Reconstructing The Derrick Club: A Sense Of Place

By Jeff Mingay

Golfers feel this sense of ‘place’ at all of the world’s best courses, which are all incredibly distinct. The great courses of the world are my inspiration. Creating a sense of place is a very important element in golf course design that stems not only from course architecture, but also its eventual presentation. For example, take the wicker baskets at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. These distinctive accessories greatly enhance that revered course’s distinctiveness. So, too, do the tattered red pennants on the flagsticks at Los Angeles Country Club in California. By comparison, too many golf courses seem to put little thought into using distinctive course accessories. Flagsticks, ball washers, and garbage cans are frequently the same at different courses.

With golfers scheduled to begin playing the 10 new holes at the Derrick Club this summer (the first through third and 12th through 18th holes), there is a lot to think about and consider over the coming months relative to how the new course will be presented. My advice to the club thus far is simply the new course’s presentation must match its architecture, which is purposely subdued and old-fashioned. In fact, one of the principles guiding the design work at the Derrick Club is to only build features actually necessary to create an interesting, beautiful, and distinctive golf course. The same principle needs to guide the selection of tee markers, flags, benches, and other accessories.

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