My Golfing Background: I grew up playing some of the least-inspiring municipal courses you could imagine (one of which is now defunct), and have had the great fortune to play at some of the world’s most exclusive and revered clubs.
I’ve played courses from every era, from The Old Course to The Home Course, and around the world from Cape Kidnappers to Cape Cod. While my natural preference is for true links golf–specifically Irish-style links golf–I think you’ll find I have far more appreciation for parkland courses than do most critics.
My view of courses comes first from the perspective of the low-single-digit handicapper (I’ve been everywhere from a +2 to a 5 in the last couple of years), but in the tradition of Alister Mackenzie I believe that the most successful courses are enjoyable for golfers of more modest skill. This does not mean “dumbing down” a design just to be playable, however.
Readers may wonder whether my predispositions towards certain characteristics of golf architecture derive primarily from courses where I’ve played well, at the expense of courses where I’ve played poorly. Rest assured that my own personal ability to score on a golf course has absolutely zero relevance to my assessment of the greatness or mediocrity of layouts. I’ve shot in the mid-80’s in my only rounds at two of my all-time favorite courses (Los Angeles CC and Royal Aberdeen) and even par at courses I think are overrated or unmitigated disasters (Waterville and Firethorn, respectively, the latter in a tournament round).
Although I love reading and responding to public comments on this site, you can reach me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.