Each course site has its own individual physical characteristics that must be addressed in order for the course layout to best serve the needs of the owner and provides the best experience for the guests. This includes local climate, site topography and the competition. Physical elements that can affect the design of a specific course include the existing terrain, the size and shape of the site, existing drainage and surface grades. Also having an impact are the loocation of existing or proposed adjacent attractions and the flow of eople through the course and surrounding facility.
The above initial conditions will govern the general configuration of the course in terms of its shape and the placement of individual holes, waterfalls, streams and pools. The size, shape and placement of specific holes, stream configuration, size and shape of waterfalls, streams and pools will still have to be coordinated between the client (owner/operator) and the design consultant.
The average size of individual fairways (holes) can vary according to available budget, overall course size and client preferences. For many sites the average par value may govern, especially in those situations where clients wish to have a quick turnover, rather than a more challenging and time consuming design.
Too simple a layout, with many par- one and par- two holes will be boring to all but the youngest players. Too difficult a course will turn off the younger players. We try to create a balance that includes several unusual holes that appeal to youngsters and some that challenge older players while not discouraging the younger players.
The character of individual holes is defined by the introduction of varying surface grades, alignment, introduction of simulated sand traps and water holes, creation of moguls and other surface irregularities, multiple cup placements, obstacles of various types, drop holes, ball ramps and other unique elements to increase the “fun“ of playing the course.
Care should be taken in the design of the course to avoid tripping hazards wherever possible. This includes on the fairways, sidewalks and adjacent areas.
Safety fences and netting should be used to keep small children away from the ponds and other hazards that may exist on or around the course. All controls shall be housed in childproof housings. We strongly encourage chain- link, wrought iron or other childproof fencing be used to keep non- players from wandering across the course.
Play Flow Control
The design of the course should take into consideration the flow of people as they play through. Improper groupings of holes with higher par values can result in “bottlenecks” that slow down play over the entire course. Obviously a par four is going to take longer than a par 1 and every course has a mix. Proper planning can intermix the holes to avoid the creation of extended segments that appear to slow the play down.
Proper placement of benches to permit older players and those with physical problems to sit down occasionally, can greatly increase the player friendly feeling of a course.