An interesting note today from the public relations firm that represents Robert Trent Jones II. It seems the designer of high profile (and high end) public golf courses like Poppy Hills and Spanish Bay in California and Washington’s Chambers Bay has something to say about public golf.
He has released a ten point list supporting accessible and affordable golf. I’m thinking they might have wanted to provide a better lead-in to the release than one highlighting “public” courses with green frees in the “less-than”affordable” range. Full Greens Fees – Poppy Hills ($200), Spanish Bay ($260), Chambers Bay ($109)
Keep in mind that the golf design business is hurting and that RTJ II is also in the running to design the golf course for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. If he is serious then I look forward to seeing him put his every effort behind fulfilling it. Golf certainly needs to get back to it’s roots if it wants to flourish.
I just wonder where this acclamation was earlier in his career.
Here is what the man himself had to say before we get to his decree.
“We will continue to design the best possible courses—from private to resort to municipal layouts— for our many and varied clients. But we believe that golf should also be easily affordable and accessible to everyone who wishes to play it,” said Robert Trent Jones, Jr.. Jones took this further, writing in a recent letter to the New York Times, “Golf architects are often called upon to design courses that support upscale real estate developments. But the game’s roots reach down into the Earth, not up into trophy homes. Golf first developed 500 years ago as an accessible and affordable sport that brought people together outdoors, rather than separating them. Many great golf courses serve the public and the environment. The future of our sport lies in embracing the Scottish tradition in which all people are equal as they stand over a white ball.”
PUBLIC GOLF PROCLAMATION
Our Exclusive Commitment to Inclusiveness
From its earliest origins along the coasts of Scotland golf has fostered community, bringing together disparate peoples to enjoy both competition and camaraderie. In the modern era, golf courses throughout the world have been very successful when created in conjunction with resort and real estate developments and private clubs. At Robert Trent Jones II we will continue to design the best possible courses to meet the needs of our many and varied clients. But we believe that golf should also be easily affordable and accessible to everyone who wishes to play it.
As our founder, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., stated in a letter to the New York Times, “The future of our sport lies in embracing the Scottish tradition in which all people are equal as they stand over the ball.”
We applaud the global efforts of golf organizations, associations, and governing bodies, as well as our golf architecture colleagues worldwide, who have worked to promote public access to affordable, high-quality, environmentally responsible golf. In an effort to foster the communal spirit of the game we offer the following declaration to golfers and prospective golfers of every nation:
We aspire to:
Work with municipalities and other government entities to create great golf courses for their citizens through insightful, integrated master plans specific to each community.
Assist communities in creating programs and initiatives that make great public courses accessible and affordable to everyone.
Advocate for the creation of golf facilities on degraded sites to return unproductive land to productive and sustainable public uses.
Always protect and enhance the environment for the good of all.
Design courses that require less earth moving, water, fertilizer, and other resources in an effort to keep investment and operating costs—and therefore green fees—reasonable.
Create wider strategic routings and sets of shorter “family tees” to encourage children to take up golf and have fun playing it.
Advocate for innovative practice facilities where young people and newcomers can learn to love golf, and support programs and organizations that introduce new players to the sport.
Design facilities that encourage speed of play, including inventive layouts such as “Learning Courses,” par-three routings, 6-, 9-, and 12-hole loops, and others.
Create public courses that are flexible, fun, and challenging to golfers of a wide range of abilities.
Encourage golf course owners to support local businesses and take an active role in their communities.