Anarchist Golf Course Architecture

Armen Suny is a writer and design partner of PGA Tour champion Richard Zokol. … a-and.html … major.html

Good read Lag, especially regarding course setup and green speeds. I am 3ic at a top 20 course in Australia, for tournaments and special events for the right green speed we don’t even bother with a stimp meter, if fact I don’t even think we have one! We just use the third green which is the most severely sloped, and drop balls on a specific point at the back of the green and if the balls roll off the front, they are too fast, if they don’t make it to the front edge they are too slow, we know the very front edge of the green is the perfect speed for ALL of the greens so we just work that third green until we get that speed then just do the same for the rest. Simple really

Good articles, and reminds me of a favorite question/ joke that may help drive home the point.
Here’s a quote from the first article:

Here’s the question/joke: If a cream was made that when applied to a man’s phallus caused it to grow/ lengthen, how would you know when to stop???

Well, with the golf ball we don’t have that problem, as has been pointed out on this forum, you should stop making it longer when it significantly changes how the golf course plays.

I still remember Two’s spoof last year of a Masters Invite…a master itself.
What gives the R&A, USGA, and PGA of America standing, from a Golf Course Architectural standpoint, to change great golf courses? Is anyone in any of these august or semi-august organizations any more qualified to make changes to great golf courses than any group of golfers in the grille or bar after a round of golf? I don’t think so. Are these organizations so arrogant as to think that they know how to make the greatest golf courses in the world better than they are?

This was particularly refreshing, if the R&A and USGA really are losing their relevance and grip at the center of the game all the better. The days of Joe Dey are passed unfortunately, breaking up the USGA is the only option left.

The US Open is what, five weeks away now? Does anyone really think Olympic is going to be any better than the disasters at Pebble and Congressional? Number one a par four? 16 at 670? The longest 6700 yards in the world at 7130? Four hybrids into 8? Really?

Ugggh. How to ruin a course full of history and tradition. Revamp the damn ball, not the course. Gee, then you would get the shots that Hogan and Arnie needed to hit without changing the course. Then you could compare current players to historical players.

Don’t know why they can’t figure out how to change a ball that costs 5 cents to make but they somehow have millions to completely change golf courses every few years all over the world.

Oh yeah, here we go again… On the thread above with regard to seventeen I’m probably in the minority but I always liked it more from the up tee as a four par. There’s arguments both ways and they’re both valid but I think the tie breaker for me is that I think finishing five par five par then 18 as basically a short trick hole with that dicey green comes close to being a weak finish. I don’t think the reverse Pebble argument holds a lot of water where you hold on for dear life on the first six, +2 being even with the field then make it happen the last three. I just think playing 17 at 440 or whatever it would be now makes all three stronger coming in. The arguments against it are the size of the green and that you never really see the bottom of the stick unless the drive plugs up top on the left side. Of course if it does plug, which happened a lot its about 210 in and not really fair. If it’s dried out now with the tree removal deal you can hook the tee shot into the fairway and run it out and have 170-180 left from the right side which is fine, with that front right bunker its not like you ever hit it right at the hole anyway so that semiblind shot doesn’t matter very much.

As a five par I don’t think it’s as exciting, it’s just bomb two shots up there and then it’s a pitch & putt contest, more of the same ol same ol. It makes a very hard par four where two precise shots are required but as a five it makes it so there isn’t a full iron shot into any of the last three holes. Off the top of my head I can’t remember a major championship track that has that.

I agree,
It would be nice to see more long irons again… but we only see this now on par 5’s and less and less with hybrids replacing long irons.

The other issue from a design standpoint is that there is (or should be, used to be) a difference between the shape of the greens between a 5 par and a 4 par that were close to the same length. The 5 par could rationalize a fully protected front with no bump in option, or have a smaller green with a couple levels etc. The 4 par green for a long approach needs to have a bump in option somewhere or a deeper green to accept the lower trajectory shot. The 5 par green could be wider but shallower to increase the risk reward relationship.

All this stuff was just common knowledge not that long ago… I’m still in a state of shock that these basic concepts of design and strategic playing seem “three sheets to the wind” these days. … f-courses/

From Lee Trevino

AP Sports Writer
ROSLYN, Wash. (AP)

“Golf remodeling its own thoughts on course design”
“It takes too long and it’s just too tough.”

I think this is a good thing. Get rid of the silly courses, and golf doesn’t need more casual hackers. The people that really connect with golf with play the game and gravitate toward the better designed layouts.

Again, no mention of the real problem which is the gear. There was nothing wrong with the game before in the persimmon age. 6800 yard courses could be played by anyone from the hackers to tour events. A 250 yard drive then requires all players to use all their clubs and motivates them to learn proper technique to play all the shots including long irons. It would be better to shorten and tighten the courses but not removing trees and bunkers.

Then they shouldn’t mind the equipment being rolled back so that courses could be played properly again.

If he thought for another second he would know why it is lost. Courses were shorter, players walked and didn’t have to stay on paths with a cart and walk back and forth to their carts. They walked quickly and right to their ball. Players played by feel on their home courses and didn’t obsess with yardage laser scopes and other silliness.

People became spoiled with unsustainable course conditioning. Get back to playing more natural golf on far less manicured courses for a third the price. Have a simple clubhouse with a pro shop and a snack bar and 5 guys on the greens crew and get rid of the 10 extra back office spaces.

This is not going to work because people would rather play the tees the pros play. In the persimmon age, they felt a connection to the pros… now they can’t relate. In the persimmon age, an am could occasionally catch one and get it out there near where the pros hit it. Now they can’t relate to 370 yards even with the obsession with the modern gear.

There should be designated walking persimmon courses and that would solve the problem. Shorter, tighter, trickier courses are more fun and interesting… and they are required to use persimmon to play it… they would sell a lot of new clubs to those who want to play there. The bombers can go play driving range golf somewhere else.