Brauer's Book

Everything You Wanted to Know About Golf Architecture, But Were Afraid to Ask

At age 15, I discovered girls and golf, creating an immediate desire to know more about sex and golf course design. My curiosity about sex was satisfi

Now For Our First Question!

Jack from Columbus, Ohio, asks:

Members at my club can't hold the greens, as most greens angle across the line of play, and are sha

Here's the Second Question from Mr. U. Esgeay of New Jersey:

You mention that greens should be deeper for average players, even suggesting dimensions. I see many greens smaller and/or larger than this. Are th

Question No. 3 is From Tom F. in North Carolina,

“How much should a golf course cost?”

Question No. 4 Comes from a Minnie Malist, from Traverse City, Michigan

If you won’t cut infrastructure, what can you do in design to meet tight budgets?

The Fifth Question Comes from Ms. Elle Vate, Who Lives in Denver:

“My club's greens are much higher than the fairways. When I miss, my shots roll down a slope, recovery is difficult, and my score – and blood press

Green Elevation – Part Two – Play Factors

Construction practicality, trends, course type and conditions, and individual approach shots influence green elevation. When I started golfing in 1967

Here is Question No. 6, from I.M. Moses, of Israel:

“You mentioned ‘the axiom of proportional difficulty’ in one of your answers. Please tell us some of your other architectural axioms.”

Let's Examine Each of the ‘Commandments’ in a Bit More Detail

The 1st Commandment: Respect Thy Golfer's Scorecard, for It Is Sacred.

Second Commandment: Covet Not the Skills of PGA Tour Players, And Design Not for Them, Unless They Will Show Up

The oldest question in golf architecture is “who do you design for?” The best players are so talented that no hole
Design Thy Course for Good Amateurs, Equally Rewarding Different Skills
The Dodge Intermission Report – On ESPN
Round Out Thy Foursome with a Player of Little Strength and Skill, and Make Their Day Enjoyable
Reward Thy Golfer's Skilled Shots Always
The Sixth Commandment – Reward Thy Golfer Who Uses Strategic Planning
Ten Commandments – Second Intermission
The Seventh Commandment Is Old as Golf: “Design With Thy Wind – and Ball Physics – in Mind”
Our 8th Commandment Admonishes Us to ‘Punish Only in Proportion to Golfing Ability and/or Sin’
9th Commandment: Variety in Play and Looks
10th Commandment: Provide Abundant Beauty & Preserve Nature
Chip Schott, asks, ‘Do you design greens to allow the running approach?’
Ivan A. Justice asks, ‘What do architects do to make a course more 'fair’?'
Audrey Bonn, of New York, asks, How do you consider the environment while routing the course?’
Anita Anza asks, ‘Do you strive for a certain par sequence when designing the course?’
I.M. Wilde asks, ‘How deep should rough be, and what is its function on a golf course?’
Weldon Design asks: ‘How do architects route courses? Is there a standard process?'
W. C. Fields of Philadelphia asks, ‘How important is locating the clubhouse?’
Weldon Rump asks, ‘Why are you qualified to write this book?’
I.D. List asks, ‘After satisfying environmental rules, how do you use natural land?’
Hugh G. Carey asks, 'What is meant by risk/reward?'
Thomas Harry asks, ‘Do you design courses to be tough or easy?’
This question comes from Eileen Dover and Ben Fallen, who ask, ‘How do you achieve balance?’
Tyson Rayles asks, ‘Have you ever used out-of-bounds as a strategic hazard?’
Wendy Knight asks, ‘How does wind affect course routing?’
Lawson Order asks, ‘Do architects feel they must mete out proper penalty for players' bad shots?’
Ivanna Noe asks, ‘How do architects create tee-shot strategy?’
Hugh Driver asks, ‘What is the best course length?’
Ron W, of Topeka, Kansas, writes, ‘Do architects read their magazine course reviews?’
Ima Wilde asks, ‘What is the acceptable width for fairways?’
Hillary C. of New York State asks, ‘Is it your policy on public courses to punish players rich in skills, taxing their ability, while assisting poorer players to improve their games?’
Justin Case asks, ‘Sometimes, I'm afraid of playing a shot to a well-guarded green. Do architects provide bail-out areas on every hole?’
Irma Goode asks, ‘Do you design greens from the perspective of better players?’
Aaron D. Corner asks, ‘I dislike the sharp bend of one hole at my course. Is that considered good design?’
Earnest Lee Askew writes, ‘How did you become a golf course architect?’
Helen Gone asks, ‘What is the maximum green slope you should have at a cup?’
‘Sprinkles’ DeGrasse writes, ‘Why do courses in rainy climates need irrigation systems?’
Cutter D. Cupp asks, ‘Why do they move pins on greens every day?’
Booker T. Washington asks, ‘What drives tee design?’
Tad Short asks, ‘Why don't architects use forced carries much anymore?’
Wyatt S. Flat, asks, ‘Your courses have some unusual tees. Why?’
Floe N. Watters asks, ‘Golf courses waste enormous amounts of water, don’t they?’
Sharon I. Diaz asks, ‘Do architects ever collaborate?’
Johnny Deep asks, ‘Why is everyone talking about rolling back the ball recently?’
Penn Tucker asks, ‘What is meant by the term 'Sunday Pin'?’
Penn Tucker wants more information on his previous question, ‘What is meant by the term 'Sunday Pin'?’
Mr. Carl Wallenda asks, ‘How do you balance the green types you described when answering Penn Tucker?’
Amon Ware asks, ‘How do you decide where to design the Sunday Pin location?’
Raquel W. asks, ‘Do modern greens have more shape than older designers used?’
Examples of Green Shapes
Vera Green asks, ‘Does design style affect maintenance budgets?’
Designing for Maintenance
Killer Dee Roll asks, ‘How steep should fairway approach areas be?’
Tad Gay asks, ‘How do you determine Green Orientation?’
John D. Aley asks, ‘Do ya’all follow rules?’
Al Long-DeGrown asks, ‘How do golf course architects design the approach?’
Minnesota Fats asks, ‘How do you determine the angle of a fairway approach?’
Johnny Pond asks, ‘Why do new courses have more water than older designs?’
‘Hi Scores asks: What is the Actual Value of Strategy?’
Lao Tse Player asks, ‘Is strategy the same for high handicappers?’
Manny T. Nance asks, ‘After setting the maximum slope, as described to Helen Gone, how do you design green contours?’
Denise Hurt asks, ‘Must golf courses accommodate wheelchair golfers?’
‘Bull’ Cy Ames, asks, ‘How do you design the green?’
Izzy Kidden asks, ‘How do you locate sand hazards?’
Ryan Leaf asks, ‘Why are some courses taking down beautiful trees now?’
Joaquin Matilda asks, ‘Does anyone walk golf courses anymore?’
Hugo First asks, ‘With time replacing money as the No. 1 reason players are leaving the game, how can we speed up play?’
Warren Spots asks, ‘How can you avoid poor turf around greens?’
Denise Hurt asks, 'Must golf courses accommodate wheelchair golfers?'
Johnny Walker asks, ‘How much water does a golf course use for irrigation?’
Vi Gothere asks, ‘How do you control cart-path traffic?’
Readers’ Comments
Dolly Bogeyton asks, ‘I own a golf course designed in the 1980s. Golfers object to my big mounds, and often wonder why I would want something so obviously artificial. Why were big mounds so popular in that period?’
Vera Brupt asks, ‘Why do greens often have backing mounds?’
Lotta Cash asks: ‘Are Signature Architects Worth the Expense?’
N. Joy DeVue asks, ‘Why are golf courses combined with housing?’
Hedin D. Rooftops asks, ‘What is a safe golf course corridor width within housing?’
Anita Cash asks, ‘Just how much value can I create with golf courses?’
What makes golf course views so valuable?
Anita Scotch asks, ‘How long should golf courses be when they are within housing?’
How far should golf holes be placed apart?
Ivanna Greengrass asks, 'How do golf courses get grassed?'
Howie Dozit asks, ‘As a golf course owner, what should I expect from a long-term master plan?’
Faye Slift asks, ‘When should our club remodel?’
Jaqueline Hyde asks, ‘Do you generally re-route a course when you remodel it?’
M. Portant asks, ‘What is the most critical part of a golf course to remodel?’
Al Whet asks, ‘Is drainage important to golf courses?’
Ima Geek writes, ‘I was fascinated by your thoughts on drainage design. Can you tell me more?’
Chip Shott asks, 'Why are there more fairway chipping areas around greens now?'
Y. Lee Coyote asks, I like fairway chipping areas. Why, where and how do you use them?
Bea Ute asks, Why are chipping areas more attractive than others?
Sandy Lye asks, 'What is the best number of sand bunkers to use?'
Eva Braun asks, 'Am I the one who doesn't like hidden bunkers?'
Ulysses Hazard asks, 'Why are there fewer bunkers now than I see in old photos of golf courses?'
Vera Boren asks, 'Why do so many sand bunkers look alike and how do you create more bunker variety?'
Johnny Deep asks, 'How deep should sand bunkers be?'
Yule B. Sari asks, 'Is it better to do renovations slowly, over a period of years?'
Pete Moss asks, 'What makes a great par-3?'