Golf Course Architecture: Issue 53 JULY 2018

ON SITE 56   Golf Course Architecture I t is fair to say that Robert Trent Jones Sr’s style of architecture has fallen pretty spectacularly out of fashion since his death in 2000 at the age of 93. Jones’s courses and those influenced by him – often created with tournament play in mind, with huge bunkers pinching into both sides of fairways at landing areas, and with copious water hazards – are still to be found, and, to be honest, are still being built. But they are no longer the state of the art. Where previous designers had seen a golf course as a venue for two or more golfers to compete against each other, Jones saw the basis of the game as rather different – a contest between player and course. “Golf is a form of attack and counter attack,” he said. “It offers a golfer his personal challenge of combat. He attacks the course and par; the architect creates fair pitfalls to defend its easy conquest. The architect calls on his ingenuity to create a hole that will reward only achievement.” We can argue all we like about whether this concept is a productive one. Many would say that it is precisely this kind of mindset that leads to the USGA’s concerns about ‘protecting par’, which in turn leads to some of the frankly over-the-top US Open setups we have seen in recent years. But one thing is Architect James Duncan’s renovation of Royal Golf Dar Es Salam’s Red course in Rabat, Morocco, has added significant contour to greens at an already famously tough course, as Adam Lawrence discovered at this year’s Trophée Hassan II Reborn and brutal