Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Making Public Golf More Fun

The golf course architecture firm of Robert Trent Jones II® (RTJ II), designers of such storied public golf courses as Poppy Hills and Spanish Bay in California, Washington’s Chambers Bay, and hundreds of others in more than 40 countries around the world, offers ten tenets supporting accessible and affordable public golf.

They come in the form of a Public Golf Proclamation that complements efforts of the ASGCA, NGCOA, USGA, The PGA of America, and golf organizations, associations, and governing bodies worldwide to bring the game to more people in more places.

We should all embrace the comments made by Master Architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., who said, “We believe that golf should...be easily affordable and accessible to everyone who wishes to play it.” Jones took this further, writing in a recent letter to the New York Times, “Golf architects are often called upon to design courses that support upscale real estate developments. But the game’s roots reach down into the Earth, not up into trophy homes. Golf first developed 500 years ago as an accessible and affordable sport that brought people together outdoors, rather than separating them. Many great golf courses serve the public and the environment. The future of our sport lies in embracing the Scottish tradition in which all people are equal as they stand over a white ball.”

The firm's tenets say:

We aspire to:
1. Work with municipalities and other government entities to create great golf courses for their citizens through insightful, integrated master plans specific to each community.
2. Assist communities in creating programs and initiatives that make great public courses accessible and affordable to everyone.
3. Advocate for the creation of golf facilities on degraded sites to return unproductive land to productive and sustainable public uses.
4. Always protect and enhance the environment for the good of all.
5. Design courses that require less earth moving, water, fertilizer, and other resources in an effort to keep investment and operating costs—and therefore green fees—reasonable.
6. Create wider strategic routings and sets of shorter “family tees” to encourage children to take up golf and have fun playing it.
7. Advocate for innovative practice facilities where young people and newcomers can learn to love golf, and support programs and organizations that introduce new players to the sport.
8. Design facilities that encourage speed of play, including inventive layouts such as “Learning Courses,” par-three routings, 6-, 9-, and 12-hole loops, and others.
9. Create public courses that are flexible, fun, and challenging to golfers of a wide range of abilities.
10. Encourage golf course owners to support local businesses and take an active role in their communities.
Given the declining state of the game today, it makes sense doesn't it?

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

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