Poor farm land often makes great golf ground, so when Glenn Gulick and wife Lucinda got discouraged farming, their thoughts turned to finding alternative uses for land. It was too rolling for row crops, too dry to be good pastureland and too remote to sell to a housing developer. They contacted ASGCA member firm Hurdzan/Fry, who saw their land as well adapted for building a practical golf course, which meant keeping all expenditures low. After going through an extensive research phase, followed by equally exhaustive schematic and design development phases, a master plan emerged that showed very little clearing, earthmoving or drainage was needed.


Project name: Split Rock Golf Club
Location: Orient, Ohio
Description: 18-hole, Par 72, 6,800 yards; facilities include practice range
Maintenance Budget: $300,000
Construction Budget: $800,000
Glenn and then partner Tim Triance bought a very old D-8 dozer, used trencher and a few other miscellaneous pieces of equipment to supplement their stock of farm implements. They not only learned to run the equipment, but also enlisted family and friends to help build the course by installing irrigation, doing clearing or cleanup work, as well as hard labor to prepare seedbeds. A local golf course contractor agreed to build the greens to the California method with local sand, as well as do some modest shaping.

The golf course finished in 1997, has three or four sets of tees per hole, 6,000 sq.ft. greens, 35 acres of fairways, lots of bunkers and natural hazards of slopes, creeks and trees. The 18-hole green fees are $18 on weekdays and $20 on weekends, with carts at $11 per round. The golf course is located about 20 miles south of downtown Columbus, and is not easy to find the first time venturing out of country roads. But the golf course has a growing group of loyalists and has proven to be a lot more profitable than farming.

Split Rock Golf Club, Hole 8

Split Rock Golf Club, Hole 8

Split Rock Golf Club, Hole 18

Split Rock Golf Club, Hole 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s note: The above practical golf case study is an excerpt from “Building a Practical Golf Facility – A Step-by-step Guide to Realizing a Dream” published by the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 2005 and written by Dr. Michael J. Hurdzan, ASGCA. As of 2009 greens fees at Split Rock Golf Club are $17 on weekdays and $21 on weekends. Cart fees are $12.