If I had $100,000 to spend on Golf Course improvements…what should I do? Hire a Golf Course Architect for a Day!
If I had $100,000 to spend on Golf Course improvements…what else could I do? Hire a Golf Course Architect for 10 Years!
If I had $100,000 to spend on Golf Course improvements…what should I do?
What are some options for improvements or renovations?
What gives us the most bang for the buck?
How do we avoid “changes” for the sake of change?
How do we decide if the money is well spent?
Critical Analysis & Golf Course Audit
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the golf course experience
Address safety to players and adjacent property
Look for ways to enhance or maintain the aesthetics of the golf course
Does speed of play affect operations or revenue?
When do features of the golf course need to be replaced for agronomical or physical reasons?
Survey Stakeholders & Gather Information
Management concerns and needs for efficient operation
Membership surveys and opinions need to considered
Consider ideas of public players and tournament groups
Differentiate between “wants” and actual “needs”
Master Plan or Golf Course Improvement Plan
Presents objectives and recommendations with spreadsheet costs on a hole by hole basis
Can be adopted as a Master Plan and only modified by vote
Serves as blueprint for future projects/tasks and can assign priority to items
Master Plan provides continuity of design changes to future management teams
Biggest Bang for your Buck? Bunker Enhancements
Numbers of bunkers & strategic placement provide challenge and defend par of the course
Consistent bunkers contribute more than other hazards to the aesthetics, artistic eye appeal,and playability of the game
Location of bunkers can set up angles of risk-and- reward to your targets
Address Design Weaknesses of a Golf Hole
Correct issues of dangerous “blind” golf shots, OB or risk to players
Is the golf hole too easy, too hard or is it unfair?
Do features of the golf hole suffer from flooding, poor drainage, winter kill, or excessive shade problems around greens?
Can you make the golf hole more rewarding by changing tee locations/angles, tee & green surfaces or fairway side slopes?
How about creating a “quality conversation” golf hole for a $100,000? Is it possible?
Turf Grass Replacement Programs
Grow your own turf grass nursery for greens, tees, and fairways
Replace green, tee and fairway surfaces with sod rather than seeding
Grow a fescue nursery for placement of turf grass on high bunker faces
Enhance the Aesthetics of the Golf Course
Remove high traffic wear areas around cart paths and maintenance access areas to the features which can be unsightly or ground under repair
Use hard landscaping materials for delineation and ease of maintenance
Create special interest landscape features in out of play areas
Plant evergreen trees in foreground views of golf holes for year-round color
Go Green & Brown!
Consider undertaking steps for Audubon Certification
Establish more naturalized out of play areas to reduce mowing, water usage, and chemical applications
Consider the idea of playing parts of the golf course as environmentally sensitive and non-maintained areas
Use interpretive signage and marketing opportunities to promote your golf course as a environmentally user-friendly facility
START WITH A PLAN!
Know where you are at now and define where you want the golf course to be 5, 10, 20 years from now
FOLLOW THE PLAN
Enjoy the process – changes and renovations can be challenging and controversial, but can also be source of excitement and optimism if key personnel are engaged in producing a better overall golf experience for the players
$100,000 can make a difference!!!!
National Golf Course Owners Association – ngcoa.ca; ngcoa.org American Society of Golf Course Architects - asgca.org Royal Canadian Golf Association – rcga.org
United States Golf Association - usga.org R & A – randa.org Golf Course Superintendents Association(s) – golfsupers.com; gcsaa.org
Golf Course Builders Association of America – gcbaa.org
National Golf Foundation – ngf.org
Questions ? Les Furber, ASGCA Golf Design Services, Ltd. www.lesfurberdesign.com