The Hypocrisy of Unusual Golf Course Designs

Today I'd like to address hypocrisy I encounter all the time.

Well, my instinct is to call it hypocrisy, but I'll wait to hear your take on it.

I'm talking about some of the more unusual golf course design features out there.

Two great examples are the Biarritz green (photo at right) and greens with "buried elephants," or a horseshoe in the case of the above photo of Forsgate CC in New Jersey.

There are plenty of other examples, too. You know, the ones that, if designed today, would raise eyebrows in a disapproving way.

And that's my point:

When these features are created by Golden Age architects such as C.B. Macdonald, Seth Raynor, and Charles Banks, they're considered "genius," but when a modern architect does something even approaching this kind of thing, it gets labeled, "tricked up."

It's as if these "quirky-but-classic" features get a pass because they were made before the advent of modern earthmoving equipment.

Don't get me wrong; I love all this unusual stuff.

But to me, a golf course design feature is either good or it's not, regardless of whether it was made by C.B. Macdonald or Ronald McDonald.

Do you agree? And, would a modern-day architect be able to get away with features as "drastic" as these, or would he/she be committing career suicide?

Let me know what you think or read what others are saying below.

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
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The Hypocrisy of Unusual Golf Course Designs
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