Proper design will meet the needs of the stakeholders, protect the location’s environmental resources, include site-appropriate drainage features, and be economically sustainable. Design also includes the selection of site-appropriate turf cultivars that ideally require less input to maintain a healthy and diverse turf. For more information, see the section of this website on “Surface Water Management,” the Cultivar Selection section of the “Cultural Practices” section, and Recommended Turfgrass Cultivars for Certified Sod Production and Seed Mixtures in Maryland. 2016. University of Maryland.
Best Management Practices
- Retain a qualified golf course superintendent/project manager at the beginning of the design and construction process to integrate sustainable practices into the development, maintenance, and operation of the course.
- Design the course to retain as much natural vegetation as possible. Where appropriate, consider enhancing existing vegetation through the supplemental planting of native species next to long fairways, out-of-play areas, and water sources.
- Design out-of-play areas to retain or restore existing native vegetation where possible. Nuisance, invasive, and exotic plants should be removed and replaced with native species adapted to that particular site.
- Select a greens location that has adequate sunlight to meet plant-specific needs and that provides sufficient drainage.
- Choose a green size and sufficient number of hole locations that can accommodate traffic and play damage but are not so large that they are unsustainable.
- Select an appropriate root-zone material for the site.
- Consider the number of bunkers as related to resources available for daily maintenance.
- Select cultivars based on an evaluation of the site and climate conditions.
- Consider bunker entry and exit points. Consider wear patterns and create adequate space for ingress/egress points on greens, tees, fairways, and bunkers.
- Select the proper color, size, and shape of bunker sand to meet needs.
- Define play and non-play maintenance boundaries.