Golf course

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Aerial view of a golf course (Golfplatz Wittenbeck at the Baltic Sea, Germany) Golf course Golfplatz Wittenbeck Mecklenburg Ostsee Baltic Sea Germany.jpg
Aerial view of a golf course (Golfplatz Wittenbeck at the Baltic Sea, Germany)

A golf course is the grounds on which the sport of golf is played. It consists of a series of holes, each consisting of a tee box, a fairway, the rough and other hazards, and a green with a cylindrical hole in the ground, known as a "cup". The cup holds a flagstick, known as a "pin". A standard round of golf consists of 18 holes, [1] and as such most courses contain 18 distinct holes; however, there are many 9-hole courses and some that have holes with shared fairways or greens. There are also courses with a non-standard number of holes, such as 12 or 14. [2] [3]


The vast majority of golf courses have holes of varying length and difficulties that are assigned a standard score, known as par, that a proficient player should be able to achieve; this is usually three, four or five strokes. Par-3 courses consist of holes all of which have a par of three. Short courses have gained in popularity; these consist of mostly par 3 holes, but often have some short par 4 holes. [4]

Many older courses are links, often coastal. The first golf courses were based on the topography of sand dunes and dune slacks with a ground cover of grasses, exposed to the wind and sea. [5] Courses are private, public, or municipally owned, and typically feature a pro shop. Many private courses are found at country clubs.


The golf course has its roots dating to the 18th century. The 18-hole course Old Course was established in 1764 at St Andrews, Scotland and has existed under its name since 1895.

In 2009, Nullarbor Links, the world's longest golf course spanning 1,365 kilometres, was established along the Eyre Highway.

In 2023, the golf course at Moundbuilders Country Club, was integrated into the world heritage-listed Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.


Kytaja Golf in Kytaja, Hyvinkaa, Finland Kytajakoulu.JPG
Kytäjä Golf in Kytäjä, Hyvinkää, Finland

Although a specialty within landscape design or landscape architecture, golf course architecture is considered a separate field of study. Some golf course designers become celebrities in their own right, such as Alister MacKenzie; 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 always built in by architects unless the formation of such items is already in the course's natural terrain. [6]

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 routed 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. [7]

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. [8]


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. [9]

Par is primarily determined by the playing length of each hole from the teeing ground to the putting green. Holes are generally assigned par values between three and five, which includes a regulation number of strokes to reach the green based on the average distance a proficient golfer hits the ball, and two putts. [10] On occasion, factors other than distance are taken into account when setting the par for a hole; these include altitude, terrain and obstacles that result in a hole playing longer or shorter than its measured distance, e.g. route is significantly uphill or downhill, or requiring play of a stroke to finish short of a body of water before hitting over it. [11]

Under the United States Golf Association, the typical distances for the various holes from standard tees are as follows: [11]


  • Par 3 – Under 260 yards (240 m)
  • Par 4 – 240–490 yards (220–450 m)
  • Par 5 – 450–710 yards (410–650 m)
  • Par 6 – 670 yards (610 m) or longer


  • Par 3 – Under 220 yards (200 m)
  • Par 4 – 200–420 yards (180–380 m)
  • Par 5 – 370–600 yards (340–550 m)
  • Par 6 – 570 yards (520 m) or longer


Golf course features:
1 = teeing area
2 = penalty area
3 = rough
4 = out of bounds
5 = fairway bunker
6 = penalty area
7 = fairway
8 = putting green
9 = flagstick
10 = hole Golf field.svg
Golf course features:
1 = teeing area
2 = penalty area
3 = rough
4 = out of bounds
5 = fairway bunker
6 = penalty area
7 = fairway
8 = putting green
9 = flagstick
10 = hole

Teeing area

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. [12] 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.

Fairway and rough

Typical doglegs. Left: "dogleg left". Right: "double dogleg" Par 4 5 dogleg.svg
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 the player must play the ball as it lies. [13] 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".

Fairway and rough, Spur Valley Golf Course, Radium Hot Springs, Canada First Hole, Spur Valley Golf Course - panoramio.jpg
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, [14] rye grass, Kentucky bluegrass, and Zoysiagrass. As in putting-green grass types, not every grass type works equally well in all climate types.


The 18th hole at the Old Head Golf Links on the Old Head of Kinsale OldHeadGolfLinks18thHole.jpg
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 beand often areplaced 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. Many golfers consider reading the green and putting 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 are 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 early 1980s the greens were converted from Bermuda to bent grass. This affected the speed of the greens, making them too quick, and several areas were subsequently remodelled to reduce the slopes and make them more playable. [15] 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. [16]

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 sprigs (the stolon of the grass which are raked out at the sod farm), which are laid out on the green.

Flagstick at Spur Valley Golf Course Flag at Spur Valley Golf Course - panoramio.jpg
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" and not to be confused with "the rub of the green" which are idiosyncrasies encountered getting through the hole. 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.

The cost of installing and maintaining grass greens constitutes a considerable proportion of the expense of installing and maintaining a golf course. To save money, many low budget courses catering to casual players have sand greens instead of real grass. In recent years, artificial turf has also become an increasingly popular surface as a less costly alternative to grass which more closely resembles the appearance and feel of real grass compared to a sand surface.


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

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

Signature hole

Many golf courses have what may be referred to as a "signature hole". This will commonly be the most memorable, aesthetically pleasing or photogenic hole. [17]


Domburgsche, a links course in the Netherlands Domburg golf aug 05 007.jpg
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. [18] It is on links land near the towns of central eastern Scotland that golf has been played since the 15th century. [19]

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. [19] 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. [20] Links and links-style golf courses have been developed throughout the world, reproducing the broken, treeless terrain with deep bunkers of their Scottish prototypes.


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:

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

The "par 3" or pitch and putt course in Shibden Hall, England Pitch and Putt - - 245542.jpg
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. [21]

Ownership and management

There are three main categories of ownership and management of a golf course: private, commercial, and municipal. [22]


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. [23] 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.


A commercial course is owned and managed by a private organization 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 US and Gleneagles in Scotland.


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 and Pebble Beach in the US 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. [24]

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. [23] These associated clubs may be totally independent organizations from the course management, or may have various degrees of formal or informal links.

Golf courses around the world

As per 2019 there were 38,864 golf courses around the world. A 2019 study [25] revealed that 78% of the world's supply of golf courses are located in 10 countries: the United States, Japan, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, France, South Korea, Sweden and Scotland [26] .

CountryGolf CoursesPercentage of Total World Golf Courses
South Korea7982.05%
South Africa4891.26%
New Zealand4181.08%

Environmental impact

Golf course in Grindavik, Iceland in May 2011, amid the barren lava fields Iceland (2), Grindavik, golf course.JPG
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. These pesticides run off into bodies of water and cause over flowing of pesticides into water which causes algae blooms that destroys whole ecosystem shutdowns. The United Nations estimates that, worldwide, golf courses consume about 2.5 billion gallons/9.5 billion litres of water per day. The number one method of water use goes toward green regulations and the maintainment of courses. Many golf courses are now irrigated with non-potable water and rainwater. 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 in 1988. [27] [28]

In 2022 the U.S. Geological Survey reported that the state of Utah uses about 38 million gallons of water on its golf courses per day - enough water to fill almost 58 Olympic-sized swimming pools. [29] Studies have also found that golf courses take up 2,244,415 acres of land nationwide. A golf course's carbon footprint is ten times greater than an average person's everyday life.[ citation needed ]

Environmental concerns, along with concerns about cost and human health, have led to research into more environmentally sound practices and turf grasses. The USGA shares best management practices and case studies of U.S. golf courses, on topics such as irrigation efficiency, use of recycled water, stormwater infrastructure, native grasses, and increasing pollinator habitat. [30] Golf course superintendents are often trained in the uses of these practices and grasses. This has led to significant reduction in the amount of 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.

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. The cause of modern science allows these specifications that cause more acreage to be used up. All this has led to a ten-percent increase in the acreage required to build a typical course. These modern updates are very positive in today's society but at the cost of putting in much more crucial and efficient societal issues. 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. [31] [32]

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. [33] [34] The problem in today's society with building multibillion-dollar courses is that it takes the place for much better use of land. Those methods of use include building communities for the homeless and under privileged, national parks and foresty for tourism, growth of wildlife, and animals to roam free. There is also a problem with giving up farm land which is a top necessity in the US economy which causes problems in the supply chain. [35]

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. These causes are valiant but only come to more divide, then instead of coming to conclusions and to agree and make more efforts of making this game more eco friendly.

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. In November 2022, four Saudi Arabian golf courses were certified by the GEO foundation that solidifies those courses pledge and to higher the sustainability in the courses in the area and to improve economic output. This act was supported by very strict laws in Saudi Arabia including stewardship, carbon and climate footprint reducal, and restoration of the economy as well. [36]

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.[ citation needed ]

Audubon International has an educational and certification program for golf courses to achieve higher environmental standards and become a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. [37]

While golf courses are a big target of pollution and global warming, there has been good efforts of evolving golf into a game which helps the environment and not the latter of destroying it. Golf courses often create large green spaces that serve as habitats for various plants and animals. Some courses incorporate natural features and wildlife corridors, contributing to biodiversity. This is a big step forward in the movement towards a greener environment. Golf courses as a whole also typically require substantial water for irrigation. Properly managed courses can showcase efficient water management practices, such as the use of reclaimed water or sustainable irrigation systems. These are the first crucial stages to conquer environmental issues and the problems within the golf industry. The sustainability issue hits when animals and non invasive plant life are displaced and alteration and distortion to many prominent swamps, wetlands, and other prominent wildlife fixtures. [38]


Fountain pond at Seltenheim Golf Course Klagenfurt-Seltenheim, Austria. Klagenfurt Seltenheim Golfplatz Klagenfurt-Seltenheim 18102008 82.jpg
Fountain pond at Seltenheim Golf Course Klagenfurt-Seltenheim, Austria.
The Tammer Golf Course in the Ruotula district of Tampere, Finland. Tammer-Golf.jpg
The Tammer Golf Course in the Ruotula district of Tampere, Finland.
Fairway at Lord Howe Golf Course, Lord Howe Island, NSW, Australia. Lord Howe Golf Course - panoramio.jpg
Fairway at Lord Howe Golf Course, Lord Howe Island, NSW, Australia.
Water feature at the Shell Point Golf Course, Iona, Florida. Shell Point Golf Course - panoramio (2).jpg
Water feature at the Shell Point Golf Course, Iona, Florida.
Golf course in Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii Golf course Princeville Kauai Hawaii (46277137941).jpg
Golf course in Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

See also

Related Research Articles

The following is a glossary of the terminology currently used in the sport of golf. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics. Old names for clubs can be found at Obsolete golf clubs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Links (golf)</span> Style of golf course

A links is the oldest style of golf course, first developed in Scotland. Links courses are generally built on sandy coastland that offers a firmer playing surface than parkland and heathland courses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wedge (golf)</span> Type of golf club used in special situations

In the sport of golf, a wedge is a subset of the iron family of golf clubs designed for special use situations. As a class, wedges have the highest lofts, the shortest shafts, and the heaviest clubheads of the irons. These features generally aid the player in making accurate short-distance "lob" shots, to get the ball onto the green or out of a hazard or other tricky spot. In addition, wedges are designed with modified soles that aid the player in moving the clubhead through soft lies, such as sand, mud, and thick grass, to extract a ball that is embedded or even buried. Wedges come in a variety of configurations, and are generally grouped into four categories: pitching wedges, sand wedges, gap/approach wedges and lob wedges.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pinehurst Resort</span> Golf resort in North Carolina, United States

Pinehurst Resort is a golf resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, United States. It has hosted a number of prestigious golf tournaments including three U.S. Open Championships, one U.S. Women's Open, three U.S. Amateur Championships, one PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Visalia Country Club</span> Golf only club in California

The Visalia Country Club is a golf only club in Visalia, California.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harbour Town Golf Links</span> Public golf course in South Carolina, United States

Harbour Town Golf Links is a public golf course in the eastern United States, located in South Carolina in Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head Island in Beaufort County. Since 1969, it has hosted the RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour, usually in mid-April, the week after The Masters.

Aronimink Golf Club is a private country club in the eastern United States, located in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, a suburb west of Philadelphia. Its championship layout is consistently rated among the nation's top golf courses. Aronimink is currently ranked 78th in Golf Digest's "Greatest Courses," 44th in "Toughest Courses" and 55th in Golfweek's "Classic Courses." In 2010, Aronimink was ranked #4 among the toughest courses on the PGA Tour by Links magazine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">TPC at Sawgrass</span> Resort golf course in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, US

The Tournament Players Club Sawgrass is a golf course in the southeastern United States, located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, southeast of Jacksonville. Opened 44 years ago in the autumn of 1980, it was the first of several Tournament Players Clubs to be built. It is home to the PGA Tour headquarters and hosts The Players Championship, one of the PGA Tour's signature events, now held in March. Paul and Jerome Fletcher negotiated a deal with the PGA Tour, which included the donation of 415 acres (1.68 km2) for one dollar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hazard (golf)</span>

A hazard is an area of a golf course in the sport of golf which provides a difficult obstacle, which may be of two types: (1) water hazards such as lakes and rivers; and (2) man-made hazards such as bunkers. The governing body for the game of golf outside the US and Canada, The R&A, say that A "hazard" is any bunker or water hazard. Special rules apply to play balls that fall in a hazard. For example, a player may not touch the ground with their club before playing a 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 govern exactly from where the ball may be played outside a hazard. Bunkers are shallow pits filled with sand and generally incorporating a raised lip or barrier, from which the ball is more difficult to play than from grass.

Sand Ridge Golf Club, was designed by Tom Fazio and is located in Munson Township, Geauga County, Ohio, near Chardon. Construction on the course started in late 1995 and opened for its private members on May 18, 1998. The course was built on 370 acres (1.5 km2) of woods, pastures and wetlands located next to the Fairmount Minerals sandstone quarry in Chardon. It also contains the headwaters of both the Chagrin and Cuyahoga rivers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bellerive Country Club</span> Luxury country club

Bellerive Country Club is a golf country club in the central United States, located in Town and Country, Missouri, a suburb west of St. Louis. With the Old Warson, Westwood, and St. Louis country clubs, it is considered one of the "big four" old-line elite St. Louis clubs. The course has hosted three major championships: the U.S. Open in 1965, and the PGA Championship in 1992 and 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oak Tree National</span>

Oak Tree National, formerly called Oak Tree Golf Club, is a golf and country club located in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, Oklahoma. The course was designed by Pete Dye, and it opened in 1976. It plays to a par 71.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trojan Oaks Golf Course</span>

Trojan Oaks Golf Course was a 9-hole championship golf course on the campus of Troy University. It was for use by the general public, golf team, and students. The Trojan Oaks was 3,211 yards (2,936 m) from the longest tee. The par for the course was 36 with a course rating of 35.5 and a slope rating of 125. The greens and fairways were both Bermuda grass. The course was built over the course of two years and opened in 1977 under the supervision of Chancellor Ralph Wyatt Adams. The course was closed in March 2010 in order to build a new basketball arena on the grounds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Golf equipment</span> Items used to play the sport of golf

Golf equipment encompasses the various items that are used to play the sport of golf. Types of equipment include the golf ball, golf clubs, and devices that aid in the sport.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Greenskeeper</span> Person who cares for a golf course

A greenskeeper is a person responsible for the upkeep of a golf course. Their duties include all horticultural practices, as well as the setting of flag-sticks and marking of hazards. Other responsibilities typically include raking bunkers, watering plants, repairing divots, trimming tee boxes, and mowing the course. Greenskeepers often work under the direction of a golf course superintendent.

The Royal Malta Golf Club is located on Aldo Moro Street, Marsa, Malta.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Golf</span> Club-and-ball sport

Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit a ball into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible.

TPC Southwind is a private golf club in Shelby County, Tennessee, southern United States, located within the gated community of Southwind in Southeast Memphis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Purdue Boilermakers men's golf</span> American golf team

The Purdue Boilermakers men's golf team represents the Purdue University in the sport of golf. The Boilermakers compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Big Ten Conference. They are currently led by head coach Rob Bradley. The Purdue Boilermakers men's golf program has won 12 Big Ten Conference championships and one NCAA national team championship in 1961. The first year of golf at Purdue was in 1921.

North Adelaide Golf Course is a 54 hole golf course in Adelaide, South Australia. The golf course is situated in the park lands which surround the City of Adelaide. The course consists of three courses, the Par 69 North Course, the Par 71 South Course, and an 18 hole Par 3 course. The North Adelaide Golf Course is perhaps the only golf course of its size to be located only a kilometre away from the business heart of a capital city.


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