Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Last night at a dinner party I started a golf discussion with a gentleman - he was wearing a Troon North sweater - how could I not. His home course is Sharpstown, a muni in Houston. He plays in a regular foursome. The designated early birds get there at 5:00am so they can get an early tee time on the weekends because it is so busy.
I don't know the business model for the city - I do like Memorial Park quite a bit - but if people show up at your door before you open and you are too busy -- if you aren't successful it isn't the product it is the delivery.
There is a huge problem with the big 3 automakers - but I'll be damned if I don't see a ton of cars on the road. Lots of people driving. Lots of people golfing. Business not so good.
Mabye businesses should focus on why the business has a problem, not the golf.
It is a business problem, not a golf problem.
Pictured above is the first green.
Pictured above is the first green.
Friday, March 13, 2009
I was describing to Will at the recent ULI conference that for the past couple years the developers of resorts have been asking how to develop golf for less. The number that gets bantered around is $14MM for a resort course. So what was the response from the golf architect community? -- design 3-6 hole golf courses!!
"No wonder no one is coming here any more. If all you've ever done is build 14+ million dollar courses and we've proven that model doesn't work, why in the world would we listen to anything that the experts have to say? We should be doing the opposite of what you've done. Your solution is to build 3 hole courses?" -- Will
Last year someone asked me "Why do I need a golf course?" He was told that he needed golf to have a successful resort - but he didn't think it was good value. Where can someone go to learn about developing golf if not here?
Golf is too expensive
Golf is too hard
Golf is only there to sell real estate
Pictured above is the 16th green at Wolf Point. Our answer. We'll be talking more about the questions next week.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The 15th hole still looks docile to the new visitor. When Matt played, pictured above, the front pin looked very inviting. I told him to play a little short, and he wound up making one of his best swings of the day. Unfortunately it was a hair strong and the ball found the swale left of the green. No birdie for you.
A comment from recent visitor:
“… it is very, very linksy in play terms. Huge width. Unbelievably firm and bouncy. Lots of small scale contour that dominates your thinking in play. It is without doubt the most ground-oriented course I have seen in the US, and frankly outside the Old Course I doubt you'd find anything more so. Windy too.”
Monday, March 9, 2009
We had Don and our client on the ropes in our match. We got to the 10th tee. We were playing a better ball match - remember Wolf Point is a match play course!
The 10th hole is a short reachable par 4 - down wind anyway - into the wind is a little bit of a stretch. The fairway is 70 yards wide. There are no bunkers. The lake protects the right side of the hole. If you play safe or miss away from the lake - where Don lay - the approach to the green is far more difficult than the middle of the fairway - where we lay.
Don would have been to the right of the above image with about 75 yards to the pin which was tucked up closer to the slope than above (the flag would be more towards the viewer/camera).
Basically we are way ahead. Don hits a two hopper that runs up against the green ridge - like a tight rope walker - 6 inches to the left and the ball would boomerang below the pin - 6 inches to the right it would have kicked further right. It falls right into the hole!
An amazing eagle!