Golf Inc. Magazine (Summer 2019, Excerpted)
Richardson has a prediction about what’s on the horizon for golf. “The course of the future,” he wrote in an e-mail, “may look like what we think of golf today, but it will be far more entertaining and connected.” It’s a future that Richardson welcomes. From one perspective, his career has followed a predictable architectural arc: He carved out backyard courses as a boy, studied the masters in Scotland and served an apprenticeship with an established designer. But since he set out on his own in 1988, he’s challenged the conventional wisdom, evangelizing for values — affordability, playability, sustainability and especially enjoyability — that the industry has only recently welcomed.
“I’ve always been willing to go in different directions he said, “and I look at things from different angles.”
Talk about different angles: Richardson floated the idea of a par-2 hole nearly two decades ago and then created one at his Short Course at Mountain Shadows. Years ago, he published a little book, “Course Brains,” to help owners accurately evaluate their properties and maximize their resources. Today he’s advocating a new way of measuring success in golf operations, with metrics such as cost per yard and revenue per yard that put courses of all types on an equal footing. “You’d be surprised at how the numbers turn out,” he said. We’d also be surprised if we had to wait long for Richardson’s next idea that golf isn’t ready to accept.