I was asked a while ago, "Rich, in a perfect world what would be the optimal teepad design?"
After a lot of consideration I think I've realized the elements needed for a perfect tee pad.
For natural pads:
First it must be a mixed surface. Hard-pan with about 15% pea gravel scattered evenly on the top.
The pad should never be level. A minimum of an 18% grade (front or back). If the pad can go up and down bonus points will be awarded.
KEEP PADS SHORT! Don't ever give the player a chance to be comfortable before he throws.
Be sure the area near the pad is small and uncomfortable for the waiting throwers. If the area can be so small that waiting players are actually on the pad with the thrower, this would be best.
An important and relatively unused (but comical) feature would be a 4" ridge running down the middle of the pad. I refer to this feature as the "Continental Divide".
For concrete pads:
It's important to have deep muddy trenches in the front and back of the pad. Banana peels will rot in the sun and lose their ability to cause injury, but a little well placed mud can turn a round of golf into a laugh riot.
Concrete is best when it's aged like fine wine. When the smooth gravel begins to show through GOOD GOLF WILL FOLLOW!
Allow park workers to drive their heavy equipment on the tee pads. This is the easiest way to produce large cracks on the pad. Cobblestone is too expensive but after a few years of mowing, your tee pads will look (and feel) like the streets of 16th century Romania.
Don't forget tee sign placement! Be sure to place the tee sign on the front right corner of the pad. This way, if a player likes to follow through, (and why would you?) the thrower may have a hilarious collision with the sign. Comedy gold.