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A course design expert says architects make the same big mistake over and over again

Robert Trent Jones Jr believes the tree removal is excessive in the construction of the golf course.

Jones feels that tree removal has its place in golf but should be used primarily on links courses.

He feels that tree removal can be used as an easy way to solve some problems.

“When it comes to cutting down trees for people to see, it may be overdone. “The superintendents were rightly concerned about too much shade on the grass they were trying to maintain, and they don’t like roots that are sticky and competing for water,” Jones told Golf Digest.

“These are legal points, which have received a big voice from the green committees that are in charge of repairs. My concern​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ It’s like our politics.

“It is better if it is done case by case, but at the moment it is fashionable. What often happens in fashion is that the pendulum is always swinging, and it can swing too far. I believe in the “golden role” of the Greeks, finding the happy place.

“There should not be one way of having trees on the golf course. We live in a big world with many different places—we are not all one, so these conversations should happen independently.

“If the subjects are in the Northeast or the South, or in certain parts of California where I live, it’s possible that the trees will come from a certain place in some way and continue to grow—that’s what nature does. There should be no trees on the links course because they are not usually native to those types of coastal and harbor areas. They can block the wind and don’t need to play the ball on the ground, which can reduce the excitement of those courses.

“We built Chambers Bay on an old mining site but we built it to look and play like the Irish links, and there’s only one tree on the fairway.

“Many studies do well if they look at whether the trees are indigenous and part of the environment in which they are found.

“When golf course communities were developed, especially in the Sun Belt, these courses served as suburbs’ parks, public green spaces. Trees have a positive impact on the environment and the community, even for non-golfers.

“Now some of the trees that were planted in the courses in the past years should not have been because they were not the right trees. The planting of trees at Oakmont in the year 1960—in which my father participated well—had the effect of removing the sharpness and drudgery of those large plants and the contours and bunkers. The removal of all those trees 30 years ago was back to what (founder HC) Fownes wanted.

“But trees can be useful shields. You want to ask, ‘What do you see when you remove the trees?’ If it’s a dump, that’s probably a mistake. Conversely, if it’s a beautiful mountain in the distance, that might be a good thing.

“Many of those trees in Oakmont were planted to protect the course when the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built, and removing trees from that area of ​​the course means you’re more aware of the traffic noise below and even the exhaust.

“For a builder, trees can serve as a tool. They are vertical hazards and other aspects of our defense: height, width, habitats, lakes or streams, the inevitable risk of wind, green targets and the contours of those inside. You work with those like a composer making music to create 18 different holes while trying not to repeat them.

“I don’t believe that golf courses should be made difficult or easy—they should make good music that you want to come back to, and removing any of those features, including trees, limits the type of music you can play. do.”

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