The actual course should be over 6,000 yards in length, but not much in excess of 6,500, as it then becomes too strenuous. More length will be necessary on clay soils than on sand or loam ones. Sandy loam is the ideal soil for a golf course; it permits of play earlier in the spring and later in the fall, its natural drainage being better, and worm casts are not so troublesome in sand, because they disintegrate much more readily.
The most successful course is one that will test the skill of the most advanced player, without discouraging the "duffer”, while adding to the enjoyment of both. This is not an easy task, but is by no means an insoluble one. The absence of the cross bunkers has largely made it possible. One should always keep in mind that more than 85% of the golfers play 90 or over. These are the men that support the clubs and therefore the course should not be built for the men who play in the 70 class.
As soon as a player departs from the straight and narrow path, some penalty should follow. Unless this is so, the game loses some of its enjoyment, for it is only by accomplishing what is difficult that gives satisfaction and pleasure. The most popular courses are by no means the easiest ones and the wise committee will see that the course is difficult, but not impossible.
Every shot in the game should be planned and the holes should be so arranged that each one is different from the following one. There should be three or four short holes – five is perhaps one too many, as the remaining holes are apt to be unbalanced. They should be interspersed – not, however, near the beginning or the end. In the former case they tend to congest the course, while in the latter the player who happens to be down is discriminated against. There should be six or seven good two-shotters, with alternate tees for the lengthening or shortening of the holes as the ground is hard or soft or the direction of the wind, to preserve their values. The rest should be apportioned between pitch and iron shots for the second.