Are Golf Course Designer restricted by being forced to include cart tracks?

Home Forums Welcome to The Walking Golfer Forum Are Golf Course Designer restricted by being forced to include cart tracks?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Ben Cowan 9 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #3565

    Melvyn Morrow
    Participant

    My understanding from listening to some course designers is that they have to consider carts tracks from the start of the design process as it has a massive affect upon the final plan.

    I am not a supporter of golf aids on a golf course, be it for distance or a mobility aid (unless the player is restricted due to medical or age issues), as it has a direct result upon the performance of the player as well as an over friendly bias towards the player, neither is IMHO part of the traditional game or its long history. However, aids, more so carts have an additional issue that of cart tracks which seem to constrain the design, not just for the Hole but the full 9 or 18 Holes.

    Design is therefore, limited in its design intent, not for the game, but for the uncommitted, lazy players who refuse to want to play golf. Design is compromised, thus the game is compromised for all, because we tolerate carts and cart tracks.

    One day clubs should be required to decide if they are a Golf Club or Cart ball club and we should call ‘cartballers’ just that ‘cartballers’ because they are not by their own definition Golfers.

    Golf is a walking, thinking game played upon a course born out of Nature using the natural tweaked by the hand and mind of Man, not terraformed from bedrock upwards as has been the normal for the last 50 years plus leaving todays golfers with over engineered, over watered, over manicured courses which compromises designs.

    Why have we allowed a great game to be so weakened, by tolerating poor designs?

    #3566

    Ben Cowan
    Keymaster

    Melvyn,

    When you say “cart track”, are you referring to cart path or the overall long distance from greens to tees and the disjointed routing of a cartball track?

    The first WGS interview for me will be Architect Mike DeVries, hope to have it up in May. One of the questions deals with carts and banning walking. I’ll ask this question to every Architect I interview!

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by  Ben Cowan.
    #3570

    Melvyn Morrow
    Participant

    Ben
    I refer to cart paths which tend not to run on the course but adjacent to it, obscuring the very lie of the land which makes the course and its design harder to understand. Why would anyone want to play golf then proceed to do so by skirting the very thing you have come to try to master, the course – perhaps that’s the difference between real golfers and cartballers.

    My understanding is that these tracks have to be incorporated early with the design which at times can be rather frustrating for the designer – I believe Tom Doak make some such statement some years ago on one of GCA topics.

    I would also like to get a reaction upon my belief that the land is required to be ‘fit for purpose’ rather than throwing tens of thousands of dollars to terraform a course from the Natural to an artificial chocolate box picture of a course with all the hazards ironed (creases removed) out to give the feel of an over friendly course that is easy and will reward the player with a low score – however in the process not improve his ability to play golf.

    #3572

    Ben Cowan
    Keymaster

    Melvyn,

    I agree, some wealthy clubs have removed cart paths. I’m told by some that you want carts to scatter and drive randomly instead over and over the same spot. It’s almost like a par for the course Construction fee for the 80s and 90s housing development courses. I tend to avoid those, I just hate to see fine golden age courses implement them in prior decades and leave them sit today. I think drainage is more expensive then cart paths, but I’d rather see that installed over paths. Also in the US, many courses built on clay in the metro areas if they receive 1.5+ inches of rain, some people put pressure on keeper to allow carts that they didn’t do imo 20-40 years ago. Also public course owners want them imo, to prevent loss of revenue when it rains hard the night before.

    I played a course in the U.P. of Michigan last summer called Greywalls and it’s on challenging terrain to say the least. Played an unplanned twilight round cartballing before scheduled rounds and I was thinking there is no way anyone can walk this course. After walking it I realized how far off the cart paths took one from the course and it wasn’t that bad at all. A cartballing round missed so MUCH of the course to the point of disconnection. So i think instances like that can possibly discourage someone from giving walking a go.

    It’s crazy that bunkers cost significantly more to maintain then greens in the US at your high end places. I wish we would focus on Fairways and Green, let the other stuff to nature (Aussie like meld I’m told).

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