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.
Maybe the title got your attention… Just talking golf holes here - mainly the short-ish ones… especially the 4’s under 340 yards and the 3’s under 120 yards.
I’ve certainly enjoyed my share of “perks” while working in the golf industry. And while work often supersedes many of the opportunities presented, once in a while I get to take in some really unique golfing experiences. One such opportunity came about this past season when I was invited to visit Lake Zurich Golf Club in the north suburbs of Chicago.
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.
In an era where golf courses have fallen defenseless to the almighty length of touring professionals, we’ve seen fairways narrowed, bunkers added, trees planted, higher rough, conditions firmed up and green speeds lowered to the point that balls roll well beyond the tolerance of designed contours. Why? Because yes, “these guys are THAT good”.
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.
It seems that golf is at least somewhat inherently fun for most of us, right? Maybe because of the challenge it present - man against golf course. Perhaps it is the camaraderie one can enjoy with friends. For some it might be the competitive encounters.
Surely by now the word is out….there is a world class golf resort on the coast of southern Oregon. It's called Bandon Dunes. There are four 18-hole courses on the property and they’re all ranked among the Top 100 in the US.
Day three found us at Maidstone Club, again on the east end of Long Island. Maidstone opened in 1891 as a tennis and swimming club and then added a three-hole golf course in 1894.
This is the second installment of four entries, or otherwise the second day of the trip. Day two found us at the National Golf Links of America, on the eastern tip of Long Island on Peconic Bay.