How to Become a Golf Course Designer
Getting Started as a Golf Course Designer
Have you ever wondered who comes up with golf courses? They can have a variety of levels of difficulty, often contemplate a natural setting that is appealing to the players, and involve different types of topography. Involving large spaces, designing of a golf course needs to take into consideration factors such as the environment, land ownership, and space in general.
So it is easy to imagine that golf course designers need a profound level of specialization and usually come from a landscape architecture or design background. They must also have a deep understanding of the game of golf, since their designs should not only be appealing visually but keep the users interested in playing and wanting to come back.
This is a career that involves quite a bit of multi-tasking, and experts recommend that someone starting out should understand all aspects of the design and building process. This means that those wanting to pursue golf course design are likely to work in a variety of positions and internships and will need to pursue multi-faceted learning.
Find out more about golf course design through this infographic.
This is quite a specialized yet creative career. In order to pursue the path of a Golf Course Designer, you will most likely need to study landscape architecture. It will cover design as well as the technical and scientific aspects of the subject. You will also learn business, as well as humanities and arts, depending on the actual program you choose. In terms of options, you can often find landscape architecture programs at your state university or through colleges.
Of course, you will also need to complement your studies with those specifically relevant to golf course design. While a degree in landscape architecture will prepare you for this wide field, you will need to learn about golf and the specific legislature, techniques, etc. related to golf. This can be done through working with companies that either design or build golf courses and by playing the game itself.
WHAT IF I WANT A FORMAL EDUCATION TO BECOME GOLF COURSE DESIGNER?
- Ohio State University
The Knowlton School of Architecture at OSU, located in Columbus, offers a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, as well as master’s level studies and a minor option. The program combines the scientific aspect of landscape architecture with arts and design. Tuition for Ohio residents averages at $10,037 per year and $26,537 for non-residents.
- Texas A&M University
The School of Architecture at Texas A&M University offers a bachelor degree in Landscape Architecture. Students in the same department may also pursue a minor in urban planning as well as master’s level studies. For those interested, the university also offers graduate level certificates in subjects such as facility management, sustainable urbanism, and environmental hazard. Tuition is $50 per credit hour for residents and $412 for non-residents.
- California State Polytechnic University
The College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly offers a bachelor level degree in Landscape Architecture and focuses studies on combining a humanities perspective with the technical skills needed for the profession. In-state students pay $8,919 per year, while out-of-state tuition is $20,079.
- Cornell University
Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University offers a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture through its College Of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Students are required to choose a concentration for their studies. These include such subjects as community based design, horticulture, ecology, environmentally sustainable design, and many others. Annual tuition here is $47,286.
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Ranked among the top three Landscape Architecture programs in the country, the bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech makes a special focus on individualized learning. Students may also pursue alternative study routes in their fourth year, including study abroad options and internships. Resident tuition here is $12,017 per year, while out-of-state pay $28,048.
GETTING MY FOOT IN THE DOOR
In order to become a lead designer on a project, you will need to do quite a bit of ground work first. You can pursue an internship or an apprenticeship. If you want, you can also work on construction crews that are building golf courses – this will help you acquire first-hand knowledge. Look into working for larger design firms where you can work on many different designs and with a variety of teams.
As part of trying to get into the industry, don’t forget to always be professional and network. Getting to know the people in the industry and them considering you to be a well-trained professional is extremely important. If jobs come up, they might just think of you and get you connected. Go to conferences; learn the important names in the industry; try to be at the events they go to; and you will take your first steps towards success.