RTJ II firm nails 10 Theses to golf house door in Palo Alto
Not since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door at the Castle Church in Wittenberg has such a polemic developed around a statement of purpose. Robert Trent Jones II, golf course architect based in Palo Alto, California (and one of the finalists for the Olympic course in Brazil) issued what he calls a Public Golf Proclamation regarding the future of golf in the wide world.
We aspire to:
Work with municipalities and other government entities to create great golf courses for their citizens through insightful, integrated master plans specific to each community.
Assist communities in creating programs and initiatives that make great public courses accessible and affordable to everyone.
Advocate for the creation of golf facilities on degraded sites to return unproductive land to productive and sustainable public uses.
Always protect and enhance the environment for the good of all.
Design courses that require less earth moving, water, fertilizer, and other resources in an effort to keep investment and operating costs-and therefore green fees-reasonable.
Create wider strategic routings and sets of shorter “family tees” to encourage children to take up golf and have fun playing it.
Advocate for innovative practice facilities where young people and newcomers can learn to love golf, and support programs and organizations that introduce new players to the sport.
Design facilities that encourage speed of play, including inventive layouts such as “Learning Courses,” par-three routings, 6-, 9-, and 12-hole loops, and others.
Create public courses that are flexible, fun, and challenging to golfers of a wide range of abilities.
Encourage golf course owners to support local businesses and take an active role in their communities.
It’s no secret that the lake of new course builds is as dry as a Western gulch, so nay-sayers might suggest that RTJ2 is making an attempt to drum up business. Others might find it laudatory that such a high-profile figure is willing to take a risk and publicly suggest that the future of golf’s development in the world lies not with the professionals nor the television executives, but with the people, of, for and by them.
Personally, my fingers are crossed for results from this encouraging move. Courses don’t have to be 18 holes, they just have to be great, or purposeful, or safe.
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