Not my best image, but one that shows rolls through a green creating compartments.
The question I get most is, what will an Ian Andrew Golf Course look like? My initial answer is that depends on the site because everything from the routing technique through to the architectural style will come as a response to the site. Golf course routings depend on everything from contour to soil type to wind to vegetation. When you throw in the different possibilities of public through to private from resort through to tournament play and each delivers some different conditions on what should be thought about.
I’ve decided to produce a series of sketches to explain what an Ian Andrew Golf Course will look like. Each day that I post will feature an image that will be used to explain the ideas that are likely to be consistent through my design style. Nothing is written in stone and a new course on a flat site may bring highly contoured greens where an extremely wild site may reduce the contour is response to the severity of other features. As I said before a good design must responds to the site rather than impose itself.
The first thing you will notice about all my original work will be the greens. I do not believe in flat greens and in fact I think that interesting green contours are one of the consistent qualities of the great courses. There are a few exceptions on great sites with lots of drama, but the courses on average sites all have one thing in common – interesting and complicated green contours.
In a day and age where many of the best known designers continue to push courses back looking for excessive length, they have forgotten that green contour is the great equalizer in the game. A more complicated green surface requires a player be more careful about position off the tee in order to access very complicated pin areas.
If you have more contour, not only do they now have to avoid certain positions or risk a three putt, but a miss around the green can be further complicated by getting on the wrong side of a feature like a prominent roll. The key to defense, the key to the pleasure of the game is found in the small contours, not in the big ones.