Rarely, on any of the world’s best courses, is the middle of the fairway the ideal line to the hole, and our courses are always suggesting to the player than there is more to the tee shot that simply hitting as far and as straight as you can.

Green complexes should be varied, interesting and fun.  They may be big, small or something in-between and can be wildly undulating or close to flat, but the best of them are beautifully built and obey the dictum that despite being man-made they look natural and “indistinguishable from nature”.

How can there be any meaningful strategy without width and holes where the player has to decide for him or herself where best to play – as opposed to that being dictated by the architect or the greenkeeper?

A course should also be beautiful.  Whilst the strategies and placement of hazards maybe more important than aesthetics, no one likes to hit over an ugly bunker, so why not have both?  We spend a great deal of time fine tuning the style of hazards, as well as mowing lines, roughs, vegetation and even course fixtures, which complement the style of course we’re creating.  We want to have some influence over anything that contributes to the look, feel or play of the golf course.

2014 8th Par 4 at Bonnie Doon GC

2014 8th Par 4
Bonnie Doon GC

The blue line shows the aggressive line, which leaves a short shot into the green from an ideal angle and at roughly the same level as the green. The player who takes this line is forced to interact with the large fairway bunker, and also the ESBS on the right of the fairway. The angle for the player taking the red line will be safer from the tee, but will leave an uphill second shot from a difficult angle.