The Pellucid Perspective - October 2015 - (Page 5)

golf course design Affordable golf: What's the problem? By richard Mandell Editor's notE: our guest author this month, awardwinning golf course architect richard Mandell, has worked on over 60 course projects in 13 states and China. He is the creator of the symposium on Affordable Golf, an annual conference focusing on the challenges of the golf business since 2010. s o i canceled our 6th symposium on Affordable Golf (scheduled for october 12-13) due to a lack of interest from both the industry side and golfers as well. slated to take place in Canton, ohio, many people have said that football takes precedence over golf in Autumnal ohio. Maybe that is the case for golfers, but it doesn't explain why few of our industry cohorts were willing to trek to Canton in october. My idea for the symposium on Affordable Golf was born sometime around 1995. tiger Woods was turning 20 later that year and was enrolled at stanford University. He had won his second U.s. Amateur by then and clearly a talent was brewing, but he was not the "savior of golf " that many in our industry would later crown him, crediting him with the boom that was just around the corner. donald trump was, of course, donald trump in 1995. Yet he hadn't fired anyone on tV yet and he was far removed from the golf business. no one at the time saw him as the "savior of golf " either Mandell as some may crown him today. He was far from influential in the golf industry, let alone a powerful figure with the ability to change the landscape of the game and the industry. today, people have given him much more credit for saving golf than he deserves. in 1995, no one was interested in hearing about the challenges of the golf business. no one cared about the exorbitant costs that went into new development and the costly green fees and difficult playing fields that came out of that new development. But the signs were in place. We were already seeing a plethora of real estate ventures that featured golf as their primary selling point for home sales, whether the need for golf was actually there or not. The national Golf Foundation helped fuel the hype six years earlier, declaring that a new golf course a day would be needed to keep up with the demand for golf. Many have blamed the nGF comments for the woes of the industry, even stating it was irresponsible on their part. i haven't got the demographics to defend or refute their assessment. i do wonder if the nGF ever envisioned the golf courses that were being built in the nineties when they made their declaration for more courses, in the greatest golf course construction boom to ever happen. one which would last until 2008. i doubt they did. For discussion purposes, let's just say that one golf course was indeed built every day until the year 2000, and even beyond. But let's envision them as a mixture of nine-hole and 18-hole layouts with the game of golf as the primary focus instead of what actually was built. Let's spread them throughout the United states - in big cities, suburbs, rural areas, small town America, rust-belt cities, on the wrong side of the tracks - in other words, all over and for everyone. Clearly let's not stack them up within miles of each other to compete for homeowners and golfers alike. Fifty golf courses within 20 miles of each other in cities like Atlanta, Houston, Charlotte and Phoenix is not a smart decision when thinking of the big picture. What if these courses were built not just with the golfer in mind, but for the non-golfer as well - those who don't even know what a golf ball looks like. How would they look? i would venture to say that there would be few stack-stone retaining walls at the front; no waterfalls anywhere on the grounds; no massive clubhouses that would need reinvention decades later as all-inclusive family centers. i won't say that those playable courses wouldn't be 7,000 yards long form the tips. But i would say that a group of five or six forward tees would accompany those championship tees, spread out in such a way as to be as all-inclusive as clubhouses venture to be today. What if those golf courses had fairways that were 50 yards wide and greens that were smooth, but not lightning fast and not one perfectly emerald shade of green? They could even have big rolls running through them and large mounds that flank each side of the putting surface, bleeding in from the edges like a roller-coaster. The Pellucid PersPecTive 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - October 2015

Bureaucracy torpedoes 2 course construction projects
Affordable golf: What’s the problem?
PGA TOUR “Changing of the Guard:” Can the young guns revive participation and demand?
Diners and golfers alike bring new service expectations to the table today
September golf weather impact: A “push” for the month vs. ’14
Miami golf OK, but no day at the beach

The Pellucid Perspective - October 2015