Golf Development: Balancing Good Design and Client Demands

Here's an interesting little video about sustainability and golf development featuring interviews with John Goldwyn (Associate Vice President, WATG), Paul Stringer (Executive Vice President, Nicklaus Design), and Ray Wilson (Managing Director, Sourthern Golf).

1 Comments so far

An interesting video clip. I agree that good design and sustainability go hand in hand to an extent but what some would call good design may be limited in how sustainable the golf course is. Examples of this occur on a regular basis.

There are 101 areas where golf courses both old and new fall short. I gave a seminar at the BTME, British Turf Management Exhibition January focusing specifically on one area of desgin/construction, namely bunkers. After the seminar we spoke with esteemed master greenkeeper Mr Laurance Pithie who spoke of how many designers were building more and bigger bunkers only to leave the golf course owners with 'beasts' to maintain.

The amount of man hours and remedial work needed over a 5 year cycle is sometimes enormous and pretty quickly it becomes apprent that the bunkering on the course is economically unsustainable, due to man hours required to maintain them and remedial works required. Many courses also feed and particualrly water their bunker faces as well as having a rolling program of repair works. Mr Pithie summed it up perfectly 'many courses are spending more time maintaining their hazards than they are preparing the playing surfaces'. This is a ridiculous situation but it rings true for may courses.

There are many areas in which we have to improve and we are beginning to make those strides but there is a long way to go. Incidentally the seminar we gave was entitiles 'Envirobunker: A Sustainable Solution to Bunker Erosion' and desribed a brand new, unique and innovative bunker solution that eradicates the problems associated with bunker face erosion and failure. It is a sustainable solution on many levels as well as being constructed entirely from re-cycled materials which would be going to land fill in it's natural lifecycle. We are in the early stages of promoting this product but the courses that have joined us thus far have been extremely positive about the results and both St Andrews and Royal St Georges will be trialling the bunker over the coming months which is exciting both for us as a company and I believe bunker design / construction as a whole. This solution could revolutionize the way in which bunkers are built and dramatically alter what is currently a very problematic and unsustainable area of golf course construction