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Issue 48 | Spring 2020

Excellence in Golf Design from the American Society of Golf Course Architects

  from the
    Also: Distance research • Pete Dye, ASGCA Fellow • Routing a concept course
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Design ingenuity                                                                                   CONTENTS

G                                                                                                  Digest 4
         olf course architects require a great degree of ingenuity for design and
         renovation projects. There will always be challenges and obstacles to                     The issue opens with the latest in the
         overcome, and it is our obligation to help clubs find a solution that                     distance debate, following the USGA
will benefit the club and its local community.                                                     and R&A’s publication of the results of
 I recall ASGCA Past President Erik Larsen’s words: “Golf courses benefit                          its Distance Insights project. We also
communities as revenue and tax sources, green space, wildlife and plant                            learn about an ‘art of the golf course’
sanctuaries and aid in water filtration, among other uses. There is an inherent                    exhibition, golf facility trends and
goodness to the community that comes from the positive financial, social and                       ASGCA member projects.
environmental impact of a golf course.”
 Erik walked this talk when helping to bring a course in Jacksonville, Florida,                    A golf architecture great 12
back from the brink. Atlantic Beach Country Club features in this issue’s cover                    ASGCA members share their stories of
story, which begins on page 18. Golf writer and ASGCA Donald Ross Award                            ground-breaking golf course architect
winner Joe Passov looks at this and other examples of golf courses that have                       Pete Dye, ASGCA Fellow, who
been reborn, and the positive impact that ingenious work by ASGCA members                          passed away in January 2020.
has on clubs and their communities.
 Also in this issue of By Design, ASGCA members pay tribute to one of the                          Back from the brink 18
most ingenious architects in the history of golf. We were all saddened to                          It’s not just golfers who suffer when
hear that Pete Dye, ASGCA Fellow, passed away at the start of the year. Pete,                      a golf course closes. Joe Passov
a Past President of ASGCA, was responsible for many of modern golf’s most                          considers the impact for the entire
ground-breaking and celebrated designs, including TPC Sawgrass, Whistling                          community, and finds out about the
                        Straits and The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. ASGCA                       reinvention of courses in peril.
                        members reflect on Pete’s impact in the article that
                        begins on page 12.                                                         The art of routing 26
                          There’s plenty more in this issue too, including                         Golf course architect Richard
                        distance research, member project news, and an                             Mandell, ASGCA, talks to By Design
                        interview with Richard Mandell, ASGCA, on the concept                      about his concept course design, The
                        course he created for a site close to his office.                          Sandhills Club.

                          Jan Bel Jan, ASGCA                                                       Five to finish 30
                          President                                                                A. John Harvey, ASGCA, answers our
                          American Society of Golf Course Architects                               five questions to finish the issue.


Editor and Publisher: Toby Ingleton                                                                  Issue 48 | Spring 2020

Editorial contributors: Richard Humphreys, Joe Passov                                                BY DESIGN
Design: Bruce Graham, Libby Sidebotham
                                                                                                     Excellence in Golf Design from the American Society of Golf Course Architects

ASGCA Staff: Chad Ritterbusch; Mike Shefky; Aileen Smith; Marc Whitney
Photography: Ahwatukee Foothills News; ASGCA; Atlantic Beach CC; Black Diamond Ranch; Daniel
Burke; A. John Harvey, ASGCA; Raymond Hearn Golf Course Design; Chip Henderson; Istockphoto/
Dmytro Aksonov; Istockphoto/sonyae; Kemper Sports; Kohler Co.; Larry Lambrecht; Larsen Golf; Tim
Liddy, ASGCA; Richard Mandell Golf Architecture/Jim Ryan; Nicklaus Design; Brian Oar; Forrest
Richardson & Assoc.; Sanford Golf Design; Art Schaupeter, ASGCA; Scot Sherman, ASGCA;
USGA Golf Museum; David Spencer/Palm Beach Post/ZUMA Press                                           Back
                                                                                                       from the
Subscribe to By Design at                                                    brink
© 2020 American Society of Golf Course Architects. All rights reserved.                    Also: Distance research • Pete Dye, ASGCA Fellow • Routing a concept course

By Design is sponsored by:
                                                                                                   Cover photography courtesy of
                                                                                                   Atlantic Beach Country Club in
                                                                                                   Jacksonville, Florida.

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DIGEST                                                A round-up of recent golf design
                                                            news in association with:

ASGCA supports conclusions
of latest distance research

                                                                                                                                  Image: Istockphoto/ Dmytro Aksonov
  The ASGCA provided information and data to the
  USGA and R&A for its Distance Insights Report

        he executive committee of the      this conclusion, our focus is forward-       areas and expanding ranges. I hope
        American Society of Golf Course    looking with a goal of building on           strategic principles, and need to
        Architects (ASGCA) agrees with     the strengths of the game today while        conserve natural resources, are
the initial conclusions reached by the     taking steps to alter the direction and      stronger through the study’s results.”
United States Golf Association (USGA)      impacts of hitting distances in the            The report’s findings also serve to
and the R&A in the recently released       best interests of its long-term future.”     reinforce the value ASGCA members
Distance Insights Report.                    ASGCA President Jan Bel Jan said,          place on forward tees and multiple
  The report concluded that “the           “We look forward to reviewing with all       tee options, stating “that many
inherent strategic challenge presented     ASGCA members the complete report            recreational golfers are playing from
by many golf courses can be                findings, which appear to confirm            longer tees than necessary. We have
compromised” and “the overall trend        what ASGCA members have seen from            a particular concern that the forward
of golf courses becoming longer has        their work for some time: increased          tees at many courses are very long for
its own adverse consequences that          hitting distance can lead to golf course     the hitting distances of many of the
ultimately affect golfers at all levels    lengthening. This cycle may have a           golfers who play them.”
and the game as a whole.”                  negative impact in a number of areas,          Bel Jan said, “Golfers of all skill
  It said that golf would flourish         including economic sustainability of         levels should be encouraged to play
best if the continuing cycle of ever-      facilities, their environmental footprint,   from tees that provide the most
increasing hitting distances and golf      the strategic challenge of playing the       enjoyment and the best opportunity
course lengths is “brought to an end.”     course as designed by the golf course        for them to score well. We are thrilled
  “Longer distances, longer courses,       architect and the pure fun that comes        to see continued promotion of the
playing from longer tees and longer        from playing the game from tees that         benefits of moving forward.”
times to play are taking golf in           match a player’s skill level.”
the wrong direction and are not              Forrest Richardson, ASGCA, added,          Download the USGA and R&A
necessary to make golf challenging,        “Discussions have gone on for over           Distance Insights Report at: usga.
enjoyable or sustainable in the            100 years. Designers responded               org/content/dam/usga/pdf/2020/
future,” read the report. “In reaching     by adding tees, widening hitting             distance-insights/SOC-FINAL.pdf

4 | By Design
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Industry news
                                                                                                               Sharp rise in master
USGA showcases the                                                                                             plan and short game
art of the golf course

                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Lohmann Quitno
                                                                               Photo/image: USGA Golf Museum
                                                                                                               According to the 2020 Golf
                                                                                                               Facility Market Trend Watch
                                                                                                               report, master plan and short
                                                                                                               game developments are now the
                                                                                                               two most popular types of projects
                                                                                                               for golf architects.
                                                                                                                 Respondents to the study—
                                                                                                               commissioned by the ASGCA and
                                                                                                               conducted by Sports & Leisure
                                                                                                               Research Group (SLRG)—included
                                                                                                               hundreds of golf course architects,
                                                                                                               superintendents, general managers,
                                                                                                               facility owners/operators, golf
                                                                                                               professionals and industry leaders.
                                                                                                                 Eighty-eight percent of architects
                                                                                                               reported that in the last two years
                                                                                                               that they have been employed
                                                                                                               to develop a golf course master
                                                                                                               plan—the most popular type of
                                                                                                               project the recent study finds.
                                                                                                                 Jon Last, SLRG founder and
                                                                                                               president, said: “It is interesting
                                                                                                               to note the continued increase in

       he USGA has created a new           Curated by Rand Jerris, the                                         general managers thinking their
       exhibition that examines golf      USGA’s senior managing director of                                   golfers would welcome enhanced
       courses through art. ‘The Art of   public services and former director                                  short game areas and practice
the Golf Course’ will be on display at    of the museum, the exhibition                                        ranges; it’s a full 20-point increase
the USGA Golf Museum until the end        showcases a variety of perspectives                                  over two years.”
of August 2020.                           through paintings, prints, drawings,                                   The report notes that short game
 “Visitors to this exhibition will draw   photography, sculpture and the                                       area developments that architects
parallels between the choices made        museum’s fine art collection.                                        have been involved with has
by artists and those of golf course        The exhibition features panoramic                                   jumped from 75 percent in 2018
architects, whether to create playing     images by photographer John Yang                                     to 85 percent in 2020.
interest and challenge, or visual         and bronze sculptures of green
   HERE and
         ARE beauty, enhancing
              LINKS TO           their “TARTAN
                        OTHER RECENT      complexes
                                                          HenryFEATURING             Download the highlights of the
                                                                Whiting II,OVER 20 EPISODES:
appreciation and understanding of         as well as artwork by golf course          report at:
the golf course as a work of art,” said   architects, including a rare watercolor    uploads/2020/02/2020-Market-
Hilary Cronheim, director of the          by A.W. Tillinghast and a selection of     Trend-Watch-FINAL.pdf
USGA Golf Museum.                         drawings by Desmond Muirhead.

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Reversible nine for Martin County
        onstruction work is in

                                                                                                                                  Image: Sanford Golf Design
        progress at Martin County
        golf course in Stuart, Florida,
as part of a transformation that
is being overseen by ASGCA Past
President John Sanford.
  The facility will be reduced from
36 to 27 holes, with a new reversible
nine-hole layout created.
  “We are honored to team up
with TDI Golf to transform Martin
County’s 36 holes into a unique and
modernized golf and entertainment
complex,” said Sanford. “This is a
cutting-edge approach to gain interest
and grow the game on a local level.”
  The first phase includes creating          ASGCA Past President John Sanford will introduce a reversible nine-hole layout at
the new nine-hole layout that will           Martin County in Florida
use portions of the existing Red and
White nines. Each hole will have five        practice facilities to be built. There        The Blue and Gold nines will be
sets of tees and the course will be          will also be covered hitting bays with       rebuilt and re-grassed in phase two.
playable in both directions.                 ball tracking technology and there           Greens will be expanded, bunkers
  The range is being relocated with          are plans for a new short game area          rebuilt with new drainage and
a new clubhouse, allowing for new            and a large putting green.                   forward tees added.

                  “Pete Dye was magical when it came to be talking
                    with owners. He always got his way.”

                   B R I A N C U R L E Y, A S G C A

   In the latest podcast from Golf            to succeed in the business of golf          when play had already started,"
   Course Industry’s “Tartan Talks”           course architecture, you need to be         said Curley.
   series, Brian Curley, ASGCA,               able to sell your ideas and concepts          “He was so fun to be around. He
   reflects on the life of Pete Dye,          to owners. Pete was magical when it         was unique. Of all the people I
   ASGCA Fellow, and the impact he            came to be talking with owners. He          have met in my life, I can’t think of
   had on those he worked with.               always got his way.”                        anybody who was so uniquely suited
     “Prior to his career as a golf course      Dye was known by many as a giant          to do what he did. He would draw
   architect, he was one of the best          friend of the superintendents. “He          the best out of everyone around him.”
   insurance salesmen in the business,”       would spend a significant amount of
   said Curley. “One thing that struck        time with the superintendents during        Listen to the full “Tartan Talk” at
   me early on was if you’re going            construction and grow-in, and even

  • Nathan Crace, ASGCA, provides a golf architect’s perspective on the past decade and looks ahead to the next 10 years.
  • Jason Straka, ASGCA, and Kenwood Country Club’s Kent Turner offer insight into the architect-superintendent relationship.

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Renovation under way at Sequoyah National
       SGCA Past President Robert Trent Jones, Jr.,

                                                                                                                                                     Photo: KemperSports
       ASGCA Fellow, has returned to Sequoyah National
       Golf Club in Whittier, North Carolina, to oversee a
bunker renovation and regrassing project.
  According to the club, the renovations will provide
better playing conditions for year-round playability on
the layout, which was originally designed in 2009 by
Jones, alongside professional golfer Notah Begay III.
  “We’re investing in the future of the golf course by
upgrading the playing surfaces and bunkers,” said
Sequoyah National golf board chairman Curtis Wildcat.
“With these improvements, Sequoyah National solidifies
its place as one of the best mountain courses in the
  Capillary Concrete will be installed in the bunkers,
while the fairways, tees and green surrounds will be
converted to Zeon Zoysia turf.
  The course will remain open during the project, with
the renovations impacting play on a few holes each day.                               A bunker renovation and regrassing project is in progress at
Work is scheduled for completion in July 2020.                                        Sequoyah National Golf Club in North Carolina

New golf course                                                                       Renovation

New Vietnam course Black Diamond Ranch
to open next year  completes bunker rebuild
C                                                                                     D
        onstruction work is in progress on a golf course                                       avid Whelchel, ASGCA, has completed a bunker
        designed by Jack Nicklaus II, ASGCA, at Royal Golf                                     rebuild on the Quarry course at Black Diamond
        Club near Hanoi, Vietnam.                                                              Ranch in Lecanto, Florida.
 Nicklaus Design’s Jim Wagner, ASGCA, said: “One of                                     “There are almost four acres of sand on the course and
our tasks was to create a unique and challenging golfing                              after 32 years, they were starting to need a facelift,” said
experience that would have significant contrast to the                                Whelchel. “Many of the bunkers have been changed over
existing course.”                                                                     the years, and some have even been taken out. We are
 The Queen’s Course, which is expected to open in June                                trying to put some of those back and make others more
2021, will become the second course at the club, joining                              playable and maintainable as they have got very steep as a
the King’s Course, designed by Peter Rousseau.                                        result of major drainage issues.”
                                                             Photo: Nicklaus Design

                                                                                                                                                     Photo: Black Diamond Ranch

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 Social update

                                                                                                     My friend Gene Bates renovated the
                                                                                                     @bbhgolf property from overgrown to
   Great running into my old friend from                                                             awesome! Bayonet Black Horse is well
   Kansas City Kyle Phillips on our new               Rees Jones is progressing with a
                                                                                                     worth playing and great value in Monterey.
   project in Abu Dhabi. Kyle designed                bunker renovation project on the layout
   the original course on Yas Island called           at Fairview Country Club in Greenwich,
   Yas Links. We sure came a long way                 Connecticut, created by his father                      brianoar
   from Kansas.                                       Robert Trent Jones in 1966.                             Brian Oar

            Fry Straka Golf                                    Golf Course Architecture
            @FryStrakaGolf                                     @gcamagazine

                                                               Hard to believe that par-4 7th
                                                               at California Golf Club of San
                                                               Francisco wasn’t a part of A.V.
                                                               Macao’s original design, as
                                                               this true Cape hole, added by
                                                               Kyle Phillips a decade ago,           We are excited to announce the completion
                                                               fits so perfectly amidst this         of the master planning work at Chautauqua
                                                               terrific design. Drama, strategy,     Golf Club, New York and the Donald Ross
                                                               beauty: an instant favorite.          designed Lake Course.

                                                                        LinksGems Golf Photos                 chriswilczynski1
                                                                        @LinksGems                            CW Golf Architecture

                                                                                                     The 12th hole at Chickasaw, showing
                                                                                                     our recent renovation to this 1922
                                                                                                     William Langford gem!
                                Golf Course Architect of the Week: Chris Lutzke, @ASGCA. 2
           ASGCA                decades w/Pete Dye started at Whistling Straits. Architectural
                                                                                                              Bergin Golf Designs
           Home Offices         education & creativity has enabled Chris to manifest some of
           @ASGCA               the most dynamic forms in the golf world (Pic: Eagle Eye, Mich.)

 To stay up to date with the latest news and updates from ASGCA, via social media, visit:                                         


                                                                                                           Photo: David Spencer/Palm Beach Post/ZUMA Press
 In January 2020, golf lost one of the most influential course
 architects of the twentieth century. Pete Dye, a Past President
 and Fellow of ASGCA, left quite a legacy. Not only did he
 create ground-breaking designs like TPC Sawgrass, but he
 also mentored many of the game’s top golf architects.

     first met Pete in the 1970s at      be more enduring. The stories and      as well as all of those other things
     Amelia Island Plantation,” says     memories are plentiful but seem        I did growing up as a farm boy in
     Bobby Weed, ASGCA. “That was        insufficient. We all have someone      Indiana” says P.B. Dye, ASGCA. “The
 the start of a 45-year relationship.    who took hold of us and set us on      construction business was an integral
 We built Long Cove together in 1981,    our life’s path, maybe without our     part of my life. Building these golf
 and I’ve been building golf courses     even knowing it. For me, that was      courses, not just being the architect’s
 ever since. I can hardly approve        Pete. Everything I hold dear in golf   son, but to physically work with
 a feature without feeling Pete’s        took root from my relationship with    everybody and to learn and build
 influence. Pete was always ahead of     him. Not bad for someone that lived    these golf courses with my dad.
 his time. How many golf designers       to be half of 188!”                      “Our family always had white
 could that be said about?                                                      German shepherds and when we
   “As much of a legacy as his courses   The memories                           were going to work, us children would
 will be, the impact he had on those     “I can remember when my dad put        always ride in the back of the pickup
 fortunate to work with him may          me on a tractor for the first time,    truck with the dogs while someone

 12 | By Design
else drove—you’re not allowed to do         with a client on site, walking the site,   the driver, him and 60. I gladly rode in
that today!                                 looking at drainage and always editing     the open bed of the truck in 10-degree
  “Driving around in trucks with him        the visual aspects of the golf hole.       weather knowing I was working with a
was always a lot of fun. Neither my         They were normally long, dirty days        Hall of Fame architect.”
dad nor I have worked a day in our          and always his dog ‘60’ accompanied          ASGCA Past President Lee Schmidt
lives because we have had too much          us. One time, traveling out to the site    says: “Upon graduating from Purdue
fun. We have gotten really dirty and        from the airport at Kohler to Whistling    University in 1970, I contacted Pete
really muddy, but it’s never been           Straits, the small front cab of the        for an interview and was fortunately
work to us.”                                pickup truck allowed room only for         hired to work on a golf project near
  Tim Liddy, ASGCA, who worked very

                                              Pete was always ahead of his time. How
closely with Pete until the last years of
his life, describes what a workday with
Pete was like: “It was always fun but
with much work involved. Meeting            many golf designers could that be said about?


Columbus, Ohio. I always joked with       “I first met Pete at Crooked             work when he came to town for a site
him in later years that he paid me       Stick, where our family had a             visit. His passion for golf and design
below slave labor. He would respond,     membership,” says Muirhead.               were unmatched. He was truly a ‘field-
‘I think I overpaid you!’ Thus, began    “He and Alice both counseled me           architect’, continuously modifying
my long and wonderful relationship       regarding a career in golf architecture   what had been shaped until he had
with Pete. Not a single word can         while I was in high school and            what he wanted…and then changing it
accurately describe him. He was fun,     throughout college. Golf design is a      again during his next visit!”
a maverick, innovative, home spun,       very small business that has always
quick witted, a great storyteller, and   been very difficult for a young           A test of skill
most importantly, my friend.”            person to break into. Like several        “His courses were a great test for
                                                                                   professionals, but I believe he also

      pushed the envelope, always
                                                                                   gave higher handicapped golfers
                                                                                   options on how to play the hole,”

trying different things to bring a                                                 says Schmidt. “Leaving open entries
                                                                                   to greens, safe routes of play from

uniqueness to his designs                                                          the tee and various options on
                                                                                   how to play the hole were design
                                                                                   philosophies he would instill.
 Greg Muirhead, ASGCA, began             of today’s designers, my career is          “He loved testing the skills of
his career in golf architecture by       directly related to Pete and Alice        professionals through his designs.
completing two internships with          generously giving me an opportunity       Angles of play with increasing
Pete before assisting him with           and helping me along. They were           difficulty, varying green shapes and
the construction of a course in          both great players, designers, and        contours, using grass types to add
Colorado. Pete and Alice then helped     most importantly, people.                 contrast and creating half shots
Muirhead secure his current position      “My fondest memories of Pete are         were other traits of his designs we
with Rees Jones, Inc.                    remembering how he went about his         learned to love.

14 | By Design
Photo: Chip Henderson

                                                                                                                                                       Photo: Tim Liddy, ASGCA
                                                       “I think TPC Sawgrass is his most creative project,” says Tim Liddy, ASGCA, pictured
                                                       above on site with Pete. Left, the fourth hole at the world-renowned Florida course

  “Detailed plans were minimal,                                    playable. And even though he built               “One of my best memories of Pete
often they were drawn on napkins                                   the hardest golf courses in the world,         was in 1974 while I was working
from dinner the night before or on                                 they are still fun and playable for the        in the Dominican Republic on the
the back of a paper placemat from                                  higher handicap players.”                      Links course at Casa de Campo,” says
breakfast. He truly loved getting a                                                                               Schmidt. “We were about two months
feel of the land and adapting his                                  Memorable projects                             into the start of construction with
design to it. The more he walked the                               “I think TPC Sawgrass is his most              several holes roughed shaped on the
site, yes, he loved to walk, the more                              creative project,” says Liddy. “He             front nine. I was traveling home for
his imagination worked to come up                                  had a very flat piece of ground. Pete          a 10-day trip to get married, so Pete
with a unique golf hole. Many golf                                 established four layers of horizontal          volunteered to run the crews during
architects drew plans and expected                                 planes almost like a birthday cake             my absence. Knowing Pete is not the
the construction crews to follow the                               using: water, waste bunker, fairway,           most organized person, I made a list
plans exactly, not Pete. Routings were                             and a green set off by vertical edges          on top of list for what I wanted done
done, but that was just the beginning                              or railway ties or steep grass slopes. A       and in what sequence. As always and
of a blank canvas to create something                              golfer is constantly looking over, down        in Pete’s words, he said. ‘No problem,
special. He pushed the envelope,                                   or around these planes as he plays.            I got it.’
always trying different things to bring                            He took a flat boring site and gave it           “When I returned with my new
a uniqueness to his designs.”                                      spatial definition. It is pure genius.         bride, I was anxious to see the
  “He’s a little bit of Monet, a little bit                          “He was one of the first to use              progress made during my absence.
of Picasso,” says P.B. Dye. “Dad, like                             classical elements of Raynor,                  Pete met me on arrival and said,
a lot of the great designers, did what                             Ross and Langford in modern                    ‘everything went great, I only
he needed to do to challenge the                                   compositions, for it is not about style        changed one thing.’ I was astounded,
golfer. The most important factor that                             or decoration but about articulation           ‘Only one thing?’ ‘Yes, the more I
he always followed was that a golf                                 of space. The strong geometry created          walked the site, the more I felt the
course does not need to be fair, but                               the feeling of space—to look over              course was better if we reversed the
it needs to be fun, and it needs to be                             and play around.”                              routing. Where we previously had


greens, I shaped in tees and where
we had tees I started shaping in the
new greens.’ I was shocked, but the
course stayed that way and I will say
it was a better course because of just
one small change.”

Great rapport
“Pete had a better rapport with
superintendents than any architect
who has ever been in the business,”
says Liddy. “He liked them, he
listened to them and the result
is that his courses are easier to
maintain than they might seem at
first glance.
  “The people who build golf courses
want to enjoy the process, but a
lot of times they don’t quite know
what their goals are. They have a
general idea, but I saw how much
Pete helped his clients refine their       “Pete loved everything about the         my life. Golf, golf architecture and I
mission. Many times, building a golf      game of golf including building golf      will miss him.”
course is a two-year process. When        courses and the people,” says P.B.          “His designs matched his
you get through it successfully, it’s a                                             personality: strong, bold, smart
great feeling, and there’s a real bond    Ground-breaking designs                   and creative,” says Liddy. “He was a
that forms.                               “Pete and Alice had made such an          mentor to so many, a true legacy of
  “In later years, Pete spent time        amazing team in life and golf,” says      his genius and compassion. He was
returning to projects that he             Bill Coore, ASGCA. “Professionally, I     my mentor and his love of golf and
finished 20, 30, even 40 years ago.       would say that Pete Dye was one of        golf design was infectious.
Part of this is because a course’s        the most influential golf architects in     “One of Pete’s most famous quotes
infrastructure naturally ages, but        the history of the profession.            was, ‘If you can get a pro thinking,
it’s also because he didn’t consider       “He was the only golf architect who      you’ve won the game.’ The interesting
anyone a ‘former’ client.”                changed the course of golf architecture   thing is that it applies just as much,
  “He always treated everyone the         twice, first with Harbour Town, an        if not more, to a shot or hole that will
same whether you were the owner,          old-world design with characteristics     be played hours later as it does to the
shaper or laborer,” says Schmidt. “I      totally opposite to the contemporary      shot immediately at hand. The lesson
appreciated how he would involve                                                    is that every course should have
everyone in the design process. As
we were reviewing a specific hole,              He was the only                     something that the golfer is already
                                                                                    thinking about before he or she steps
he would say to me and possibly the
shaper, ‘do you like it, what do you      golf architect                            on to the first tee.”
                                                                                      “Pete’s midwestern background
think?’ Various comments would be
exchanged, and I remember often I         that changed                              showed in his personality,” says
                                                                                    Schmidt. “He was a great storyteller,
would say ‘it just doesn’t look right.’
He would then counter saying, ‘what       the course of golf                        worked hard, loved to learn about
                                                                                    people and gave generously to many.
would you do?’ After a back and forth
open discussion he would take our         architecture twice                        My alma mater, Purdue University,
                                                                                    benefited greatly as Pete remodeled
comments and say, ‘let’s try this.’                                                 two of the university’s golf courses for
  “He had a basic concept before          golf architecture then in vogue.          one dollar each.
designing a hole, but his true talent     Then, he and Alice redirected golf          “He lived a full and wonderful life
was modifying, adjusting and              architecture again with the creation      and touched so many lives. The legacy
tweaking the work on the ground           of TPC Sawgrass, a course that would      he left through his courses, other
until he liked it. He made everyone       dictate the direction and style of golf   architects he mentored and the impact
feel a part of the process and            architecture around the world for the     he left on the game of golf is a life well
because of that I sincerely believe       next two decades.                         played. I will miss you, Pete.”
everyone gave their best effort to         “Personally, I can say Pete Dye was        “Pete was a generational figure in
improve the design.”                      one of the most influential people in     architecture and golf,” says Muirhead.

16 | By Design
Photo: Kohler Co.
    Photo: Kiawah Island Golf Resort

                                                                                                                                    Photo: ASGCA

The 2017 ASGCA Annual Meeting in Jupiter, Florida, saw Pete and Alice Dye joined by some of the many golf course architects they
have influenced. From left, Tom Doak, Brian Curley, Scot Sherman, Perry Dye, Pete Dye, Bobby Weed, Alice Dye, Tim Liddy,
Greg Muirhead, Lee Schmidt, Taylor Zimbelman and P.B. Dye. Top left, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina and,
top, Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin

“He was a visionary designer who            about each shot, which often led to            “I’ve always said that Pete is my dad,
made every architect re-assess his or       ‘doubt’ and poor execution.”                 but I have shared him with a lot of
her own philosophy and style. His             “There are so many highlights of           other people. All those people who
landforms, design angles and often          my dad’s career,” says P.B. Dye. “Our        have worked with him—that is his
intimidating visuals transformed            family is very blessed. The game of          impact on golf. The Bobby Weeds,
professional golf, perhaps like no other    golf has been very good to my family.        Bill Coores, all of these guys have
architect before him. He challenged         Because of my mom and dad, golf              worked with my dad, and learned
Tour players and made them think            has become part of my life.                  from him…that’s the legacy.”

When a golf course
                                   o good golf course deserves to    diminished. So, too, there’s a cost
                                   disappear, though many do—        to repair aging, failing golf course
closes, there can                  and for many reasons. Among
                          them are fiscal mismanagement and
                                                                     infrastructure. Key items that need
                                                                     replacement on a 20-year-old course,
often be a string of      natural disasters, but in most cases,
                          the demise of a golf course is tied to
                                                                     from the irrigation system to cart paths
                                                                     to broken drainage pipes can add up.
negative effects on the   simple macroeconomic fundamentals.         It’s not unlike needing to put a new
                          Perhaps the raw land is worth more         roof on your house. Ignore it for too
community. Bringing       being used in some other capacity,         long and your entire house is in peril—
                          typically for residential and commercial   but what can be done if you don’t have
back the golf, maybe      real estate; the golf may succumb.         the money for that new roof? You sell
in a re-imagined            Within a course’s lifespan, the
                          warning signs toward abandonment
                                                                     the house or else do nothing and face
                                                                     the consequences later.
form, is often a far      pulse intermittently in red. Start with
                          the scenario where the golf course
                                                                       In the case of many municipal
                                                                     courses facing decommission, the
better solution. Joe      operation costs consistently exceed
                          income. In a retirement community,
                                                                     blame can be similar to private sector
                                                                     woes: rounds are down and so are
Passov considers some     for instance, when members are dying       revenues. Yet, there has also been a
                          off or quitting the game faster than       philosophical change among some
rebirth stories           they can be replaced, revenues are         municipalities, that no longer should

18 | By Design
Photo: Atlantic Beach CC
                         A new design from ASGCA Past President Erik Larsen brought Jacksonville’s Selva Marina course back to life

golf courses be subsidized recreation,     in the community. It influences the           safety concerns plague many
but instead may be treated as sink-or-     town or city which benefited from             abandoned tracks, from utility lines to
swim cash flow assets.                     the resulting commerce.                       crumbling cart paths to underground
  While some locales became                 Horror stories from abandoned golf           sprinklers. There’s virtually no end to
overbuilt during the real estate           courses crop up all too frequently.           the potential menaces.
boom of the 1990s and early 2000s,         Copperhead snakes, bikers and meth             Not every course is destined to live
with golf often merely a means—an
amenity—to push home sales, these
excess courses in most instances             Horror stories from abandoned golf
can and should be preserved.
This is especially true given the          courses crop up all too frequently
huge negatives associated with an
abandoned golf course.                     cookers took roost at a lost South            forever, but many of them don’t have
  When a course is decommissioned,         Carolina course. Feral pigs took over         to go under, either. With persistence
it affects more than merely the            another. At a fallow Philadelphia-            and creativity—and the assistance
golfers who once enjoyed it. It            area course, a marijuana-growing              of a golf course architect—even
impacts wage-earners who made              operation prospered until being               a struggling golf property can be
their livelihood from that golf            discovered. A decommissioned layout           reimagined into something that
course. It affects the property values     on Florida’s Gulf Coast was choked            benefits the greater good, in many
of homeowners on the course or             with weeds 12 feet high. Countless            cases with some form of golf playing


                                                                                                                                       Photo: Atlantic Beach CC
                                              The newly-named Atlantic Beach Country Club was cleverly reworked to accommodate
                                                          some housing lots and a new design aesthetic that is authentic to the area

a significant role. Here are three            Enter Erik Larsen. A Past President        improvements and because of that,
examples, each at a different stage of      of ASGCA, Larsen had spent nearly            we would attract even more members.
the process, of a golf course that was      30 years designing courses for               And that’s exactly what happened.
either abandoned or nearly so that is       Arnold Palmer, ASGCA Fellow, so it’s         And it only took us two years to do it.”
now on the rebound.                         likely he knew a thing or two about            Larsen’s plan was shepherded
                                            heroic recoveries from the man who           through the process by his friend and
The beach is back                           practically invented them on the golf        fellow club member Pete Rodriguez
In 2012, the premier private                course. In the case of Selva Marina, it      and also by then club president
equity country club in suburban             was personal. Larsen was a member.           Mike Carlin. Entitlements and
Jacksonville’s Atlantic Beach, Selva          “By the early 2000s, the golf course       financing complications slowed the
Marina, was running out of gas.             was literally dying from within,”            process, but in time these issues were
Conditions had been spiraling               said Larsen. “Simply, the club had           overcome. Eventually, 178 new single
downward for years and the                  poor irrigation water. It was drawn          family units emerged of mostly high-
membership rolls experienced a              from Sherman Creek, which cuts               end homes. By 2014 Selva Marina
similar plunge. Needed maintenance          diagonally across the property and           began morphing into Atlantic Beach
was deferred again and again. The           it was almost brackish. You really           Country Club.
club was having trouble making              needed a new irrigation source in              The developer was also required
payroll. In 2012, bankruptcy was            order to resurrect the golf course.”         to provide a golf course of at least
tap-tap-tapping at the door.                  What the club did have, Larsen             6,900 yards, and contribute to a
  Site of the only double eagle that Jack   noted, was remnant land. “I proposed         new clubhouse. The community
Nicklaus, ASGCA Fellow, recorded            selling the extra land, and letting me       rallied behind the project and Larsen
in his PGA Tour career, at the par-five     re-route the golf course. A developer        delivered a superb golf course. “It had
72nd hole in the 1966 Jacksonville          would build new homes and                    to be a wow!” says Larsen. “It had
Open, Selva Marina prospered from           mandate membership purchase on               to look like something authentic to
1958 until early in the 21st century,       the new homebuyers, which would              Atlantic Beach. It couldn’t look like
when it was drenched with water             create guaranteed revenues through           anything else in Jacksonville.” It didn’t.
woes. Things began sinking fast.            dues. That would let us make more              Most distinctive were the dunesy-

20 | By Design
Photo: Atlantic Beach CC
                                                                                                                Waters Edge
                                                                                                                Golf Course
                                                                                                                Fremont, Michigan

                                                                                                                Golf course architect:
                                                                                                                Raymond Hearn, ASGCA

                                                                                                                                                    Image: Raymond Hearn Golf Course Design
                                                                                     Image: LarsenGolf
                                                                                                                Waters Edge is a ‘small town
                                                                                                                USA’ golf course that has long
                                                                                                                been a significant part of the
                                                                                                                fabric of the idyllic town of
looking bunker features that               among the finest in the south and                                    Fremont in western Michigan.
resembled the beach dunes of the           had benefited from a subsequent                                      In 2015, the course was
nearby Atlantic Ocean. With lips           Donald Ross tweak. That final week                                   auctioned off due to upkeep
ranging from four to eighteen inches       in May, native Virginian Sam Snead,                                  issues and declining revenue. A
and Bahia grass on the backside,           the current Masters champion, was                                    decommission was contemplated
it yields the sensation of playing         bidding for back-to-back majors as                                   with a plan for golf to give way
a course sculpted right from the           Hermitage served as venue for the                                    to real estate. Instead, new
beach. All he kept was the old par-        PGA Championship. Snead downed                                       investors hired Ray Hearn to
five eighteenth hole, for sentimental      Johnny Palmer in the final, 3 & 2, to                                develop a long-range master
reasons—where Arnold Palmer’s              capture the Wanamaker Trophy for                                     plan and ultimately to refurbish
chief nemesis, Jack Nicklaus, made         the second time.                                                     and repurpose. Two new holes
history.                                    It was hard to fathom that exactly                                  opened in 2019 and a third is
  Larsen is proud of the golf, but         seventy years later, the only course                                 on tap for 2020, together with
freely acknowledges that what              ever to host a major championship in                                 a new Player Performance Area
preserved his club was the land            the state of Virginia faced extinction.                              (range, practice green, chipping,
itself. “This was basically a real         Then things changed dramatically.                                    short game and sand practice).
estate deal that saved it,” he said. “As    After Henrico County bought                                         When the tee is closed, the
of 2019, there wasn’t one lot without      Hermitage Country Club in 1977                                       range can be transformed into
a home on it. It’s completely built        and changed the course name to                                       a three- or six-hole par-three
out and sold out.”                         Belmont, it enjoyed a long, healthy                                  course. More improvements are
                                           run operating the historic spread.                                   slated over the next four years,
Snead’s sacred ground                      However, by March 2018, ominous                                      including clubhouse upgrades
In late May, 1949, Belmont Golf            warning signs had emerged. Belmont’s                                 and a new training center. Play
Course in Richmond, Virginia, sat          operations had turned a profit only                                  is up, revenues have increased
atop the golf world. Known then            once since 2000 ($5,429 in 2008).                                    and the course once again is the
as Hermitage Country Club, the              The county explored their options.                                  pride of Fremont.
1916 A.W. Tillinghast design was           By October 2018, six proposals


  Wynn Golf Club
  Las Vegas, Nevada

  Golf course architect:
  Tom Fazio, ASGCA

                                        Photo: Brian Oar

  When Steve Wynn built his
  eponymous sequel to Shadow
  Creek, he knew it might not be
  a forever proposition. In 2005,
  he said of his soon-to-open, Tom
  Fazio-designed Wynn Golf Club:
  “My property is worth 10 to 15                           were being considered. None of               On December 10, 2019, the First Tee
  million an acre. I’ve got a billion                      them retained a golf component.            of Greater Richmond won the bid to
  and a half dollars of real estate                        Most ambitious was a radical               assume management of Belmont with
  under that golf course. It better                        repurposing that would eliminate           a $4 million plan that would alter the
  become a top destination, or                             golf and substitute a massive mixed-       makeup of the existing golf course
  else goodbye golf course. There                          use project. It would have included        and add significantly to the number
  will be no more golf course. It’ll                       a multipurpose indoor arena,               of potential users. The course closed
  be filled with buildings.” Fast                          an outdoor whitewater park, an             down in January and is expected to
  forward to December 2017.                                adventure park and a blend of hotel,       reopen in late spring 2021. Purists
  Wynn’s prognosis was on target.                          office, retail and residential space.      won’t be thrilled that the 18-hole PGA
  His golf course closed to make                             In the spring of 2019, following a       Championship course will be reduced
  way for a planned hotel addition,                        series of public meetings, the Henrico     to 12 holes, but there are other
  convention space expansion and                           County Board of Supervisors agreed         reasons to get them to smile.
  a 20-acre lagoon to be called                            to hold off implementing any plan            When The First Tee approached
  Paradise Park. Alas, as the course                       that involved repurposing Belmont          Love Golf Design and proposed 12
  sat abandoned, the buildings                             that didn’t include golf. As the           holes and plenty of practice options,
  never materialized. Fazio and                            Richmond Times-Dispatch reported:          Sherman and the Love team were
  his son Logan were summoned to                           “Belmont Golf Course is safe for now,      engaged from the start. “We all
  repurpose the course. Yardage                            but Henrico can’t promise it will          chimed in very quickly and said that
  was shaved from 7,042 to 6,722,                          always be a golf course.”                  not only does The First Tee aspect
  eight entirely new holes were                              As always in life, Love is the answer.   interest us,” said Sherman, “but you’re
  constructed and ten others were                          Enter Scot Sherman, ASGCA, lead            checking all of the boxes that golf is
  remodeled. Modified contours,                            designer for Love Golf Design.             begging for. Start with a fast-playing
  wider landing areas, altered                             Together with Davis Love III and           course—12 holes does that for you.
  bunkers and a new 6,500-square-                          Davis’s brother Mark, Sherman has          Lots of practice. Next, an entry-level
  ft. putting green adjacent to the                        joined forces with the First Tee of        facility—the putting course we’re
  first tee have changed the layout’s                      Greater Richmond to take a course          building is as entry-level as you can
  look and playability. Wynn                               with the real possibility of being         get. And the six-hole short course
  reopened in October 2019.                                decommissioned and repurpose it            we’re crafting is the very next step
  Welcome back!                                            into something that will benefit the       up to the big course, which will have
                                                           greatest number of people possible.        12 Tillinghast golf holes. It’s a way to

22 | By Design
An imaginative new design proposal from Scot Sherman, ASGCA, of Love Golf Design
                                                               could breathe new life into Belmont Golf Course in Richmond, Virginia. He plans to use
                                                               parts of the existing front nine for a short course and practice area (below), while twelve
                     Images: Courtesy of Scot Sherman, ASGCA   Tillinghast-designed holes (including the back nine, left) will remain largely intact

impact the community, number one,                                                    has settled on is to create six replica          of upscale homes that boast a
but it’s also a way to show there are                                                green complexes of their favorite                median sales price of $518,000. One
different ways to do this, rather than                                               Tillinghast par-threes.                          home is on the market for $1.74
just an 18-hole experience.”                                                          For A.W. Tillinghast fans and                   million. The contrast is eye-popping
  From the original 18 holes,                                                        students of golf history, it’s always            and disheartening.
Sherman will keep holes seven                                                        disappointing to lose a true                       While many homeowners blame the
through 18 in the new Belmont                                                        championship course. What The                    current owner for mismanagement,
design. The holes won’t replicate                                                    First Tee of Greater Richmond, Love              there was one undeniable culprit:
what Tillinghast originally crafted,                                                 Golf Design and Scot Sherman plan,               water. Or, rather, it was the cost and
but will embrace his design tenets.                                                  however, is not only the next best               availability of water. The backstory is
“Davis won his PGA Championship                                                      thing, it might even be a better thing.          complicated, but the bottom line is
at Winged Foot,” said Sherman.                                                       The new setup will encourage a lot               that there has been no water and no
“So he and Mark have quite a bit                                                     more people in the community to be               playable golf course since 2018.
of affinity for Winged Foot, and                                                     able to use it. And yet, with 12 holes             Potential buyers for Club West
of course Mr. Tillinghast’s work.”                                                   intact, folks will still get to walk in          came and went. The cost to water the
The preliminary par is 48, with two                                                  those famous footsteps.                          golf course, estimated at $700,000
par-threes, eight par-fours and two                                                                                                   per year and heading higher, is
par-fives and should now stretch to                                                  A modest proposal                                prohibitive. It proved to be the
4,500 yards.                                                                         At Club West in Phoenix, the blight              deal-killer every time. At one point,
  The one-acre putting green will have                                               is startling. As of January 2020, once           a pipeline was proposed that would
the potential to contain an actual                                                   lush turf had turned weed-choked,                transport water from the Gila River
putting course and the range will                                                    splotchy green in some spots,                    Indian Community, travel beneath
accommodate roughly 30 players                                                       parched dark brown in others. A                  the new South Mountain Freeway
and extend 300 yards. Perhaps most                                                   handsome lake at the clubhouse was               and wind up at the golf course. That
intriguing, especially for architecture                                              barely liquified, its shore rutted with          idea, too, failed to launch.
buffs, is the prospect of the six-hole                                               broken bricks and discarded trash.                 There is no happy ending in sight
short course, which will occupy the                                                  Coyotes, birds and rodents scurried              for Club West and the concerned
plot that once housed the old fifth                                                  and fluttered in the clubhouse before            Foothills Club West homeowners—
and sixth holes. The course features                                                 the caved in windows and doorways                not yet, anyway. However, a proposed
holes ranging from 85 to 150 yards                                                   were finally boarded up. Not two                 plan is on the table. Enter Forrest
and the concept Love Golf Design                                                     minutes away stands a development                Richardson, ASGCA. His firm is

There is new hope for homeowners alongside the abandoned Club West course in Phoenix.
                                                    Forrest Richardson, ASGCA, has created a solution that will transform the landscape
                                 (see visualisation above and, inset, the same hole as it is now) and is also helping to rebrand the club

part of a development team that will       negatively impacted by an average of             one, so the new course will be just as
endeavor to re-brand the community         9.5 percent. Thus, there’s certainly             playable for everybody as the old one.”
and repurpose the decommissioned           financial incentive for homeowners to              Richardson recognizes that not all
golf course into a different facility,     preserve a golf footprint.                       community members are on board
with golf as the primary feature. In         Richardson’s solution is a USGA-               with precision golf as a substitute
return, homeowners will have to            rated, 18-hole, par-60 layout to                 for championship golf. “A par-60
confront a new reality.                    replace the existing par-72 tract.               works because we’re giving people
  The proposal is in its infancy. No       Supplementing the precision course               everything,” he said. “The plan is for
votes have taken place, no court           will be a driving range, putting course          13 par-threes, one par-five and four
battles have been fought, no rezoning      and a short-game area. In addition,              par-fours. You can play in three to
hearings so far. But potentially, the      the plan calls for a banquet/wedding/            three-and-a-half hours. That’s a good
plan represents a way forward.             corporate hosting facility, restaurant,          thing. But you still have those four
  Without any sort of golf course,         coffee shop, gathering area and                  par-fours, so you can whale away with
the negative effects are tangible. Not     community area.                                  your driver. And on the par five, you
only do locals lose a major aesthetic        “The plan is to reduce the golf turf           can take your chances for an eagle.
and recreational benefit, but research     parcel from 162 acres to 110,” said              You still have all the fun you want.”
shows that they lose community value       Richardson. “It’s a precision course.              To pay for all of this—new course,
as well. Upon the closure of a golf        On the old course, 40 percent of the             new state-of-the-art irrigation, drought-
course, the potential loss in value to     land available for golf was covered              tolerant turfgrass, new practice
homes in the development is between        with turf—about 70 acres. The rest               facilities and a new clubhouse,
four and 18 percent, even as much          was natural desert and native. We’re             homeowners would yield three
as 30 percent for a property located       taking that down to 30 acres, so                 existing vacant parcels to a well-
directly on the course. Analysis of a      roughly 30 percent of the 110 acres              respected local homebuilder for the
nearby development which lost its          will be golf turf. The new percentage            development of 168 new single-family
golf course witnessed home prices          of golf turf is pretty close to the old          homes. The revenue generated from

24 | By Design
Images: Courtesy of Forrest Richardson & Assoc.

                                                                                                                                                                                           Tower Tee
                                                                                                                                                                                           Affton, Missouri

                                                                                                                                                                                           Golf course architect:
                                                                                                                                                                                           Art Schaupeter, ASGCA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Image: Art Schaupeter, ASGCA
                                                                                                                                        Photo: Courtesy of Ahwatukee Foothills Newspaper
                                                                                                                                                                                           In July 2018, a south St. Louis,
                                                                                                                                                                                           family-friendly, golf-oriented sports
                                                                                                                                                                                           and recreation institution said
                                                                                                                                                                                           goodbye after more than 50
                                                                                                                                                                                           years. Two months prior, Tower
                                                                                                                                                                                           Tee owner Steve Lotz expressed
                                                                                                                                                                                           his sentiments: “I’ve been touched
                                                                                                                                                                                           by the outpouring of affection and
                                                                                                                                                                                           nostalgia. But I want to be clear,
                                                                                                                                                                                           there is no saving Tower Tee.”
                                                                                                                                                                                           At that time, the 27 acres were
                                                                                                                                                                                           destined for a new subdivision with
                                                                                                                                                                                           more than 150 homes. A year later
                                                                                                                                                                                           though, Lotz had to reach for his
                                                                                                                                                                                           fork, knife and salt shaker. He was
                                                  that, says Richardson, will help pay for   golf course facilities would still be at                                                      going to have to eat his words.
                                                  the capital investment needed in the       least two years away.                                                                         After much pushback from locals,
                                                  golf course to turn it into something        Richardson nods to the realities                                                            new investors Steve Walkenback
                                                  different. Without the housing, he         of the reduced turf/water situation.                                                          and Mike Shamia decided that
                                                  says, no one is going to spend $9          He’s encountered it many times                                                                Tower Tee needed to stay put.
                                                  million making these improvements.         and offers a solution.“In almost all                                                          They came to an agreement
                                                  For those existing homeowners who          cases, it’s making the golf course                                                            with the developers, purchased
                                                  will lose their golf frontage because      smaller in some fashion,” he says.                                                            the property and engaged Art
                                                  of the reconfigured design, the            “Number two, it’s finding some                                                                Schaupeter, ASGCA, to repurpose
                                                  homebuilder will create enhanced           other use for some of the land that                                                           the facility. Schaupeter is in the
                                                  landscape buffers and trails.              is a much higher and better use in                                                            process of converting the old 18-
                                                    For any of these plans to come           terms of revenue and capitalism.                                                              hole, par-three layout to nine holes
                                                  to fruition, it will take time. Right      And the third component is trying to                                                          composed of classic replica and
                                                  now Richardson and the rest of the         appease as many existing neighbors                                                            homage holes plus some originals.
                                                  development team are answering             and constituents as possible. And                                                             Also on tap is a driving range with
                                                  questions from community residents.        when all of those three things come                                                           grass and artificial tees, a short
                                                  Homeowners will have to vote to            together and balance nicely, you have                                                         game area, precision chipping
                                                  change the deed restrictions in place,     the possibility of creating something                                                         area, a 15,000-square-ft. practice
                                                  which would allow the new homes
                                                  to be constructed. If that happens,
                                                                                             really great.”                                                                                green/putting course, miniature
                                                                                                                                                                                           golf, batting cages and footgolf.
                                                  then the process moves to the city         ASGCA is always on the lookout for                                                            Further refinements include a
                                                  for rezoning meetings and hearings         more golf courses that have been brought                                                      playground for kids, bocce courts
                                                  with the city council and planning         “back from the brink.” If you know of                                                         and a patio area. Opening day is
                                                  commission. Even if every single step      such a course, please email the project                                                       expected to be in the fall of 2020.
                                                  proceeded with a ‘Yes’ vote, the new       information to


The art
of routing
Golf course architect Richard Mandell, ASGCA,
talks to By Design about a concept course project

          ost golf enthusiasts will have   really believe the architect should
          found themselves, at some        dictate specific paths from tee-to-
          point, staring from their car    green. Rather, I prefer to lay things
window at a stretch of land by the         out and let the golfer figure it out.
roadside, and imagining the holes          The strategy should be there and, if
that could be laid out there. Richard      done well, there is more than one
Mandell, ASGCA, was so intrigued by        answer from tee-to-green. That is         As much as
the possibilities of one such site, that   what strategy is all about.             we all love the
he went a big step further: exploring        I came across some ground a           mythology of walking
the land, getting full topographical       few miles outside of Pinehurst          a site and ‘seeing the holes unfold
data, conceiving a full design and         that seemed interesting. One day        before our eyes,’ it really doesn’t
creating a routing map and hole            I decided to walk the site and was      happen like that. What really happens
visualizations. Since the start of 2020,   intrigued by the variety of the         is you walk a site, become giddy about
he has been releasing details of each      ground. I asked Jim Ryan in my          some very interesting landforms,
hole of this concept course, The           office to find the topo of the site     visualize a bunch of golf holes that
Sandhills Club, on social media. We        so I could take a closer look. Once     may or may not work together, and
spoke with him to find out more.           I did, I started routing golf holes.    then find the need to process it from
                                           Each hole begat the following hole,     overhead, unless you have the topo
What prompted you to develop this          all of which were determined based      map with you. On our first visit over
concept course?                            solely on the topography. It was        the fence, we did not have any topo.
I think many people take for granted       a very organic, fast-moving, and          I had a good grip on the property
the art of the golf course routing and     free-flowing process for me, and I      from our visit and how it looked on
how the best golf holes are the ones       was amazed at how each hole fit so      paper, so the routing just flowed from
whose inherent strategy comes out of       perfectly in the ground.                there. Upon my return visit with a
the ground itself. The topography of a                                             routing in hand, I fell in love with
hole should be the determining factor      Tell us more about that site            what I routed.
in how the hole should be approached.      The routing is based on an actual
Routing from high point-to-high point,     piece of property not far from the      What has it been like to prepare a
utilizing angles of attack, usually        office. I walked the property and we    design without usual constraints,
reveals natural hazards along the          covered the whole place. It never       like land ownership, budget,
ground to challenge the golfer.            stood out with dramatic views or        environmental and client demands?
  I don’t want to dictate ‘how it          anything like that, but it did have     The actual constraints of the site are
should be played’ because I don’t          some great roll to it.                  what makes this exercise a challenge.

26 | By Design
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