Our goal is to make the journey to the hole a more interesting one for the golfer. The contour of a green, the position of hazards, and the shape and slope of the fairway can all be used to create holes that make the golfer think. How close to the hazard am I willing to aim? How badly do I need a par, or a birdie?
Our favourite designs ask these sorts of questions and offer a multitude of options. Sometimes the strategies are obvious but more often than not only trial and error will reveal the best route to the hole. This principle is best illustrated on The Old Course at St. Andrews – the oldest and certainly the most interesting course in the world. It can take dozens of rounds to begin to understand the intricacies of the Old Course and that’s before you really get to know how the wind or a different pin position can alter your best line of play. With bunkers randomly scattered over a wide, crumpled landscape and enormous double greens there is seemingly an endless number of way to play each hole.
Not every course looks the same as St. Andrews but the questions it asks are just as relevant to the Melbourne sandbelt, the heathlands of London or a parkland course in Fort Worth.