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Jack Nicklaus On Trends In Golf Architecture

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Obviously some focus on Nicklaus design course with the PGA being at Valhalla and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

What's interesting is that he mentions minimalist designs, he refers to it as "wild grasses, wild greens", are scaring off golfers due to their difficulty.

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What's interesting is that he mentions minimalist designs, he refers to it as "wild grasses, wild greens", are scaring off golfers due to their difficulty.

That's interesting. I think Pinehurst is easier to play the way it is now. St. Andrews is pretty easy to play.

Chambers Bay. The courses at Bandon Dunes. Etc.

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That's interesting. I think Pinehurst is easier to play the way it is now. St. Andrews is pretty easy to play.

Chambers Bay. The courses at Bandon Dunes. Etc.

I tend to agree. To me those courses give you more options with approach shots and around the greens compared to "modern" courses where you have to carry the trouble. Also the ball runs further off the tee and green speeds are a bit slower on the "minimalist" courses.

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Who's doing the "wild" style besides Pete Dye and Coore-Crenshaw? And I think those two designers are an excellent contrast. Very similar design styles (at least the ones I've seen in the southeast) except that Dye uses much more visual deception, and thus makes the shots much more frustrating because even the good shot that the player draws up can be punished. I think those two designers are exactly who Jack is talking about, and an excellent contrast in fair vs unfair (if that's the right characterization) design.
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Who's doing the "wild" style besides Pete Dye and Coore-Crenshaw?

Gil Hanse, Tom Doak, Kyle Phillips, David McLay Kidd, Robert Trent Jones II

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Interesting.  At least he sees that his courses have a reputation for difficulty.  Long before this recent "natural" trend in design, one of my biggest complaints of Nicklaus courses was they often looked "manufactured".  Not as bad a some of Pete Dye's work, but still.  Add in the cost of maintenance of said courses, and it just might be his designs are becoming anachronisms.   I really like the minimalist trend.  I like any course that I can make decisions on how to play it.  Whether it's angles, or playing the ball low or high.

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I've played a bunch of Jack Nicklaus designed courses.  Never walked away feeling like the course beat me up, was unfair or overly difficult.  Jack does a great job designing courses with the average golfer in mind.

dave

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