ASGCA Members and their work
In my opinion, the most important aspect of golf course design
Playing golf is placing your ball so that you are always in the best
position to play your next shot. In this regard good players will review
the shot options by studying the green (angle, shape, hole location,
best route of attack), and plot their course backward from the green.
The goal is to always aim for a spot that best allows for success
on the next shot. In this regard, golf is very similar to a game of
pool/billiards or a game of chess. Golf, at its best, is a thinking
game. The smart player is rewarded for thinking, and the un-skilled,
non-thinking player is punished.
The golf architect creates the playing field for the sport with a
course that makes you think, holds your interest longer.
The game's best courses are the best because the element of strategy
was designed in by a skilled golf architect. Only the best strategic
courses are among the Top Ten courses in the United States. Strategy
has lasting value. Without it, the game is reduced to a walk in the
There is nothing wrong with an average course with little strategic
emphasis— this course may be fun and user friendly. However,
this course will never be considered great, and could never serve as
the course for a major championship. Life is short, and with my work,
I have focused on trying to build courses of lasting value, which means
that strategy must be included.
The second most important aspect is beauty.
A golf hole is an artistic composition, painted by the golf architect
and nature. The site is the stage, and the architect is the director.
Soil is the canvas. The edges of the field of vision are the frame
to the picture. The bunker is the hazard, and also the interest, or
The golf architect puts a golf hole together with the same elements
of composition that an artist uses to paint a picture. The rules of
composition are how the human brain breaks down a picture. The design
process includes the desire to create interest through beauty.
The average golfer may not understand strategy. But the average golfer
will recognize beauty. A beautiful course will have value.
The best golf architects have a skill to combine beauty and strategy.
This is a winning combination, and is the key to a successful career
in golf course design.
Without this skill, your work will be weak, or soon forgotten. The
average golfer demands beauty. The game's best players strive to be
tested. Strategy creates the lasting challenge, which few can master.