The links at Peek’n Peak, a public golf course in the suburbs of Syracuse, New York, is one of the most beautiful golf courses in America. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., and opened in 1987. Jones was a designer whose work includes the legendary Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. The links at Peek’n Peak is not just a beautiful golf course, its also a beautiful place to play golf. To the right and left of the 18th green, sweeping down to the lake, are two man-made lakes that serve as backdrops for pictures taken from teeing grounds around the edge of each lake. The foreground is a meadow with trees and shrubs that provide a natural backdrop for pictures taken from the teeing ground on the grassy side of each lake.
The design of this golf course is masterful: it’s fun to play; it’s beautiful; it provides great views (taken from above or below) that make it easy to tell if you hit your shots properly; and it’s short enough to fit into any local agenda in terms of time and energy required to play golf there.
The greens are fantastic: well-controlled; beautifully maintained; hardly ever ruffled by wind. The
I recently visited Seneca Golf Course in Rochester, New York. It is a beautiful course with a lovely clubhouse and an excellent restaurant. The course has a reputation for being challenging, and it is a great place to play if you are looking for some real golf.
Using Seneca Golf Course as the example, I wanted to show the importance of differentiating between “golf” and “golf-like”. To me, golf is the game of golfing; it’s what people do when they go to the golf course. Golf-like is where people go to relax and have fun playing a game that resembles golf but isn’t exactly golf.
The difference between golf and golf-like was highlighted by our second tee time at Seneca: we were told that it was $10 more per person for lunch (a real charge), which sounded like a good idea until we realized that lunch included two beers each and two cocktails each. We went ahead and paid the extra $10, but we did not enjoy the meal.
Peek’n Peak Golf Club is a private club in the city of Binghamton, New York. It is a 9 hole golf course, with a small clubhouse and restaurant. The course was designed by golf architect Jack Nicklaus and opened in 1991. The course is located at the base of the Adirondack Mountains in eastern New York State, close to Lake George. The view from the 18th green is considered one of the best in the area.
The course was named after Adriaen van Peek (1605-1665), an early settler who explored upstate New York and built Fort Frontenac on Lake Ontario.
Peek’n Peak Golf Course has received national awards from Golf Digest magazine, Golf World magazine and Disc Golf Today magazine for its distinctive design, outstanding hospitality and exceptional adoption of environmentally-friendly practices.
Some people think that golf courses and country clubs are there just to make money. But someone has to pay for them, and they are often paid by the town or the county. Nor are they just a place for rich people to go try to impress each other. They pay taxes, and support many other things besides.
And if you look at it from the point of view of a golfer, not only does a golf course have many virtues, but it is also a good thing for the whole town because it creates jobs and brings money into it. If an area has lots of golf courses, that makes people in the area richer and more successful. Golfing is good for the whole world.
A golf course is a place where people gather to play very difficult games. The fact that it is a game, and not a sport, is one of the things that makes it so interesting. A sport has rules and requires official badges for all players. A game does not, but it does have a history and a culture, and it does have etiquette.
The golf courses I have known are places where you can play the game with people who are different from you, who come from different cultures, who think differently. You can share your knowledge of the game with them, and they can share theirs with you. The best kind of course is just like life: a place where everyone is at home.
I was sitting down at the wooden table on the patio, having breakfast. A few feet away stood a man with a metal detector, sweeping the ground. I stopped eating, and when he looked up, I said, “I’m looking for a lost watch.”
When he asked me where it was, I told him it was near some of the bunkers on the golf course. He listened carefully and then started digging in the dirt, only to find nothing but sand.
I couldn’t help thinking that if he had not asked me where it was and if it had been a matter of his own personal interest, he would have kept on digging until he found it.
In our experience it is much easier to get people to do something than to get them to stop doing something. We have seen that people who work for us on our projects tend to avoid taking new assignments when they are done with their current ones; this is called “employee attrition” or “turnover” by managers. No matter how good our compensation package is, or how many bonuses or incentives we offer them for finishing projects early, most employees don’t want to do anything else after they finish their current assignment.
In the early 1900s, one of the most famous and well-liked public figures in America was President William Howard Taft. He was also a golfer, but not a very good one. He played golf once or twice a year, and had only scored 76 or 77 in his whole life.
But then the president had an idea: if he and his friends played golf together once a week, they would all get better at the game. The first assumption was that this would be true. The second was that everyone would want to be part of the club. And the third was that each man’s score would go up as more people played with him.
Those assumptions turned out to be correct. The original dozen men joined up with some of their friends, and in no time there were 150 men playing once a week . . . and rising numbers of men playing every other day of the week . . .