Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Resolution - See Wolf Point more in 2010

I love playing Wolf Point.
I didn't get down to play enough in 2009.
I hope to change that in 2010.
Prospective clients are welcome to join me.

We had a record drought in 2009 followed by extensive fall rains.
Don Mahaffey continues to do a great job.
I'm excited to think that the course will only get better as it matures past it's first season.

Above I'm escaping the 9th fairway bunker. I hit a great shot to the green, unfortunately it wasn't my first - the bunker is about 7 feet deep from the bottom.

Good luck for a prosperous 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

19 Suggestions for lower golf course maintenance costs in 2010

Don Mahaffey is the superintendent of Wolf Point club and was instrumental to its creation. He has been a leader in practical maintenance since he started over 20 years ago. Although he might say "it's just stupid to do it any other way"
Here are his 19 things you can do to improve profitability without impacting the players enjoyment. (In most cases, not all are good for everyone)

  1. Gang mow, believe it or not you can get decent quality as long as you have a lightweight trim everything out.  Here are 7 Gang mowing tips.
  2. Never ever edge a bunker again. Use herbicides like round-up at half strength or contacts and train someone to keep the edges burned back. It actually looks good and is a lot more environmentally friendly then it sounds.
  3. get rid of the walk mowers
  4. Don't over seed
  5. No designer fertility programs
  6. Try and get away from constant foliars and go back to the basics using organic greens fertilizers.
  7. Best growth regulator in the world is less N.
  8. Take out trees that require mowing around, trimming around, or spraying around, and especially if they cause you to spend more time trying to keep turf in the shade.
  9. Be diligent with traffic control
  10. Make your own compost and use in divot mix, sod repairs, dressing thin areas
  11. Stagger work hours so your guys are mowing with fewest players on the course...do what ever you can to get work done with out players interrupting.
  12. Question every expense, stop all cash leaks... don't pay $2,500 for computer irrigation support when you can have a spare computer setting there with software already loaded for 1/5th of that.
  13. Do your own pump station PM
  14. Keep a very tight fuel log...it has a way of disappearing
  15. You can buy parts like bearings and bushings at a bearing shop. Find a small shop that will rebuild your starters.
  16. Be honest in employee evaluation. Employees that can do it all are more valuable then the guy that can only rake bunkers. Pay your good guys more and trim the weak.
  17. Don’t be a warehouse. Don’t buy more than you need of anything. Keeping business afloat right now is all about cash flow, you can’t pay the electric bill with bags of fert, spare reel mowers, or extra irrigation parts. Rarely is there a dire emergency that you can’t go without for a day or two.
  18. Shop for bargains and don’t be afraid to ask for a discount and terms.
  19. Look facility wide at labor waste. Way too many courses have cart attendants or other types of employees who sit around half the time. They can be trained to help maintain clubhouse landscaping and such.
Pictured above is the green side bunker on #16.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Conceptual Golf Course Routing

This week I was hired to create a conceptual routing to help determine the feasibility of a golf course on this specific site. The goal was to have it quick and get a feel for what could fit. The above sketch is my first attempt.

The golf course takes up approximately 150 acres.
The lots cover 40 acres.
Commercial and electric easement occupy 15 acres, with an additional few acres for roads.

What I like about the routing:
The course plays along the creek for two spans at different times in the round.
It finishes with some really good holes along the creek.
A player can play 9 holes - or 5, or 12, or 15 holes and finish at the clubhouse.
The optional configurations are due to the triangulation in the lower portion and how the holes intertwine.
It is a very efficient use of the land - which is sandy and somewhat flat.
It would be relatively inexpensive to build and maintain.

What I'd try on my next attempt:
Having the holes play in different directions along the creek.
An internal clubhouse location so 16 & 18 aren't par 3s and returning nines.

Additional Golf Course Routing Resources:
Here is the evolution of the routing of Wolf Point Club
Here is an article I wrote about my routing processes

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Most Natural Looking Golf Course I've Ever Seen

This year I haven't had many guests to Wolf Point - I sure do wish there were more. I have a great time playing every time I go down too!

A client/friend came to town to get some help with his master plan - non-golf portion.
We finished up quickly then headed down to play. He grew up outside New York City playing at Quaker Ridge Golf Club - a most excellent Tillinghast golf course, and has seen a lot of great courses since too. He is also a very tough critic.

"This is the most natural looking golf course I've ever seen. You should be very proud."

He can't wait to come back. Next time he should probably stay away from Infierno. I can't wait for him to come back too, I want to play Wolf Point more often this year.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Golf Architecture as Art

The following quotes are from the artist of the above self portrait. I thought they were most fitting to also describe designing and building a golf course.

"As human beings we don't view the world like a camera does, indiscriminately treating all details the same. A work of art done from life is the result of decisions made moment by moment by an artist. The result of which is an artistic interpretation of the subject based on the time shared between the two.

“Originality and quality are rarely achieved under such pressure (of a photograph). This same pressure has given contemporary portraiture an artificial, contrived and homogenized look.

As with any collaboration, communication is a key part of the process. If you’re having trouble communicating with an artist, search elsewhere. For an artist, to be chosen for a commission is an honor. Many artists understand the collaborative process and are a pleasure to work with. Finding that artist can be the difference between a work of art that you will cherish for years or a painting that ends up in the attic.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I am not a fan of the newly decided configuration of golf in the Olympics.
The IOC was not interested in golf unless the stars (Tiger) would be playing.
I would rather watch an amateur team match play event.

The following quotes are from a Golfweek published article
"There’s already discussion about building a facility, and that could lead to PGA Tour Golf Course Properties unveiling a TPC-branded layout in Rio, Golfweek has learned."
Their goes that objective position.

“It (the golf course) won’t be some white elephant that’ll never be used again” Ty Votaw
I do not see how that type of course would help grow the game in Brazil.
Expensive and not built by the local workforce.

“Nicklaus Design would be very interested in creating a Jack Nicklaus Olympic Golf Facility for Brazil”.
It seems odd to place anyone's name before the word that has defined sport for 2,785 years.
This doesn't smell like the best thing for the game either.

At top is my illustrative guess for what will be created for the Olympics.
And a quote from its designer:

"We decided to build five sets of tees so every nation in the world would be able to enjoy the new TPC Olympic venue. We also added a 6th tee to represent the future growth of the game in Antarctica."

I don't think 99% of the world will need the back four tees of any course that gets built.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Te echaré de menos a Lan.

Lan passed away last night. He was a part of the crew that built Swanson's. We worked hard in the summer Houston heat, and had many ice cold beers together celebrating. The project would not have been the same without Lan.

One small highlight, of an otherwise difficult day, would be giving Lan a hero's cheer after showing a feat of strength. The old Bat Cage used to have 85' tall steel poles with heavy guide wires that were anchored deeply to the ground. The remnants of the anchors would pop up during construction, and had to be removed, unless we wanted to ruin a mower or someones wrist hitting a golf shot. The expression Lan weighed 110 pounds soaking wet, had more meaning while working in this summer's heat, because it was both true and measurable.

We found an immovable old anchor just above the ground. I tried to pull it out, and it wouldn't budge. Someone went to get a shovel and pick while Lan quietly walked over to the protruding piece of steel. He bent over tried to move it a few times, I tried to stop him, but he continued. He worked it a little, then with a firm pull the anchor came out like a fish hook from a Marlin, an Old Man and the Sea sized marlin.

I don't know how he did it. Every time we found an anchor afterwards, there were many, Lan came to the rescue. And every time he pulled an anchor free, he was exalted with a cheer after he put his arms up flexing his two fully loaded guns.

Muchas gracias.
Buen trabajo.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why there are so many water features on a golf course?

Answer: Because they are fun to build.
The above flash slideshow from Swanson's Golf Center is a creek that we built this summer.
First is an image of the old entrance with standard plant beds followed by the sketched water feature after clearing.
Last is the image of the finished creek and waterfall.
The objective was to let every visitor know that they were entering some place different and could enjoy and relax for their stay.
The waterfall used 70 tons of rock, most of which were placed by hands - mine included.
It was great fun.
Especially since it wasn't an artificial one on a golf course - which I do not prefer.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Black Widow Feast for a Happy Halloween

It was another crazy weather year at Wolf Point. During construction the county saw more rain then in its previous 100 year recorded history. This summer the drought broke all records for least amount of rainfall. Thankfully the rain has come back this fall.

The Black Widow pictured above seemed to be doing ok. There were lots of cracks in the native areas for her to hide and catch some eats.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Green Contours

This weekend I got a very nice compliment from a visitor to Wolf Point. They thought the greens were excellent and not like so many they've seen before - unusual. Where a green may have flat areas separated by a slope - the greens within a green premise.

Our greens seemed so much more natural with the shapes blending and rolling and it made for so much more fun and imagination.

Subtle rolls and shapes like the ones pictured above, of the 5th green,
keep the strategy alive until the player is in the hole. With flat sections once the player picks a fairway side and hits their approach there is no strategy left.

With subtle movement the strategy applies to the putt or pitch to the hole as there is usually an aggressive and safer line to the hole.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

There is no Greatest Golf Course! - Feedback

Thomas Dunne from Out-and-Back had some very nice comments about my essay here

I was completely chuffed to receive an e-mail from someone who read my essay - in print form from Paul Daley's Book.
Here it is with the club name removed...
I have just read your article in Paul Daley's latest book. At our club we have a MacKenzie course which is rated very highly in the world. Needless to say being a MacKenzie course it fits into the enjoyable category; a sentiment confirmed by Bobby Jones in his forward to "The Spirit of St Andrews". I am a member of the Course Strategy Committee and some on the committee and a number of the club members are saying it is too easy. Of course, when I try to say MacKenzie wrote, "If you cant make a hole more enjoyable don't change it", my remarks are treated as those of an old has been, who can only hit the ball 2/3 the distance of the average single figure marker (if that).

Mike, with your permission I would like to make copies of your article and give each member a copy. With help from your article, I just might be able to save one of the most enjoyable golf courses in the world from suffering the fate of so many other enjoyable courses from the "card and pencil' players.

Thank you very much - I am deeply honored.

As an aside the above letter came from a past club champion -- I hope they listen(d) and continue to do so - he is far to valuable.

Pictured above is the very fun 17th green. I hope you can see that from above it looks like a circle - see here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Green Theory Notes

Some notes on our Green Theory and what we created at Wolf Point (2nd green pictured above):

There are no rules - the following are some observations from our work.
Greens fit the client and the business model, including maintenance goals
An open green front for run-up shots – few forced carries
Each green will be original and different from the rest and in the same family or seem related.
Proportional variation - some may look the same but play different.
Fit settings without any conspicuous or artificial mounding
Contours vary from subtle to bold – with no distinct levels or shelfs – more like soft organic folds
Accentuated by micro movement and drainage exit points in multiple locations
Simple circular mow patterns that would ideally blend into the subsequent teeing complex
Start with a minimum of pin settings and area based on amount of play
Rewarding of multiple approach angles based on client – front, left, right, back and multiple - which is generally accomplished with varying tilts and surface biases
(Based on client as a private club may have more greens that run away from the player)
Wolf Point is unique in total rounds will never be over a few thousand – so we designed as fun as possible – the client will be playing every single day – we needed to keep it interesting every day.
Preliminary sketches may look simple – but they are rather complex upon description
Their interest comes from the 3rd dimension

From above the greens appear as circles or ellipses – no squiggly mow lines creating artificial interest – same with the fairways.
Wolf Point greens are Emerald Bermuda – in fitting with the clients maintenance requirements
The immediate surrounds are also Emerald Bermuda – allowing for full circles and uniform water requirements
The greens mix was excavated from on site – at an installation cost of way less than $1 a ton. Morris Brown and an agronomist preferred the native materials over a spec mix.
The roots are currently over 8” long and performing great in this drought year.
The above two items saved approximately $500,000 at Wolf Point and will be a consideration for all my future warm season projects.
Greens should roll at speeds appropriate to the clientele and slope
At Wolf Point they will roll up to a 10+ and are VERY FIRM
Sizes range from 4,500 to 10,000 sft.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day - Walk NO GOLF CARTS!

I'm not a big fan of the words "Save the Planet" - I'm a fan of saying "Save Ourselves" more.

My 3 recommendations:

Don't build cart paths.
Walk don't ride a golf cart (if you can).
Ignore the USGA's groove change rule - what a waste of good golf clubs.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

There is no Greatest Golf Course!

There is no greatest golf course: there are only greatest golf courses
Is the title of my essay in the most recent of Paul Daley's outstanding books: Golf Architecture a Worldwide Perspective Volume V.

Why does the golf course industry segment courses in a way different from the way that people who play golf enjoy the game and its grounds? Why are there such differences between what the magazine rankings and also players consider to be the greatest course?

Please read the essay here for the detailed answers. The short answer is that there are different types of players and golf courses. The world's greatest courses weren't built for everyone, they were crafted for a specific client. It became much easier to express my existing thoughts after viewing Malcolm Gladwell's discussion on spaghetti sauce. Please read the essay and watch the video - it is worth sharing.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Swanson's Yardage Chart in Flash

Want to know the yardages to the 11 target greens at Swanson's Golf Center?
Find the nearest spot, on the 53,000 square foot tee, to the sprinkler in the above flash file.
Click the arrow hands until your spot is highlighted.
Read the measurements to the target greens.

If you have an i-phone give this link a try:

Thank you Charlie & LearningEngineer.com

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Bat Cage Before and After

The Bat Cage was the old range at what is now the Swanson Golf Center.
Every club in your bag would hit a net, unless you were practicing 7 iron stingers.
The satellite dishes did have some sort of appeal - not sure to who.
Here is the short game area that resides over the dead bones of the Bat Cage. The new range is on the other side of the clubhouse.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Texas Trophy

Had a fun three days at the Texas Trophy. The annual golf tournament sponsored by the Lone Star Chapter of the GCSAA.
Memorial Park is a very pleasant place to play.
Jason Harsh is the superintendent that keeps everything in order.
The great flags are provided by Gail's Flags in Fort Worth, TX.
I fared a whole lot better in the Sunday teams and all the great camaraderie.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Houston's best golf school!

Congratulations on the opening Matt.
It sure was a great project.

Friday, September 4, 2009

On the Road Again

I thought this traveling roadshow was very cool. Swanson's recently had their high tech trailer decked out. If you see them on the road get your clubs tuned - or you can visit them at Matt's new center - almost completely open. http://www.swingpure.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Come win a million dollars at the Swanson grand opening!

We are coming to the end of the project. It has turned out as good as I hoped. Some more very nice pictures to come.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

2 Days Early

It has been a busy summer.
We got the driving range opened in time for Matt's soft opening goal. Looking at my original schedule tonight - August 10th was the date I had planned.
We beat it by 2 days.
There is still a bunch to do by the September 12th grand opening. http://www.swansongolfcenter.com/
It looks really good.

The last owner recently commented that he thought it was one of the top ranges in the country.

The previous image was taken in the same location 4 months ago.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I wanted to post one more picture of the old course.
Unfortunately? I never did play any of the holes.
The one pictured above was 140 yards - all carry - to a tiny green that slopes away - a bit much for a beginner course. The 8th was a 190 yard carry to a tiny green...
Note the netting protecting those on the tee from the surrounding holes.
Lots of cart path for such a short course.
The lakes are gone too - relocated I should say.

Recently someone told me the new range was the coolest practice facility they'd ever seen - 25 years building golf courses under their belt.

Please read Matt's blog here

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My first N.L.E.

A NLE is a golf course that is No Longer in Existence.
It wasn't my course that went NLE, but the weirdest & hardest par 3 course I've seen in some time. Probably the hardest beginners course ever built. The holes were so compacted and each tee and green needed to be separated by netting.
Fortunately my good friend Matt Swanson purchased the property and had the great idea of transforming the old course into the finest practice facility in Houston - maybe Texas.
Please read Matt's blog here
and keep up here for the next month - I'll be able to chronicle the whole project rather quickly. The results are great.
Happy Open!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Golf Course Architecture Magazine #16

Golf Course Architecture Magazine has recently launched an updated website. Fortunately they have also featured an article on Wolf Point that is also on the website.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Clearing a "fairway" at Swanson's

Most ranges have a big tee into a bigger hitting area. We're leaving in many tall pines to create fairway corridors - except for the one above. The above video is more of a test of my new youtube channel. The view is from the Swanson Golf School tee - they have a nice tight fairway.

I'll be back down to Wolf Point soon - I wish they had our rain.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Busy on new summer project

It has been a busy month getting construction started as soon as possible for a new project. Matt Swanson has purchased an old par 3 golf course that was barely playable. We are transforming it into a new Golf Center - golf school, driving range and short game practice area.
Only 18 miles from my house, I will be spending a lot of time on site. It will also be the best place to practice when finished - I haven't practiced in years - there are no good alternatives. The final location is fantasticly near a great deal of skilled golfers - it is only 2 miles from Champions - the site of last years summer project.

Monday, April 6, 2009


It only took one more round to see someone else hole out a shot for an eagle 2 - the last one by Don.
This one our guest hit a 6 iron from the big fairway bunker - pictured above - one hop or two right into the hole. Don and I were witnesses.
Our guests loved the course and sure had fun - even without that incredible shot.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

World Golf Village

We're off to the World Golf Village for the Golf Inc. Spring conference.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lots more to share

I have lots more to share in the coming weeks.
I've been running out of time.
The spring flowers are coming in nicely around the clubhouse.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What kind of problem is there?

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.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Where can someone go to learn about developing golf?

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!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Guest Photos

My friend Steve took these. I like to see the course through others eyes.

You won't see many pics of me here unless someone else takes them - like above.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Talented individuals

Recently someone asked what can be done in this market to help golf.

I've been very fortunate to have relationships with two outstanding individuals.
Don Mahaffey a world class superintendent and outstanding project manager and Will Ellender an excellent PGA Professional, teacher, salesman - both have a very keen and sophisticated eye when it comes to golf architecture.  I was also fortunate to bring the two together at the recent Golf Industry Show for several beers together.

My answer to the initial question above is a paraphrasing of their views:
How does one improve the experience in this market while cutting costs?

Work with a great superintendent.
Great = can work practically and create great (fun) playing conditions.
Have him focus on the playability not the turf.

Make sure your pros love the game.
Get them away from selling shirts and managing F&B.
Let them share their love for the game with the players who visit.

Thank you fellas for your inspiration.

Don is hard to get in a picture - so above is Will and I with Emmy from California.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bruce + Infierno

I'll never tire of taking pictures of players in Infierno.
Today's victim is a fine player as was his opponent Matt, who did win 2 up.
The 5th green is in the distance. Bruce did get a little confused thinking it was a par 5.

Bruce really enjoyed being able to choose from lots of options, especially around the greens.  He had the honor on the 12th tee. His stance was quite different from his play so far, as was his swing. I was completely blown away by his choice of shot without any coaching. He hit the ideal shot I envisioned during design - that could get to a front pin. He hit a knock down 9 iron short and we watched it bump up over the false front and wind up around 8 feet from the pin. Matt was swearing that he missed it, but Bruce and I knew better.

It was ideal and not perfect as the 9 is a tiny bit too much loft - which is why I hit a soft, low 7 iron that landed just short of his target getting a little more roll past his and It cozied up to 2 ft. Nice birdie thank you very much.

Matt was most psyched to see our work in anticipation of what I could do for him one day soon.

Here they are on 17 green.
They made so many great comments about the course it is hard to remember them all....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Steve + Infierno

Steve got to meet Infierno first hand during his visit. He hit a great recovery to the right side of the green - the safe spot.

It is the first time I saw dormant grass at Wolf Point. It has been a very dry winter with a few frosts. I used to enjoy playing a local course when it was dormant because it was so much faster than during the summer. Not so here - Don keeps everything fast no matter the season - there wasn't a noticeable difference.

"With no doubt, the best ground game I have been on" - Steve

Thank you buddy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The 12th Green

The above image is taken of the 12th green as seen from the middle 13th tee. Just the other day I showed the severe false front. From this angle you can see the flag just behind that front - it is a very hard shot to get close - even from 135 yards - a high wedge will not stay close enough for a birdie put.  If you look real close you can see the 11th flag behind the bunker.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A visitor and a regular

We didn't have time to pose for a picture on the course - we were running out of daylight, but there is always time to hunt down an Armadillo.  It was a great afternoon on the course and my guests had a blast:

"It is a spectacular golf course, fun to play and very memorable."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Here's to new friends

A round of golf (or 3) can help create lasting friendships. Steve and Adam hadn't met before our ride to Wolf Point. I think they will remember their time together for a long time. We had a blast.

Our rounds fit nicely between the PGA Merchandise show and the Golf Industry Show. The latter was the impetus for their coming to the Gulf Region. Adam came all the way from the UK, Steve from Massachusetts.

I hope Wolf Point was their highlight, it was for me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

False Front

A false front is a forward portion of the green that from the tee looks like green and that the ball can land and stay on the surface, but is too steep to hold a ball.

Don came up short on #12 below the false front.  This hole may have squared the match up. I was down by 4 early. He was hoping to get up and down, but my birdie sure did rattle him for my eventual win 2&1.

Some recent comments on Wolf Point from near and afar:

I remember every single hole and shot at Wolf Point.

Playing WP is a fantastic way to spend a day.
I think very highly of Wolf Point and I am blown away that it was your first solo effort. your client was very lucky to have found you and Don.
Like St. Andrews, it does provide a very strong home field advantage.

The fairway and green shaping is 10 out of 10! Can’t wait to see it.

Don will be at the GIS too.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Booth #1862 Golf Industry Show in New Orleans

Come visit us at booth number 1862 during the Golf Industry Show in New Orleans from Feb. 5th - 7th.

We are located near the Construction project across the aisle from Landscapes Unlimited.
Please click the above image to see a larger version.

I'll be showing lots of images of Wolf Point Club - in book form.  Great images of another site a little west of Texas and an interesting new relationship.

Many of my long term consulting relationships started with GPS As-builts. For my superintendent friends, I'll be sharing why that can be a big help when undergoing long term planning work.  And I'm still creating the best looking and easiest for the super to utilize - Please ask to see some samples.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"The Cruel Shoes"

Below is a story by Steve Martin that was also the inspiration for the name of a compilation of essays published called Cruel Shoes.  If you are unfamiliar with the story please skip to below.

I recently saw one of the most horrendous golf holes, ever.  It looked like the cruel shoe with the razor blades.  It was so forced into the property with rediculous shot requirements that no one could ever enjoy playing such a travesty.  The green complex was hideous and made my stomach hurt.  Why could such a thing happen?  The course was designed by the owners who had little understanding of the golf course routing.  Creating a golf course is a dream and often even a novice could create a good hole here or there.  It is the expert that is required to build an entire course of sufficient quality that people would want to play for generations, and so it can be maintained efficiently so as a business it can survive for just as long.

Cruel Shoes:   Youtube version.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

173 Tees

I recently finished GPS mapping all of the grassing areas and features - greens, fairways & tees. When Don and I play a round the winner of the hole chooses where to tee from - usually very close to where we sank our putts. I did win our last match 2&1, but more about that another day.

The philosophy of the courses tees was to have as many different interesting locations to start a hole from, and it only needed to be a small flat spot. They don't look like tees - they aren't raised above the ground like the things elephants stand on at the circus.

It turns out there are 173 big, little, funky, cool spots to start playing from.  The main clubhouse is surrounded by tees as represented by the green circles in the above illustration of the GPS'd data.  Many of which can be used as tees for either the 1st or 9th hole - depending on your mood, your game and your opponents game.

Different winds and different tees combine for unique angles and strategies every day.

Friday, January 9, 2009

PGA Merchandise Show

I'm looking forward to attending the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando for the first time, later this month. Say hello if you see me please.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wordle Proposal

The above image is a compilation of words from a recent proposal. The more times a word is used the larger it is in the image.  It gives a flavor of what is involved in a project - lots of construction and maintenance issues.  

Nuzzo is tiny and in the middle of it all.

It was created at Wordle.


There is a new member of the crew.... meet Mulligan.

Monday, January 5, 2009

GPS: I'm like a giant pencil

Last week I started GPS mapping the final details of Wolf Point.  Fairways, greens, tees, alternate tee locations, bunkers and anything of interest.  The irrigation system is already completely mapped and hasn't changed.

The above image is a screen shot of some of the steps to get the data to a final image like the irrigation as-built.  The hand held unit communicates with the GPS satellites and records my movements.  Picture me as a giant pencil drawing points, lines or shapes.  Where ever I go I can record.

Finding all the potential tees is the most challenging part of this exercise, there are a lot of them - note all the dots in the above image.  And the nice weather is a draw away from the work.  Don and I played a match in the afternoon.  I'll share some of the surprising spots he wound up later this week.  I played easily with a single ball - I'll break 80 at Wolf Point one day soon - I did birdie 12 - not easy to do.

Happy New Year.
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