Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Einstein and Golf Course Architecture

Albert Einstein undoubtedly could have taught all golf course designers a thing or two about golf course design. 

Take this quote for instance, "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." We could make this more apropos to golf with a slight change, "Any intelligent golf course designer can make their courses expensive, more difficult, and less golfer friendly. It takes a tough of genius or common sense to move in the opposite direction."

Haven't the "fools" been part of the game's demise. With golf courses growing increasingly difficult to play, and more expensive to build and maintain; we have created an uneconomically sustainable model. And it was owner's and golf course architect's egos driving us straight into this golf participation contraction and depression.

Now, Einstein hit it out of the park with this one. Einstein sums up our industry's arrogance, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." We were stupid as an industry and we showed no restraint. We thought that we could just keep building less playable and more expensive courses and things would be OK; they weren't and they aren't.

Going forward, it is incumbent upon all of us to do what golf course designer Einstein, would have done; spend less, and insure that our golf courses are immensely playable for average and newer golfers, while remaining challenging for better players. Einstein would surely be a proponent of smaller clubhouses, less amenities, and a focus on really does take a genius.

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