In a recent article from Golf Course Industry, Art Schaupeter, ASGCA and Greg Martin, ASGCA, advocate for making golf more engaging, more strategic, and more enjoyable.
Schaupeter and Martin write that because golfing abilities are so divergent, a worthy objective for golf course architecture may not necessarily be “risk and reward,” but rather “challenge and playability,” as golfers will return to a course again and again if they have fun. They argue that for golf to thrive, the industry must make sure golfers enjoy the experience. Great courses offer a compelling combination of difficulty and challenge with distinction, fun, and uniqueness.
Martin and Schaupeter advocate for several ways in which “fun” can be integrated into golf course architecture. These ideas involve:
- Width: By providing width, golf holes can be made interesting for all players, as various options and routes of play can be introduced. Players can navigate a golf hole based on their specific skill set.
- Variety: Variety is the spice… of the golfing experience! Golf holes should have a unique expression and provide a unique challenge.
- Approaches and Greens: The greens and their approaches and surrounds must be considered in tandem. The style and size of the greens must work in harmony with the challenges and setting of the surrounds so that players who miss the green have options.
- Hazards: Hazards in the form of bunkers are the elements that add the challenge to the sport of golf. They may present risks, rewards, and options so a golfer visualizes, plots, and then executes a strategy.
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