Today was a flying day. We departed BED, stopped to pick up a friend at MMK (Meriden, CT), crossed the Hudson River and landed on the 12,000′ runway at Stewart Air Force Base (SWF). We made a detour so that our artist friend (let’s call him E.A. for Extra Aesthetic) could see Bard College’s Gehry-designed auditorium from the air. E.A. said “What’s great about metal buildings, if they’re sited well, is that they pick up interesting light and reflections at different times of day.” After landing at SWF and taxiing among the C-5 cargo jet behemoths, we stopped at the Rifton general aviation gas station. Guys came out to help us park and actually spread a red carpet on the tarmac. We borrowed a “crew car” (free) and headed over to the Storm King Art Center sculpture park. Although it is only a 1-hour drive from Manhattan and it was a fine Saturday in May, the 500-acres of rolling hills was nearly deserted. E.A. mentioned that they’d had some financial problems in the past and that sparked an idea: the rolling hills that separated the sculptures from each other would also make for a fine, if challenging, golf course (with plenty of space in the bordering woods for the obligatory McMansions that accompany golf courses these days).
It became quickly apparent that this idea would not sell very well among people who take their sculpture seriously. But what about the reverse idea? The American landscape is being progressively uglified as golf courses supplant rustic farms and natural scenery. In certain muncipalities there are requirements that people putting up office buildings spend a certain percentage of the total budget on art. Why not have the same requirement for golf courses? A golf course is a totally man-made landscape. Why shouldn’t it be dotted with some interesting huge modern sculpture? The presence of the pieces would add some additional hazards and challenge for the players. There are plenty of living artists with cranes (e.g., Richard Serra, Mark di Suvero, etc.) and there is a worldwide glut of steel. If the golf nerds are absolutely committed to working only with natural materials, they could hire Andy Goldsworthy, whose wall at Storm King alone makes it worth the trip.
Any golfing readers care to comment, presumably from a position of greater expertise?