I was most intrigued by what I saw, over the weekend, at the #HassanTrophee in Morocco!
Did any of you see the Palace wall that flanked the left side of the 18th hole – the one that comes into play?
Traditionally Morocco is not known for its golf however the Robert Trent Jones (Snr) Course built for the King, in the 80’s, certainly looks the part with many holes weaving through wonderful coastal dune – dune that continues through many of the fairways. This of course adds wonderful charachter and charm and makes for challenging play conditions.
Call me ‘crazy’ but I love the idea of seeing something different on a golf course. You see I get bored relatively quickly….particularly if fed a course that lacks interest, charachter, charm, strategy etc etc. Remember what famed Golden age Architect Tom Simpson said in his book the Architectural side of Golf ‘A dull, stereotyped course is not satisfying to anyone, least of all to the designer himself, because it gives the player nothing to discover; it is read like a book and fails to interest him’.
Now I am certainly not advocating build a castle or church on your course so as to add memorable interest – that would be simply ‘Micky Mouse’ but I am of the opinion that if something different, charming, memorable and perhaps unique exists on the property then why not use it to good effect. Also it is an added bonus if that feature(s) can add strategic value as well. Lest not forget so much of golf is about memories and discoveries and how much of this is determined by the visuals and landmarks you see during the game?
It is hard to forget the ‘graveyard’ at Ballybunion Old or the ruin at Pennard? or how about the rock walls at North Berwick? All great talking points which add much interest and value to that particular course.
I leave you with Tom Simpson who again explains it best: Roads, railways, sheds and gardens may be thought unsatisfactory and unwelcome, yet they are often the essence of a course; take them away and the difference would at once be felt’