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New Olde Bunkers

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This fine picture of Gene Sarazen blasting out of a bunker is from the 1939 US Open.
On one of my favourite sites (golfclubatlas.com) all 1500 participants seem to be in agreement that this type of bunkering is the real thing (Bandon Dunes, Whistling Straits, Sand Hills, Eagle’s Nest, etc.). I disagree that they should all be built like this. I feel they can evolve to look like that due to certain conditions (wind and lack of maintenace staff are two) but in general modern golfers prefer a more manicured “look” on their courses. Even the oldest pictures I have seen of Stanley Thompson bunkering look a bit more “maintained”.
The purists disagree and want to revert back to the old days (except they add 1000 yards due to our new equiment). I like both looks but prefer a neater look for modern courses, let them age.
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This picture is Dick Wilson, the designer of our Lucayan CC and many others, including Cog Hill in Chicago where the Western Open used to be held (remember when the Western Open and the Canadian Open had a concern over which was the 5th most important annual Professional tournament ?). I’ve played dozens of his courses, before and after they have been renovated. They were better before!!! Doral, Bay Hill, Royal Montreal, LaCosta, Pine Tree).
I’ve posted his picture because the new designers consider him from “the dark ages of golf design”. I don’t, my thinking is you can like them all, there are no bad courses are there? Some are just more popular.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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