Paul Jansen, international course designer
We live in a world where “excessiveness” is sought after and, at times, celebrated. Added to that, people are often judged on their appearance as if this is important. Many golf courses, unfortunately, carry that same mantra – they have an “excessive” amount of needless features that add little to the golf experience, but rather add to the cost of maintaining the golf course. To go further many golf courses are visually very “appealing to the eye” - yet lack much, if any, content.
When I think of content I think of a golf course that is strong on strategy or one where “every hole should present the golfer with an appealing problem to solve” Mackenzie (Golf Architecture).
It’s my opinion that golf would be in a better place if we embraced a “less is more” attitude to golf design and maintenance coupled with a need for more strategic golf environments that call for thoughtful play. If we are to grow the game and make it more accessible then we need to review some of our design and maintenance practices as a start.
Micah Woods, Asian Turfgrass Centre
Golf in each Asian country is a bit different. In Thailand, where some courses mainly attract expatriates or tourists, I could at the same time play for ten dollars with a caddy for five, if I wanted to at a very local and affordable course. I visited Muang Kaew GC in Bangkok today and there were 230 golfers. In China, of course, only wealthy people play. In Japan the game is very much for everyone although the problem here is that courses that are affordable are far from the city so it takes an entire day to get there, play and come back. So people like office workers, keen to play, may only be able to play a few times a year.