UPDATED 10:45 p.m.
Photos of the work on the Road Hole Bunker from the website Hookedongolfblog.com
UPDATED 2:08 p.m.
Tom Doak’s letter to the golf architect societies.
Bob Cupp, President, American Society of Golf Course Architects
Rainer Preissmann, President, European Institute of Golf Course
Graham Papworth, President, Society of Australian Golf Course Architects
John Young, British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association
I was horrified yesterday to read of the changes proposed to The Old
Course at St. Andrews. No longer content just to add back tees for
championship play, the club and its consulting architect, Martin
Hawtree, have planned to move bunkers, add contouring around the
greens, and soften slopes in other places prior to the next Open
I have felt for many years that The Old Course was sacred ground to
golf architects, as it was to Old Tom Morris and C. B. Macdonald and
Harry Colt and Alister MacKenzie before us. It has been untouched
architecturally since 1920, and I believe that it should remain so. I
understood this to be the feeling of many other architects who attended
the World Forum on Golf Architecture in St. Andrews, three years ago.
I don’t believe it should be IMPOSSIBLE to change The Old Course, or
any other historic course. But I think it should be a lot harder than it
currently is, where only the management of the club and any consulting
architect they hire have to agree. I think that the default position
should be that such an international treasure should be guarded, and
that there should be a high burden of proof that changes need to be
made, before they can be made.
I feel strongly enough about this to stick my neck out on it, and make
the case publicly to everyone I know, including and especially contacts
in the media. In fact, one of the reasons I have never applied for
membership in your organizations is the desire to speak my mind about
such things without having to arrive at a consensus first. However,
contrary to popular perception, I have no desire to step over you on
this matter if you are interested in taking the same stand.
I propose to make a petition to the Royal & Ancient Golf Club
expressing that as a golf course architect, I feel that The Old Course
is sacred ground, and that architectural changes should not be made to
it unless necessary for the maintenance and health of the course. I
would like to know from each of you individually, whether you are
interested in participating in this movement, and whether your
organizations might be interested in participating as well.
Renaissance Golf Design Inc.
UPDATED 1:02 p.m.
Work has started on the 11th green, as well.
Check back for updates.