a lake on 16 cost, roughly, but that's about it.

 

And he's not investigated shortening his course 20% and what that savings would cost. He likely does know how expensive it is to maintain  bunkers, greens, and tees.

post #201 of 223

I think jack isn't a figures guy. He's a designer, he walks the course through the phases, trying to achieve his vision. He probably could tell you roughly what a green cost to build. But really when it comes to Murfield, i don't think he cares much for the prices as long as the end meets his results. So if they say, hey this lake cost 2 million to build, even if it sound outrageous, i think jack really could care less about the cost when it comes to that course. I think he has a ton of guys who are paid very well to make sure projects come in at budget. Believe me, most people are use to paying exactly what the price is advertised, but on build projects, its highly variable. That's why contingency can be upward of 30% of construction cost. It gets crazy. 

 

Also, why would jack want to lower cost on making golf course? He builds golf courses, meaning other people pay him to build a golf course and he gets to stick his name out front saying its a Jack Nicklaus designed course. So he wants bigger courses because he will get more money.

post #202 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

We have different definitions of "really involved" then. a3_biggrin.gif He's involved with the club (it's his Augusta) more than others, but he still has people to do the accounting for him. He's a "big picture" guy (as he should be), even at MFGC. I've asked him and seen him asked particulars about how much things cost, and he can tell you how much making a lake on 16 cost, roughly, but that's about it.

 

And he's not investigated shortening his course 20% and what that savings would cost. He likely does know how expensive it is to maintain  bunkers, greens, and tees.

Right on, I see what you're saying. He does have staff that takes care of things like this for him and accountants, who actually hold degrees in accounting, tallying up the cost and budgets. I guess my point is that he is at least more involved in courses than most who design them.

Many of these big named designers are drafting it up, making it a reality, and they walk away and wash their hands of it. 

post #203 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post 

 

Also, why would jack want to lower cost on making golf course? He builds golf courses, meaning other people pay him to build a golf course and he gets to stick his name out front saying its a Jack Nicklaus designed course. So he wants bigger courses because he will get more money.

 

Two reasons:  

 

1)  He doesn't want to price himself out of the running for a contract, and ...

 

2)  The better he controls costs the more profitable the job is.

 

Bigger courses certainly doesn't translate into more money, and such a  policy could even have the possibility of losing the bid for him.  The way such projects often work is the developer creates a plan for how he wants to subdivide the piece of land and what's left over from any residential or commercial construction is given over the the golf course designer.  Sometimes that's enough to give the courses designer something to work with, other times he may be stuck with a rather undesirable piece of land to work with.  Some designers won't even consider bidding a job if they don't have some say or flexibility in how the course is routed.  Jack is one of those who would demand that input.  He has the vision to see a golf course on an undeveloped acreage, and he is unlikely to let the developer tell him where the holes are going to run.  

 

I've often thought that if life had worked out differently for me, I could have been the type of designer who lays a course on a parcel of land, using the natural terrain.  I've been out hiking and often just "see" how golf holes would fit in the valleys and hills that I'm walking through.  I'm not as sure that I have the vision to create a golf course from an uninspiring landscape.  Since I actually know very little about the mechanics of course construction, and as it's a bit late for a new career now, I guess I'll never know.  e3_rolleyes.gif

post #204 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Two reasons:  

 

1)  He doesn't want to price himself out of the running for a contract, and ...

 

2)  The better he controls costs the more profitable the job is.

 

Bigger courses certainly doesn't translate into more money, and such a  policy could even have the possibility of losing the bid for him.  The way such projects often work is the developer creates a plan for how he wants to subdivide the piece of land and what's left over from any residential or commercial construction is given over the the golf course designer.  Sometimes that's enough to give the courses designer something to work with, other times he may be stuck with a rather undesirable piece of land to work with.  Some designers won't even consider bidding a job if they don't have some say or flexibility in how the course is routed.  Jack is one of those who would demand that input.  He has the vision to see a golf course on an undeveloped acreage, and he is unlikely to let the developer tell him where the holes are going to run.  

 

I've often thought that if life had worked out differently for me, I could have been the type of designer who lays a course on a parcel of land, using the natural terrain.  I've been out hiking and often just "see" how golf holes would fit in the valleys and hills that I'm walking through.  I'm not as sure that I have the vision to create a golf course from an uninspiring landscape.  Since I actually know very little about the mechanics of course construction, and as it's a bit late for a new career now, I guess I'll never know.  e3_rolleyes.gif

 

1) doesn't matter because all other golf designers have to deal the same problem, golf distance. So if golf designers back extra distance in equipment, then they will all want to see longer golf courses to increase cost.

 

2) Cost control is isolated to basically how he manages his company

 

Basically he wouldn't be the only one who would be designing longer golf courses, he's not an isolated incident.

post #205 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

1) doesn't matter because all other golf designers have to deal the same problem, golf distance. So if golf designers back extra distance in equipment, then they will all want to see longer golf courses to increase cost.

 

2) Cost control is isolated to basically how he manages his company

 

Basically he wouldn't be the only one who would be designing longer golf courses, he's not an isolated incident.

 

The problem with #1 is that if the longer distance causes a need for a larger parcel then some projects are just not going to be built.  So it is not an issue of competitiveness with other designers it is an issue of shrinking the market.

 

But I'm sure I'm being silly to think that a 6000 yard course would take less land than a 7500 yard course in the first place.

post #206 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

The problem with #1 is that if the longer distance causes a need for a larger parcel then some projects are just not going to be built.  So it is not an issue of competitiveness with other designers it is an issue of shrinking the market.

 

But I'm sure I'm being silly to think that a 6000 yard course would take less land than a 7500 yard course in the first place.

 

You're not being silly… you're just missing the point on this one.

 

The point is that the land savings is not as great as you seem to think (even at 20% reduction in distance, which has about a 0.0000001% chance of coming to pass), nor are the cost savings.

 

And Jack Nicklaus has likely never lost a project because there was only room for 6000 yards when he wanted 7500.

post #207 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

The problem with #1 is that if the longer distance causes a need for a larger parcel then some projects are just not going to be built.  So it is not an issue of competitiveness with other designers it is an issue of shrinking the market.

 

But I'm sure I'm being silly to think that a 6000 yard course would take less land than a 7500 yard course in the first place.

 

I'd agree that you can build a 6000 yard course on less land than a 7500 yard course, but I'm not sure maintenance would go down.  I'm pretty sure well-manicured fairway landing areas would be the same size, just closer to the tee boxes.  If that's true, then irrigation and manicuring of fairways, greens, and hazard margins (where I would think most of the money and maintenance time is spent) wouldn't drop significantly.

 

But I'm no expert.  And I don't think we have any golf course management experts here (not that I've heard from) so I sent an email to the American Society of Golf Course Architects to see if they'd like to chime in on the topic.  Hopefully they'll respond.  I'd love to hear their opinion on the distance reduction topic.

post #208 of 223

I agree with Erik that land and maintenance costs are not as impact-full as one might think. What has meaningful impact on a budget is labor, labor is the number one component of a maintenance budget. If you can change the amount of time it takes to do maintenance jobs on course, then you can have fewer employees...fewer employees have lower costs (pay, overhead, insurance, workmans comp claims, etc...). The reason shortening the course doesn't help is that modern equipment has made all the employees as efficient as possible. Dialing back fairways 20% doesn't have appreciable impact because the fairway mower is already a beast with a 72 to 100 inch cut and a 7.5mph mowing speed. There are still 3 acres of greens and all the tee boxes and 37 bunkers to maintain. And roughs only get cut twice a week in peak growing season, once a week in hot/cold conditions. Superintendents are already running as tight as possible with the labor force, the equipment is already as efficient as it is reasonably going to get, there is no slack in that system to get rid of. Now, if you want to cut the cost of maintaining a golf course, invent a safe un-manned mower and self-raking bunkers.

post #209 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

The problem with #1 is that if the longer distance causes a need for a larger parcel then some projects are just not going to be built.  So it is not an issue of competitiveness with other designers it is an issue of shrinking the market.

 

But I'm sure I'm being silly to think that a 6000 yard course would take less land than a 7500 yard course in the first place.

 

You got it backwards man.

 

An owner buys a piece of land, he is confined to this land parcel. Lets say 10 acres (just throwing out a number). He wants to build a golf course. He says, "I want a golf course built for 3 million dollars max:" So he goes out to the golf design companies, Arnold Palmer, Jack, Gary Player, ect.. They all with there teams come up with a golf design, and do there pitch. Ok, this golf course, this look, this design, this build time, this cost. The guy picks one, and they run with it. Designs will change a bit, be finalized, and things get rolling.

 

You think Jack has control over the amount of land is used, only if the a 7200 yard course fits in the same land parcel as a 6000 yard course. Other than that, Jack has to design a course based around a boundary line. Jack isn't going out there saying, "Were only building 7000+ yard courses", nope, he is constrained in his designs by the usable land.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0ldblu3 View Post

I agree with Erik that land and maintenance costs are not as impact-full as one might think. What has meaningful impact on a budget is labor, labor is the number one component of a maintenance budget. If you can change the amount of time it takes to do maintenance jobs on course, then you can have fewer employees...fewer employees have lower costs (pay, overhead, insurance, workmans comp claims, etc...). The reason shortening the course doesn't help is that modern equipment has made all the employees as efficient as possible. Dialing back fairways 20% doesn't have appreciable impact because the fairway mower is already a beast with a 72 to 100 inch cut and a 7.5mph mowing speed. There are still 3 acres of greens and all the tee boxes and 37 bunkers to maintain. And roughs only get cut twice a week in peak growing season, once a week in hot/cold conditions. Superintendents are already running as tight as possible with the labor force, the equipment is already as efficient as it is reasonably going to get, there is no slack in that system to get rid of. Now, if you want to cut the cost of maintaining a golf course, invent a safe un-manned mower and self-raking bunkers.

 

that's not necessarily true as well, it depends on the math. You can just take an extra week with a smaller crew and save money compared to going with a larger crew and working a shorter week. It all depends on how the hourly wages line up with the time table. 

post #210 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

You got it backwards man.

 

An owner buys a piece of land, he is confined to this land parcel. Lets say 10 acres (just throwing out a number). He wants to build a golf course. He says, "I want a golf course built for 3 million dollars max:" So he goes out to the golf design companies, Arnold Palmer, Jack, Gary Player, ect.. They all with there teams come up with a golf design, and do there pitch. Ok, this golf course, this look, this design, this build time, this cost. The guy picks one, and they run with it. Designs will change a bit, be finalized, and things get rolling.

 

 

I have to agree with this.  It's not like a developer is saying "I need a 7200 yard course, so go find me a plot of land that is exactly 7 acres."  The developer has a plot of land available (these days they're typically mixed-use residential parcel and golf course) that he wants to build a course on.  So, he goes to the designer and they negotiate how much of the land can be used for the course and how much must be reserved for other purposes.  

 

I'm sure it's a collaborative give-and-take between the course designer and the overall development project manager, but at some point the course designer is saying "Here's 4 course design options I can execute on this plot of land, and here's what your cost will be (either in real dollars or forfeiting use of the land for other development purposes) for each option."

 

It may very well be the case that in the overall scheme of the project, the course-designer can reserve more of the parcel for homes or other commercial uses if the course is 6200 yards vice 7400 yards.  But I haven't heard anyone with knowledge about how this works make an intelligent proffer on this point.  I strongly doubt that the developer is going looking for different (cheaper) specific plots of land that will fit a 6200-yard golf course, or that he's saying "TM is going to release the "ballistic" ball in 2015 that will be 7% longer, so we need to buy up the neighboring acreage in order to stretch this course to 8000 yards."

post #211 of 223

Most golf courses I've seen have an excess of land.  They built a 7000 yard course because that's what the owner / designer agreed to build, not because the amount of land limited the course dimensions. 

post #212 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Most golf courses I've seen have an excess of land.  They built a 7000 yard course because that's what the owner / designer agreed to build, not because the amount of land limited the course dimensions. 

 

Yea most golf courses i've seen are nestled between developed land, or next to farms. But i lived near cities or towns all my life :p

post #213 of 223
Watching the US Open seems like proof that balls don't need to be toned back...
post #214 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by clutchshot View Post

Watching the US Open seems like proof that balls don't need to be toned back...

 

 

Sure, just grow the rough 6" deep on every championship course, let it grow in so the fairways are 30 yards wide, then re-contour all of the greens so that they have up to a 6% slope where the hole is cut with a double break from almost every direction.  Then your argument has merit.  e3_rolleyes.gif

post #215 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

 

Sure, just grow the rough 6" deep on every championship course, let it grow in so the fairways are 30 yards wide, then re-contour all of the greens so that they have up to a 6% slope where the hole is cut with a double break from almost every direction.  Then your argument has merit.  e3_rolleyes.gif

 

Yeah, that won't cost us golf course owners anything, right?  And even if it does they'll just pass on the cost to all of us, right?  And I'm sure it won't hurt golf's popularity because when the recession hit, nobody cut back on golf because of lack of money, right?

 

I don't think it necessarily is a problem that needs to be fixed, but if we DID try to fix it, judging from the average life of a golf ball, when a shorter ball came out, it wouldn't be very long at all before it's the only thing on golf shop shelves.  I would think there's a lot less money lost in that scenario.

post #216 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

 

Sure, just grow the rough 6" deep on every championship course, let it grow in so the fairways are 30 yards wide, then re-contour all of the greens so that they have up to a 6% slope where the hole is cut with a double break from almost every direction.  Then your argument has merit.  e3_rolleyes.gif

Ummm. Yeah...I wouldn't go as far as to say to re-contour the greens but it's not hard at all to make any golf hole a tough hole. As I posted on this site once before I made one of our "easy" holes into a fairly tough hole just last week. All it took was ten white stakes and an adjustment to my mower deck height. Now about half of the people that were hitting a driver on that hole are hitting 3 irons, and the ones that don't are likely to pay the price (happened to me today with a double bogie).

 

There's some of the same problem going on in golf that has always gone on in baseball. Plenty of people like to gripe about too many home runs but that sells and puts people in the seats. The umpires don't have to have a strike zone half the height it's supposed to be. Call a rule book strike zone and home runs totals will plummet.

 

 Plenty of people think the players are bombing too many balls off of the tee but that sells too.

 

They don't have to mow the fairways down to the height of our greens and let them dry out so the ball rolls forever, and they don't have to cut the rough to a height where there's not much penalty for hitting in it. Fact is that most people like to see the best players in the world bombing away. Hell I like it myself. I don't mind watching a "Merion" occasionally but I also like seeing the big dogs get turned loose.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance