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Here is Question No. 6, from I.M. Moses, of Israel:
You mentioned the axiom of proportional difficulty in one of your answers. Please tell us some of your other architectural axioms.
Perhaps I should go back and start at the very beginning of the design process. The genesis of design is rooted in the architect's deepest beliefs about the ideal golf course. The results should express the philosophy in a clear form. Two old proverbs drive my golf course design. One is the Chinese proverb:
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will do."
The other is the architectural axiom:
"Form follows function."
After designing several golf courses, I set out to record my deepest beliefs. Sitting down with good friends Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Bud Wiser, I wanted to determine exactly what can and should drive my future designs. It turned out to be very revealing.
It also turned out to be a real time saver! There's an advantage to having strong design principals. It usually reduces the number of possible design solutions from infinity to about a dozen on any particular design.
While these are deeply felt and carefully thought out, they reflect 100 years of golf architecture thought, known to me in the writings and work of architectural masters past and present. I refined these ideas considering attitudes of current great players, since their opinions seem to set the reputations of new courses.
My philosophy often mirrors modern mainstream architectural thought. The profession has matured and like mature people tends to rely on tried and true ideas, rather than explore fresh ones. I do like to experiment with new ideas. Nevertheless, I find my best new ideas usually still fit within this basic framework.
Here are my basic design philosophies, presented in reverent or perhaps blasphemous 10 Commandments-style.
Respect Thy Golfer's Scorecard, for It Is Sacred.
Covet Not the Skills of PGA Tour Players, and Design Not for Them, Unless They Will Show Up.
Design Thy Course for Good Amateurs, Equally Rewarding Different Skills.
Round Out Thy Foursome with a Player of Little Strength and Skill, and Make Their Day Enjoyable.
Reward Thy Golfer's Skilled Shots Always.
Reward Thy Golfer Who Uses Strategic Planning.
Design With Thy Wind and Ball Physics in Mind.
Use Thy Power as Architect To Challenge and Punish Only in Proportion to Golfing Ability and/or Sin.
Provide Variety in Both Play and Aesthetics.
Provide Abundant Beauty and Preserve Nature.
I try my best to follow all 10 of these every day, which is at least two better than my daily record on the religious commandments!
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