I was asked today by a client to put together, for presentation purposes, a set of pictures detailing the construction progression of individual holes from the start of the project until now.
To be honest, I am finding this exercise really enjoyable – rewarding if you will. It has been a long time since I revisited the first pictures I took of the site and seeing how each hole has developed over time is SUPER COOL.
One of the things that has struck me most about these early pictures was how good the site was for golf. What do I mean by that….I mean the site had a great variety of features, was mostly sand and the contours were gentle and rolling in parts. The site was sufficient shape and size and the vegetation was generally well established throughout the property.
Remember golf architect Perry Maxwell ‘ The site of a golf course should be there, not brought there’
Well in this particular case the site was made for golf….we just had to find the key features and then enhance them….that’s about it. Our goal at the end was ensuring the golf course fitted the surround / was identifiable with its surround. To this end, spending sufficient time on site at the early stages was imperative and I would like to think the copious amount of time spent exploring the site early on helped achieve this goal to great extent .
When I think of some of the better golf courses today it is hard not to think of the land these courses traverse….. Royal County Down, Portrush, Shinnecock Hills and Cypress Point being some examples. How good would these courses be, for example, if the land they are laid over was not so good? They would be good but hardly as good.
There are a number of key factors that contribute to the creation of a great golf course – the Client, Golf Architect, Team, Vision, Money etc but perhaps the most important ingredient of the lot is THE SITE.