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Golf Course Architecture

The Mike Strantz nobody knew (part 2)

Part one of this article is here. Strantz’s eyes light up as he roars “Forrest Fezler, my design partner is a perfect compliment to me. We are brothers in arms. I saw that Fu Manchu moustache and I knew I had my man.” Together, they let it roll as high as it would go, creating scorching, towering golf adventures without being contrived or campy. “Forrest...

Milquetoast, overpriced Atunyote a poor choice for a professional golf venue

Mother Nature should have taken a holiday. The rains that have ruined En-Joie G.C. in Binghamton have forced the PGA to move the last B.C. Open to ever be played. The new venue, Atunyote, is one of the least inspiring and most milquetoast courses in Christendom. The course design is a confused and kaleidoscopic whirligig of boring trash with greens and hole shapes...

Phil Mickelson’s strategy at the U.S. Open strengthens the argument for furrowed bunkers

Bunkers are supposed to be hazards. Old Tom Morris said they are meant to be places of punishment and repentance. But today’s player attck the pins and gleefully spin the ball close to the hole for scoring chances. Phil Mickelson plays the 307 yard par-4 6th hole by trying to put the ball in the bunker to try to position himself for a birdie. He’d would...

Jack Nicklaus’ Dirty bunkers and Steve Czaban’s Hole in one

Jack Nicklaus has obviously learned from his association with eminent architect Tom Doak. As you may know, the minimalist Doak and the normally flowery Nicklaus have collaborated on the highly anticipated and touted Sebonack Golf Club – a private design tucked neatly between The National Golf Links of America and Shinnecock Hills and which asks over $575,000 as...

Our great new movement in Golf Course Architecture

We are starting to see a peak in golf course design; an epic peak. It’s the kind of dramatic change for the better that we may not see again for an age but which changes much that happens afterward for the better. Bandon Dunes, Tobacco Road and Black Mesa are not merely golf courses. They are part of a larger phenomenon; a movement away from over-marketing and price...

New piece on Tobacco Road for Golf Observer, back to the Open

Picture caption: “Mmmm! This IS…a tasty burger! I’ll have a new piece up on Golf Observer soon comparing Tobacco Road to the movie Pulp Fiction. Here are some excerpts: In his book Grounds For Golf, Geoff Shackelford once compared great golf courses to epic films. For example, he called Pine Valley The Godfather and he called National Golf Links of...

I disagree with George Peper, Pinehurst, Augusta not overrated

I have the greatest respect for George Peper and his excellent life long body of work. Every architecture expert I know has his book 500 greatest golf holes on his shelf. However, I read his Links Mag article where he says Pinehurst No. 2 and Augusta are 2 of the 10 most overrated courses on the planet. I respectfully dissent. I think he was being glib and pounding...

The Mike Strantz Nobody Knew (part 1)

Just keep going until you can’t go any further. Then go further, because the moves you make then – when you’ve run out of steam and you’re totally on subconscious and not even thinking about the mechanics – the moves you make then are incredible. – Jeff Buckley Musician Jeff Buckley was talking about himself, but he was speaking for any true artist, any...