Golf course

A golf course is the grounds where the game of golf is played. It comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, a fairway, the rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick ("pin") and hole ("cup"). A standard round of golf consists of 18 holes.[1] Most courses contain 18 holes; some share fairways or greens, and a subset has nine holes, played twice per round. Par-3 courses consist of nine or 18 holes all of which have a par of three strokes.

Many older courses are links, often coastal. Courses are private, public, and municipally owned, and typically feature a pro shop. Many private courses are found at country clubs.

Golf course Golfplatz Wittenbeck Mecklenburg Ostsee Baltic Sea Germany
Aerial view of a golf course (Golfplatz Wittenbeck at the Baltic Sea, Germany)
Golf field
Golf course features:
1 = tee box
2 = water hazard
3 = rough
4 = out of bounds
5 = bunker
6 = water hazard
7 = fairway
8 = putting green
9 = pin
10 = hole

Design

Klagenfurt Seltenheim Golfplatz Klagenfurt-Seltenheim 18102008 82
Fountain pond at Seltenheim Golf Course Klagenfurt-Seltenheim, Austria.
Lord Howe Golf Course - panoramio
Fairway at Lord Howe Golf Course, Lord Howe Island, NSW, Australia.
Shell Point Golf Course - panoramio (2)
Water feature at the Shell Point Golf Course, Iona, Florida.

Although a specialty within landscape design or landscape architecture, golf course architecture is considered a separate field of study. Some golf course architects become celebrities in their own right, such as Robert Trent Jones, Jr.; others are professional golfers of high standing and demonstrated appreciation for golf course composition, such as Jack Nicklaus. The field is partially represented by the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, and the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects, although many of the finest golf course architects in the world choose not to become members of any such group, as associations of architects are not government-sanctioned licensing bodies, but private groups. While golf courses often follow the original landscape, some modification is unavoidable. This is increasingly the case as new courses are more likely to be sited on less optimal land. Bunkers and sand traps are almost always artificial, although other hazards may be natural.

The layout of a course follows certain traditional principles, such as the number of holes (nine and 18 being most common), their par values, and the number of holes of each par value per course. It is also preferable to arrange greens to be close to the tee box of the next playable hole, to minimize travel distance while playing a round, and to vary the mix of shorter and longer holes. Combined with the need to package all the fairways within what is frequently a compact square or rectangular plot of land, the fairways of a course tend to form an oppositional tiling pattern. In complex areas, two holes may share the same tee box, fairway, or even green. It is also common for separate tee-off points to be positioned for men, women, and amateurs, each one respectively lying closer to the green. Eighteen-hole courses are traditionally broken down into a "front 9" (holes 1–9) and a "back 9" (holes 10–18). On older courses (especially links courses, like the Old Course at St. Andrews), the holes may be laid out in one long loop, beginning and ending at the clubhouse, and thus the front 9 is referred to on the scorecard as "out" (heading out away from clubhouse) and the back 9 as "in" (heading back in toward the clubhouse). More recent courses (and especially inland courses) tend to be designed with the front 9 and the back 9 each constituting a separate loop beginning and ending at the clubhouse. This is partly for the convenience of the players and the club, as then it is easier to play just a 9-hole round, if preferred, or stop at the clubhouse for a snack between the front 9 and the back 9.

A successful design is as visually pleasing as it is playable. With golf being a form of outdoor recreation, the strong designer is an adept student of natural landscaping who understands the aesthetic cohesion of vegetation, water bodies, paths, grasses, stonework, and woodwork, among other elements.

Par

Most golf courses have only par-3, −4, and −5 holes, although some courses include par-6 holes. The Ananti CC and the Satsuki golf course in Sano, Japan are the only courses with par 7 holes.[2]

Typical distances for the various holes from standard tees are as follows.

Men

  • Par 3 – 250 yards (230 m) and below
  • Par 4 – 251–450 yards (230–411 m)
  • Par 5 – 451–690 yards (412–631 m)

Women

  • Par 3 – 210 yards (190 m) and below
  • Par 4 – 211–400 yards (193–366 m)
  • Par 5 – 401–575 yards (367–526 m)

Harder or easier courses may have longer- or shorter-distance holes, respectively. Terrain can also be a factor, so that a long downhill hole might be rated par 4, but a shorter uphill or severely treacherous hole might be rated par 5. Tournament players will usually play from a longer-distance tee box (the Championship or Tournament tee) that is behind the standard men's tee, which increases the typical distance of each par; a par-3 hole can be up to 290 yards (270 m), and longer par-4 holes can measure up to 520 yards (480 m), which can also be accomplished by converting a par-5 hole into a long par-4 hole for tournament players. This compensates for the generally longer distance pro players can put on tee and fairway shots as compared to the average "bogey golfer".

Parts

Teeing area

Spanish-Bay-First-Tee
Tee for the first hole at The Links at Spanish Bay

The game of golf is played in what is called a "round". This consists of playing a set number of holes in an order predetermined by the course. When playing on an 18-hole course, each hole is played once; whereas, on a nine-hole course each hole can be played twice to complete a round. To begin a hole, players start by striking the ball off a tee. Playing the ball off a tee can only be used on the first shot of every hole although it is not required to use a tee on the first shot. Tees are a small wooden or plastic peg used to hold the ball up, so that when hit by the club the ball travels as far as possible.

The first section of every hole consists of the teeing ground, or tee-box. There is typically more than one available box where a player places his ball, each one a different distance from the hole (and possibly with a different angle of approach to the green or fairway) to provide differing difficulty. The teeing ground is generally as level as feasible, with closely mown grass very similar to that of a putting green, and most are slightly raised from the surrounding fairway.

Each tee box has two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area. The teeing area spans the distance between the markers, and extends two-club lengths behind the markers. A golfer may play the ball standing outside the teeing area, but the ball itself must be placed and struck from within the area.[3] A golfer may place his ball directly on the surface of the teeing ground (called hitting it "off the deck"), or the ball may be supported by a manufactured tee (limited to a height of four inches), or by any natural substance, such as a mound of sand placed on the teeing surface

The tee markers are often color-coded for easy identification of the tee box; the order of colors, their names where appropriate, and the distance of each tee to the hole is provided on the scorecard and/or on signs identifying each hole. Most U.S. courses have four tee boxes:[4]

  • Red – Closest to the hole and often placed to minimize the influence of major hazards like water; typically used by ladies of all ages, juniors (up to age 12), and novice players of any age/gender.
  • Gold- Next farthest, typically used by teenage boys, low-handicap ladies, and senior or high-handicap men.
  • White – Farther still, typically used by low-to-average-handicap men and low-handicap teenage boys.
  • Black or Blue – The farthest tee from the hole and with the most exposure to any major hazards; typically used only during tournaments or by zero-handicap ("scratch") male players.

There may be additional tees available, depending on the course, and they may be labeled or colored differently depending on the club and its normal patronage. A club catering to senior players, for instance, may offer an additional tee further forward of the ladies' tee, labeled for "senior ladies". A municipal course may label a similarly placed tee the "junior" or "novice" tees. Silver and gold may be used to denote senior ladies' and men's tees, with the regular men's tee being white and the tournament tee being blue.

In recent years, many golf courses have introduced mixed or "combo" tee boxes. A combo consists of playing some holes from one color of tee box and the remainder from one tee box ahead (or back). The selected tee box for each hole in a combo configuration is shown on the scorecard. Each combo tee configuration normally has its own course and slope rating. The use of combo tees allow courses to offer one or more additional options with respect to total yardage at a minimal cost. They can be effectively used when there is a large difference in total course distance between two traditional tee levels.

In casual play, the tee a player hits from is usually their prerogative (there is no rule prohibiting a man from hitting off the closest tee box, nor any prohibiting a woman from using the tournament tee), but players will generally gravitate toward the traditional tee for their gender and/or age, as this will provide the best results given a player's nominal drive distance. Groups are often encouraged to compromise on one tee box, as this speeds the group's play. In tournaments, golfers generally tee off from the box one level further from the "normal" box for their class (men use the tournament tee, ladies use the senior or men's tee, and juniors use the ladies' tee).

Fairway and rough

Par 4 5 dogleg
Typical doglegs. Left: "dogleg left". Right: "double dogleg"

After the first shot from the tee ("teeing off"), the player whose ball is farthest from the green hits the ball from where it came to rest; this spot is known as its "lie". When the ball is in play and not out of bounds or in a hazard you must play the ball as it lies.[5] The area between the tee box and the putting green where the grass is cut even and short is called the fairway. The area between the fairway and the out-of-bounds markers, and also between a mowed apron surrounding the green and out of bounds, is the rough; the grass there is cut higher and is often of a coarser strain than on the fairways, making roughs disadvantageous areas from which to hit. On par-3 holes, the player is expected to be able to drive the ball to the green on the first shot from the tee box. On holes longer than par 3, players are expected to require at least one additional shot to reach their greens.

While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the teeing ground to the green, a hole may bend either to the left or to the right. This is called a "dogleg", in reference to the similarity to a dog's ankle. The hole is called a "dogleg left" if the hole angles leftwards, and a "dogleg right" if the hole angles rightwards. A hole's direction may bend twice, which is called a "double dogleg".

First Hole, Spur Valley Golf Course - panoramio
Fairway and rough, Spur Valley Golf Course, Radium Hot Springs, Canada

Just as there are good-quality grasses for putting greens, there are good-quality grasses for the fairway and rough. The quality of grass influences the roll of the ball as well as the ability of the player to "take a divot" (effectively, the ability to hit down into the ball, hitting the ball first, then hitting the turf and removing a portion of it as the club continues its arc). Fairways on prestigious tours, like the PGA Tour, are cut low. Mowing heights influence the play of the course. For example, the grass heights at U.S. Open events are alternated from one hole to the next in order to make the course more difficult. One example of this is the infamous roughs at U.S. Opens, which are often 3 to 5 inches high, depending on how close to the fairway or green the section of grass will be. This makes it difficult for a player to recover after a bad shot.

Variants of grass used for fairways and roughs include bent grass, Tifway 419 Bermuda grass,[6] rye grass, Kentucky bluegrass, and Zoysiagrass. As in putting-green grass types, not every grass type works equally well in all climate types.

Greens

OldHeadGolfLinks18thHole
The 18th hole at the Old Head Golf Links on the Old Head of Kinsale

The putting green, or simply the green, is an area of very closely trimmed grass on relatively even, smooth ground surrounding the hole, allowing players to make precision strokes on it. To "putt" is to play a stroke on this surface, usually with the eponymous "putter" club, which has very low loft so that the ball rolls smoothly along the ground, and hopefully into the cup. The shape and topology of the green can vary almost without limit, but for practical purposes the green is usually flatter than other areas of the course, though gentle slopes and undulations can add extra challenge to players who must account for these variations in their putting line. The green typically does not include any fully enclosed hazards such as sand or water; however, these hazards can be – and often are – placed adjacent to the green, and depending on the shape of the green and surrounding hazards, and the location of the hole (which often changes from day to day to promote even wear of the turf of the green), there may not be a direct putting line from a point on the green to the cup.

Golfers use a method known as "reading" the green to enhance their chances of making a putt. Reading a green involves determining the speed, grain, incline, decline and tilt of the green on the line of the putt. Most putts are not struck directly at the hole, instead they must be struck to take into account the characteristics of the green to arrive at the hole at the proper angle and speed. The best players will read the green by walking around the green and studying the characteristics of the green before addressing the ball. Reading the green and putting are considered by many golfers to be the most difficult part of the game.

The green is typically surrounded by slightly higher grass, cut at a height between that of the green and fairway, and then by the fairway and/or rough. This longer grass surrounding the green is known as the fringe and is designed to slow and stop balls rolling along the green from an approach shot or errant putt, preventing them from exiting the green. Though putting strokes can be made on it, the higher grass can interfere with the path of the ball, so players often choose to use a lofted club such as an iron to make a "chip shot" or a "bump and run", where the ball carries in the air for a few yards and then rolls along the green like a normal putt.

The grass of the putting green (more commonly just "green") is cut very short so that a ball can roll for a long distance. The most common types of greens for cold winter, but warmer summer regions (i.e., not extremely warm, as in the Southern and Southwestern United States) are bent grass greens. A green may consist of a thin carpet so that bad weather is not allowed to become a serious factor in maintaining the course. These are considered the best greens because they may be cut to an extremely low height, and because they may be grown from seed. Bent grass does not have grain, which makes it superior as a putting surface. However, bent grass may become infested with poa annua, a costly and time-consuming weed. Augusta National is one of many golf courses to use this type of green. The original design of Augusta National did not include bent grass greens, but in the 1980s the controversial decision was made to convert the greens from Bermuda to bent grass. This has affected the speed and playing of Augusta National. Many other golf courses subsequently made the decision to change from Bermuda to bent grass when they observed increased business at courses that had already changed over.[7] Another type of grass common for greens is TifDwarf Hybrid Bermuda (other variants exist, but TifDwarf is one of the most common), or simply Bermuda grass. Bermuda is more common in regions that have very warm summers and mild winters, such as the Southern and Southwestern United States. Red Bridge Golf Course was the first course in North Carolina to utilize a special Bermuda called Mini Verde. A green is generally established from sod which has had the soil washed off of it (to avoid soil compatibility problems) and which is then laid tightly over the green, then rolled and topdressed with fine sand. Another common and more economical approach for establishing a putting green is to introduce hybrid Bermuda spriggs (the stolon of the grass which are raked out at the sod farm), which are laid out on the green. The best greens are always established vegetatively and never from seed.

Flag at Spur Valley Golf Course - panoramio
Flagstick at Spur Valley Golf Course

Two downside factors of Bermuda greens are cost of maintenance, and also the existence of grain (the growth direction of the blades of grass), which affects the ball's roll and which is called "the grain of the green." The slope or break of the green also affects the roll of the ball. The hole, or cup, is always found within the green and must have a diameter of 108 millimeters (4.25 in) and a depth of at least 10 centimeters (3.94 in). Its position on the green is not fixed and typically is changed daily by a greenskeeper in order to prevent excessive localized wear and damage to the turf. A new hole will be cut by a device that removes a plug of the turf from the ground, and the reinforced cup is then moved, before the old hole is filled in with the plug cut from the new hole and levelled. The hole has a flag on a pole positioned in it so that it may be seen from a distance, but not necessarily from the tee. This location marker is officially called the "flagstick" but is also commonly referred to as the "pin.". Flagsticks are made of either coated fiberglass, metal, or wood and have a metal or synthetic bottom (called a ferrule) that is designed to fit in the hole cup.

Putting greens are not all of the same quality. The finest-quality greens are well-kept so that a ball will roll smoothly over the closely mowed grass. Excess water can be removed from a putting green using a machine called a water hog. Golfers describe a green as fast if a light stroke on the ball makes it roll a long distance; conversely, on a slow green a stronger stroke is necessary to roll the ball the same distance. The exact speed of a green can be determined with a stimp meter. By collecting sample measurements, golf courses can be compared in terms of average green speed. It is, however, illegal by the Rules of Golf to test the speed of a green while playing by rolling a ball on it, or by feeling or rubbing the green.

Hazards

Ridgefieldgolfcourseholenumbertwelve
Water hazard, sand trap, and dense vegetation on the 13th hole at Ridgefield Golf Course, Connecticut

Holes often include hazards, which are special areas that have additional rules for play, and are generally of two types: (1) water hazards, such as ponds, lakes, and rivers; and (2) bunkers, or sand traps.

Special rules apply to playing a ball that falls in a hazard. For example, a player may not touch the ground or water with their club before playing the ball, not even for a practice swing. A ball in any hazard may be played as it lies without penalty. If it cannot be played from the hazard, the ball may be hit from another location, generally with a penalty of one stroke. The Rules of Golf specify exactly the point from which the ball may be played outside a hazard. Bunkers are small to medium areas, usually lower than the fairway but of varying topography, that are filled with sand and generally incorporate a raised lip or barrier. It is more difficult to play the ball from sand than from grass, as the ball may embed itself into the sand, and the loose nature of the sand and more severe sloping of many bunkers make taking one's stance more difficult. As in any hazard, a ball in a bunker must be played without touching the sand with the club except during the stroke, and loose impediments (leaves, stones, twigs) must not be moved before making the stroke.

Courses may also have other design features which the skilled player will avoid; there are earth bunkers (pits or depressions in the ground that are not filled with sand but require a lofted shot to escape), high grass and other dense vegetation, trees or shrubs, ravines and other rocky areas, steep inclines, etc.; while disadvantageous to play from, these are typically not considered "hazards" unless specifically designated so by the course (a ravine or creekbed may be termed a "water hazard" even if completely dry)

Driving range

Golf Range 02801r
Practice range with 43 tees (20 covered)

Often, a golf course will include among its facilities a practice range or driving range, usually with practice greens, bunkers, and driving areas. Markers showing distances are usually included on a practice range for the golfer's information. Driving ranges are also commonly found as separate facilities, unattached to a golf course, where players may simply hit balls into the range for practice or enjoyment.

There may even be a practice course (often shorter and easier to play than a full-scale course), where players may measure the distance they can obtain with a specific club, or in order to improve their swing technique. Practice courses often consist of old holes of a previous design that are kept and maintained for practice purposes or as substitute holes if one or more holes become unplayable; a 21-hole golf course, for instance, will have three additional holes that can be used for practice or as substitutes for a flooded or otherwise damaged hole.

Types

Links

Domburg golf aug 05 007
Domburgsche, a links course in the Netherlands

Links is a Scottish term, from the Old English word hlinc : "rising ground, ridge", describing coastal sand dunes and sometimes similar areas inland.[8] It is on links land near the towns of central eastern Scotland that golf has been played since the 15th century.[9]

The shallow top soil and sandy subsoil made links land unsuitable for the cultivation of crops or for urban development and was of low economic value. The links were often treated as common land by the residents of the nearby towns and were used by them for recreation, animal grazing and other activities such as laundering clothes.

The closely grazed turf and naturally good drainage of the links was ideal for golf, and areas of longer grass, heather, low growing bushes and exposed sand provided the hazards that are familiar on modern courses. Although early links courses were often close to the sea it was rarely used as a hazard, perhaps due to the instability of the dunes closest to the water and the high cost of hand-made golf balls precluding anything that could result in their irrecoverable loss. The land is naturally treeless and this combined with their coastal location makes wind and weather an important factor in links golf.

Traditional links courses are often arranged with holes in pairs along the coastline; players would play "out" from the town through a series of holes to the furthest point of the course, and then would return "in" along the second set of holes.[9] The holes may share fairways and sometimes greens (such as at St Andrews to economize on land use, but in modern times this is rare due to the potential for injury from balls coming the other way.

Famous links courses include the Old Course at St. Andrews, often described as the "Home of Golf", and Musselburgh Links, which is generally regarded as the first recorded golf course. The Open Championship, the oldest of golf’s major championships, is always played on a links course.[10] Links and links-style golf courses have been developed throughout the world, reproducing the broken, treeless terrain with deep bunkers of their Scottish prototypes.

Executive

An executive course or short course is a course with a total par significantly less than that of a typical 18-hole course. Two main types exist:

  • A "9-hole course", typically the type referred to as an "executive course", has only 9 holes instead of 18, but with the otherwise normal mix of par-3, par-4 and par-5 holes (typically producing a par score of between 34 and 36), and the course can be played through once for a short game, or twice for a full round.
  • A "par-3" course has either 9 or 18 holes, and the distance of each hole is a par 3 rating (typically 240 yards or less from the "men's" tee), with no par-4 or par-5 holes mandating shots through the green (though, occasionally, a "par-3" course may feature a par-4 or even a par-5 hole). As a result, the total par for 18 holes of a par-3 course would be 54 instead of a typical 68–72. Some par-3 courses still require the use of a wood on some tee shots, and thus a "complete" set of clubs is used.
    • A common standardized type of par-3 course is the "Pitch and Putt" course, where each of the 9 or 18 holes has a distance from tee to cup of less than 100 yards, with an overall 18-hole course distance no more than 1,200 yards (so each hole averages 67 yards). This allows the course to be played without a full set of clubs; typically only wedges are needed, possibly a 9-iron for the longest holes, along with a putter, to play the course. The rules for formal Pitch and Putt competitions mandate a three-club limit, consisting of two irons and one putter.

These types of courses provide a faster pace of play than a standard course, and get their name from their target patronage of business executives who would play the course on a long lunch or as part of a meeting. They are also popular with young professionals, because during the normal golf season, the course can usually be played in the time between the end of the work day and sundown.

The popularity of the 9-hole course has waned in recent decades; a full 18-hole course still allows for the player to play only the "front nine" or "back nine" as a shorter game, while attracting more golfers seeking to play a traditional full round of 18 distinct holes. Many older executive courses have been upgraded "in-place" to 18 holes and a traditional par score, or the original course was sold for other development and new land was acquired and built into an 18-hole course. By contrast, par-3 courses, especially Pitch and Putt, are rising in popularity as a compromise between the long play time and high skill levels required of a traditional 18-hole course, and the artificial nature and single-minded putting focus of miniature golf. Pitch and Putt, specifically its governing association the IPPA, has received financial support and logo rights from the R&A.

In 2014, the PGA Tour held a Champions Tour event on a nine-hole par-3 course, the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf in Ridgedale, Missouri, with four (regular division) or three (over-65 division) rounds played over the par-3 course, and one round played on a nearby regulation 18-hole course with par of 71.

Pitch and putt

Pitch and Putt - geograph.org.uk - 245542
The "par 3" or pitch and putt course in Shibden Hall, England

Pitch and putt is an amateur sport, similar to golf and is also known as chip and putt. The maximum hole length for international competitions is 90 metres (100 yd) with a maximum total course length of 1,200 metres (1,310 yd). Players may only use three clubs; one of which must be a putter. The game is played from raised artificial teeing surfaces using a tee and it has its own handicap system.[11]

Ownership and management

There are three main categories of ownership and management of a golf course: private, commercial, and municipal.[12]

Private

A private course is owned and managed by a golf club on behalf of its members, on a non-profit basis. Many of the courses opened during the golf booms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are of this type.[13] Some courses, such as Augusta National, are highly exclusive and will only allow visitors to play at the invitation of and alongside a member of the club. Others allow visitors at certain times but may insist on advance booking and proof of golfing competency.

Commercial

A commercial course is owned and managed by a private organisation and is operated for profit. They may be constructed to provide a core or supplementary attraction for visitors to a hotel or commercial resort, as the centrepiece to a real estate development, as an exclusive Country Club, or as a "Pay and Play" course open to the general public. Notable examples include Pinehurst in the USA and Gleneagles in Scotland.

Municipal

A municipal course is owned and managed by a local government body for the benefit of residents and visitors. Some of the historic Scottish golf courses, including St Andrews and Carnoustie fall into this category along with Bethpage in the USA and many others of less renown. It is increasingly common for the management of municipal courses to be contracted out to commercial or other organisations or the course to be sold or shut down completely.[14]

Associated clubs

Many commercial and municipal establishments have associated golf clubs, who arrange competitions for their members on the courses and may provide clubhouse facilities. In the UK particularly, some older private members clubs have an associated "Artisan" club, originally established to provide low-cost golf with limited playing rights in exchange for unpaid work on the course.[13] These associated clubs may be totally independent organisations from the course management, or may have various degrees of formal or informal links.

Environmental impact

Iceland (2), Grindavík, golf course
Golf course in Grindavík, Iceland in May 2011, amid the barren lava fields

Environmental concerns over the use of land for golf courses have grown since the 1960s. Specific issues include the amount of water required for irrigation and the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in maintenance, as well as the destruction of wetlands and other environmentally important areas during construction. The United Nations estimates that, worldwide, golf courses consume about 2.5 billion gallons/9.5 billion litres of water per day. Many golf courses are now irrigated with non-potable water and rainwater. In 1988, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prohibited the use of Diazinon on golf courses and sod farms because of its negative impact on bird species.

Environmental concerns, along concerns with cost and human health, have led to research into more environmentally sound practices and turf grasses. Golf course superintendents are often trained in the uses of these practices and grasses. This has led to significant reduction in the amount of both water and chemicals on courses. Golf course turf is an excellent filter for water and has been used in communities to cleanse grey water, such as incorporating them into bioswales.

The use of natural creeks and ponds is generally desirable when designing a golf course for their aesthetics and the increase in playing difficulty. However, such areas also typically include wetlands within the flood plain that are unsuitable for golfing and are often filled in and raised to remain dry. In arid areas, dry creek beds can be marked as "water hazards", but the importation of non-native grasses and other plant life can have a detrimental effect on native landscapes, often requiring non-native soil and large quantities of water and fertilizer to maintain the course. In these areas, course builders are often prohibited from growing and maintaining non-native grass on areas of the course other than the fairway, or even on the fairway itself, in which case only greens are allowed to have grass.

In the U.S., land administered by the Army Corps of Engineers, such as those bordering levees and lakes, is often desirable for building courses, due to the scenic natural views and the unsuitability of the land for other purposes due to it lying in a planned flood plain. In these cases, the course designer must work with the Corps of Engineers to plan a course layout that protects environmentally sensitive areas, provides for a means of quick escape in case of flooding, and does not invite players to hit into or toward controlled structures such as levees or dams.

Some environmentalists and other activists continue to lobby against the building of new golf courses, claiming they may impede corridors for migrating animals and damage sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife, though some courses have become havens for native and non-native creatures.

A result of modern equipment is that today's players can hit the ball much farther than previously. As a result, because of demand from course customers who possess this enhanced equipment, and also out of an expressed concern for safety, golf course architects have had to lengthen and widen golf courses. Where a 7,000-yard course used to be a great rarity, courses measuring 7,500-yards are now not uncommon, and courses of 8,000-yards are being contemplated. All this has led to a ten-percent increase in the acreage required to build a typical course. At the same time, water restrictions established by communities have forced courses to limit the amount of maintained turf grass. While most modern 18-hole golf courses occupy as much as 60 hectares (150 acres) of land, the average course has 30 hectares (74 acres) of maintained turf.[15]

Golf courses can be built on sandy areas along coasts, on abandoned farms, among strip mines and quarries, and in deserts and forests. Many Western countries have instituted environmental restrictions on where and how courses are allowed to be built.[16][17]

In some parts of the world, attempts to build courses and resorts have led to protests, vandalism, and violence. Populists perceive golf as an elitist activity, and thus golf courses become a target for popular opposition. Resisting golf tourism and golf's expansion has become an objective of some land-reform movements, especially in the Philippines and Indonesia.

In the Bahamas, opposition to golf developments has become a national issue. Residents of Great Guana Cay and Bimini, for example, are engaged in legal and political opposition to golf developments on their islands, for fear the golf courses will destroy the nutrient-poor balance on which their coral reef and mangrove systems depend.

In Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in arid regions, golf courses have been constructed on nothing more than oil-covered sand. Players may use a roller on the "greens" to smooth the intended path before putting. A course in Coober Pedy, Australia, consists of nine holes dug into mounds of sand, diesel fuel, and oil, with no grass appearing anywhere on the course. Players carry a small piece of astroturf from which they tee the ball. Other Australian golf courses in locations where water is scarce or water conservation is a priority sometimes feature "scrapes" in place of greens. These are made of fine dirt which requires raking between uses but does not require watering. In New Zealand, it is not uncommon for rural courses to have greens fenced off and sheep grazing the fairways. At the 125-year-old Royal Colombo Golf Club in Sri Lanka, steam trains from the Kelani Valley railway run through the course at the 6th hole.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Why does a golf course have 18 holes?", www.ScottishGolfHistory.org, 2003–2007, webpage: SGH18.
  2. ^ Victoria Robb. "The World's Longest Golf Hole". Esquire. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  3. ^ Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status 2008–2011 (PDF). St Andrews, Fife, Scotland: The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and United States Golf Association. September 2007. p. 67. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2008.
  4. ^ "Colors". Leaderboard.com.
  5. ^ "USGA Rules of Golf Experience". Usga.org. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Tifway 419 Bermuda". Phillip Jennings Turf Farms. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
  7. ^ "USATODAY.com – Bermuda, bent, rye: Grass types make big difference". usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Links". Dictionary of the Scots Language. Scottish Language Dictionaries, Edinburgh. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  9. ^ a b "A Brief History of The Links". St Andrews Links Trust. Archived from the original on 4 July 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Open Venues". The Open Championship. The R&A. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Pitch and putt rules". EPPA. Archived from the original on 27 October 2013.
  12. ^ MW Associates, Edinburgh (February 2003). "Golf Audit Summary Report" (PDF). sportscotland. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  13. ^ a b Lowerson, John (5 May 1983). "Scottish Croquet: The English Golf Boom, 1880–1914". History Today. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  14. ^ Harte, Nigel (24 June 2014). "The decline of municipal golf clubs during the economic downturn". Golf Club Management. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  15. ^ Sources include the National Golf Foundation and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America GCSAA.
  16. ^ C.M. Hogan, G. Deghi, M. Papineau et al. (1992). Environmental Impact Report for the Pebble Beach Properties project by Del Monte Forest. Earth Metrics Inc., Prepared for the city of Monterey and State of California Clearinghouse.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  17. ^ U.S. Federal Register: 2 August 1995 (Volume 60, Number 148, Pages 39326-39337)

External links

American Society of Golf Course Architects

The American Society of Golf Course Architects (abbreviated as ASGCA) is a professional organization of golf course designers in America. Founded in 1946, its members are actively involved in the design of new courses and the renovation of existing courses in the United States and Canada. One of its founders was noted golf course architect Robert White. The abbreviation is typically referenced at the end of a person's name when documenting or discussing golf course architecture.

Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most famous golf clubs in the world. Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts on the site of the former Fruitland (later Fruitlands) Nursery, the course was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie and opened for play in January 1933. Its first club professional was Ed Dudley, who served in the role until 1957; Dudley was one of the top tournament professionals of his era, with 15 wins on the PGA Tour.

Since 1934, the club has played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course. It was the top-ranked course in Golf Digest's 2009 list of America's 100 greatest courses and was the number ten-ranked course based on course architecture on Golfweek Magazine's 2011 list of best classic courses in the United States.The club long held racist and sexist policies: Augusta National had no African American members until 1990 and women until 2012. The club, which long required all caddies to be black, barred black golfers from the Masters Tournament until Lee Elder participated in 1975. In 1997, Tiger Woods became the first person of color to win the tournament; Vijay Singh later became the second.

In 2019, the course began co-hosting the Augusta National Women's Amateur.In 2018, Augusta National Golf Club was voted the number one Platinum Club of the World, Golf & Country Clubs by the election conducted by Club Leaders Forum.

Bismarck, North Dakota

Bismarck () is the capital of the U.S. state of North Dakota and the county seat of Burleigh County. It is the second-most populous city in North Dakota after Fargo. The city's population was estimated in 2017 at 72,865, while its metropolitan population was 132,142. In 2017, Forbes magazine ranked Bismarck as the seventh fastest-growing small city in the United States.Bismarck was founded by European Americans in 1872 on the east bank of the Missouri River. It has been North Dakota's capital city since 1889, when the state was created from the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union.

Bismarck is across the river from Mandan, named after a historic Native American tribe of the area. The two cities make up the core of the Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The North Dakota State Capitol, the tallest building in the state, is in central Bismarck. The state government employs more than 4,600 in the city. As a hub of retail and health care, Bismarck is the economic center of south-central North Dakota and north-central South Dakota.

Bonavista State Park Golf Course

Bonavista State Park Golf Course is a 247-acre (1.00 km2) state park and golf course located in the Town of Ovid, just west of the Village of Ovid, New York, United States. The park is located between Sampson State Park and Seneca Lake State Park and overlooks Seneca Lake.

Crooked Creek (Georgia)

Crooked Creek is a neighborhood is located in Milton, Georgia (formerly Alpharetta). Surrounded by the Alpharetta Athletic Club Golf Course, it has 640 homes on over 500 acres of rolling hills.

Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo is a city in and the county seat of Cass County, North Dakota, United States. The most populous city in the state, it accounts for nearly 17% of the state population. According to the 2017 United States Census estimates, its population was 122,359, making it the 225th-most populous city in the United States. Fargo, along with its twin city of Moorhead, Minnesota, as well as the adjacent cities of West Fargo, North Dakota and Dilworth, Minnesota, form the core of the Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in 2017 contained a population of 241,356.Founded in 1871 on the Red River of the North floodplain, Fargo is a cultural, retail, health care, educational, and industrial center for eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. The city is also home to North Dakota State University.

Gary Player

Gary Player DMS, OIG (born 1 November 1935) is a retired South African professional golfer who is widely considered to be one of the greatest golfers ever. During his career, Player won nine major championships on the regular tour and nine major championships on the Champions Tour. At the age of 29, Player won the 1965 U.S. Open and became the only non-American to win all four majors in a career, known as the career Grand Slam. At the time, he was the youngest player to do this, though Jack Nicklaus (24) and Tiger Woods (also 24) broke this record. Player became only the third golfer in history to win the Career Grand Slam, following Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen, and only Nicklaus and Woods have performed the feat since. Player has won 165 tournaments on six continents over six decades and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.Nicknamed the Black Knight, Mr. Fitness, and the International Ambassador of Golf, Player is also a renowned golf course architect with more than 400 design projects on five continents throughout the world. He has also authored or co-written 36 golf books.

His business interests are exclusively represented by Black Knight International, which includes Gary Player Design, Player Real Estate, The Player Foundation, Gary Player Academies, and Black Knight Enterprises, aspects of which include licensing, events, publishing, wine, apparel and memorabilia.The Gary Player Stud Farm breeds thoroughbred race horses, including 1994 Epsom Derby entry Broadway Flyer.

GPG operates The Player Foundation, which has a primary objective of promoting underprivileged education around the world. In 1983, The Player Foundation established the Blair Atholl Schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has educational facilities for more than 500 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. In 2013 it celebrated its 30th Anniversary with charity golf events in London, Palm Beach, Shanghai and Cape Town, bringing its total of funds raised to over US$60 million.

IMG (company)

IMG, originally known as the International Management Group, is a global sports, other events and talent management company headquartered in New York City. It has been owned by William Morris Endeavor and Silver Lake Partners since 2013. Trans World International (TWI) is the event company of IMG.

Jack Nicklaus

Jack William Nicklaus (born January 21, 1940), nicknamed The Golden Bear, is a retired American professional golfer. Many observers regard him as the greatest golfer of all time. During a span of more than 25 years, he won a record 18 major championships. Nicklaus focused on the major championships—Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship—and played a selective schedule of regular PGA Tour events. He finished with 73 victories, third on the all-time list behind Sam Snead (82) and Tiger Woods (81).

Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur in 1959 and 1961 and challenged for the 1960 U.S. Open, where he finished in second place, two shots behind Arnold Palmer. Nicklaus turned professional at age 21 toward the end of 1961. He earned his first professional win at the 1962 U.S. Open when he defeated Palmer by three shots in a next day 18-hole playoff. This win over Palmer began the on-course rivalry between the two golf superstars. In 1966, Nicklaus won the Masters Tournament for the second year in a row, becoming the first golfer to achieve this distinction, and also won The Open Championship, completing his career grand slam of major championships. At age 26, he became the youngest to do so at the time. He won another Open Championship in 1970.Between 1971 and 1980, he won an additional nine major championships, overtook Bobby Jones' record of 13 majors, and became the first player to complete double and triple career grand slams of golf's four professional major championships. When Nicklaus claimed his 18th and final major championship at age 46 at the 1986 Masters, he became the tournament's oldest winner. Nicklaus joined the Senior PGA Tour (now known as the PGA Tour Champions) when he became eligible in January 1990, and by April 1996 had won 10 tournaments, including eight major championships despite playing a very limited schedule. He continued to play at least some of the four regular Tour majors until 2005, when he made his final appearances at the Masters Tournament and The Open Championship.

Nicklaus has also taken part in various other activities, including golf course design, charity work and book writing. He is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and has helped design courses such as Harbour Town Golf Links. Nicklaus also runs his own event on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament. His golf course design company is one of the largest in the world. Nicklaus' books vary from instructional to autobiographical, with his Golf My Way considered one of the best instructional golf books of all time; the video of the same name is the best selling golf instructional to date.

LPGA State Farm Classic

The LPGA State Farm Classic was a women's professional golf tournament on the LPGA Tour. It was played annually from 1976 to 2011 in the Springfield, Illinois metropolitan area. From 1976 through 2006, the tournament was held at The Rail Golf Course. In 2007 it moved to Panther Creek Country Club.

Originally known as the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Golf Classic, the tournament was underwritten solely by the owners of The Rail Golf Course for its first two years. A community-based not-for-profit organization took over the tournament in 1978. State Farm Insurance became the title sponsor in 1993. From 1980 until cancellation in 2011, over $2.5 million was contributed from tournament proceeds to medical and children's charities.

On December 9, 2011, it was announced the tournament was being cancelled due to organizers failing to find a new sponsor. It had been announced earlier in the year that State Farm would be dropping its sponsorship after 2011.Tournament names through the years:

1976: Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Classic

1977: Rail Muscular Dystrophy Classic

1978–1992: Rail Charity (Golf) Classic

1993–2000: State Farm Rail Classic

2001–2006: State Farm Classic

2007–2011: LPGA State Farm Classic

List of golf course architects

This is a list of golf course architects and golf course design firms. Golf course architecture is a specific discipline of landscape design, with many architects represented in the United States by the American Society of Golf Course Architects. Some architects are highly successful professional golfers who went on to design golf courses.

Mandan, North Dakota

Mandan is a city on the eastern border of Morton County and is the seventh-largest city in North Dakota. Founded in 1879 on the west side of the upper Missouri River, it was designated in 1881 as the county seat of Morton County. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the 2017 population at 22,228. Located across the Missouri River from the state capital of Bismarck, Mandan is a core city of the Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Mark Bostick Golf Course

The Mark Bostick Golf Course at the University of Florida, located in Gainesville, Florida, is the home course of the Florida Gators men's golf and Florida Gators women's golf teams. The course is owned by the university and operated by the University Athletic Association (UAA).

The Bostick Golf Course is located on 118 acres (0.48 km2) of softly rolling terrain on the northwest corner of the university campus, adjoining S.W. 34th Street and S.W. 2nd Avenue, and less than a mile from the central undergraduate campus. It is heavily lined with trees, and includes over 140 bunkers. The facilities include the Guy Bostick Club House, and a dedicated practice area for the Gators men's and women's golf teams. The course is named for Mark Bostick, president of Comcar Industries and a generous donor to the Florida Gators athletics program.

The course was formerly the home of the Gainesville Country Club, and was acquired by the university in 1963. Noted Scottish golfer and golf course architect Donald Ross designed the course in 1921, when it was originally owned and operated by the country club. In 2001, golf course architect Bobby Weed renovated the facility, with $4 million in private donations. As part of the renovation, the course length was stretched by 500 yards, to a total length just over 6,700 yards, and re-rated as a par 70. MacCurrach Golf Construction, Inc. was the primary construction contractor. When completed in November 2001, the University Athletic Association celebrated the occasion with "Gator Golf Day," an alumni golf event that included former Gator golf greats.The Mark Bostick Golf Course hosts the annual Gator Invitational and Lady Gator Invitational tournaments, as well as the annual Gator Golf Day alumni event. The course has also served as the site for the NCAA Regional tournament on several occasions, including 2009. The club house has served a faculty club meeting place, and a venue for student organization events.

University of Florida students, faculty, staff and alumni may play the course. Tee times may be scheduled in advance, Friday through Sunday.

Mark Twain State Park and Soaring Eagles Golf Course

Mark Twain State Park and Soaring Eagles Golf Course is a 464-acre (1.88 km2) state park located in the Town of Horseheads in Chemung County, New York. The park was named for Mark Twain, who spent several summers in the area.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are the athletic teams that represent the University of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish participate in 23 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I intercollegiate sports and in the NCAA's Division I in all sports, with many teams competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Notre Dame is one of only 16 universities in the United States that plays Division I FBS football and Division I men's ice hockey. The school colors are Gold and Blue and the mascot is the Leprechaun.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach Golf Links is a golf course on the west coast of the United States, located in Pebble Beach, California.

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful courses in the world, it hugs the rugged coastline and has wide open views of Carmel Bay, opening to the Pacific Ocean on the south side of the Monterey Peninsula. In 2001, it became the first public course (i.e. open to the general public for play) to be selected as the No. 1 Golf Course in America by Golf Digest. Greens fees are among the highest in the world, at $525 (plus $40 cart fee or $92.50 caddie fee for non-resort guests) per round in 2018.

Four of the courses in the coastal community of Pebble Beach, including Pebble Beach Golf Links, belong to the Pebble Beach Company, which also operates three hotels and a spa at the resort. The other courses are The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and Del Monte Golf Course.

The PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions play annual events at Pebble Beach, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the First Tee Open. It has hosted six men's major championships: five U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship. It also hosted the 1988 Nabisco Championship, now known as the Tour Championship, the season-ending event on the PGA Tour. World-renowned, the course is included in many golf video games, such as the Links series and the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series.

Purdue Boilermakers

The Purdue Boilermakers are the official intercollegiate athletics teams representing Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana. As is common with athletic nicknames, the Boilermakers nickname is also used as colloquial designation of Purdue's students and alumni at large. The nickname is often shortened to "Boilers" by fans.

Purdue is one of the few college athletic programs that is not funded by student fees or subsidized by the university.

Redevelopment

Redevelopment is any new construction on a site that has pre-existing uses.

Scratchwood

Scratchwood is an extensive, mainly wooded, country park in Mill Hill in the London Borough of Barnet. The 57-hectare site is a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and together with the neighbouring Moat Mount Open Space it is a Local Nature Reserve.

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