Thursday, February 4, 2010

Golf Sketches and Clay Models versus Photoshop and Topos

Digitally manipulated photos, to me appear to be emotionless and soulless representations of golf. It may be an indication of the left brain dominated thought process typical of engineers versus the right brain dominated thought process of the artist.

I have started sketching some concepts for a potential client and even some existing golf holes like the picture in the prior post of Sagebrush. Drawing is something that I haven't done in the last 40 years. I have been trying to draw 15 minutes or so each day for the last few weeks.

The clay model is another excellent tool to convey an idea of what the golf should or could look like. This can be accomplished quickly and everyone from the client to the shaper, if you aren't doing it yourself, will understand what the form will look like. This is also a tremendous tool for renovations so that the client fully understands the changes as they really will be, versus looking at pretty green grass Photshopped pictures that don't convey the entire concept or worse yet, lack thereof.

The image above is the model that the 13th at Sagebrush was built from. During the shaping when we went back to the tee, it was apparent that we should get rid of the pot bunker in front and make the right bunker larger to keep the front of the green open and encourage the golfer to try and drive this reachable par 4.


  1. Strantz used pencil sketches in his designs. He would quickly draw his vision for the hole and give to his shapers.I think his artistry in design is greatly missed.

  2. Agree. 2-dimensional, virtual digital images are generally deceiving and not accurate. They often present an idealistic visual and can easily be "fudged".. In addition digital images are often the end product of the designer, instead of the actual physical site being the end product. This can result in inferior end result, golf hole, building or physical product. When designing, pencil drawings are the fastest, most creative way to get a concept, a vision from ones mind onto paper or communicated to others. Building a scale model of clay or whatever, is possibly the best way of working out a design concept. However, virtual digital images are very useful as marketing and communication tools ("a pretty picture").