The effect of connoisseurship on golfers' visual preference for various North American golfing landscapes
In today's competitive North American golf development market, golf course architects are continually challenged to create golf courses that meet strict development regulations and yet are desirable to play for all golfers. Visual aesthetics are arguably one of the most critical design qualities that determine the desirability of a golf course; however, variation of this characteristic is dependent of the techniques employed during the construction and management of these projects. This study explored the relationship between golfer's familiarity with the game of golf or level of connoisseurship and visual preference for golf course settings that exhibited varying levels of perceived human influence. One hundred and thirty-one golfers of varying experience and ability in golf participated in a visual preference study by ranking images most preferred and least preferred of three different visual settings common to most North American golf courses. This study demonstrated a consistent preference amongst participants for images perceived to depict moderate to excessive levels of human influence regardless of their familiarity with the game of golf.