Golf Course Architecture - Issue 74, October 2023

31 rounds and generate more revenue. And, with the new generation having shorter attention spans, a traditional three- to five-hour round was proving to be a stumbling block to attracting new players and kids. I examined cricket, football, basketball, etc, and found that the average game takes between two to three hours, and all are played on a regulation pitch/ court. I determined that to grow golf, I would have to ensure that I could match those metrics and thus Westside Golf Course was born. The course is the first of a series of 10 I plan to build and all will provide players all over the country the opportunity to play under the same conditions and avoid long travel. How did you develop the layout for Westside Golf Course? The course has three fairways, six tees, five greens – one juts out into a lake as a semi-island green – and holes (ranging from 70 to 450 yards) that can be played as a par three, four or five depending on which tee is being used. The added difficulty is the positioning of the sand traps that takes the ocean breeze into consideration. The course is like a links and while short in length, the greens, wind and water make it quite challenging for every level of player. The footprint is large enough for the course to be used as both recreational and teaching golf but small enough to be lighted for night play and easy to maintain, reducing cost while extending hours of use. How will your courses impact golf participation in Guyana? These courses will allow the average person easy access to the sport at a minimal cost, and provide schoolchildren with a location to learn and practice. With Guyana being a cricketer’s paradise, the crossover between the two sports will allow golf to grow rapidly. Just like cricket went through a makeover from five-day test matches to T20, it is my goal to bring a similar format to golf. Imagine golf being played in less than 90 minutes – just like all other major sports. These standardised courses that I’m building will allow for matches to be played all over the country simultaneously! What is next? Under the NexGen Golf Academy, I have partnered with the Ministry of Education to introduce the sport to more than 8,000 children around the country as a part of their PE timetable. With land already identified in various areas for more courses, new players will have easy, low-cost access to the sport. This model can lead to an exciting golf feeder programme and bring in an influx of new golfers. Photo: Al Wilson