In laying out a golf-course (Figs. 45, 46) the final appearance of the design will depend directly upon the clearness with which the purpose has been kept in view, and the ingenuity with which the topographical features have been utilized.
The purpose of a golf-course is recreation, and consequently it is frequently found in connection with country clubs. There is certain to be a house for lockers and shower-baths for the members, and in a club which is at all pretentious the building is more or less elaborate, with recreation, dancing, and reading-rooms, verandas, and other comforts and conveniences. The golf-course itself is strictly utilitarian, inasmuch as it is to be used for a definite purpose, although this purpose is the playing of a game.
The course necessarily covers a large amount of ground, and is generally naturalistic in planting. Any planting that interferes with the game is out of place, and therefore all elaborations must be kept near the club-house. The degree of elaboration will depend upon the wealth of the club and the general appointments of the building. But even if the building is very elaborate, the planting should be restrained sufficiently to keep it in harmony with the naturalistic planting of the links.
The first consideration after the site has been determined is to make the best use of the topography. Rather might one say that topography has a great deal to do with the selection of a site and the laying out of more or less difficult courses.
The contours should be generally undulating, though with some variety and a considerable amount of rough ground and natural hazards, like swamps, ditches, impenetrable growth, and abrupt changes, such as steep banks or small cliffs and water. There should, however, be a larger area of smooth and even ground to make the hazards an intensive feature of the course, lending new interest by the introduction of a different type of play.
In laying out a course, the general direction of the holes should be north and south, and the general direction of play between holes should run counter-clockwise. Within these limitations the holes should be laid out with as much variety as possible, so that the different phases of the game may be emphasized in playing the various holes, and in this way the topography will be of great advantage if it varies considerably.
The first hole of a golf-course is always a long one, and is generally straight. In nine-hole courses there are two short holes, and in an eight-een-hole course there are generally four short holes, two for each half. In nine-hole courses the short holes should be four and five; in the eighteen-hole course five and six or six and seven, and thirteen and fourteen or fourteen and fifteen.
The distance between the holes should be determined by an even number of average shots. The good player should be able to make a hole in three, four, or five shots when playing his average game. The distance should not lie between three and four shots or between four and five, but should be such as will cause the player to use his best efforts to play the hole with an even number of lengthy shots.
If the club is situated in the country, the clubhouse should be nearest to the means of communi-cation,-railroads, trolley lines, or highroads,-so that it may be directly accessible to players who have come some distance and have only a limited time to play. For this same reason, as many players do not have sufficient time to play the entire course, holes nine, fifteen, and eighteen are gener-
Figure 47. HORTICULTURAL ACCENTS.
White birches introduced to emphasize a vista ally located near the club-house, so that the players may stop whenever convenient and be at no great distance from the house.
The planting of the course, so far as the matter of playing it is concerned, is strictly economic. The best use of existing features such as trees and shrubs should be made, and they are usually preserved to supply shade or act as natural hazards. No planting of any sort should be used unless it aids the game, and if the planting is not chosen as a hazard, it must be kept back from the line of play. Trees may often be used near a hole to supply shade in which the players may rest.
Esthetic planting is confined very closely to the immediate vicinity of the club-house or is used about the boundaries of the course. This is really the only function esthetic planting may have in a good golf-course, for it is out of place in ground which is played over.
In planting a golf-course formal or gardenesque planting may be used by the club-house, but the rest of the scheme is naturalistic and consists mostly of existing features. This does not imply that a golf course should look barren and uninteresting, however, for the natural features may be most attractively displayed.