“GOLF’S GRAND DESIGN,” a new 60-minute HD documentary debuting on PBS stations nationwide this Friday, August 3, 2012, at 10 p.m.(check local listings) examines the history and role of American golf course architecture and explores the unique relationship between the people who play the game and where they play. The documentary features Jack Nicklaus, who has designed close to 290 courses over parts of six decades and whose Nicklaus Design firm is widely regarded as the global leader.
“‘GOLF’s GRAND DESIGN’ not only examines the diverse designs of golf’s playing fields, but celebrates the experience of the game on many levels —the history, the artistic ingenuity, the skill, and the camaraderie,” said Donald K. Boswell, WNED President and CEO of the producing station of the program. “This is a wonderful subject for PBS viewers, and knowledge of it will deepen appreciation for an activity that is already a passion for millions of Americans.” A companion website to the program with bonus video material on courses and architects is being created for pbs.org, as well as a companion book.
In the show, Nicklaus compares designing golf courses to art.
“The piece of ground is your palate and canvas, and you just use it and sculpt it as you need to sculpt it,” he said. “You just have to be creative. Think about what you’re doing; what you’re trying to put together; who’s going to play it and how they’re going to enjoy it,” he says.
View bonus video of the Golden Bear’s interview.
Golf’s playing fields have recognizable characteristics – fairways, greens, bunkers, and water hazards – but golf is the only sport played on a field with no specifically defined dimensions.
“GOLF’S GRAND DESIGN” focuses on golf course architecture from the 1880s through the present day and highlights some of America’s best known and most influential courses. The rise of golf in America over the past 130 years is due in large part to the artistry of the people who design the courses.
“GOLF’S GRAND DESIGN” traces the impact of historical figures such as C.B. Macdonald, Tom Bendelow, A.W. Tillinghast, Alister MacKenzie, Donald Ross, and Robert Trent Jones, Sr. In addition to an insightful interview Nicklaus, the documentary also features interviews with Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Tom Doak, Ben Crenshaw, Bob Cupp, Bill Coore and golf architecture experts George Bahto and Ron Whitten. The program also explores various eras and trends that impacted course design and the game.