Golf Courses Adapt to Longer Takes

There is by no means a one-size-fits-all solution, and not just because golf courses differ in shape and length. Factors such as terrain, climate, wind conditions and altitude all affect how far a ball can travel. In addition, designers look at who the players are – amateurs or more elite. New developments may anticipate these problems.

Jim Birdsall is one of three co-owners of the company. TPC ColoradoA multi-purpose community in Berthoud, Colo. that includes a championship golf course that can stretch up to 8,000 yards. That length said it can accommodate longer drives. But he said the additional length comes with additional maintenance costs, including water and fertilizer.

He said newer balls looking to add spin to a shot can be problematic. “If a weekend warrior doesn’t know how to control the spin of a shot and overcooks it, there can be unintended consequences, including a faulty ball in someone’s yard”.

Harder hitting among elite players is causing some to consider turning down equipment. this US Golf Association and the UK governing golf body, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, suggested two years ago to look into the matter – Distance Analysis Project.

Bay Beach of TaylorMade said his company is working with golf organizations but hopes there will be no restrictions on advances in equipment, which will prove costly and difficult to monitor.

However, for some golf course architects, technical improvements are not the primary motivation for golf course renovation.

“The golf courses are natural. They evolve and they can wear out,” said Mr. Schaupeter, who designed TPC Colorado. “It can be just a house that gets a dozen balls in its backyard on the weekend. That’s when you can shorten the hole or move the tee.”

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