Jack Nicklaus on Architecture

Some great stuff from his book.

Fairways must swing. This makes it imperative for a golfer to "work the ball’. Quote i hate standing on a hole where you hit two stright shots to the green.On the other hand i admire where a tee shot must carry or avoid water. or a tongue of rough, and mounds to gain a position for the second shot.

Whether a hole be par 3,4 or 5 you should have to play one great shot to make birdie.ex- Augusta 13th and Pebble #3.

Par3’s were meant to be played with irons. Quote- the new courses that measure over 230yds have succumbed to a confused set of values.The idea setup would be a long iron hole maybe 2 or 3 iron, two holes with medium irons and one hole with short iron.

There is a definite shortage of top class par 5’s today. Quote- I like Bobby Jones concept of building par 5’s that are intrinsically par 4 1/2 s, the green within reach of two if the golfer putsa a pair of long accurate shots together.

There has been a tendency to build courses with par 4’s beyond 400 yds.Quote there should be some short par 4’s that are drive and pitch to get a crack at birdie. A good example was Baltustrol 8th which is 365yds if you drive it on the wrong side you make par but shape it proper a chance at birdie. Few architects have severe slopes around par 4’s they did it for yrs.

Some holes i find are sleepers the 12th at Lytham & St. Annes only 170yds flattish green set by shallow bunkers. Looks easy but plays tough you see bunker left and then play right and it rolls off green, it keeps you awake.

This book pubished 1969

Interesting 6P,

Is that the name of the book Jack Nicklaus on Architecture? or is it just a chapter from another one of his books? I couldn’t seem to quickly find this book on amazon/bn…


The Greatest Game of all - My life in golf by Jack Nicklaus

Its just one chapter a good read

Ironically, some of the Nicklaus courses I have played are some of the most unfair I have ever played. This is because he didn’t take into consideration all the possible wind and weather conditions that could sweep across a golf course. Tough is fine, but I don’t feel I should make triple bogey hitting my drive in the fairway, and a well struck shot to the center of a green, but because the greens firmed up or became wind swept by the mid afternoon, your ball bounces 10 feet in the air and into some death trap over the green you have to take a ladder down into to get to it. It’s silly.

A proper golf course will always allow for some kind of run up shot or an option to play safe of the green if weather becomes chaotic like 16 at Cypress Point. You can play left there in a gail and still have a decent chance at an up and down if the wind is blowing so hard that you can’t get the ball over the ocean inlet.

I have played too many Nicklaus holes where you are forced into a carry over a disaster approaching the green, that leaves no conservative option if the weather gets unruly… such as dried out greens or high winds.

Too often he makes the assumption that the course conditions are going to remain near optimal at all times complete with rainbows in the sky. Weather and possible changes in agronomy should always be taken into consideration during the design process.