Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Duran Goes Overboard With Its Course Architect Description

Since the earliest days of golf course design, architects have been touting every piece of land as having been deemed by God as a perfect location for golf, and every club has touted its architect as a genius. Duran Golf Club in Viera, Fla. has gone well beyond the usual excesses in describing course architect Chip Powell.

According to their
site, Powell did much more than just move earth in creating Duran.

"His keen eye for manipulating an area's natural weather patterns and wind tendencies make him a highly-sought, Florida course architect," reads the description.

One would think that if Powell is capable of altering the weather, his talent could be better used outside the world of architecture.

It seems pretty obvious from reading the rest of the site that it was not Powell, himself who wrote up his biography or the hole-by-hole descriptions of the course.

"No. 17 (pictured here), a long par-3 (235 yards from the Onyx and 163 from the Ruby) is nicknamed 'Biarritz.' A biarritz is a French name for a green that has a deep dip in the middle, usually running from side to side. This long narrow green does indeed have a gully that will funnel balls to the center, which can be a good thing if the pin is in the right position."

In fact, there is no meaning for the word "Biarritz" in French. As the story goes, the Biarritz hole design, first used by Charles Blair Macdonald, was based on a hole found on a course that was located in Biarritz, France.

A friend of mine recently played Duran and found the course enjoyable. He was impressed with Powell's version of that Biarritz; it has a closely-mowed chipping area to the right of the green in place of the customary bunkering.

The website also has an overall description of the golf course that is a head-scratcher:

"More than a million cubic yards of earth were moved and shaped to create a course with links characteristics, including rolling terrain and mounded greens. Some 15 ponds and lakes were created that add beauty and drama to almost every hole on the course."

Because nothing says links golf like 15 ponds and lakes and mounded greens?

On another note, I wonder if a second course is built if they'll call it Duran Duran?


  1. Head-scratcher for sure. "So to give character and definition to the site, we imported several thousand native palms, oaks and cypresses to the golf course." Trees? Links?

    According to general manager David Tomczak, “Duran is very playable for golfers of all abilities. The course was designed with minimal but strategic bunkering, allowing the average golfer to play without encountering a great deal of trouble” I'm no architect but, the bunkers seem to be placed outside of the fairways, exactly were average to poor players land.

    Still would play the course though.

  2. I realize those are forsbobet doggies but I would be hard pressed not to eat one ;)