Golf Course Architecture - Issue 65, July 2021

54 POST-COV I D DES IGN meetings on a number of projects – which, as Egypt is a ‘red list’ country on the English list, would have required him to quarantine for ten days in an airport hotel on the way home, had he not discovered that ten days in Israel, a green list country, would allow him to escape that. “Some of the stuff we have been looking at, we’ve been sent drone footage of the site along with the survey, which was unheard of in the past,” says Lobb. “In the future, I think it’ll be a bigger question as to whether or not you should jump on a plane.” But he too thinks that the oversight of construction work necessitates the architect being on site: “Approving shaping is impossible from home. Trusting someone to put your ideas into the ground without you being on site is asking a lot.” Were Lobb in his native Australia, his life would be harder still: the country has practically closed its borders in an attempt to keep the virus out. Sydney- based architect Harley Kruse is waiting to start a substantial bunker renovation project – along with bunker technology providers Capillary Concrete and EcoBunker – at the exclusive Clearwater Bay club in Hong Kong. But this, too, is waiting for the travel situation to improve. The project is ready to go as soon as the Covid situation enables Kruse to get to the site. “We can do some of the work such as fill-ins with remote monitoring of construction,” the architect says. “But for a job of this importance, it’s vital that I am on site for key milestones of the build. There are times when moving a sand line by just a few centimetres can make a huge difference, and realistically only the architect is going to notice the potential significance of such small changes.” Few architects have covered as many miles in their career as Dana Fry of Fry/ Straka. Now resident in Florida, Fry still has projects on several continents. “My last international trip was to our Yas Acres course in Abu Dhabi in mid- March 2020 – I got home just as things shut down,” he says. “That course was all shaped then and we had finished off a few holes, but they finished the last seven holes without me, though we did lots of Zoom and Skype video calls. The remaining work focused mostly on grass and bunker lines. But it was still perplexing. So much of golf design is done by eyesight. Other jobs that we have in Vietnam, Brazil, and in Cabo in Mexico have shut down. We think Cabo will restart later this year, but we have no idea with Brazil and Vietnam.” British architects Tom Mackenzie and Martin Ebert think they have found a technological answer, at least in part. Their answer is to do as much of the work as possible upfront, in the office, and minimise the amount of field work. “Our method of designing fixes the green surface undulations with our plans,” they say. “The shaping of green surrounds, bunkers, and the reshaping of any other areas normally benefit from regular visits to ensure that the interpretation of plans and visualisations fulfils the potential of the proposals. While we produce similarly accurate plans for all other areas to be reshaped, the shapers have more license to show their artistic and imaginative flair in creating freehand contouring in these areas under our direction and, if well executed, these can provide a bespoke finish for the project. We do provide photographs of examples from elsewhere of the detail of the shapes we would like to achieve, and visualisations of the proposals, and these can assist greatly with the shaper’s understanding “ Trusting someone to put your ideas into the ground without you being on site is asking a lot” Photo: Tom Doak Tom Doak entrusted his on-site team of Erik Iverson, Clyde Johnson and Angela Moser to progress the St. Patricks Links project at Rosapenna in Donegal