Like most architects, Steve Smyers has a deep reverence for the classical era and the strategic brilliance of Harry Colt, Alister MacKenzie, George Thomas and others. However, as an elite player as well as a veteran designer, he realized the basic strategic precepts that have existed since the early 1900s and have guided much of his own work might no longer apply to golf at the highest levels. Smyers joins Golf Digest architecture editor Derek Duncan to discuss the a-ha moment that led to his evolving views on strategy and course design for the game’s best players, and whether or not a changing understanding of strategy symbolizes the end of strategic play as we’ve always known it.
[Photos–above, Old Memorial, courtesy oldmemorialgolfclub.com; cover page–Pine Valley, Derek Duncan]
View my narration of Golf Digest’s “Every Hole at Whistling Straits”