Design Theory

When asked by a reporter from the Boston Herald to explain his philosophy of designing a golf hole in a single sentence Tillie replied,

“The one shot that tells the story in golf is the shot to the green, and if you conceive of golf being a game of animate attack and inanimate defense with regard to that shot, you have my design in a nutshell.”

Albert Tillinghast

As seen on GolfClubAtlas.com

No Two Snowflakes Are Alike

Visits to strange courses are the best education for the golfing mind.  The eye which has never seen but one horizon sees but little of what is made visible to the educated power of sight.

Every fresh hole we play should teach us some new possibility of using our strokes and suggest to us a further step in the progress of our golfing knowledge.

John Low

Concerning Golf (1903)

Parent Shots

Long driving from the tee, if it be also straight and consistent, is the groundwork of all further movements and performances…..

The tee sorts are, in fact, the parent shots; the second shots are their heirs, inheriting the advantages of their forefather’s virtues…..

It must be remembered as a commandment that the play proceeds by stepping stones from situation to situation; only one shot goes into the hole; the others are preparatory to this end.

John Low

Concerning Golf (1903)

The Wrong Culprit

We have an old saying on Tour that when we’re putting poorly, we go get another putter, but it doesn’t take that putter long to know who has it.

Once it gets to know you, it will start putting just like the one you threw away.

Lee Trevino

Be The Ball (2000)

Charles Jones/Kim Doren

The Maddening Difficulty Of It

It is not the love of something easy which has drawn men like a magnet for hundreds of years to this royal and ancient pastime; on the contrary, it is the maddening difficulty of it.

….But that is what fascinates man and leads him to leave business, home, wife, and children to pursue this hard mistress in the foolish hope of conquering her.

….Golf beats us all, and that is the chief reason we shall never cease loving her, nor ever give up our attempt to subdue her.

Robert Hunter

The LInks (1926)

 

Rewarding Good Shots

There are two ways of widening the gap between a good tee shot and a bad one.  One is to inflict a severe and immediate punishment on a bad shot, to place its perpetrator in a bunker or in some other trouble which will demand the sacrifice of a stroke in recovering.

The other is to reward the good shot by making the second shot simpler in proportion to the excellence of the first.  The reward may be of any nature but it is more commonly one of four-a better view of the green, an easier angle from which to attack a slope, an open approach past guarding hazards, or even a better run to the tee shot itself.

Bobby Jones

As quoted by Tom Doak in Tom Doak’s Little Red Book of Golf Course Architecture

Royal Dornoch’s Inner Peace

Royal Dornoch LogoIn his wonderful book about a young college student’s exploration and discovery of the wonders of Scottish golf, A Golfer’s Education,  Darren Kilfara describes the solitude of playing one of Scotland’s most remote golfing jewels, Royal Dornoch.

For all it’s fame among serious players Dornoch is in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands and many never venture that far to experience it’s unique charm.  Kilfara says, “Royal Dornoch’s accessibility appealed to me greatly.  Exclusive clubs cannot possibly radiate the type of warmth that Dornoch radiates”.

His description of the look down the eighth to a green nestled by the sea captures the warm and engaging feeling of Scottish Links golf.

“I reached the crest of the fairway on Dornoch’s eighth hole, a par 4 that tumbles down a steep hillside to a green near the sea.  The low-flying sun, peering through a veil of gray translucent cloud, sparkled on the still ocean.  A breeze whistled softly across the gorse, tugging gently at the sleeves of my jack.  The dying embers of autumn flickered in the darkly proud gorse, in wispy fields of soft beige and muted green twice removed from the golfer’s progress.  The stillness, the ethereal peace of the moment, overwhelmed me.  The earth itself reposed in contentment: miles of tiny, pimpled dunes beyond the eighth hole mirrored my goose bumps, beckoning me away from Royal Dornoch, away from golf along the arcing shoreline toward the sleepy hamlet of Embo.  In the near-silence I stood: alone, yet not alone.”

There is truly something special about this place that beckons those who can appreciate what golf courses like Dornoch can offer beyond the golf.

Darren Kilfara

A Golfer’s Education (2001)