Golf architecture is facing new challenges

By: September 4, 2009

To the best of my knowledge a classic 18-hole golf course is 6,000 yards that spreads over 100 acres. Today if we check the average golf course territory we find that about 150-200 acres of total land, including water bodies, hard structures, and out-of-play areas. Of course this differs depends on the location of the golf course. A typical urban golf course is only 110-120 acres, and courses in resort areas may be 170-190 acres (G. Lyman, GCSAA; personal communication 11/19/04). 

Some people will say this is due to sophisticated golf clubs, that enables us to strike further. Great. The competition between golf equipment manufacturers is already fierce. The output of this rivalry, that everyone of them will always come out with a new and better club and ball (I do not want to guess whether they fit to the  policy of USGA and Royal & Ancient Golf Club or not). At the very same time I am very pleased to see golf equipment technology developments and great swings.

But at the end of the day is us, men of the street who has go through this extremely long golf course. I have doubt. Where is the joy in this game/sport if we keep on extending the length of the course? This is what golf course owners should keep in mind as well. You do not build golf course for the Ryder Cup and Tiger Woods, you should build and develop for average people. You can still say that I do not have to play on a 18 hole golf course when there are 9-hole golf courses and 3-hole golf courses as well. But it is not the same challenge and fun. At least for me.

Well dear golf architect, next time when you receive a call for an offer please bear in mind these thoughts.