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Course review: Arizona's Wickenburg Ranch

One of the newest courses in Arizona, Wickenburg Ranch has earned strong reviews on Golf Advisor and also recently opened a nine-hole short course.
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It's a time of transition for golf courses around the United States and wider world. With communities prioritizing sensible allocation of resources, water use is a particularly important topic, one that affects the present and future of golf course architecture. Golf courses are generally labor-intensive, and with labor and materials costs rising, facilities that can shore up this part of their balance sheets while continuing to offer golfers an enjoyable experience will have the brightest futures. Matt Ginella recently sat down with recent American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) President John Sanford, a Florida-based golf course architect, to talk about this and other trends. Sanford’s recent approach to golf course design has focused on reducing golf’s footprint while still offering a solid experience.
New golf course construction has slowed way down in the last decade or so. Brand new courses are still coming online, though, and one of the most acclaimed openings from 2018 was the South Course at Arcadia Bluffs in Michigan. Matt Ginella recently spoke with golf course architect Jason Straka of Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design, the firm responsible for the South Course. The architects drew inspiration from one of the world’s greatest courses, but this project was not without risk.
Golf course architecture is a subject that seems to grow in prominence every year. Every place the game is played is the product of specific decisions that someone (or a group of people) made about how to arrange tees, fairways, greens and various hazards, all in the name of making the game fun and challenging to play. Some of the big names in golf course design tend to soak up a lot of headlines, but the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), the main trade organization for the profession, has nearly 200 members. These professionals, craftspeople and artists can make the complicated task of creating a golf course look easy. “They know all the boring stuff that makes a golf course work,” says Golf Advisor Senior Writer Brad Klein in this conversation with Golf Advisor Editor-at-Large Matt Ginella. The pair also discuss various trends on golf course architecture and agronomy as we look forward to another exciting year for the game.
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Course review: Arizona's Wickenburg Ranch
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