If you could design your own golf course, what would it look like? There’s much more involved in the design of a course than just sandpits and pretty grass. A well-designed golf course is a work of art, and precise planning and architecture are involved. The end result must be aesthetically pleasing and functionally playable.
The design begins with an understanding of the natural landscape, vegetation, and ponds. There is consideration of the number of holes, par values, arrangement of the greens, and the mix of shorter and longer holes. Older designs tended to be one long loop, starting and ending at the clubhouse. Newer designs break the course into “front 9” and “back 9” holes which split the course into two smaller loops, each beginning and ending at the clubhouse.
Once the design is established, the building begins. Topsoil is removed in specific areas and replaced with a special mixture of soil. The contour of the course is created, using colored markers that indicate the action to be taken: hollows are cut, areas are filled in to make mounds, and gradients are created. Irrigation systems are installed, along with proper drainage, to create healthy grass and to minimize excess water and insects.
A great deal of planning and forethought goes into the creation of a golf course, and it’s a privilege and a pleasure to play on a well-designed course. Not many people have the knowledge and means to create their own golf course but, here in the Sandhills, we have a plethora of clubs and courses to choose from. With links designed by great masters such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Davis Love III, you can certainly find one that you favor. Why not try them all?