The 15th at Rock Creek
In my opinion, the Minimalist movement has already pushed aside Modern architecture.
Minimalism has continued to gain critical support throughout this decade and recently it has begun to garner more public support. With the courses being cheaper to build, more practical, more environmentally responsible and more fun to play – in my mind the change in style was inevitable Golfers exposed to the alternative, begun to see the similarities with the older courses the preferred, and began to frequent courses built in that style.
Modernism is not quite dead - but a further decade of “attrition” with some big names retiring - will finish the transition from Modernism to Minimalism. Modernism had a spectacular 50 year run as the dominant style - and I think when we look back in history - we will realize the transition took place during this decade. I think the actual date may turn out to be last fall’s economic crisis. While some Modernist try to hang on by reinventing themselves as “New Minimalists” (or environmentalists or the champions of public golf) - the reality is in the new economy has made Minimalism make even more sense.
Golf is going through a tough cycle (I was around during the last cycle), but as usual there will be more building on the other end. This will begin with the more sensible economic models first - favoring the current Minimalist movement - followed by some more ambitious projects later on. I think this cycle will be long enough to change the face of architecture as we know it presently.
It will be fun to look back and see if we indeed watched a philosophical change take place while we were watching – I’m pretty sure we just did.