Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Photo visualization.

While we continue to deliver traditional two-dimensional overview plans to our club clients, we're frequently creating three-dimensional photo visualizations as well, which more effectively convey our ideas for restoration and redesign of existing courses. Below is an interesting example of how a photo visualization comes together. Click on all images to enlarge. 

Photo of a short par-four as it exists today, from the start of the fairway area. The flag that can be seen is actually on a temporary green. The real green for this hole (if you can believe it) is atop the hill in the distance. Better golfers drive to the bottom of this hill with nothing more than a mid-iron then play a blind pitch straight up the steep grass bank seen in the distance. This hole is impossible for some weaker golfers who can't flight the ball high enough to carry this hill on approach to the green. I've learned that some people play this course and actually skip this hole - not an ideal situation. As the great Harry Colt once said, there's nothing worse in golf than a "frontal assault on a hill". And, a hole that's dull for low-handicap players and impossible for some others doesn't not meet my criteria. This hill is extremely steep, too, presenting potential danger for golfers and course maintenance staff.
Mock-up of our proposed solution following a site visit last fall, which is to abandon the green atop the hill and create a new par-three. Curiously, this idea came to me prior to seeing the temporary flag shown in the first photo, above. Seeing the flag in its temporary position at the bottom of the hill only confirmed that I wasn't the only one to instinctually determine the most appropriate green site for this hole. As is typical with such a dramatic change, creating this new par-three (which would be the 2nd hole) complicates getting to the current 3rd tee, which is behind the existing green atop the hill. So, we've also proposed to change the current 11th to the 3rd hole; the current 3rd becomes the 12th hole. Getting to the 11th tee from this new green site involves a much simpler walk across a gentle side slope, through a beautiful native forest at left.
The completed photo visualization, by my talented associate Keith Cutten, illustrates our proposed redesign. Some readers may notice a Stanley Thompson bunker style. If so, good observation. Mr. Thompson did some redesign work at this vintage layout during the early 1930s. While we don't have his original plans or many historic photos of the course, the club is proud of this link to Canadian golf history, so our long-range golf course improvement plan aims to create a look, feel and playability throughout the course consistent with Mr. Thompson's architecture during this era, at courses like Cataraqui, St. George's, Kawartha Lakes and Capilano.

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