Golf Course Architecture - Issue 58 October 2019

55 W hen George Crump conceived Pine Valley, still a century on generally accepted as the world’s greatest golf course, he was breaking the mould in more than one way. Crump’s stated reason for creating Pine Valley was that his home city of Philadelphia had no courses which he felt were difficult enough to train champion golfers. Now Crump, as a rich amateur, could afford to pursue his goal. But, throughout the history of golf course design, the supreme target of the architect has been something else: a course that is playable by and fun for any standard of player – in other words, something merciful enough not to constantly beat up the hacker while having enough teeth to keep the best interested. Call it the Old Course Effect if you like: a key reason why St Andrews is still so venerated by architects is its unmatched capacity to accommodate any standard of game. With few forced carries, from its forward tee a player who can only bunt the ball can get round without leaving several sleeves of Pro V1s as an offering to the golfing gods; but with George Crump created Pine Valley because he felt that courses in his home city of Philadelphia were not difficult enough to train champion golfers Photo: Jon Cavalier/@LinksGems