Happy holidays to all Golf Course Architecture readers!

Happy holidays to all Golf Course Architecture readers!
Alice Chambers
By Alice Chambers

As the year in which we celebrated receiving the EIGCA Harry Colt Award, 2023 will always be memorable for the Golf Course Architecture team. Before we take a short break from our normal coverage for the holiday season, we wanted to provide those of you who may have a little time for some reading over the festive break with a selection of our most popular articles from this year’s four issues.  

Legendary golf course article Ron Kirby sadly passed away in 2023. Early in the year, we’d had the privilege to speak with him about his 60-year career in the golf industry. At the time, he was still working and had just finished overseeing the rebuild of the Apes Hill course in Barbados. “My goal was to make a course that, after you played it, you wanted to play it again,” said Kirby. Read the interview with Ron Kirby in our January 2023 issue

For our April issue, we considered how golf can find new ways to reduce its water usage. John Genovesi of the Maidstone Club, Kasey Kauff of Trinity Forest, turf specialists John Holmes and Jim Culley, and architects Bill Coore and Nathan Crace all provide insights into how some of the new innovations in turfgrass can help. “Today’s turfgrasses, the product of many years of research, are potentially able to reduce the amount of both water and other inputs needed to keep them in prime condition,” wrote our editor Adam Lawrence.  

Another of our most popular feature stories, appearing in our July issue, covered the balance between green speed and contour. Scottish architect Stuart Rennie says: “There is a fascination in golf with making greens faster and faster, which in my opinion is not that good for the game. Peter Thomson once said to me that when he first went to St Andrews, he found that hitting the putts harder was much more of a challenge. That’s the sort of attitude we should be promoting today.”   

For our final issue of 2023, in October, Richard Humphreys spoke with Cynthia Dye McGarey about Erbil Hills – the only golf course in Iraq – as it got set to open its first nine holes. “It’s all about teaching locals to play golf, although we expect the low handicap players to use it too,” she says. “They’re starving for this type of sports entertainment here. Between October and April, the weather is nice, and I believe the club will be very busy, therefore creating a lot of Iraqi golfers and helping the future of the sport in the country.” 

Also in our October issue, we heard from Ron Forse on the crossover, in reality and in language, between golf and warfare. “Battlefields and golf courses both employ vistas, ramparts or ridges, in tactical ways to head off trouble either from an enemy or hazards in the land,” he says. “Military scouts and golfers alike enjoy a high vantage point.” 

Many thanks to all our readers, sponsors and contributors to Golf Course Architecture for your support in 2023. We’re looking forward to teeing off next year with another new issue. Subscribe to receive your copy

Best wishes for the holidays, and here’s to a great 2024!