Archive | September, 2009

Klein on Design: No. 18 at Kingsbarns

Bradley S. Klein. Golfweek’s architecture editor. offers his opinion on one great hole:
Yards: 444. par 4
Architect: Kyle Phillips,1999
Where: Fife, Scotland
Event: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship,Oct 1-4

It’s great because . .. Kingsbarns, now a decade old, revolutionized Scottish golf with a retro-links look that combines scruffy old dunes, deep bunkers and greens contoured to function as hazards when approached from the wrong angle. The finishing hole calls for a drive into a prevailing wind that quarters from the right and brings fairway bunkers into play on the left side. From there, the approach is to a steeply sloped green pitched above a nasty burn – the only forced-carry water hazard in play from a fairway shot at Kingsbarns – that will capture any approach that comes up a little short.

It would be even better if… they would rebuild the steep back-to-front green and marginally modify its slope. As for high handicappers
looking to lay up on their second shots, the fairway tilts toward the burn and leaves an awkward third shot from a downhill lie to an uphill green – virtually impossible for the kind of player who has laid up. It would help here to counter slope the fairway and provide just a little more cushion for the high-handicapper, lest he or she finish the round with golf ball in pocket (or in the water) onthe stem approach.

Brad Klein
September 19. 2009

‘It’s Time to Buy Gold’

Kyle Phillips is the creator of Kingsbarns, The Grove and many of the world’s finest golf courses in 20 countries. Writing here for GBD, he believes the golf development industry has only itself to blame for many of the current ills, but feels with the right development model, the golf business can still succeed in a challenging environment.

While historians will describe autumn 2008 as the beginning of the current economic crisis, they will only be describing the moment in time when we realized that we were sick. The virus was in our system long before. Sure, we were warned by a brave few that we were on the brink, but we did not want to believe them. Only after several “too big to fail” companies failed, and the markets tumbled, did we realize we had all caught the flu.

The golf industry is not immune either. Alarming numbers of “too big to fail” residential golf communities are on the ropes, being taken over by banks, or being ploughed under. In Dubai, not even the marketing brand of Tiger Woods has been enough to make the development sell.

But the problems we face today within the real estate development sector of the golf industry did not begin recently. This virus has been building up in our golf industry bloodstream for over four decades. It was in this period that golf started to become more incorporated in residential communities. Often the developers did not play or understand much about the game, but they did know that with a golf course, they could sell real estate for a premium. Unknowingly at the time, the real estate development industry began redefining the ‘essentials’ of the modern championship course for the golf industry.
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Morocco & a Kingdom of Golf

“…AI Maaden, a high-end developer of golf resorts, who have commissioned Kyle Phillips, arguably one of the hottest designer of the modern era to take on the task of making their course a Moroccan star.”

THE FIRST PORT OF CAll FOR OUR BYE-DAY MOROCCAN golf trip is the Palmeraie Golf Palace & Resort, an oasis of luxury and refinement nestled in the heart of a lush, cool palm grove ten minutes from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. This exquisite property is richly decorated in intricate Moorish designs that feature large archways, opulent furnishings and a decor in rich earth tones. After checking in we are asked to make ourselves comfortable on a collection of carpets and cushions by a water fountain in the tiled foyer area.

Before long, resident tea-maker Mr Aziz Igouzoulen appears through an archway wearing a flowing white robe and a maroon fez hat, carrying a silver tray with an elegant metal teapot packed with fresh mint leaves, tea and sugar. After the tea has brewed for a few minutes, Aziz makes a spectacle of pouring the fragrant golden liquid from a great height into the small decorative glasses. With a grin wider than Tiger Woods after winning a major, he hands us the tea, overflowing with the delicious aroma of fresh Moroccan mint and says, “Welcome to Marrakech and I hope you play some good golf.”
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