Landscapes to a Tee: The Art of Golf Course Landscapes
Joshua C. F. Smith is in the rarefied field of golf landscape artists. As part of National Golf Month in August, we caught up with him for a behind-the-scenes look at how he captures the natural beauty of a golf course landscape in his paintings.
GD: You see golf courses probably much differently than the rest of us. What do you look for when you’re painting? JS: I love to paint really natural-looking golf courses, the kind with heirloom grass. They’re not too clean around the edges. They fit in with their surroundings and look more timeless. The 1920’s were considered the golden era of golf design, before the use of bull dozers and heavy equipment. We’re seeing a resurgence of this, of more natural, Mother Nature inspired golf courses.
GD: What are the characteristics of a Mother Nature inspired golf course? JS: People usually look at a golf course as vibrant green, clean cut, that doesn’t blend well with the natural landscape. That’s how a lot of golf courses have been created in the last few decades. But golf was started in Scotland and courses there were “found” more than “created”. The course was laid out on what Mother Nature already had in existence. The golf course fits better when it blends with the flora and fauna of the natural landscape.