Kari Haug highlights the features included in her concept of ‘leverage design’.
In the spirit of Alice Dye and on the shoulders of her pioneering work, I have been studying and working for all of my architectural career to design golf courses that are more playable for women. I developed a modernisation of Dye’s ‘two-tee system for women’ and renewed the call to action for golf courses to make earnest efforts to build forward tees.
But in addition to tees, my concept of ‘leverage design’ improves playability of the golf course for the shorter hitter by affecting the ground game through carefully and intentionally designed landforms and slopes.
These ground features provide the shorter hitter with leverage in four ways: propelling the ball forward to gain distance, redirecting errant shots, assisting the golfer in lofting the ball or with shot direction, and saving a shot from a worse fate.
The leverage design style will provide a more equitable golf experience in terms of enjoyment of the game, not only for women, but also for all shorter hitters.
Although moving the tees forward to give the shorter hitter a better chance of hitting the landing area on the drive will help to improve playability of the golf course for many golfers, it is only part of the equation. The reason the equation is incomplete is because it is often the second shot for shorter hitters that is the most difficult. Where the contemporary long-hitting low handicap player rarely plays the ground game between the green and 100 yards out, this is often the area with the most challenge for the short hitter who is hitting a long wood just to get to the green. The ground game for this player is extremely important and slopes matter!
Below are five features that can be incorporated into a golf course to enhance playability for shorter hitters. These leveraging features will often make no difference to the low handicap player who is hitting a short iron into a green.
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