RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links


Architects holding impromptu contest, inviting kids to submit their golf-hole sketches

March 31, 2020

Many golf course architects will tell you they used to doodle imagined golf holes when they were kids. With few exceptions, though, these old drawings, if they survived, went into some scrapbook somewhere and never made it before the eyes of the world.

The type of youngster who doodles golf-holes today, however, does have a chance to put their creation in front of the public, and have it reviewed by practicing golf course architects, too. The American Society of Golf Course Architects has announced its “Great Junior Golf Design Challenge of 2020,” and inviting youths from ages 17 and under to create and contribute drawings of a golf hole of any length, shape or par.

The junior golf design challenge is the idea of independent golf designer and shaper Jay Smith, who realized the activity would be a great way to not only constructively pass time while so many of us are housebound due to the coronavirus outbreak, but also as a way to help introduce a new generation to golf design and strategy. He brought the idea of the challenge (with the emphasis on challenge rather than a competition) to several members of the ASGCA, who quickly agree to host and promote it.

As an exercise in pure creativity, the holes can take any form and be produced with any medium that fits on the basic hole template (the templates can be downloaded on the ASGCA website, and submitted via the association's social media (tweet it to @ASGCA) or via email (juniordesign2020@asgca.org). There are some great entries thus far. Here's one submitted by a child named Thomas from Kansas City:


And as an example of how an early sketch could lead to a career in the field, Steve Forrest of Hills-Forest drew this sketch, turning his house into a golf club at age 14:

ASGCA SteveF-scaled.jpg

At Golf Digest we love the idea of getting kids involved in golf early, and in as many ways as possible. I’m particularly excited to see what kind of unique ideas are percolating in the minds of future golfers and architects. So, to all aspiring young golf course builders, here’s the chance to show your stuff. Dream it and draw it.