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I haven't been able to travel for several years, but from looking at television and talking to friends and pupils, I agree with Jackie Burke, Jr., when he said, "God is going to make a lot of these golf course architects answer for what they have done to the land."It's not just some of the architects who are to blame for a decade or more of building golf courses that are tricked up by artificial difficulties such as bulldozer-dug water hazards where water is not meant to be and bunkers that catch only the less skilled players. Real estate developers and green committees have spoiled more golf courses than architects, who, like other artists, do best if left alone. A pupil told me that while on vacation in Arizona, he and his wife lost fourteen golf balls in the water during two rounds at a famous resort course. I said, "You must have been pretty wild. The last time I was in Arizona, I didn't see any water. "No, the pupil said, this course even had a roaring waterfall. "We had a good time at the course because it was our vacation and an adventure, but it is way too hard for us, " the pupil said. "My wife and I agreed if we had to play that course every day, we would wuit golf. "If lakes or rivers or creeks or wetlands, or for that matter the ocean, are natural to the area, they should be used in golf course design so that nature is enhanced rather destroyed. Ponds are needed for drainage, and these can make the course more pleasing to the eye, or they can be hidden away. But I see water in front of many greens on modern courses just so the holes look pretty on a postcard. It's not much fun for a high handicapper to play regularly on a course that has no proper entry to the greens. By proper entry, I mean a route where the ball can be bounced onto the putting surface.
Courses have always been too hard and long. The popularity of the Tour makes long, hard courses better than short ones in the eyes of many.