The "artist rendition" of the first
green at Torrey Pines North
Making Tracks: The new North at Torrey Pines
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/16/13
Last month, we told you about Phil Mickelson's redesign of the North Course at Torrey Pines in San Diego. The cost of the changes is still estimated at $7 million, leaving many of us wondering if the non-resident green fees will still be "only" $125.
The Rees Jones-redesigned South Course costs non-residents $183 on weekdays and $229 on weekends. In exchange, golfers have the privilege of being broadsided, steamrolled, and generally tossed around like a bowling ball on a Tilt-a-Whirl. Known as "The Open Doctor," architect Jones has either redesigned or otherwise toughened numerous U.S. Open, Ryder Cup, and other major championship venues over the last two decades.
Kudos to Phil Mickelson, however, for his "anti-Rees Jones" approach to the North Course redesign. Mickelson is known to dislike Jones' re-working of the South Course and obviously is taking a deliberately different tack here:
"I do believe that modern-day architecture is the single-most [sic] reason why play and participation in golf has declined. It's just too hard. It's not fun. Torrey North is the golf course people enjoy. Torrey South is hard... it beats me up. We need to have an option that lets everybody play. That's Torrey North.Mickelson made those comments on December 18 at a public meeting in San Diego. Last week, Phil Mickelson Design Group chief architect Mike Angus unveiled some of the specifics to a group of public golfers at the course site. Changes were announced for the first three holes:
Intelligent approach? Absolutely.
Mind-blowingly original? Not at all.
The legendary architect Dr. Alister Mackenzie (1870-1934) set forth a list of 13 general principles for good golf course design; from this writer's chair, Mickelson and Angus seem to be following at least two of them at Torrey Pines:
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Image via UTSanDiego.com, Phil Mickelson Design Group
[ comments ]
There is a club near me, one that I played frequently when I started, that was designed with the idea that "a golfer should be rewarded for a good shot, but should not be penalized more than 1 stroke for a bad one."
That is a great philosophy.
What I find funny about this is that Rees Jones father, Robert Trent Jones, is famous for designing courses for "hard par, easy bogey." I guess Rees forgot that one.
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