By Design – Issue 52, Spring 2021

28 MULTI -PURPOSE DESIGN Less resource, more fun Agustín Pizá, ASGCA, provides an insight into his approach to projects with a small footprint. I couldn’t agree more with ASGCA President Forrest Richardson, who encouraged a ‘less is more’ approach in his Ahead of the Game video, saying: “Playing the game does not rely on hundreds of acres. That model will live on, but we need to plan smaller footprints or even not leave a footprint at all.” Golf courses are an important setting where people can improve their physical and mental health. Playing golf helps people’s fitness, mental well-being and social skills, so when clubs, resorts and communities have the chance to develop a small, unused parcel of land into a golfing outlet, they need to take it. Also, these small parcels can have the added benefit of being able to bring people closer to nature and enhancing the area’s sustainability. ASGCA Fellow Jack Nicklaus has said a pitch-and-putt course is “the most wonderful way to introduce people to playing golf.” For some, this type of golf is appealing as it isn’t as time-consuming as playing a 7,000-yard layout, while for clubs, having a short layout is advantageous as the cost of running one is less and it provides an additional revenue stream. Small footprint projects can be approached from a multi-purpose perspective, by thinking of ways of maximizing the land and attracting a broad range of visitors. Weaving the existing environment into fairways and hazards is important, not only from a sustainable aspect, but it also helps create appeal for golfers and non-golfers alike. For golf course projects, the driving range is sometimes overlooked in the design process, resulting in a space with no excitement. But this is an opportunity to create something interesting, with less investment, that not only serves the purpose but is aesthetically beautiful, easier to maintain and fun. Last year, we designed a new multi-purpose practice facility for El Cortés Golf Club at the Puerta Cortés Resort near La Paz, Mexico. We redesigned the club’s abandoned driving range into a golf academy, Agust ín Pizá Agustín Pizá, ASGCA, is the owner of design firm Pizá Golf and the director of The First Tee program in Mexico.