When an author gets ready to write a novel, does he/she decide upon the exact number of pages?
Does a film director base all his work on the fact that his/her motion picture must be 110 minutes long? Not one minute shorter or longer.
Imagine the creative obstacles that the above would include. Believe it or not, the same applies to golf course design.
Many of us are charmed by the uniqueness of golf among other sports, games or pastimes. One of these unique attributes is the variety from one golf course to another. The canvas on which the game is played is to some extent a result of the local environment, which is of course different from one place to the next. This is among the elements that distinguish the game of golf from other games, most of which are played on a field with fixed dimensions like tennis or football (soccer). This is true for most games, hence the charm of golf.
Although it is a touchy subject, one can go as far as claiming that standardizing the number of holes on a golf course borders on going against the true spirit of golf, a game that for centuries was played on courses that each had their own number of holes depending on the available and suitable terrain in each locale. By overlooking this, we may be missing the purest possible experience from the land upon which the golf course rests. Could it be that this very element is the essence of the game?
However, by breaking out of the whole nine or eighteen hole pattern, we would be opening up a vast opportunity to utilize properties of sizes and dimensions previously deemed unsuitable. One of these properties could well be the finest ever found in the world of golf, with natural golf holes offering excitement beyond belief, but no, just because the land parcel was, say, 85 acres, it was considered useless for golf unless it became, for example, an eighteen hole par-three course or something of the like, or a “good” nine hole course plus some kind of a training facility, no matter if the owner was ready with the money and all permits could be obtained. Who knows how many world-class parcels of land we have ignored to this day, simply because we have standardized the round of golf.
Breaking the Mold, by David Gould for Golf Business
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