Difference between Jack Nicklaus course vs Greg Norman course

hypergolfhypergolf Members Posts: 1,222 ✭✭
DavePelz4 wrote:


Have played quite a few Nicklaus courses and see a few things in common. First it seems as though he tries to work with the land as it and incorporate as much of the natural terrain as possible. Also seems doglegs are more often left to right, which is how he hit the ball. Greens are generally smaller and positioning is more strategic.



Have only played 2 Norman designed courses and he seems to be more comfortable moving dirt to create what he wants. Bunkers in the fairways and greenside are more prevalent, greens larger and I'd say you have to hit the ball further on a comparative basis as compared to a JN design.



Just one opinion.




What are the main differences between courses designed by these two? Any trademark features of the course for either?
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  • DavePelz4DavePelz4 A golf course in the Chicago area.ClubWRX Posts: 24,340 ClubWRX
    Have played quite a few Nicklaus courses and see a few things in common. First it seems as though he tries to work with the land as it and incorporate as much of the natural terrain as possible. Also seems doglegs are more often left to right, which is how he hit the ball. Greens are generally smaller and positioning is more strategic.



    Have only played 2 Norman designed courses and he seems to be more comfortable moving dirt to create what he wants. Bunkers in the fairways and greenside are more prevalent, greens larger and I'd say you have to hit the ball further on a comparative basis as compared to a JN design.



    Just one opinion.
  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,719 ClubWRX
    edited Jan 2, 2019 6:59pm #3
    Santa Claus has a brother that designs golf courses? "Nicholas" my butt.



    OP, you get that thread title fixed or Popeye Doyle be asking where you pick your feet!



    Loving this Fernando Rey Dey! (See if OP catches that, lol).



    And OP, I mean it - shame on you.
  • hypergolfhypergolf Members Posts: 1,222 ✭✭
    DavePelz4 wrote:


    Have played quite a few Nicklaus courses and see a few things in common. First it seems as though he tries to work with the land as it and incorporate as much of the natural terrain as possible. Also seems doglegs are more often left to right, which is how he hit the ball. Greens are generally smaller and positioning is more strategic.



    Have only played 2 Norman designed courses and he seems to be more comfortable moving dirt to create what he wants. Bunkers in the fairways and greenside are more prevalent, greens larger and I'd say you have to hit the ball further on a comparative basis as compared to a JN design.



    Just one opinion.




    Thanks for the information. Much appreciated.
  • hypergolfhypergolf Members Posts: 1,222 ✭✭
    Hawkeye77 wrote:


    Santa Claus has a brother that designs golf courses? "Nicholas" my butt.



    OP, you get that thread title fixed or Popeye Doyle be asking where you pick your feet!



    Loving this Fernando Rey Dey! (See if OP catches that, lol).



    And OP, I mean it - shame on you.




    Thanks for pointing out the spelling error.
  • Man_O_WarMan_O_War Members Posts: 2,752 ✭✭
    much rather play a Dye/Clark course than any by these two. Not a fan of the two i have played by each of them. Something about Dye courses....and nothing like link courses. Maybe if any of these two designed a true links course...we would have something..find their designs...ho hum boring
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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,719 ClubWRX
    hypergolf wrote:

    Hawkeye77 wrote:


    Santa Claus has a brother that designs golf courses? "Nicholas" my butt.



    OP, you get that thread title fixed or Popeye Doyle be asking where you pick your feet!



    Loving this Fernando Rey Dey! (See if OP catches that, lol).



    And OP, I mean it - shame on you.




    Thanks for pointing out the spelling error.




    You spell Thomas Jeferson or Rory McElroy however you want, but Jack? Even my computer autocorrects to "Nicklaus", lol.



    Anyway, looks like you have gotten one solid comparison post, hope you get some more.
  • ram01002ram01002 Members Posts: 1,894 ✭✭
    Everyone has an opinion, but both designers are horrible. Nicklaus designs are a world class case study in sucking the fun out of golf.
  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,155 ✭✭
    Nicklaus - generous fairways, very difficult approaches often with raised greens or bunkers greenside. Not many holes to roll the ball into the green, thus you need to hit the ball high into the green.



    Norman - not many trees for me is obvious. Greens are not symmetric, uses water on sides of fairways more so than greenside. Bunkers are also no symmetrical, even uses some vegetation inside of the bunkers as he originally did at the PGA West Norman course before it was too **** hard and they had to remove it a couple years later.
  • GSDriverGSDriver Members Posts: 598 ✭✭
    ram01002 wrote:


    Everyone has an opinion, but both designers are horrible. Nicklaus designs are a world class case study in sucking the fun out of golf.




    I like Jack's designs, and Norman's as well. Not for the beginner for certain, but even my wife likes playing them. Pete Dye still my favorite, but haven't played a 'bad' course by Jack or Greg. Here in DFW they had to redesign a Norman track as 'too hard' for most folks.
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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 20,410 ✭✭
    Schley wrote:


    Nicklaus - generous fairways, very difficult approaches often with raised greens or bunkers greenside. Not many holes to roll the ball into the green, thus you need to hit the ball high into the green.



    Norman - not many trees for me is obvious. Greens are not symmetric, uses water on sides of fairways more so than greenside. Bunkers are also no symmetrical, even uses some vegetation inside of the bunkers as he originally did at the PGA West Norman course before it was too **** hard and they had to remove it a couple years later.




    Jack may have generous fairways, but he also has rather penal fairway bunkers, i.e. steep faces. I guess he figures that if you miss his fairways you deserve a 1/2 stroke penalty. I've found that unless you roll into the back 1/3rd of the bunker you will likely not be able to get enough club on it to reach the green without risking plugging it in the face of the bunker.



    Jack's greens also tend to be quite undulating, often with multiple tiers.
  • Instron4204Instron4204 Members Posts: 49 ✭✭
    Argonne69 wrote:

    Schley wrote:


    Nicklaus - generous fairways, very difficult approaches often with raised greens or bunkers greenside. Not many holes to roll the ball into the green, thus you need to hit the ball high into the green.



    Norman - not many trees for me is obvious. Greens are not symmetric, uses water on sides of fairways more so than greenside. Bunkers are also no symmetrical, even uses some vegetation inside of the bunkers as he originally did at the PGA West Norman course before it was too **** hard and they had to remove it a couple years later.




    Jack may have generous fairways, but he also has rather penal fairway bunkers, i.e. steep faces. I guess he figures that if you miss his fairways you deserve a 1/2 stroke penalty. I've found that unless you roll into the back 1/3rd of the bunker you will likely not be able to get enough club on it to reach the green without risking plugging it in the face of the bunker.



    Jack's greens also tend to be quite undulating, often with multiple tiers.




    This is very accurate from my point of view as well.
  • tetstets Members Posts: 81 ✭✭
    The main difference is 16 majors
  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,546 ✭✭
    The biggest difference, in general, is that Norman has mostly built resort courses at high-end facilities (not exclusively, but that’s the majority of his work). Nicklaus has designed mostly (but certainly not exclusively) courses anchored in big real estate developments. Even at their best, this split shows through - Ellerston was built as a super private resort course (for a single family); Muirfield Village anchors a housing community.



    From a design perspective, there are a couple of things that stand out to me. Nicklaus favors left-to-right play; tight green surrounds; and almost always throws a center-of-fairway bunker into the mix. Norman does the best job I’ve ever seen of building multiple tees. His forward tees often provide a completely different - but equally compelling - playing experience to the tips. The holes can often be completely different from a strategy perspective from tee to tee, which is a lot of fun when you’re spending a week at the resort.
  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,155 ✭✭
    raynorfan1 wrote:






    Norman does the best job I've ever seen of building multiple tees. His forward tees often provide a completely different - but equally compelling - playing experience to the tips. The holes can often be completely different from a strategy perspective from tee to tee, which is a lot of fun when you're spending a week at the resort.




    Do you actually play from the forward tees and back tees on Norman courses or is this a hypothesis? So have you played both back and front on a Norman course? I'm curious which one (s) and your observations.



    I don't think I have ever played the forward tees except some type of scramble.
  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,546 ✭✭
    Schley wrote:

    raynorfan1 wrote:


    Norman does the best job I've ever seen of building multiple tees. His forward tees often provide a completely different - but equally compelling - playing experience to the tips. The holes can often be completely different from a strategy perspective from tee to tee, which is a lot of fun when you're spending a week at the resort.




    Do you actually play from the forward tees and back tees on Norman courses or is this a hypothesis? So have you played both back and front on a Norman course? I'm curious which one (s) and your observations.



    I don't think I have ever played the forward tees except some type of scramble.




    The typical Norman resort course has 5 sets of tees; I don't typically play the most forward set, but if I'm spending a week at the resort, I'll play from each of the other four sets at least once. I like to see how courses play differently from different distances (which is one of the reasons that I don't like the "correct" set of tees rubric). There are a lot of courses (especially resort courses) where the design features really only impact one set of tees, and if you play from another tee box, the course kind of stinks. Most Norman courses have entirely different strategic issues from different tee boxes. Hazards that are out of play from the tips are in play from the whites, or vice-versa. They often encourage completely different angles depending on where the tee is.



    And from a general perspective, I'm a huge advocate of mixing up distance. I try to play at least once a week at my home course from the Ladies' tees, and at least once a week from the tips - neither of which I'd ever play in an event. But in doing that, you get a lot more "real round" time with both your short clubs and your long clubs.
  • cxxcxx Members Posts: 3,096 ✭✭
    The year that the course was built may have a lot to do with the playability of either designer's course. The slope wars, during the boom in golf, encouraged the designers to make courses more penal than necessary. They were softened over time. That's how we got extra long courses with small, elevated, clover leaf greens.



    I was glad when that period was over.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,307 ✭✭
    Nicklaus is my favorite course architect. I've played 39 of his courses all over the USA, Canada and Mexico. Also one in Portugal. I'll add my 40th Nicklaus course in Mexico later this month. I frequently go out of my way to play his courses.



    I can't think of any that I did not enjoy and most are spectacular (Shoal Creek, Monte Rei, Cabo Del Sol, Castle Pines GC, six Desert Mountain courses, Eldorado, Kauai Lagoons, etc.).



    Overall, I don't think he favors a left to right shot. He does like doglegs and his bunkers are quite often very penal. For example, some at Desert Mountain are located on the high side of a sloping green, so it's almost impossible to keep the ball near the hole when hitting out of the bunker.



    He usually give you generous landing areas for your tee shots, then makes it more difficult on the approach to the green. He almost always requires that you determine your strategy before playing a hole rather than just step up and bomb it.



    His courses are generally more difficult than some other architects such as Palmer and Norman but also more interesting.
  • RichieHuntRichieHunt Members Posts: 3,647 ✭✭
    Nicklaus designs are typically generous fairways with very difficult approach shots. Muirfield Village is a great example. For the season, the Tour averages roughly 61% of fairways hit. At Muirfield Village the field hits about 70-75% of the fairways each year.



    But, the approach shots are trecherous and you're often left with incredibly difficult up-and-down opportunities. In the end, Nicklaus does utilize form follows function by giving the golfer easy tee shots and countering it with incredibly difficult approach shots.



    I find Norman's designs to be ridiculous. You can get super narrow fairways where the best strategy can be something like hitting a 7-iron off the tee and then hitting a 3-iron on the approach. Just stupid. Championsgate Resort is like this. The International course is playable to a degree, but the National course is hideous. They have greens that are literally about 20-25 wide. TPC Sugarloaf was probably one of his better designs, but is nothing to write home about. I just think he has almost no clue on how to design a course.











    RH
  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 20,410 ✭✭
    I thought Norman's designs at TPC San Antonio (Oaks) and Tiberon were fairly decent. Oaks is tough due to the scrub that runs along the holes. 'Miss the fairway, and it can be very penal. 'Just ask Kevin Na.
  • juststevejuststeve Members Posts: 4,746 ✭✭
    Jack's signature is in the green complexes with a lot of humps and hollows around very lateral greens. By lateral I mean green where there is a club or two difference from one side of the green to the next. Six iron to one side is perfect,to the other side shot and in the trap or over the green. He demands that you control your distance.



    Steve
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