mardi 14 février 2012

The Roundabout of golf course architecture

Roundabouts are more and more popular in road design across North America... It distributes traffic well and create a focal and turning point on the way to new destinations.

A roundabout... this one is a little assymetrical

Is there an equivalent in golf course architecture ? Yes, there is at least one.... at Alwoodley Golf Club in England.

As much as the road roundabout requires a close study of design based on angles, safety and visibility to achieve a good driving experience, the disposition of the holes at Alwoodley is routing genius in its purest form.

Aerial picture of Alwoodley Golf Club

The two interlocking par 3's, 7th and 14th, are set diagonally, side by side, on this narrow part of the property. They are the heart of the roundabout, allowing the players to crossover to continue their journey across the land. Close by, there is the 3rd green and 4th tee (which for their composition deserve a blog on their own).

To find 5 greens and 5 sets of tees in such a small space is almost unheard of. It is not a standard routing, and the best part of it: it works like a charm. I wonder how long it took for the architect (A. Mackenzie) to figure this one out. There are other genius parts in the routing at Alwoodley (the crossing of 3 and 16) that very few would envisionned... but great architects put great visions into reality.

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