12 November 2005

Fibonacci Architecture

I've been toying with something I've come to call "Fibonacci Architecture" lately. The idea came from a thread on GolfClubAtlas regarding the presence of the golden ratio (1.61803:1) in nature. Naturally, the thread was about the ratio's presence in golf architecture, if there was any.

The majority of responses were regarding the size of the features, but I started to toy with actual distances. At first, I began to figure there could be a correlation to carrying various hazards and the overall distance of the hole. This lead nowhere, since the ratio would leave the hazard in a place too far or too close to be of any use.

The second thought I had involved landing areas, specifically their distance from the tee. I decided a good starting point from a middle tee box would be 220 yards to the first landing zone. Taking this number and multiplying it by the golden ratio gave me 355.9666, which I just rounded to 356. Needless to say, this excited me, since 356 yards for a par 4 from a middle tee is quite reasonable.

I was more worried about other tees, and determined to use a 270 yard tee shot to an landing zone for the back tee, and a 150 yard tee shot from the forward tee. Using the above method, this gave me 436 yards from the back and 243 yards from the forward tee. Quite a bit of variance but I decided to work with it. Since the hole is in a fixed location, I would have to vary angle and tee location. There would also be three landing areas - but relatively close together if the angles are played with.

Placing the hazards and green came next, and I've come up with some interesting ideas on just that one set of numbers. I also came up with some good stuff using 300 yards from a back tee, 250 from a middle tee and 200 from a front tee.

For me, transfering the idea to a par 5 and a par 3 is next, though I'm not quite sure how to execute on that.

The exercise, while not practical in the strictest application, is good for coming up with holes that have multiple angles and options. When technology allows, I'll post some of my renderings.

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