Golf Course Architecture - Issue 64, April 2021

47 Photo: Ryan Farrow immediately discarded. Upon returning from a trip to Sand Hills in 1999 that I took with Bill Coore, I showed images of the course and its wild, blowout bunkers, only to receive looks of disdain from decision makers as if I had horns protruding from my head! As the courses grew in number, so did the players. And as these players travelled to other countries, they were exposed to new and different courses and the desire to be different took hold. Still, natural designs remained a difficult sell with most. With the sport growing, locations away from major population bases sprang up and this led to more natural sites where less of a heavy hand was required. The combination of better sites and a changing understanding of more natural designs helped to raise the bar. It was at this time that we were creating some new and fantastic work, including Dalu Dunes in the northern city of Ordos. The natural site was reminiscent of Sand Hills and our effort produced a similar look. The course yielded awesome photography (by our in-house associate Ryan Farrow, who had a big design input). But ironically, on the same day that the July 2014 issue of Golf Course Architecture was published, with the course featuring on the cover, Dalu Dunes was bulldozed. Some 100 more courses met a similar fate when China’s moratorium on golf course construction was strictly enforced. This led to the disappearance of about a dozen of our own courses, among which were three at Stone Forest, a spectacular property of karst rock formations outside Kunming. What happens from here will be a new chapter in the continuing saga, and I hope to participate again! GCA Schmidt-Curley’s layout at Dalu Dunes was bulldozed on the day that GCA ’s July 2014 issue – which featured the course on its cover – was published