As U.S. Open week begins at Congressional the Rees Jones renovations seem to generate personal attacks based on his design product. Golf course architectural buffs take their subject seriously and when they don’t like the aesthetics they blame the golf architect’s DNA and personality.
Rees doesn’t adhere to the Doak, Hanse, Shackelford bushy bunker philosophy. He’s quite happy doing bunkers the old fashioned way, with a flat blade and a few excavator tweaks. I drive by a few Rees Jones bunkers on my work commute and I they do look a bit bland but they feature neatly trimmed bluegrass and moderate bunker flashing. They are easy to play out and groom. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Now we have the bushy bunker crowd who are BS at Rees because he didn’t over-dramatize the bunker complexes at Congressional. They are taking it personally and they are writing personal attacks about Rees Jones.
I worked with Rees on a project and I found him to be mellow and open to comments and suggestions. I wasn’t the money man; I was second in command on the construction crew. Those who attack Rees don’t know him.
Golf design is not a nice business. I’ve dabbled in this genre and I can say that I’ve never met so many liars and bad-money dudes as I found while selling golf design services. If you don’t like a golf design, don’t take it personally. Play someplace else or shut-off the TV.