Golf Course Architecture - Issue 70, October 2022

of the round. Too early and it frustrates the whole day, too late it ruins the round with no chance to recover. Mid-round you can make up for a mistake.” And there are modern architects who have set up strategic OB holes. At the Talking Stick club in Arizona, which opened in 1997, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were faced with a totally f lat property, and needed to find ways to add interest to the holes on the two courses they built there. “It was completely f lat. I put a Coca-Cola can at one end of the 400-acre property and went to the other end, and with binoculars I could see the can,” says Coore. “On a scale of zero to ten potential for golf, it was about 0.5. We’ve always said we like the site to guide us – but there was nothing to guide us. Yet the club has been incredibly successful – both courses are full and there’s a huge amount of repeat play.” The second hole of Talking Stick’s O’odham course is famous for its use of OB as a strategic hazard. “There was a ditch that was about two-and-a-half-feet deep and six feet wide that the ranchers had dug, and there was a fence,” says Coore. “The fence was absolutely straight. So we said we would use it on one of our holes. We built a par five straight down the fence and put the green hard against the fence. There is a lot of fairway out to the right, but sooner or later you have to deal with the fence! You can play fifty yards or more out to the right on your first or second shot, OUT OF BOUNDS 50 On the par-five second at Talking Stick’s O’odham course, there is plenty of room to the right, but “sooner or later you have to deal with the fence”, says Bill Coore Photo: Talking Stick Image: Google Earth