Friday Feels + NLU Architecture Musings


I was off my phone for lots of the Zurich but I doubt there was much coverage besides the occasional tweet. Their provides provide a lot of #content and they can roll it out over time, ultimately better for both them and us. This may be a different topic than this thread, but how do people feel about their travel content? I know I absolutely love it, but Soly mentions on every travel pod how some people don’t love them. I also think we should wait for Tourist Sauce to come out and that will gives us a very good idea of the future of NLU as they plan to have multiple seasons right?


I’ll take #content from their Bandon trip over anything you can possibly throw together about the Zurich.

Also. I think they said they don’t want to do weekly Tour previews/recaps as that’s something that is easy to find elsewhere on the Internet.


Really interesting hopping back into this thread. Even more interesting to realize that I am a “golf hipster”.

The biggest takeaways from the last few months of NLU content has been, for me, that the game of golf can be enjoyed in many ways. Sure, putting from 100 yards may not be the best option, but you sure as hell would remember that shot, regardless of the outcome, a lot more then you would remember the wedge you sucked off the front. As amateur players that spend a significant amount of time and money on golf, shouldn’t it be more about fun anyways? Believe it or not folks, we aren’t playing for anything worth a damn in our Saturday foursome.

There are folks that think the PGA tour is what golf is and how it should be played - likely most individuals feel this way as that is all we know or what we grew up idolizing.

Maybe go give it a try before you knock it. OR you can continue grinding over 4 footers for that beer after the round. Consume the game in the way that you think is most fun. NLU is just opening eyes to other ways of having fun with the game.


Totally get all of what you’re saying. The local muni thing hit me the most.

There is a reckoning that is brewing though that can make good golf design accessible. If it’s truly an awakening that’s happened only recently with the Doaks, Kiezers, C&Cs and the publicity their destination resorts and exclusive clubs get, then it’s all moot. I think the concept of the muni’s they do tout (WP, Sweetens, schoolhouse 9, whatever that reversible 9 in ATL is going to be) is EXACTLY where this game needs to go. The popularity of top golf may have been a leading indicator… 18 hole courses doing 5 hour rounds that are named [animal/tree species] [geographic feature] (shoutout Quarry Oaks for bucking the trend) is becoming the villain in golf. take my 6,100 muni and turn it into a kickass 9 with kickass practice facilities and I’m all in. Hell, I’m dreaming of trying to find a way to get that going here in Cincinnati. We have plenty of city/county owned courses that one of them can become an experiment in the model.


trust me i am not looking for more zurich content just saying that with everyoen going full time i thought there would be more on the pga on a weekly basis, instead it seems full time has meant more of a pivot to golf trips and architecture, im not saying its bad just saying not what i expected.


In my opinion, they are hard to enjoy. The travel content is normally a podcast, so there are no pictures, no videos. Its just 4 guys talking about their experience at a golf course you have never played, or even seen and sometimes never even heard of. Its like listening to someone complain about a bad beat in poker or what their fantasy football team did last weekend. Unless you were involved in that game, it is really hard to care.

I haven’t been to Bandon. If and when I get out there one day, I’ll try to dig up their podcasts about it, and I might appreciate it more.


I’m really glad you took the time to check the podcast out.
You’re obviously pretty passionate about golf and whatever golf is to you is all good, man.

Interesting that you feel like the “golf industry” is telling you to try a beer with real flavor when, by virtue of being a subscriber to TGJ and a NLU regular, you are already a consumer of golf’s flavorful micro-counter culture.
The big golf industry- PGA of America, PGA Tour, OEMs, Golf Digest, Golf Channel, etc etc.- is telling you (every year)that you need to buy X to hit it 10 yards longer, your neon clothes need to be teched out, your shoes need to have aerospace level polymers, your wedge grinds need to be laser etched, your golf trip needs to be at X golf factory in AZ, SC, FL, and that if you’re not doing these things, you’re losing. FOMO at it’s finest.


I listened to the Korean podcast with (I think) Shane Bacon on the way to work and I could not get into it at all.


With this thread I fear I have created a veritable blue monster. It’s been good to read the thoughts, though, because I think they clarify some of my own feelings that I have erstwhile inartfully tried to convey. To at least several of us–I hesitate to categorize a few Refuge commenters as a “critical mass” of NLU’s following–there is something viscerally off-putting about what some have described as a “golf hipsterdom.” The notion of the NLU gang as espousing a golf hipster movement is overstated, but the characterization, though amorphous and not genuine, is somewhat apt. My serious devotion to all things NLU led me to subscribe to TGJ and consume related content. Only recently did I (along with many others, it seems) begin to feel like NLU was sweeping me into a subculture that I didn’t much care for; indeed, TGJ is fine and I don’t mind paging through it, but I probably wouldn’t renew unless I see a Gil Hanse-like redesign in the next issue. But in retrospect, my issue never really was with the focus on golf course architecture. As I tried to explain to Tron earlier, it’s a more general feeling that the content across all platforms is veering away from what we always thought to be NLU’s bread and butter, in favor of a subculture that presents, well, a bit like Ryan Moore’s old headwear. I suspect this is not entirely intentional, and that as the Tour’s season heats up and the gang gets the hang of the full-time gig, we’ll chalk these weeks up to growing pains.


Really? I thought it was absolutely fascinating. Went right onto Whispering Rocks website when I got to work to check out the tea houses.

What about the amazing visuals, videos, and written content on the New Zealand trip? @DeepFriedEgg


I had already read Shane’s piece in TGJ v3 about his trip to South Korea, so I kind of read the book before watching the movie.
With you on NZ. incrdible. Already banking points at home for a potential 2020 trip. Can’t wait.


That’s a fun choice of words to close with. I see it a little differently.
I get the feeling that the majority of Refugees are:

  1. under 35
  2. Single
  3. Southern & a little fratty (let’s face it, frats mean more to you people.)
  4. Caucasian
    Nothing wrong with any of that. But sometimes when people get a job and leave Athens, Baton Rouge, Talahassee, etc. they open their eyes to new things. The old jokes are still fun, but they aren’t as funny. You find out that South Carolina is great, but the South of Ireland (Waterville) is even greater. Tastes evolve. People evolve. And when that evolution gets sticky we often refer to it as growing pains.
    As one of the most successful people I’ve ever met once said to me, “Grow or die. It’s that easy.”


I appreciate that being a blog post on the website as opposed to taking up several week’s worth of podcasts. Its pretty hard to picture and enjoy redans, width, 7-iron filets, and carvy hybrids from just words alone.

The podcast is the best content that NLU produces. I look forward to it every week. I’m pretty disappointed when I open it up to see that the next one is a travel discussion.


Man, I’m just here for a good time. Some folks are taking this whole NLU thing pretty seriously. It’s free content. Just enjoy it yall.


You’ve basically described the majority of the likely 2018 US Ryder Cup team.


Totally agree, I think a lot of the groaning is just fear of change and the unknown.

For most of us, we come to know golf through watching the PGA Tour and the reading about the courses they play, and we are comfortable keeping our golf world to that end. But, there is so much more out there in the world of golf! Embrace it, you’ll be glad you did!


My conclusion was bad. Growing pains is the wrong way of phrasing it, and as I’ve said all along, I’m fine with the variety of content. I also enjoyed the Bandon pod and the three club challenge. It all just comes back to growth and them getting their footing as they build out the platform full time and figure out what form it will take and execute on their vision, which I continue to have very high hopes for. We’ll certainly look back on this time as a transition period. And I’ll leave it that.

Your Refugee demographics are probably right (I’m not single or Southern but fit the profile), but that doesn’t mean I’m against positive changes.


I often putt from 40 yards and in when I’m in Florida/Georgia because I have the chipping yips and grainy bermuda only exacerbates that. I’ve been doing that for the last 5-6 years.


As Ogilvy said on TFE podcast, after growing up caddying at Royal Melbourne, playing courses in The Sandbelt, and playing tournaments at fantastic courses in the UK, when he came to play the PGA Tour, one of his big takeaways was (he didn’t say it this way but it was completely implied) “The F**k are these courses?” If he was commish, “the first thing I’d do is hire people who understand golf course architecture” to form a more interesting calendar.

Ogilvy didn’t say this, but it is a quote that is very applicable… “The goal of golf architecture is not to have a difficult golfing challenge, but an interesting golfing challenge.” Expanding your horizons beyond The PGA Tour is encouraged, and that is what NLU is doing. They aren’t telling you, “This has to be the way to play or enjoy golf.” What they are doing is encouraging you to look at the other side of the game that isn’t mainstream professional golf. If some want to call it “hipster” or even “hipster trash,” they can. It is still a niche idea to talk about the other side of the game, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is tide of change to talk about both. NLU jumped on the train once they expanded their horizons. They are still covering and giving hot takes on the PGA Tour; they are talking about both now.

As you said, I think a lot of the groaning is just fear of change and the unknown. I, for one, love the discussion on both.


Paul, I actually felt some of the same pangs when I listened to the TGJ podcast with Cunningham. He had some great stuff to say but some it also felt “off” when coming from someone who collects his paycheck from a golf apparel company. Of course we’re going to highlight the experiences, courses, players, etc that resonate with us, but by no means does that mean our way is the highway or that it diminishes anyone else’s unique proclivities or enjoyment.

@2trickpony’s take on the local muni’s in this thread summed up my feelings perfectly. I don’t think there’s such a thing as “pure golf” - it is what you make it. Some of it was mentioned in my piece on TGJ #2 - You want to go get shitfaced and use hickories? Go for it. You want to play regular stroke play with the newest equipment and grind? That’s fine too. Golf is inherently personal. But it should also be accessible and the local muni is becoming extinct. And that’s a problem.