Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Robert Hagge

Big fan of Robert Hagge

But I’ve always heard he was a difficult person, er, in person . . .

He never gets mentioned with the Tier 1 course designers, which is unfair. The quality of the list of his courses just in Texas is mind-blowing:

Walden On Lake Conroe

Crown Colony in Lufkin

TPC Woodlands   

The Cliffs on Possum Kingdom


But, again, his association with Bruce Devlin is not mentioned at all in this article, which is indicative of the falling out they had, after collaborating on these amazing designs.


Playing on these courses totally shaped my POV on course design and the Essence of Golf: A von Hagge / Devlin course has no dud holes – there may be sleepers – but every hole is interesting & challenging.


Robert von Hagge's golf courses a lasting legacy

Creations keep his memory alive

Copyright 2010 For the Chronicle

Oct. 26, 2010, 10:52PM

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Golf course architect Robert von Hagge may have died earlier this month, but his accomplishments live on as legendary landmarks.

"Robert von Hagge had a charismatic aura that shone upon everyone who knew him," said von Hagge's friend and brother-in-law Ron Randall. "He was a brilliant artist and a generous and caring human being who made everyone he came into contact with a better person.

"Robert had such presence and charm. You could listen to his stories indefinitely because they were filled with such humor and often celebrities. He wasn't a name dropper, it just so happened they were people he was associated with."

Von Hagge, who was a member at Northgate Country Club, designed more than 250 golf courses in 16 countries, including the Tournament Course at The Woodlands Country Club, site of last week's Administaff Small Business Classic.

Les Bordes a masterpiece


Monday, October 25, 2010

curves, hooks, & slices

I like to send Mr Science mind-candy when I find it on the web …

but Mr Science Says:


They're making a convoluted scenario out of a high-school geometry problem.
The path of the ball is a simple circular curve.  It doesn't "fall off the table" at the end, it simply continues accelerating in the same direction at the same rate.
Consider a circular automobile race track.  You stand just outside the outer wall watching cars go by.  As a car comes into your view, almost 90 degrees away around the circle, it is traveling straight toward a point off to your left, like the curve ball (or fast ball) just released by the pitcher.  In fact, you can't tell if that car is going to stay on the track, or hit the wall because it fails to hold the curve.
As the car gets closer to you, you begin to see that it is in fact turning, and will stay on the track.  It's not moving much sideways, but still coming closer very quickly, and is now coming straight at you.  Like that curve ball when it's halfway to the plate.
Then, as the car gets close to you, you begin to see that it's no longer coming toward you very much, but is turning very quickly and will pass by you without hitting you or going off the track.  Like the curve ball when it's 2 feet in front of the plate, and "falling off" the table. 
The driver of the car hasn't moved his steering wheel the whole time.  He's turning at a constant rate, the same as the circular track.  The same as the curve ball, the direction of motion is changing at a constant rate.
The batter isn't moving, but the path of the ball is changing as it comes toward him, and his perception of the sideways motion is the sine of the angle between his sightline and the path of the ball.  When the ball is coming straight at him, the angle is 0 and the sine is 0.  It looks just like a fastball.  The longer you wait, the more the path of the ball changes, and the larger is the angle and the sine of the angle.  That's the math that explains why a ball that is following a circular path of constant radius seems to "fall off the table" when it gets very close to the batter. 
That's also why your draw gradually turns into a duck hook as it approaches the edge of the fairway. 

I’m trying not to take it personally, but that “your draw” conclusion stings a little bit . . . 8^D . . . .

Sunday, October 24, 2010

of Tangential Interest

Subject: from 92 Stories, a collection by James Thurber

From a story entitled “Miscellaneous Mentation”

…To substitute walking under ladders for not walking under ladders is a distinction without a difference. For here we have, in effect, a person who was afraid to walk under ladders, and is now afraid not to. In the first place he avoided ladders because he feared the very fear that that would put into him. This the psychologists call phobophobia (they really do). But *now* he is afraid of the very fear he had of being afraid and hence is a victim of what I can only cal phobophobophobia, and is in even deeper than he was before.

I am shocked, *shocked*, that this concept has not been more widely propagated and understood:

-          every sportsman should immediately recognize this, particularly golfers, in that what debilitates us is not the fear of hitting the ball in the water (which is an ordinary hazard of the game), nor even fear of the fear of hitting the ball into the water (which we could avoid by laying up short of the hazard), but *fear of the fear of the fear of hitting the ball into the water* which is where we chunk or skull the ball leaving the obstacle still before us…

-          every technical participant should also immediately recognize this, particularly programmers, in the same way where we *fear the fear of the fear of making a mistake* which leads inexorably to the bureaucratization of maintenance procedures to the point where nothing can be done, due to the embedded nestings of  “from-now-on” restrictions.

-          In stock market trading, as well as in programming, this stultification is known also as “paralysis by analysis” and in that arena leads to loss-of-profits due to the *fear of the fear of the fear of losing money* which, in the main, usually does guarantee the loss of more money.

I have no answers, I have only this quaint belief that naming something gives you a handle on it, and *phobophobophobia* seems like a useful handle to me.