Pasture Golf courses may not be nice and pretty but they keep
you coming back for more. To continue to quote Geoff Shackleford,
there will come a day when, "hopefully, we will see people
look at the work of many of the so-called 'modern masters' from
this era and say, 'those courses are nice and pretty, but there
is nothing of genuine, timeless interest there. I play it once or
twice, and all of its secrets are revealed.'"
Pasture Golf courses do not insult the pocketbooks of players
and their level of affordability makes them even more fun to play.
Manicured, modern courses require obscene quantities of money
in their creation, use, maintenance and promotion. These high costs
wreak havoc upon players in the form of ridiculously high green
fees. In a complete reversal of the old adage, "get more for
your money," golfers are actually getting less out on the course
in relationship to the more that they pay. What's the point of paying
an arm and a leg to play more "par 72, 7000 yard duds"
Pasture Golf courses did not spring forth from Country Club
culture. Country Club golf in this country epitomizes exclusivity.
Much of it is guilty of an embarrasing and shameful past based upon
minority discrimination. Our guess is that the manicured golf course
movement is an outgrowth of this exclusivity.
Pasture Golf courses, on the other hand, are often civic or
community enterprises in which everyone is welcome to contribute
to the cause, no matter who they are. Bear
Valley Meadows Golf Course in Seneca, Oregon is just one example
of a small community with big ideas that created and continues to
support a town golf course where a right-minded person would never
expect one to be.
Pasture Golf courses are indigenous. They take advantage
of natural topography, vegetation and the climate of the locale.
There is nothing more ridiculous than a so called links style course
being bulldozed into existence in an American suburb.
A bulldozer gouges out part of a
forest for a golf course on the Seabrook Island Development on John's
Island, near Charleston, South Carolina. May 1973. Photographer
Paul S. Conklin. (Still Pictures Branch, National Archives at College
Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD)
Pasture Golf courses should not be like Disneyland, a
fantasy, a completely artificial, unreal place with no relationship
to the essence or qualities of the land on which it exists.
Indigenous courses are rarely "bowl-shaped, 'user-friendly,'
everything-must-be-in-front-of-you landscape architecture"
(as described by G.S.). Pasture Golf courses are as unique as the
geography that shapes them. While Pasture Golf courses may not offer
perfect visibility, they also do not have the relative lack of surprise
of many so called modern courses.
to Interview of Geoff Shackelford talking about Holmby Hills' Armand
Hammer Golf Course and the backlash to what he calls "the penal
and politically correct, landscape oriented styles" of courses
of the past decades.