0 Ground contours: a sustainable alternative

Paul Jansen, Golf Course Architect, shares his views on design

Ground contours"A golf course which merely caters for an everlasting pitch at every hole can never be entirely satisfactory", Dr A. Mackenzie. You would think so? Yet so many of our golf courses today have been "dumbed down" to accept one type of shot - the aerial one.

This is unfortunate because the game becomes inherently more interesting when the ground is in play. Instead of guarding our landing areas and greens with "abundant" features that stymie the ground game we should be looking to introduce more ground contouring for strategic and visual interest and leverage them in such a way that they maximise creative shot options and intelligent play.

Unfortunately a copious amount of our golf courses are totally devoid of ground contours that it leads one to think that this feature is "taboo" altogether. Instead these golf courses are riddled with features that are expensive to maintain and in many cases would hardly look out of place in the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Ground contours are the most underused golf feature today which is alarming given what they bring to the party at a fraction the cost of any other feature. Something as simple as a bump or depression can offer as much interest as any other feature. Maintain a firm base and even a ground ripple will add strategic interest and make for fascinating play.

To read the full article, visit golfcoursemanagement.randa.org.

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