In the world of football, soccer, golf and other sports played on field, we often find the focus on performance to be the highlight of commentary and late night recaps. Our vision and vocabulary becomes submerged by terminology and words like assists, strikes, rebounds amongst others. The question of terrain hardly comes into play as much as it should. How important is terrain in sport and how does it affect the performance of the player? Taking this question to Golf, how much do you consider the terrain you play on?
In a sport like golf where terrain has a strong influence on performance, what can be considered as the ideal terrain? What type of terrain do Golfers like? Every golf course has a different characteristics, according to this article by Dennis clark for Golf RXW here are some of these characteristics to be considered when playing Golf.
Conditioning– Conditioning begs the question, is this Golf course in good shape? How does the allotted budget for a course affect the maintenance. Budget is very important because it can dictate important factors like how much land can be moved on a course, or even how much of the terrain can be altered to improve performance.
Routing– Architects take into consideration the impact and direction of the prevailing wind on a golf course. As a golfer, what direction do the holes play? Consider this, your par 3’s may be affected or played in a different direction depending on the incoming wind on the course. Inland or Parkland courses can have holes designed and routed in different directions because playing every long par-4 in the same direction can prove monotonous and frankly repetitive.
Design– Design may be one of the most important factors to consider in golf terrain and it’s effect on performance. Most golf terrains are nuanced in the design approach, and it is important to consider how the design of the course with features like bunkers slopes and greens affects your approach to holes, club lengths and club sizes. To quote Dennis Clark in this article ” if the hole is calling for a long iron or hybrid, the green might be long or open in front” .
Variety: ” Variety is the spice of life” they say. In golf, the best courses have a mixture of holes and a well designed terrain to keep you entertained and challenged.
There’s more to golf courses and terrains than we think about, and hopefully the next time you’re on a gold course you can get a scope of the course and see of it’s features match what you are trying to achieve whether for play or optimal performance.