Post by gregfordyce on Feb 28, 2017 15:50:15 GMT -5
OK, so I thought it would be nice to have one single thread devoted purely to golf course architecture - ideas, thoughts, comments, observations, debates, historical and real life references, etc, etc. I realize this is a broad subject that can be drilled down into hundreds of different sub-topics of course design, but a "go-to" thread for all things golf course architecture-related, from a higher-altitude-view is something I've wanted to see. So here we are! I'm hoping that everyone interested in golf course design - generally, or specifically to TGC/golf video games - will pop in from time to time to contribute something of value.
I'll just kick things off by quoting one of my favorite course architects, William Flynn (Shinnecock Hills, Cherry Hills, etc.). He described the role of the golf course architect: "The principle consideration of an architect is to hold the interest of a player from the first tee to the last green. The way we create interest is by careful placement of bunkering and other hazards to create decisions. Decisions lead to strategy and options." As another famous architect, Bobby Weed, says: "Options equal interest." Notice how the words "difficulty" or "challenge" are not mentioned. The difficulty and challenge is inherent in the number and types of options and interest that is created by the designer.
So if interest is created by placement of bunkers and other hazards, starting off on a discussion of those seems like a good place to start this thread. Or not! I'd like to keep this open and free-flowing, and seeing how it evolves and flows into other areas of golf course design as the thread is added to over time.
I'll hand off this thread with another quote, on bunkers, by Ian Andrew: "What gets a player thinking is the difficulty of the recovery. If a player faces a bunker where any club is an option, then he will hug the bunker seeking the ideal line because there is no fear of missing the shot. He will also swing without fear since there is nothing to lose and nothing to get nervous about. How can that hazard offer any strategy but for the high handicappers who fear sand in general? If the bunker is nasty and recovery unlikely, the payer aims away out of fear. He will make a tentative swing to steer away from the trouble rather than hitting a confident stroke. This occurs when a bunker has enough presence to get into the player's head. If there is no risk, why should a player exercise either judgment or control? Players often complain about the recovery from such a bunker but if he has attempted an aggressive line and failed you must ask them why a safer line wasn't chosen? I've never understood why a deep bunker in a key location is unfair, when the architect provides either width or an alternative route. As Donald Ross said, 'Often the highest compliment of a bunker is when it is criticized. There is no such thing as a misplaced bunker. Regardless of where a bunker may be, it is the business of the player to avoid it.'"