Proper Golf

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Turning 2 Bunkers into 1

On a Donald Ross hole that plays uphill all the way from tee to green, some newer bunkers have been added to the right side of the green to help prevent balls from running out of bounds and into an old rocky swale. The set of three smallish bunkers that have added, don't quite fit in the same style the other bunkers we have been renovating, so the architects have decided to let us blow up the two back bunkers and combine them into a larger bunker with bolder outer lips, and finger where the divide used to be.

I did my best to take photographs every hour or so of the process.

Sod has been stripped and sand has been removed

I've blown up the divide in the bunker (see the old irrigation pipe that used to run through). We have used that soil to regrade the bottom of the bunker and raise up what use to be the middle bunker. (view from bellow)

Regrading the bottom of the bunker. (View from above)

Regrading is now finished and ready to start reshaping. The pile with the irrigation pipe sticking out is where the new finger will be built off of.

The finger has been roughed in and outer edge is starting to take shape as well.

Shaping is done and ready for topsoil.
Drainage is going in and topsoil is still going down.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bad Golf Course Architecture

I found this image while scrolling around Hainan Island, China, where the worlds biggest/only golf boom is going on. Although I will not give out the name of the course, it may be the worst example of golf course architecture I have ever seen.

Upon closer examination its pretty clear this is holes #9 and #18, as you can see the placement of the clubhouse just beyond both greens and how they both play the same direction. Now we have all played holes that people claim as gimmicky, and condemned even some of our favorite designers for doing silly things, but I think this mirrored excuse for 2 golf holes, around irrigation ponds, and super tight wiggly bunkers takes the cake. Having two holes play in such a manor does not create any sort of interest in playability, strategy or aesthetics, but instead a poor exercise in landscaping. I understand that the two holes play to opposite ball flights, one a draw and the other a fade, but considering how close the two are and the fact that nothing visually separates them, it seems if they probably appear the same from the tee, offering no variety; the biggest sin in golf course architecture as far as I'm concerned. No attempt to at least pretend like it mimics nature in any of its features or shapes... When I see stuff like this it makes me want to puke!