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 [...]
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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 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 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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]