What do golf-course architects do when they can't travel? We catch up with Bill Coore

April 27, 2020
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Courtesy of Jeffrey R. Bertch

This hiatus of global activity is a great chance to reflect. These unique circumstances provide an opportunity. And opportunity is what golf course architect Jim Urbina and I discussed when we came up with the idea of a new podcast, The Salon. Urbina’s business of building and remodeling golf courses is one based on itinerant travel and close client coordination. But what does a golf course architect do when they can’t travel nor visit projects?

We hope they, and others in the golf course business, will instead talk to us. The Salon will take advantage of the downtime we all share to bring guests into our virtual space for peer-to-peer discussions about different aspects of golf, design and travel.

In the first volume turf and irrigation specialist Don Mahaffey spoke to Jim and I about bunkers and the effectiveness of ground contour as a substitute for bunkers. In this volume, renowned designer Bill Coore joins Jim and I for an expansive discussion of greens, including recollections of some of the most natural greens he has built, as well as some that had to be uniquely imagined. In addition to finding natural landforms, our conversation covers finding and fabricating greens when there aren’t great green sites, fall-away greens like the 9th at the Sheep Ranch, and the evolution of Coore and Crenshaw greens.

For as long as we’re in this together, we hope you’ll enjoy these talks on golf course design.