Golf Course Architecture - Issue 75, January 2024

game much more difficult, frustrating, less fun and more time consuming for the slower swing golfer. From the same yardage, the slower swing players must use a longer club to carry the ball to the green. However, as illustrated in the chart, even when using the same approach club, they are at a disadvantage as their shot often will not hold the green because it lands at the shallower angle with much less backspin. These players need an option to roll their approach shot on the putting green without clearing an obstacle. This often means designing a closely mown area which connects the fairway with the green through which they can bump and run a shot on to a portion of the green, even if it’s not directly at the flag. Cross obstacles, whether bunkers, berms or streams, require solutions that are more complex. At its simplest, position the forward tees so that the slower swing player can get their tee shot close enough to the obstacle so that their lower flying shot can clear it. It is important to not make them hit an extra ‘wasted’ lay-up shot, thereby effectively increasing the par of the hole. A more nuanced approach is to add risk/reward by placing the obstacle close enough so that the slower speed player has a chance to clear it, thus giving them a much shorter shot to the green. The goal of my thinking in these areas is always to make the game more enjoyable for all players and to make it more fun and comfortable for people new to the sport. Arthur Little would like to acknowledge the contributions of Jeff Brauer and Gene Parente for this article. Arthur and his wife Jann Leeming offer free advice to courses, he can be contacted by email at Photo: iStock/RichVintage 39 DISTANCE