Fall is a good time to evaluate a golf course and develop a master plan for improvements, reported Erik Larsen, ASGCA, president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA).

“Many golf courses across the country were damaged by floods or scarred by drought this year, making this a particularly good time for golf course management to review what needs to be done before the next golf season – and those that follow,” Larsen said.

Larsen emphasized it’s cost effective to develop a master plan to serve as foundation for course maintenance and improvement over the coming years. Such planning can help reduce long-term costs overall and ensures the course has a consistent vision. ASGCA members can provide the insight necessary to help decision-makers understand tradeoffs and make good use of golf course resources.

Some areas of ASGCA-member focus noted by Larsen include:

  • Creation of family tees
  • Turf reduction leading to water savings
  • Irrigation system consultation
  • Aesthetic and functional improvements to the practice range

“Even a one-day visit by an ASGCA member may provide golf course decision makers with the broad brushstrokes of what is needed to improve the golfing experience and address functional issues,” Larsen said. “The golf architect operates within management’s parameters, understanding some managers want to refine their current layouts while others want to address the changing face of golfers for the long term.

“For instance, more and more players may not have the time to play 18 holes on each visit to a course. Architects work with course managers to make the course and the game accessible and competitive for everyone. A golfer does not always need to play 18 holes in order to enjoy the game and experience the wonderful benefits of golf.”

“Master Planning: Questions and Answers,” is an ASGCA brochure that can help golf course managers, superintendents, professionals and owners understand the process of developing a master plan and the importance of assessing the typical life expectancies of golf course components. This free brochure may be obtained by visiting here

ASGCA Background

Founded in 1946 by 14 leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout the United States and Canada. Members have completed a rigorous two-year long application process that includes the peer review of four representative golf courses. ASGCA members are experienced golf course architects, able to counsel in all aspects of golf course design and remodeling and comprise many of the great talents throughout the golf industry.

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