Golf Course Architecture - Issue 63, January 2021

66 and Colorado. Landmand is a big piece of golf architecture. Will Andersen was clear in his mission, build a destination that delivers dramatic and magnetic public golf. Landmand is a polarising ‘big architecture’ piece of public golf. The Andersens’ investment and commitment to the delivery of a great public golf destination in an area not known for dramatic golf is noteworthy. They are building a big dramatic go-to destination with a vengeance. The proximity to a corridor of roughly seven million people from Kansas City to Minneapolis will likely make it a must-see destination for the Missouri Valley and Midwest. When the snowboard came to the ski areas, it was banned by many that believed it to be heretic to the sanctity of winter culture. Flash to today, snowboards likely saved the ski industry via both additional visitor revenue and design innovation. The non-traditional X Games transformed sports to the point where it has become a leading attraction in the ancient Olympic Games. The X Games entertainment value redefined centuries of status quo. Landmand will be polarising. Whistling Straits polarises as a manufactured links on a tabletop f lat former military base. Calusa Pines was a swamp. Landmand is the antithesis of low-dozer impact minimalist golf architecture. But if you believe in ghosts, get your Ouija board because Langford and Moreau have an opening day tee time. King-Collins and the Andersens are crafting an X Games style playground. The more ‘extreme’ sports that Ron and subsequent boss Chris Steipoch added to the X Games portfolios, the higher the ratings and ad sales. Coincidentally, the more plentiful were the visits to the ski areas and subsequent mountain and BMX bike, skateboard, ski and snowboard sales. The recognition of new sports configurations grew the ancillary travel, hospitality and retail hard goods marketplace. Towns were converting swing sets and sandboxed playgrounds into skate and BMX parks. Juggernauts such as Trek Bikes are funding municipal trail networks. Some of NBC’s highest rated Olympic programmes are the X-Games inspired snowboard competitions. Traditional bike and ski business boomed via infusions from a new generation of users. Back then, the older traditionalist skiers reviled the new reality, but their kids, and the X Games saved an entire winter sports industry. The X Games literally grew the games. The pandemic has grown the game of golf more than forced ‘Grow the Game’ initiatives. Landmand is poised to be a dramatic addition to the portfolio of architecture-forward public golf. The Andersens and King-Collins have channelled the ESPN X Games mojo. Let’s say Sweetens is the GCA equivalent of a skate park. Landmand has the soul of an Olympic super pipe. There is a high likelihood that thousands will trek to play Landmand. It is still windy as hell and minimalists will hate it. The beauty is, they don’t have to come. GCA While a Disney Studios executive and producer, Vaughn Halyard spent a significant amount of time working with counterparts at ESPN and the X Games. At that time, he was the lone ‘studio guy’ allowed to have his own cubicle at ESPN’s HQ in Bristol, Connecticut. To this day this remains a fond badge of honour. LANDMAND A round at Landmand will be a dramatic trek across ridges, rolls and ravines Photo: King-Collins Design