I enjoyed your article on trees — To Tree or Not To Tree? (October 2020 Edition) However, I believe I speak for all golf course architects by pointing out the valuable contribution that comes with having a golf architect as part of the process when it comes to tree decisions. While the article pointed out the importance of tree experts (arborists), the mention of the golf course architect was “missing in action”.
Far too often when the golf course architect is working with a green committee and superintendent, we find situations where “misguided” tree work has been done. It can become difficult, for many reasons, to un-do these decisions. We want to say, “Gee, I wish we had been part of the decision years ago to plant these trees…” But, of course, that is an impossible wish. So, we look ahead and work with the course to make things better in all areas. No one is more versed in all aspects of the golf course — strategy, aesthetics, safety, interest, and, yes, trees — than the golf course architect.
My encouragement to superintendents and management is to make sure your course has a golf course architect you can call when any issue arises. We are here to help, even for those small projects and questions that come up from time to time.
Forrest Richardson, ASGCA
(Richardson is the current President of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and is based in Phoenix, Arizona)