20 November 2005

Cake or Death!?

Kudos if you get the reference in the title.

However, for the purposes of this post, it alludes to the choices golfers make throughout a round.

The best golf courses I've played allow the golfer to pick and choose his way around a golf course, avoiding certain hazards, and in doing so, bringing other hazards into play. I often make a dichotomy in golfers as such: Cunning and Athletic.

The cunning golfer is able to think his around a golf course with less-than-average to average execution. Basically, he knows where and how to miss. This golfer scores by overcoming strategic difficulties with thought and often uses creativity to keep scores low.

The athletic golfer uses his execution to make his way around the course, often times ignoring the strategy of the hole in order to play to his strength.

I've found that good golf holes, and good courses for that matter, provide a balance and blend of both personalities in one hole or stretch of holes - allowing each golfer to choose his trouble.

A specific example of this blend can be found at Huntingdon Valley Country Club. With three nines designed by William Flynn and restored by Ron Prichard in 1998, the course is one of many superlative tests in the Philadelphia area.

Flynn routed the course through a bowl shaped area and allowed the contour to dictate strategy and feature placement. One criticism of the course is that it does not offer a level lie, however, multiple plays will show this to not be true. Knowing his half the battle and the clever golfer is given the means to position himself in key areas to score.

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