In golf course design the architect is given a multitude of tasks and responsibilities for the overall design, construction and management of the project. Much has been assumed regarding who actually has creative freedom of the design. In the winter edition of By Design Magazine, writer Richard Humphreys proposed the question to ASGCA members, “Are golf course architects ever allowed to create precisely what they want?
As the article revealed, not all designers are limited to the constraints of client. While there may be multiple decision makers, in some cases the constraints are budget related. In others, the environment provides it’s own limitations. Golf course designer and former President of ASGCA shares his prospective and experience in answering the question for Humphreys. Mr. Brauer stated:
“The best clients are the ones where you get some broad direction to inform your design—for example, ‘it’s a resort, don’t make it too hard,’ or ‘it’s a muni, we need to keep maintenance reasonable’—and they let you handle most of the details. “My best-received courses have come with about 95 percent freedom—from owner, if not from regulatory bodies. Looking back on a 34-year long career and over 60 major projects, I have generally been blessed that most fall under that category. Of course, it may be because I instinctively shied away from country club renovations, where it was hard to please over 300 bosses who are golf design experts in their own right. In my public work, there are very few project overseers from the county, state or city that feel expert enough to question too much. We usually submit a routing, then features plan, and get a review, but changes are pretty rare. “My total redo of Superior National in Lutsen, Minnesota, was a case of no design limitations from the client, other than a fairly strict county budget. That, and substantial subsurface rock, minimized any rerouting we wanted to do. “Overall, I would say the budget is the biggest limiting factor in most projects. Even then, I am not sure I want to work with an unlimited budget. As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and I fear I would rely on old concepts too much if given enough money to move earth everywhere. Striving for the least building on a site-specific basis always yields the most unique designs and creates the greatest sense of place.”
In the article, the writer points out the synopsis of the interviews with Mr. Brauer and other golf course designers. They concur, the vast majority of clients/ decisions makers will listen to the golf course designer and together they will decide the best option in the building the course.
Jeffrey Brauer is one our country’s award winning golf course designers. His work spans the across the nation. Mr. Brauer has decades of experience in golf course design. For more information on Jeffrey Brauer and his amazing work visit: https://jeffreydbrauer.com/award-winning-golf-courses.
Jeffrey D. Brauer/GolfScapes, Inc.
3809 Canton Jade Way
Arlington, TX 76005