The reason course design isn't held in higher respect by players is that most players are influenced more by the terrain, aesthetics, maintenance, tee pads and park amenities than they are by design. If all holes were downhill and curved left, that course might be the most popular around.
The sport has very few injuries so safety has not been a concern for players. So a designer who plans for 1 in a million possibilities for injury isn't valued over one who does things where an injury might occur 1 in 10,000 throws.
The biggest failing of rookie designers is not designing for a particualr player skill level or knowing how to do it then confirming that they did (see recent article on PDGA.com: http://www.pdga.com/course-design-validation
). Many rookie designs are inconsistent to skill level, unbalanced or tougher than the expectation of the Parks Department that citizen beginners would be served by the design, even if shorter tees involved.