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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Meet Kyle Harris, aspiring golf course architect

Congrats to my Golf Club Atlas collegue Kyle Harris, who made his first presentation as a prospective architect. He presented his ideas for the restoration of his home course, the Penn State GC, white course.

For some reason, I cant post his powerpoint pix, but he proposed

Expand greens to original sizes (edges of green pads/drop offs)
Expand fairways to fairway bunkers
Restore 4 of 5 lost bunkers (11 and 13)
Remove pine trees from original lines of play

Kyle addresses some important points here. First, beautification committees think adding trees only ompacts the beauty of the course, but it also can have a critical, sometimes debilitating effect on the intended strategy of the hole. My favorite story is when the city of Utica golf commission planted greenside trees on some holes. Of course some years later, aerial approaches from the intended side are now stymied by the trees.

The moral? The minute you THINK you want to do anything to your golf course, consult a GCA first to see if the changes are necessary and will improve the course, not cripple it.

Kyle has a good blog at http://sirputtsalot.blogspot.com. It's an advanced site, so bone up on your architecture first, but Kyle has some solid foundational training, some interesting ideas and alot of passion. Good luck, Kyle. Here's hoping I'll be interviewing you from the site of your first project.


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