Golf courses have many features that impact the overall golf
atmosphere but are usually not directly influential on a
hole’s strategy or construction. However, we are always
considerate of these other aspects of a development, as they
can adversely affect or improve the golfer’s experience.
American fairways are often immaculately maintained and seldom offer a poor lie due to conditioning or by design. Conditions in fairways and roughs on many overseas courses are frequently less maintained due to the cultural acceptance of less intensive maintenance, but where firm and fast conditions prevail, thus allowing the ball to run across the ground more, and use the natural contours of the land as a playing interest.
Turfgrass professionals are more focused on maintaining great turfgrass quality but are also environmentally conscious and prudent. Technology has helped us to create better turf that is more resistant to pests and disease while still giving a denser playing surface and a lower height of cut. What must be foremost in our thoughts is that perfect maintenance can’t fix a bad design and that good golf comes from variety in the strategy of the golf design.
Cart paths are a modern element of golf. Older courses never thought about them but do today due to demand. The result is that their inclusion often detracts from an older course’s original charm. Modern courses are often routed or built with the cart paths dictating design elements.
Indeed, carts are a prevalent part of the golf scene in America and make cart paths a very necessary element. DeVries Designs tries to integrate cart paths in ways that do not detract from the overall golf experience and allow for access for those players that choose to ride.
The clubhouse is an important aspect to any golf course. Its style leads to the atmosphere of the club; its size to the various functions it can handle; and its location to the routing of the golf course. Frequently, a high promontory is chosen for its views over the golf course and countryside.
DeVries Designs believes the most important aspect in locating the clubhouse is its relationship to the golf course routing in terms of improving the flow of the golf round. By improving the rhythm of the golf course experience, the clubhouse experience can be improved also. Leading off to the first tee and coming in on the eighteenth green can be enhanced by ensuring that those aspects of the round are special occasions of the day. By synthesizing the clubhouse site with the golf course, a truly special environment can be developed.
Many courses are financed through the sale of properties adjoining the golf course. This can be beneficial or detrimental to the course and residences. Providing adequate buffer space between the land uses will allow both to flourish and enjoy the other, while the dominance of one entity over the other might disrupt any potential success for a project.