6 TIME RECIPIENT OF GOLF INC. RENOVATION OF THE YEAR HONORS
2 TIME RECIPIENT OF GOLF INC. NEW GOLF COURSE DEVELOPMENT OF THE YEAR HONORS.
New Golf Course Design
No other sport can elevate the spirit, teach life lessons, and reward the soul as golf can. Truly great courses will tempt you to take tough shots, encourage you to think, grasp their strategies, and inspire greatness…for these are the elements of design in tune with the game of golf. We set out on every new design with these principles in mind.
The only shared characteristic of every great golf course in the world is that they each exude a sense of place that is uniquely their own. Cypress Point is undoubtedly Cypress Point. Pine Valley is inimitably its own. And The Old Course is unlike any other. We strive on every new design to find this identity and allow it to shine through in the end. Most often, it’s in the land or the ground that initiates this. Retaining and showcasing these natural features offers character and authenticity that cannot be replicated. Designing a new course is a journey, from the initial moments of these natural discoveries to working out intricate details, such as bunker edges, or greens contours. We take great pride in our work and feel confident this shines through in the end, producing a great golf course that we and our clients’ can be proud of.
Golf Course Renovations
Golf Course features are organic by nature, and deteriorate over time, losing their functionality and architectural intent. Eventually, the need to renovate these features becomes apparent and obvious. In addition, some clubs simply want to improve an otherwise underwhelming design, be more competitive in their marketplace, or offer their members a better playing experience. Regardless of the reason, we strive to maximize a course’s potential in every renovation.
Golf Course Restorations
Researching the history, discovering lost or archived images, understanding the original design strategies…these are the crucial first steps in any successful restoration. Embracing this history, and understanding its inherent value is equally important.
Having learned the game at one of the world’s great original designs, Pasatiempo Golf Club, designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie, ingrained in me a deep reverence for courses built in this era, the Golden Age of Golf Course Architecture and a never-ending curiosity for what makes them special. Yet often, historic courses such as these can lose their way, and the unique character and design traits that made them great need to be restored. We cherish these opportunities and treat each such opportunity with the level of respect with which they deserve.
Golf Course Master Planning
An overall vision is often needed to pull together multiple viewpoints, agendas, and goals, and ultimately lead a club in a positive, focused direction. This can be accomplished through the creation of what you might call a “road map” for future generations, or a Master Plan.
Master planning is an important first step in providing quality architectural consulting to our clients. It allows us to properly guide each club, based on funding, ambition, critical need, course disruption, etc., into the proposed improvements and the optimal phasing. Our graphics presentation of the Master Plan is also highly effective in communicating our ideas. We strive to “tell the story” in our plan, utilizing renderings, sketches, photo simulations, and other means to allow the viewer to understand the general vision of the plan as well as the critical details.
Water & Turf Reduction Planning
There is increased awareness throughout the world to water use on our golf courses, and particularly here in the West. We have had to adapt the designs of many existing courses to more responsibly use this limited resource.
On some courses, this has involved conversion of various water-thirsty grass types to a more drought-tolerant turf, such as Bermuda grass. One other courses, we have converted out-of-play turf areas to drought-tolerant landscapes, such as natural fescue grasses and native or “Drought-Friendly” landscapes. On new courses, we have taken a hard look at minimizing turf acreage and utilizing the landscapes that are natural or drought-tolerant by nature. In many cases, we’ve found these solutions to improve the aesthetics and sense of naturalness dramatically. These seemingly “new” concepts actually reflect an older, original style of design in many ways. Regardless of if we are in a drought, or a drought is over, I think this shift in ideology is here to stay and will be great for golf course architecture.
Golf Course Renderings
We believe strongly in the artistic side of the golf course architecture and remain committed to “sketch” visioning. From initial concepts to client presentations to providing direction to our shapers in the field…our ability to artistically represent our ideas is an important part of our skillset as a firm. This can vary from “old school” techniques of pencil on paper to modern techniques of digital pen work and photo simulations. We customize our artistic approach to fit our goals and purpose in any given situation and place great value in this tool that is fast becoming a lost art.
There is no greater rush in golf course architecture than seeing a new site that holds great potential for a golf course. Be it covered in sandy dunes, majestic trees, or rich with natural streams or arroyos, each site is unique in its own way. Our initial site evaluations will focus on important critical factors, such as useable land size, elevation change, water availability, environmental constraints, etc. But also in recognizing these distinctive site characteristics that are ultimately the most critical factors in making a unique and compelling golf course site.
We have toured inaccessible sites by helicopter, outer banks by boat, and many a site by ATV, but nothing beats walking a site, with boots on the ground. If you have an exciting new site that could make a great golf course, we would love to see it!