Alternatively Designed Golf Courses: Improving Accessibility for Novice and Intermediate Golfers

Forbes, Alexander
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University of Guelph

The majority of golfers are at a novice or intermediate skill level, but most golf courses are designed for experts. Golf course architects and golf experts were interviewed to gain professional insight on golf course design principles and golfer demographic trends. Fifteen novice and intermediate golfers were interviewed, and their preferences and displeasures of golf course design were obtained. It was found that too many forced carries and difficult water-hazards deter golfers from the game. Most golf courses are too long and do not have appropriately located tee decks. Deep bunkers and greens surrounded by rough are also highly difficult design elements. A golf course with a more interesting and variable layout accommodating all skill levels is more likely to succeed than a course of high difficulty and increased length. The recommendations provide guidance for future golf course design and renovation opportunities.

golf course architecture, golf course design, golf, alternative design