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Bunker Mentality: An Interview with a Golf Bunker

By Forrest Richardson First, let me say that I appreciate your taking the time to talk to me. I’m not going anywhere. Most bunkers don’t have much to say.  What prompted you to speak up? Well, I’m a greenside, and we see more action. Plus, I come from a long line of bunkers that have been given important roles. I suppose it’s in my blood. Or sand. How do you define the primary role of a bunker? We’re here to make you think. Tees, fairways, and greens are the stage, but bunkers are like bouncers: To reach the action, you [...]

Bunker Mentality: An Interview with a Golf Bunker2018-09-15T18:19:39+00:00

The Toy Boat

A story delivered by Forrest Richardson at various occasions, as part of speeches and addresses. I am asked occasionally, about design. I have spent my entire life designing things. I began as a graphic designer, worked in television design, wrote ads, and finally returned to the design I loved as a kid — designing golf courses. Some of the projects I take confuse some people. Especially my peers. While many golf course architects hold out for perfect sites and a blank canvas, I have — for some reason — been attracted to all sorts of sites. Landfills, old Uranium mills, [...]

The Toy Boat2018-09-15T18:18:13+00:00

Senior Golfer Magazine Interview

Adapted from a 1999 Interview of golf architects Arthur Jack Snyder and Forrest Richardson by Senior Golfer Magazine. SG: A lot of people want to know just how you go about designing a golf course. What is the first thing an architect will look at? AJS: First, we like to get a survey of the site for such basic information as property dimensions, whether the long axis is in a north-south direction (to keep east-west holes to a minimum so golfers are not facing into the rising or setting sun), if there are any areas whose shape or size might cause [...]

Senior Golfer Magazine Interview2018-09-15T18:18:20+00:00

Avondale Rotary Club

Speech delivered by Forrest Richardson in March 2001 at the Coldwater Golf Club, Avondale, Arizona Thank you for inviting me. There are many stories about what we've created here at Coldwater Golf Club. I look forward to hearing from you about what you like and dislike about the course and I will gladly tell what I liked and disliked about designing it! You can expect to hear this, however: creating a golf course on flat land is one of the most challenging assignments in our business. And, as Bob [the farmer who owner the land before it was transformed into a [...]

Avondale Rotary Club2018-09-15T18:18:24+00:00

Golf, Water & The Future

(A speech given at the V Jornadas Técnicas Campos de Golf Municipales, a conference held in San Roque, Spain on March 6th, 2009) Good Morning. It is a great pleasure to be here. Spain is a wonderful country, and it is not only your terrific land, your great food and your wonderful culture — but it is you — the great people — that make Spain so rich and interesting. I thank you for inviting me here, and I hope we can share even more great ideas as we continue to discuss golf and its future at this important conference. [...]

Golf, Water & The Future2018-09-15T18:18:29+00:00

Finding a Routing

The following first appeared in Golf Course Architecture in 2006. Forrest Richardson shares lessons learned while devising the routing plan for The Links at Las Palomas in Sonora, Mexico. Mike had seated himself at the end of the long table. From my vantage point I could see that he was on his third — maybe fourth — tequila shot. His first shots — that is, the very first tastes of tequila to ever cascade their way into his belly — had come just an hour earlier. Mike was from Kansas. Rural Kansas is not much on tequila so I am told. This is equitable however. For [...]

Finding a Routing2018-09-15T19:15:58+00:00

Reasons for Hazards

The following is excerpted from Bunkers, Pits & Other Hazards, by Forrest Richardson & Mark Fine (©John Wiley & Sons, 2006) The hazard lives primarily for intrigue, to create strategy, to penalize, and to suggest to the golfer, however subtle or strong, to think about choosing a different route. These are the core of the reasons for hazards. Today, as golf courses have become big business, the driving force behind hazards has grown. We now hear of bunkers being placed "as an aid in aiming," water and sand created for "aesthetic qualities," hazards conceived to direct balls away from adjacent land uses, [...]

Reasons for Hazards2018-09-15T18:19:49+00:00

The Concept of Hazards

The following is excerpted from Bunkers, Pits & Other Hazards, by Forrest Richardson & Mark Fine (©John Wiley & Sons, 2006) When the game of golf was first played the term hazard was surely not an actual thing or object. It was a "concept," a situation a player got himself into. A problem not avoided caused your ball to be in trouble and the outcome was not known until you performed. Only as time progressed did these perilous situations became known as "hazards." The concept became a defined term: "Your ball is in a hazard." The definition of a "hazard" varied over [...]

The Concept of Hazards2018-09-15T18:19:54+00:00

Every Course Needs One

The following is excerpted from Bunkers, Pits & Other Hazards, by Forrest Richardson & Mark Fine (©John Wiley & Sons, 2006) Ideally every golf course should have "a golf course architect." It amazes us how often we find this not to be the case. If there ever were a type of facility within our built environment that truly needs and deserves the continual advice of a design professional, it is the golf course. Our encouragement to clubs, committees and greenkeepers is to develop an on-going relationship with a qualified golf course architect. You would be surprised how easy it is to find [...]

Every Course Needs One2018-09-15T18:08:40+00:00

The Effect of New Equipment

The following was adapted from writing in Routing the Golf Course, by Forrest Richardson (©John Wiley & Sons, 2002) It is true that some golfers are hitting the ball farther these days. I suspect that the term these days will apply no matter the year in which this paragraph is read. As equipment improves, it increases the likelihood of a golf ball traveling farther down a fairway. What has not necessarily improved is the golfer. I know this because the last group I was paired with had a healthy investment in golf clubs but no investment in improvement. They hit the ball [...]

The Effect of New Equipment2018-09-15T18:08:37+00:00