Tuesday, October 25, 2011

37 Days at the Dismal River Golf Club

The Dismal River pictured with 13,15, and 16 greens
Spacious Nebraska sand hills

Chasing work around the world has its benefits, but I really can't say with much certainty where I'll be working six months from now...At the beginning of this summer I thought it might be a good idea to take online courses for a degree in turfgrass management (it still might be) until I got the word that I would be travelling home to New York for a restoration project with Jim Urbina. All the while I am receiving e-mails about working in China, Scotland, and then out of nowhere, Nebraska!

I travel light and am usually available to work in a matter of 1-3 weeks, easily able to get on a plane to China or Australia and work there for a month or two. This is exactly what happened at the beginning of August 2011. I exchanged e-mails and phone calls with Renaissance Golf Design in regard to their latest project in the Sand Hills of Nebraska, one of America’s treasured golf lands. I couldn’t resist the offer, the project promised to be great along with a chance to sharpen my skills for my upcoming work in NY.
10 and 11 Green viewed from atop "little horseshoe"
The first week we all began to get our feet wet, mowing down fairways and areas to be disturbed but the true golfing landscape quickly unfolded before our eyes. The property at Dismal River is amazingly fit for golf with many natural green sites and naturall hazards, there is no way this could have been created by man. Architect Tom Doak simply blazed a path to a golf course that was always there.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Logo Says it All

Silvery Phacelia (Phacelia Argenta)
While working closely with the local fauna on the Bandon Preserve I got it in my head that the silvery phacelia plant would be the perfect place to start a logo concept. The silvery phacelia is a rare dune plant which thrives in the open sand dunes of Oregon’s south coast. Its largest known population exists on the Southern tip of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (follow the link to learn more about the conservation effort of the silvery phacelia plant at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Takin' it All In by Jeff Stein).

In order to bring my idea to fruit I decided to enroll myself in a bronze casting class at South West Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, Oregon.  I spent two nights a week for two months developing the logo through its many and varied stages of production, not a simple task.

I started with a carefully molded wax model and was able to reproduce my design five times from a "mother mold" that I created from the original.  The bronzing process was a success, but much more painstaking than I anticipated.  Each of the five silvery phacelia statues, in addition to ten smaller single bronze leafs, required hours of finish grinding and sanding because of the imperfect process that is bronze casting.  In an attmept to put together the killer marketing package I created a graphic design of the stautes that I hope with make it as the offical logo of the Bandon Preserve. 

I am obviously proud to have taken an idea born of my own physical work and then to create an object that holds space with weight and texture, it is extremely satisfying.  The last step to unify the idea in my head was a marketable graphic that could be printed, embroidered, or stamped.  The graphic design process was something even more foreign to me.  For this I hired an extremely talented artist, Jon Snider of Goodspeed Graphics.  We corresponded through e-mails and pictures of my bronze statues.  From our distant communication we were able to come up with a pretty good preliminary design that I hope will please those in marketing at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. 
Preliminary Logo
I have relished the opportunity to fully immerese myself in all aspects of the Bandon Preserve project.  Through my experiences working on the golf course I received a first class education from Bill Coore and design associate Dave Zinkand.  At the same time I learned about development, project management, maintanence practices, and marketing. Its been one of my best learning experiences so far on the job and I can't wait to begin my next project.