From major championship hosts to modest municipals, several golf courses will be getting some TLC this year. Ever since the Great Recession of the late 2000s severely curtailed the golf industry’s ability to build new-from-scratch courses, the job of golf course architect has changed considerably. Opportunities to treat a piece of ground as a blank canvas are precious, and tend to go to a small cadre of architects: the Doaks, Hanses, Coores and Crenshaws of the world. So if you’re an architect just about any other name, it behooves you to be more of a problem-solver and a historian, with a hint of artistry. That’s because the overwhelming majority of jobs in the industry at the moment are in the renovation and restoration of existing courses. These projects run the gamut from top-100 private clubs eager to retain their elite status to struggling local public courses looking for ways to avoid closure and redevelopment. The scope and timeline of these projects varies greatly, too. In some cases, it’s the expansion of a couple green edges at a time, with the piecemeal re-cutting of a few bunkers until a few years down the road, the course is transformed at modest cost. Elsewhere, courses are being stripped down to the studs and being painstakingly rebuilt close to original specifications from ancient rolled-up plans. And there are 100 shades of green in between. […]
3 01, 2020
‘We strove to make this the most unique and natural course in Cabo’, says architect Todd Eckenrode.