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Each year, the American Society of Golf Course Architects conducts our annual meetings – always a different venue. In April, we held our event at The Woodlands in Houston. Each day is a mixture of business meetings, continuing education, formal dinners and….golf.
I was fortunate enough to have two, sizeable renovation construction projects going on simultaneously in Naples, Florida that commenced work in April, 2017. As we began the work, water levels in the lakes were at all-time lows.
Having nearly completed the back nine tour, MacKenzie was regaining his humor, at least somewhat, and seemed to be tiring a bit as they finished at #16.
When we last paused, Dr. MacKenzie was on his way to the 10th tee. The spirit amongst the group was strained at best as the architect’s criticisms continued to mount.
I had a dream last night. Alister MacKenzie is not dead. He’s been hiding away since 1934 and he is completely unaware of the state of our game much less his designs. During his 82-year absence, MacKenzie has never once taken notice of The Masters......until now.
I’m fresh off one of the greatest golf tours in my life… the Heath & Links Tour of England. For those who tracked my daily journal entries, hopefully you gained some sense of what we were exposed to over those ten days. And for those who did not – or simply want to gain a general perspective of the experience, this final journal entry will hopefully inspire.
I’ll be the first to say, ten days is a long trip. I’m weary and anxious to return home. But this has been an absolutely magnificent journey - a once in a lifetime type of experience for me. Ten courses in as many days… and they’re starting to all run together a bit! Today, our final day… we visited St. George’s Hill - yet another effort led by Harry Colt.
Today, The Berkshire. Hebert Fowler crafted two courses here...the Red and the Blue. We enjoyed the Red Course, which gains it's reputation not only as a fine heathland test, but also because of the arrangement of holes.
Wow. Sunningdale proved to be heathlands golf at its finest. The weather today was something on the line of a complete washing machine cycle. Sun, then wind, then driving rain… then sun, and repeat again.
As you might imagine, architects get pressed quite often to profess our opinions about what makes one golf course better than another. And while I think that is more an individual preference (or left to magazines), there are some courses that stand out among the rest.