Washington, New Jersey
18 Hole Private Golf Course

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Course Master Plan

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Hawk Pointe opened Memorial Day 2000.  In addition to the course, plans are for a golf school to be organized by Bob Ross.  This is my first U.S. course for which I have fully employed my land-based design concept.  The results have been very satisfying.  The design incorporates many natural features into the strategy of the course, and thorough preparation prior to construction has kept the construction on budget and at an accelerated pace.  For example, nine holes were shaped in five weeks.

An important component of land-based design is the pinpointing of the player on each hole after a properly played shot.  During the design process at New Jersey, and on every course I design, I mapped each position on every hole where the expert and average players will place a properly hit shot.  For the average player, a landing zone 180 yards from the member tees (with some adjustments for prevailing wind conditions and topography), and subsequent shots of 170 yards through the green were carefully located.  Each landing zone is a point located at the aforementioned distance, and encompassed by a 20-yard diameter circle.  For the low-handicap player, I pin point a landing zone 220 yards from the championship tee (again, with some adjustments for prevailing wind conditions and topography), and subsequent shots of 200 yards through the green.  For the expert player, I pin point a landing zone 260 yards from the championship tee (again, with some adjustments for prevailing wind conditions and topography), and subsequent shots of 240 yards through the green.  The purpose of locating these landing zones is to ensure that holes are properly routed with respect for player’s skills, and in a manner that takes advantage of the natural features I desired to incorporate into the strategic design of the course resulting from the process of routing the course while on the property.  It is also helpful in properly locating the manmade strategic elements like bunkers.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover while attending a workshop that the USGA employs a similar technique in the slope rating process for existing courses.  An important result of mapping out the course this way is that the average to high handicap player can be better accommodated if I know where they are likely to be on any hole.  This way I can carefully locate natural and man made features and slightly modify them if necessary to give advantage to the higher handicap players.   This can be done by making certain the terrain helps the rolling ball gain additional distance; by helping the player have a more comfortable stance from which to play the next shot; and by helping their rolling approach shot toward, and, onto the green.  The majority of higher handicap players are most affected by the results of the ball rolling on the ground.  Specifically, the shaping of the terrain in the approach areas to the greens, and in the fairway where the ball comes to rest, and from where they must attempt their next shot are critical areas to this type of player.  Furthermore, locating the landing zones for the wide range of golfing abilities we expect at this course better informs the design in helping determine the following factors: the proximity of landing zones to hazards; the turn angle in relation to tee and green; the elevation difference between landing zone and tee, and landing zone and green; direction and percentage of slope of landing zone; wind direction in relation to approach to green, and in relation to tee shot; visibility of green from landing zone, and landing zone from tee; and the appropriate width of landing zones. 

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