The Design Process




Master Plan Phase

Preliminary Planning and Understanding the Goals for Your Project

We begin projects by getting to know you, our client, understanding the scope of yourproject, and helping you to clarify a vision for your project. We meet these objectives by listening to you and providing you with information, maps, and drawings that will assist you in setting goals, communicating with us, and making critical decisions in regard to the style of golf course you intend to build or renovate. On renovation or restoration projects, we encourage clubs to organize a small “Master Plan Committee” if one is not in place. This committee should include the Golf Course Superintendent, General Manager, Head Golf Pro, and one representative from each of the Men’s and Women’s Clubs. If it is a municipal project, the City Landscape Architect or Engineer should also be included on the committee. Whenever possible, we walk the site with a topography map and an aerial photograph so that we can see where ridges, valleys, vistas, trees, unique features, waterways, roads, and/or structures might affect our designs. We listen to the land and the ecosystems that tie it together in order to work with natural processes rather than against them. We then will prepare conceptual designs and illustrations to start refining a vision for your project. The goal of the Master Plan Phase is to develop an exciting vision for the project, brought to life by the Master Plan drawing which will show the course routing, the location of each golf hole, the generalized style and par of each hole, clubhouse location, access roads, practice areas, etc. If the client is undertaking a renovation project, this phase will include an analysis of existing course strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges, and will illustrate preliminary conceptual design solutions.


Design Development Phase and Construction Documents

Developing the Strategy of the Golf Holes and Character of the Course

Once the client’s vision is fully understood and defined, we enter a design developmentphase where we start to develop the “fun” and memorable aspects of the golf course. This is the phase where we capitalize on key views and features of the site, develop exciting and strategic challenges for each golf hole, develop drainage and grading concepts, develop course aesthetics, circulation, and planting schemes. This phase culminates in final architectural drawings and construction stipulations called construction documents and specifications.


Construction Bidding Phase

Selecting a Qualified Golf Course Builder

The construction documents and specifications include projected quantities and qualities expected in the final product. The architectural drawings include a grading plan, staking plan, clearing and grubbing plan; detailed plans for greens, tees, and bunkers; drainage plans; planting plans, etc. Based on these documents, bidding documents are generated that will be used to secure competitive price proposals and a qualified contractor to build your project.


Construction Phase

Construction Observation and Field Modifications

Once a bid is accepted, we will call a pre-construction meeting with you and your chosen golf course builder to ensure that the scope and quality of work is fully understood prior to breaking ground. We will make frequent site visits during construction to ensure the design intent is carried out, and to capitalize on opportunities that might arise during the construction process. In addition to our site visits, we recommend that the superintendent that will be caring for this investment be on site during construction so that there is a good understanding of where sub-surface construction elements are located.

Kari Haug | Sustainable Golf Course Design