From Concept to Opening :: How We Design a Golf Course

At golfmarnoch we follow a 'tried and tested' design process that ensures every vital element is given consideration and that your vision for your golf course is achieved. A thoroughly researched and well designed golf course will enable an efficient and expedient construction process.


At a very early stage we are able to make preliminary studies of the proposed course. This may take place before risking significant expenditure and can take place in the office as a desk study if the client can provide suitable location details, a site plan and photographs.

If these preliminary studies prove positive, a site visit will be carried out and more detailed information collated. At this stage we would be able to recommend locations for clubhouse and maintenance facilities as part of the preparation of the routing plans for the course.

We will also have a good idea of the other consultant support that would be necessary to develop the course and secure permits. We would normally co-ordinate this work and can head the Design Team in order to secure all permits and approvals for the project.

We would always recommend involving other important consultants at an early stage in order to get the permits approved. It is a false economy to omit this given current legislation and the requirements for golf course development permits. We do realise however that it is important to minimise expenditure at this stage and we work hard to restrict the brief of each consultant to that which is specific and important for the project.

With our funding expertise and contacts we are also able to provide guidance and advice on the availability of funds and investment for the golf course development.

Investigation & RESEARCH

There are many areas for consideration and investigation at this stage. As lead consultant we would co-ordinate with the team and collate all the information required. Isolated design work can cause confusion and problems, a cohesive team effort is essential to ensure that the course is designed to its fullest potential.

The following areas will be subject to thorough and systematic investigation to ensure that nothing is left to chance.



What is the nature of the landscape formation and what are the changes in level within the site?

Where are the features within the site and what size are they; how do they relate to each other?

We need an exact image of the site in 2 dimensions and also 3 dimensions so that we can plan and model any changes to that landscape accurately.

Topographical considerations are paramount on a steep site, suitable playing platforms, reasonable fairway widths, even protection against erosion all need considering to ensure stability on severe sites.

We will advise and produce surveying specifications and if required supply qualified surveyors to check the information produced.




What is the soil like on site, is there a lot of soil or is there any at all!

What is the soil make up and what are its characteristics?

Is it suitable for use within perhaps the tee construction or will all construction materials need to be imported?

Is it free draining or is a full drainage system required?




Are there any rock formations near the surface and what type of rocks are they?

The depth of rock and perhaps its hardness may determine whether to avoid excavations in difficult areas and will also have a bearing on the routing for irrigation or drainage.

Errors at this stage can result in expensive changes or needless rock breaking during construction.


Vegetation & Ecology

Vegetation & ECOLOGY

What type, locations and sizes are the existing trees and other plants on site?

Are there areas of important flora or fauna which need to be respected or protected during the development?

The distribution and type of vegetation can tell us quite a lot about the site including the likely drainage characteristics type and depth of soils etc.

This information will be an important start to the development of the proposed planting scheme, future management plans, golf course routing and can identify for consideration the areas of protection around which the golf course can be formed. This approach will illustrate to the permit granting authority a responsible approach to the development and will no doubt be welcomed.




The availability of a suitable water source for the proposed irrigation of the golf course is crucial.

The amount of water required for the irrigation can be calculated and compared with the available site water.

When and from where is the water available? Can it be stored on site or off-site and is it suitable for its proposed use?


Golf Course Character


How many holes and what type of course is proposed and will the site and the location sustain that type of development?

A financial feasibility study looking at development costs, demographics and local competition also needs to be considered at an early stage in order to ensure all round success.


Having considered the physical and financial feasibility of your development you can now move confidently onto the...


All the preliminary information is collated and reviewed with great consideration which obviously will have a great bearing on the final detailed design proposals.

Using this information we would make many more routing plans before arriving at the final master plan. From the initial studies we would advise on the need to research any other information necessary to complete the plans i.e. detailed ecological or even engineering studies. Once again golfmarnoch can co-ordinate all studies forming part of the golf course development to ensure that all approvals/permits are in place to allow the development to commence.

During the final design stages we would attend regular meetings on site and continue with our detailed appraisal in all areas. It would be part of our role to review all the design options available in order to move the scheme onto final approval. In addition to traditional drawings we can produce computer-generated fly-throughs in order for you to see what the new course will look like.

The master plan is developed in conjunction with the other members of the design team and finally approved by the client. Once the master plan is agreed we would be available to advise on the various construction methods available and provide schedules for the construction.

A thoroughly researched and well designed golf course will enable an efficient and expedient construction process.

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golfmarnoch would be delighted to discuss your individual requirements.

Email :: or simply click here to submit your request and receive a complementary guide - 'The perfect approach to planning a golf course by golfmarnoch'.

golfmarnoch Limited
Wicksop View :: The Park :: Bakewell
Derbyshire :: DE45 1ET
Tel :: +44 1629 814 891
Office Map / Directions

Spanish Office
Avenida Litoral s/n
Edificio Vistamar Local 1
29680 Estepona :: Malaga
Tel :: +34 952 808476
Map / Directions