Role of the Golf Course Architect
The design of new golf courses, as well as the remodeling of older ones, has become a highly specialized profession. Your seleciton of a golf course architect may well be the most important step in the entire project.
A professionally-designed golf course reflects the training and experience of the architect, and is a recreational treasure that will challenge and delight golfers for decades. A course with faulty design and construction can leave you with:
- Improperly built greens that soon require rebuilding.
- Poor drainage that leaves standing water around the course.
- Dangerous traffic patterns that can cause serious accidents.
- Short-range planning that increases maintenance costs.
Golf course designs cannot be approached simply as an exercise in landscape architecture. Only with a thorough knowledge of the game of golf can the architect develop a true understanding of strategy, shot value, limitations of players and equipment and realistic design possibilities.
Members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects have a working knowledge in all areas crucial to your project:
- Landscape Architecture--Only the most competent land sculptors can design courses that are compatible with the surroundings and preserve the natural landscape.
- Civil Engineering--A knowledge of surveying -- operating a transit and level, using aerial photography and topographic maps -- is basic to planning and routing of the course.
- Hydraulic Engineering--Design of irrigation systems demands understanding of hydraulics, pumps, piping systems, creation of ponds, lagoons, waterways, etc.
- Agronomy--A solid background in turf culture and care is critical when specifying and preparing turf areas.
- Heavy Construction--Considerable earth moving necessary to build a golf course requires an understanding of heavy equipment and its capabilities.
- Plans & Specifications--Detailed plans and specifications must be prepared overing all phases of construction including clearing, excavation of ponds or lakes, grading, irrigtion installation, green and tee construction, planting of grass and trees and early maintenance.
- Cost Estimating--Preparation of plans and specifications makes it possible to present realistic budgets so that adequate financing can be arranged.
Golf course architecture is a specialized field. Each new project requires solutions for specific challenges of earth moving, drainage, pond or lake design, irrigation, water supply, conservaton of trees and ecological considerations. For these reasons, fees for professional service are at relatively higher levels than those which might be applicable for standard architectural or engineering work.
Source: ASGCA Golf Sourcebook