A nice bit from a previous thread. http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,17013.0.html
''The following excerpt is from Willie Park Jr's book - The Game of Golf. This provides a little insight into his philosophy.
very sparingly laid down, because they are likely to prove what has not inaptly been termed 'levellers'— that is to say, the ball can be driven on to the green in two strokes by anybody, and it may be that. at such holes, if not guarded, there is little advantage in getting away a good drive, because, even if the drive is foozled, any ordinary player can put his ball on the putting-green with his second stroke. The result is, that one man who has driven a good shot may have a short approach to play, while another who has got a bad drive, or who has foozled his stroke, will only have a longer approach to play, and his mistake will thus cost him very little. Of course in this case there is an advantage in having to play the shorter approach; but, generally speaking, a mistake ought to pay a greater penalty than merely increased length of approach. If there be judiciously placed hazards, such an objection cannot hold good, as a foozled drive is practically certain to be punished. It is not possible to lay down ideal distances, because so much depends upon the nature of the ground. For instance, on a flat or on a seaside links, where the ground is hard and the turf short, a ball can be driven much further than on a hilly or heavy course, because it has a considerable run after alighting, and it is possible to get away a long second stroke owing to the ball lying clear; while on a heavy inland course, where the grass is long, the drive is all carry without any run, and owing to the interference of the grass it is not possible to get
away along second stroke; and on a hilly course, the nature of the ground may considerably diminish the distance of the drive; consequently, on courses of the nature first mentioned the holes may be made longer than on courses such as those last indicated. It is to be kept in view, too, that the links are to be laid out for the use of a certain class of golfers, if all are beginners it is a mistake to make the course too difficult at first, as it will diminish their pleasure and possibly disgust them with the green; but as they get more expert the links can be made more difficult by lengthening the holes and similar devices. On new greens which are of a rough nature, the holes should be made shorter to begin with, until the ground is walked down, and they can afterwards be lengthened by putting the tees further back; for, of course, the putting-greens cannot be removed save at great expense.
The tees should be placed on level parts of the course, with, if anything, a slight slope upwards in the direction to be played. If there be a hillock or rising ground or any obstruction requiring to be driven over in front, the teeing-ground should be kept far enough back to enable the ball to rise over it in the course of its flight. Provision, should be made for changing the teeing-grounds frequently, to prevent the turf on them being worn out, and to permit ground previously used to recover.
The selection of putting greens is a much more
difficult matter. The variety of places on which they can be formed is infinite. They may be on the level course, or in a natural hollow or basin, provided it be sufficiently large and shallow, or they may be placed on the tops of large ‘tables.’ All of these are good positions, and the more variety that can be introduced the better. The putting-greens should be as large as possible; and while the ground should be comparatively level, it is not desirable that it should be perfectly flat like a billiard-table, but should rather be of a slightly undulating character. It is absolutely essential that a putting-green be firm and smooth, and the turf close and short, so that the ball will roll on it and not ‘bobble' or Jump, as it certainly will if the turf be brushy and uneven. If natural putting-greens cannot be made on the course as it stands, then they must be dug up and laid with suitable turf; but this should only be done as a last resource. It is a very bad piece of ground that will not improve sufficiently to make a fairly good putting-green, under proper care, and with due cutting and rolling and top-dressing. A strong attempt should always be made to bring the natural turf into condition before resorting to the lifting and turfing of a putting-green. Many will be surprised to find the improvement that can be effected on any ordinary turf with proper treatment and care. If large enough putting-greens cannot be made at any particular parts of the course, it may be necessary to have relief
putting-greens on to which the hole can be changed when the regular greens show signs of tear and wear. The putting-greens and teeing-grounds should, as previously pointed out, be in proximity to one another.
With regard to hazards, I would begin by stating that there should not be any hazard out of which the ball cannot be extricated at the loss of one stroke, and that all hazards should be visible to the golfer when he stands at his ball before playing his stroke. A bunker that is not visible to the player is always more or less of a 'trap.' Sand bunkers are undoubtedly the most legitimate hazards. When there are natural bunkers, it may be possible to place the holes so that these can be made use of, but otherwise they must be formed, and in all cases they ought to be big enough and deep enough and broad enough to prevent the possibility of a ball either rolling through or jumping over. It should not be possible for a ball to lie in such a position in a bunker that a stroke at it cannot be made so as to play the ball out in one direction or another, and the corners should not therefore be sharp and angular, but rather rounded off. The hazard should be sharply defined, so that there can be no doubt as to whether or not a ball lies in it. When bunkers are made, it is very usual to form the soil taken out into a cop in front, or behind, and sometimes in the middle. When such a thing is done, the cop should not be made high but rather broad and it should not have steep
sides. Among various kinds of hazards are to be found walls, trees, water, fences and hedges, whins, etc. Trees are never a fair hazard if at all near the line of play, as a well-hit shot may be completely spoi1ed by catching in the branches. An occasional wall or fence or stream of water or pond to be crossed cannot always be avoided, but I do not recommend the making of such hazards merely as hazards.
The placing of hazards is a matter of great difficulty, and their positions should be such that a golfer who is playing a good game should never visit them. The positions should be varied. There should, for example, be at certain holes hazards that must be carried, and should be carried, from the tee; these should be placed at such distances from the teeing-grounds that, while a well-hit shot will carry them, a topped or half-topped stroke will get in. At other holes the hazards should be placed so as to punish badly played second strokes; at others, again, the hazards should guard the putting-greens in front, and there may also be some hazards placed behind the greens. In neither of these cases should the hazards be too near the green; in the former it should be possible to loft well over the hazard, and yet lie near the hole, and in the latter it should only be a ball much too strongly played that is punished. There is a, great cry nowadays that every hole should have a hazard in front requiring to be lofted over, but I think it is possible to carry a system of this kind too
far. It ties players down to pitching all their approaches instead of making them exercise their judgment as to whether the ball should be lofted or run up. No golfer will deny that there should be hazards in front of some holes, but I think that at others there should be a clear road, with hazards judiciously placed on either side to punish wild shots. To loft a ball with an iron is comparatively easy to any player except an absolute novice, but it is not so easy to keep to the proper course. Erratic play should always meet with punishment, and I would counsel hazards being laid down on each side, not of the putting-greens alone, but also of the line to the hole, to catch pulled or sliced balls. I know that a bunker on the line of play, and into which a good stroke may get, is frequently considered a trap; but this is an opinion which I cannot altogether endorse, if the bunker is visible to the player, and there is sufficient room to avoid it, it cannot properly be called a trap. Golf as a game of skill requires that a player should be able to place his ball; and if he sees the hazard, and knows there is the danger of getting in, the proper thing for him to do is to drive his ball to one side or other of the difficulty.
Although blind holes (i.e. holes at which the player does not see the flag) are objectionable, they cannot always be dispensed with; but an endeavor should be made to place the hole in such a, position that it can be seen in playing the approach. Having to play.''
* Please note, all bold and underlined words and phrases were done by Forse Design to highlight a certain portion of the excerpt and are not found in the original manuscript.