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The Extinct Tree

The following is a Short Story about Bureaucracy. It was excerpted from Routing the Golf Course, by Forrest Richardson (©John Wiley & Sons, 2002) "Hello, this is Professor Glückinspell. Is this Forrest?" Professor Glückinspell had only called once before, and it was a strange time for him to call. It was considerably earlier in Hawaii. The professor said that up near the sixth hole, off to the left of the green near an outcropping of lava, he had found some plants that needed further study. This addition brought the total of protected species of plants to three at this mountainside site undergoing [...]

The Extinct Tree2018-09-15T18:08:34+00:00

Budgets, Costs & Viability

The following is excerpted from Routing the Golf Course, by Forrest Richardson (©John Wiley & Sons, 2002) Programming outlines can be used to establish budgets, or they may be used to prove established budgets are right or wrong. Either way, the need to arrive at budgets, at least for a vast majority of projects, is essential. The viability of a project is determined when the budget is held up to the light and a realistic return on the investment is calculated. There are as many ways to make this comparison as there are to hit a sand shot. One of the best [...]

Budgets, Costs & Viability2018-09-15T18:08:32+00:00

The Flow of Courses

The following is excerpted from Routing the Golf Course, by Forrest Richardson (©John Wiley & Sons, 2002) Rhythm. Balance. Sequence. A routing plan must give careful attention to each. Without these qualities, the golf course might as well be an ordinary maze and the golfer a rat looking for cheese. The idea of rhythm, balance, and sequence was articulated by golf architect Desmond Muirhead while I was writing this book. Muirhead's distinguished career began in urban planning and migrated to golf course design, when out of necessity, he began having to solve golf course routing assignments.. Although many golf course architects are [...]

The Flow of Courses2018-09-15T18:08:28+00:00

Golf: My Personal Story

Here I am in my backyard (c. 1970) playing at one of my early courses. The following originally appeared in Peek, a publication of Potlach Corporation When I was four my uncle "Mo" introduced me to miniature golf at a hand-crafted Hawaiian-themed course, appropriately, called "Hana-Lea" (Hawaiian for "Small Work".) There, amongst the wave-like, felt-covered fairways and the small scale thatched huts where balls would enter and then drop magically onto greens ringed with real lava rock, there were miniature lagoons, bamboo bridges and the occasional "island" to be reached via winding paths perched alongside cascading waterfalls. In the eyes of a [...]

Golf: My Personal Story2018-09-15T19:44:25+00:00

Golf Holes: Their Strategy

The following is excerpted from Routing the Golf Course, by Forrest Richardson (©John Wiley & Sons, 2002) Accuracy, carry, and then length. This, according to golf architect William Flynn (among the youngest — age 19 — ever to be asked to design a golf course, as he was in 1909), is the order of importance in designing individual golf holes. It should be noted that Flynn did not say this at 19 but rather when he had a bit more experience in his later years. When you combine these ingredients into different recipes — maybe a little more accuracy here but not [...]

Golf Holes: Their Strategy2018-09-15T19:41:51+00:00

Why the 18-hole Standard?

The following is excerpted from Routing the Golf Course, by Forrest Richardson (©John Wiley & Sons, 2002) The late Fred Hawtree, a golf course architect and an extremely thoughtful man, writes in his book, Aspects of Golf Course Architecture, "It is tempting to suggest that the first tiny seed of golf course architecture was sown in October, 1764. A meeting of the Gentlemen Golfers of St. Andrews expressed the view, 'That it would be for the improvement of the links that four first holes should be converted into two.'" The act described by Hawtree seems to have been a matter of convenience to the [...]

Why the 18-hole Standard?2018-09-15T18:08:21+00:00

The Death of Peculiarity

The following is excerpted from Routing the Golf Course, by Forrest Richardson (©John Wiley & Sons, 2002) As the routing of golf courses has evolved, there has been good change and not-so-good change. Change is, of course, all debatable. Opinions as to what is good will vary depending on who is doing the debating. The topic of peculiarity has been selected to close out this section. Consider it a segue to the nuts and bolts of routing and the nuances that have to be waded through in order to get golfers from A to B. It is good food for thought as [...]

The Death of Peculiarity2018-09-15T18:08:20+00:00

The Importance of Linksland

The following is excerpted from Bunkers, Pits & Other Hazards, by Forrest Richardson & Mark Fine (©John Wiley & Sons, 2006) The definition of linksland is land located near an open sea or bay which happens also to be connected directly to the sea through natural drainage patterns. Linksland is low lying land which has been formed by centuries of drainage, tidal changes and the brisk weather along the sea. It generally possesses the characteristics of naturally rolling sand dunes and natural features which have been formed by the wind, the ocean, and the action of receding tides in ancient times. The [...]

The Importance of Linksland2018-09-15T18:08:17+00:00

So Many Routings, Not Enough Rubles

This is a lesson in site economics. I could probably fill a book with stories about my time in the Soviet Union working with a team of planners, construction executives, and resort architects trying to figure out the master concept and plan for a 30,000-acre peninsula. It is difficult to choose among the stories. There was the crab leg dinner I ate in the sauna at Brezhnev's mansion. (Brezhnev was not there.) There was the enormous helicopter that ran on diesel fuel and its three pilots who sat and smoked just a few feet away from the fuel tank. There [...]

So Many Routings, Not Enough Rubles2018-09-15T19:44:48+00:00

Thoughts on Remodeling

1 Change is inevitable Golf courses are living, breathing things. To ever imagine that they will not undergo change is unrealistic. Even the Old Course at St. Andrews has changed. One of golf’s most adhered-to standards came from a significant change there, that being the now-famous decision in 1764 which reduced the number of holes from 22 to 18. The goal of those responsible for overseeing a golf course should be to identify change—to decipher necessary from unnecessary, needs from wants, foresighted from far-sighted, and bona-fide improvements from plain-ol tinkering. Change should not erode a course’s integrity. Each golf course [...]

Thoughts on Remodeling2018-09-15T18:08:11+00:00