I know, I know, I know. Shame on me!
How could I stereotype an entire demographic in such a hurtful way!
Well let me explain. Golf is a sport that requires a tremendous amount of time. A typical 18 hole round takes about 4 1/2 hours, and once you add in the commute time, 30-45 minutes each way, you are looking at a 5 1/2 - 6 hour commitment. And that is probably being conservative.
Plus, golf is a sport where you need tons of practice time to be any good. If you have any desire to improve your game, playing at least once a week is necessary.
So that's it. It's all about time. Architect's tend to work a lot, so finding large amounts of time to practice golf and squeeze in an 18 hole round is next to impossible.
Now all that being said. I know a ton of architects that love to play golf. Myself included. In fact, I'd bet that most architects own a set of clubs and play at least once a year. But finding an architect that is actually good at golf would be rare.
And I would qualify a good golfer as someone who has a 15 handicap or less. That would mean that you regularly shoot 87 or lower.
I play a few times a year and have the ability to his good shots. But putting together a complete round of good shots is just not in the cards for me.
So why am I talking about this?
Because this is my architecture blog and I went golfing yesterday!
Normally I don't write about my recreational activities, but this day was a little different.
I received a call late Tuesday afternoon asking if I would fill a spot in a golf tournament on Wednesday. Normally I would have passed, but I had a Wednesday schedule that was completely open. And this tournament was something special.
The tournament was a benefit for the Roper St. Francis Cancer Center and was held at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. LS3P has been an annual sponsor for this awesome cause.
The Ocean Course
The Ocean Course is one of the most scenic golf courses in the world. Often referred to as the Pebble Beach of the East. Most avid golfers would put the Ocean Course on their bucket list. In 2015, Golf Digest rated the Ocean Course as the #3 public course in the U.S. and in 2012 the course hosted the PGA Championship.
So it's a bad-ass course! Enough said.
And another great thing about the Ocean Course:
The clubhouse at The Ocean Course was designed by world renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern. It is an excellent example of an architecture referred to as 'Shingle Style.' You will see why it gets that name shortly.
God is in the Details
Shingle style is the architectural style of choice on Kiawah. From a distance, the clubhouse is fairly unassuming. It looks like a great big house. Albeit a beautiful one.
But once you get up close you will be amazed at the high level of detail on this building.
The designers of this building clearly had some fun and did some very imaginative things.
Another reason why I stink at golf: while the other competitors were warming up prior to the tournament, I spent a good chunk of my time photographing the clubhouse. Nerd!
The Men's Locker Room (close your eyes ladies)
Oh yeah. Golf is less about the clubhouse architecture and more about the golf course. Did I mention how beautiful The Ocean Course was? Ocean and marsh views on every hole.
Everything is better at the beach. Throughout the round my team kept talking about how beautiful it was.
The trees are something special at The Ocean Course. In fact, a tree like the live oak pictured below is the logo for The Ocean Course. These live oaks have been shaped by the prevailing wind patterns. Imagine that you put hair spray in your hair, and then blow-dried it from one direction for 60 seconds. This is what has happened to these trees.....minus the hair spray.
Why am I doing that? Well this is the tree that became famous in the 2012 PGA Championship. In that tournament, the soon to be champion Rory McIlroy launched his tee shot into this tree. It actually got stuck in the limb just about where my ball is. It was comical because it took them a while to find the ball.
Don't believe me? Here's the video:
So How'd We Do?
Despite my naysaying of architect's golfing abilities.....we did pretty well. We had a team that was composed of 3 architects and one real-estate developer.
Despite our architectural disadvantage, we finished one shot away from being in the top 3.
Now you might say: "Steve, I thought you said architects were bad at golf?"
Well maybe I was being a little harsh. In fact, our best golfer was an architect.
2 out of our 3 architects were not good (including me). Luckily for us, this was a tournament that factored in the golfer's handicap. For those not familiar with the game, your golf handicap is the average number of strokes you shoot over par. The lower your handicap, or closest to par, the better the golfer. Professional golfers don't have a handicap.
So in our case, we had 2 architects with very high handicaps. So when the scores were adjusted per handicaps, we did very well. One more put and we would have been in the running.
And most important, we had a great time.
Steve Ramos AIA, LEED AP