Course Development

The quality of golf course design contributes significantly to a golfer’s experience and enjoyment of their game. There are a number of key elements where the design of a golf course contributes, in this respect:

  • The views throughout the course, and beyond
  • The impact and visual aesthetics of hazards, water features and bunkers and of other obstacles, trees, out of bounds, significant rough and topography of the golf course
  • The visibility from each of the tees throughout the golf course
  • The options for playing a variety of golf shots and club selections

Golf clubs often strive to improve or upgrade their golf courses, some through minor changes or developments e.g. bunker alterations; tee relocations, others more significant e.g. green reconstruction, introduction of water hazards which may alter the strategy for playing the hole. Where such changes are being considered by a club, whether large or small, it is recommended that professional advice is sought, particularly before committing investment into making course changes.

Worldwide, new golf course developments are sometimes criticised for their disturbance to wildlife and damage to habitats with the negative impact this can have on an areas biological diversity and water resources.

Here in Scotland we believe that new golf courses, if carefully located in the right place, designed, constructed and managed well, can have a positive impact on the environment and the community’s social and economic well-being.

Sustainability should be considered at the planning, design and construction stages of course development projects. These will assist you in identifying what best practice is in terms of course development, and increase your understanding of the mutual benefits of taking an environmentally sound approach.

Best Practice Guidance

> GEO Development Guidelines

> Planning Advice Note PAN 43 Golf Courses and associated developments

> SportScotland Guidance – Golf Practice Facilities

Course Construction Case Studies

To follow

Key Organisations

> Scottish Association of Golf Course Architects (ScotAGCA) 

> British Association of Golf Course Constructors (BAGCC)


For more guidance contact our Environment Manager Carolyn Hedley


T: 07921 606560