At one point in second grade, my obsession with drawing golf courses on pieces of paper got so bad that my teacher had to pull me aside with the admonition that I had to start paying more attention in class or she'd ban me from doodling it at all, even after I'd finished my in-class schoolwork. Now, I've managed to make drawing golf courses part of my work-work.
Lately, though, I've traded in pencils and paper for Google Earth. A friend who likes golf told me he was looking at purchasing some land with sandy soil and though golf will not be the purpose, it immediately set my wheels turning. I took the liberty of carving out about a third of the gently sloping parcel for the prospect of a golf course and spent about 90 minutes routing a 6,300-yard, par 69 that could compete with the Doaks, Hanses, Coores & Crenshaws of the world...in my dreams.
Armed with Google Earth, I found it pretty easy. It was a matter of measuring the property and using the Add Path tool to route 18 holes. And though it was the most basic of tries, it gave me a greater appreciation for the genius of the folks I mentioned, who can take far more complicated sites than my friend's and create courses that flow in a way that elevates the experience of playing the constituent holes. But the real thrill was feeling that rush of excitement at imagining and "creating" some golf, albeit in the abstract, for the first time in far too long.