Is Your Golf Course Ready For The Future? December 2, 2016

Problems such as building failures are preventable when plans are in place to correct issues before they become serious. 

If a major infrastructure failure occurred, is there a plan? Are you prepared if local water or fertilizer restrictions are imposed? These are questions that golf course stakeholders should be asking about their facility. If the answer to any of these questions is no, then developing a comprehensive master plan is necessary. A comprehensive master plan outlines specific areas of an operation and details future improvements to ensure a facility remains viable and sustainable.

Today, master plans are more important than ever. The economic downturn and a variety of other circumstances have forced many superintendents and their teams to extend the working life of golf course equipment and infrastructure far beyond typical life expectancies. As equipment and infrastructure continue to age, performance decreases and maintenance costs increase. To address these issues, golf facilities must develop long-term master plans.


Golf facilities need detailed plans for irrigation and drainage improvements to ensure high-quality playing conditions. 


Subjects that should be addressed in a master plan include:

  • Water management
  • Irrigation system improvements
  • Drainage infrastructure improvements
  • Equipment inventory and replacement schedule
  • Maintenance facility improvements
  • Tree management
  • Cart path infrastructure improvements
  • Staffing and labor requirements
  • Architectural and design improvements

A master plan guides decision-making at a golf facility even as committees and staff members change. Master plans focus the  goals of a golf facility and help prioritize improvements so that money is not frivolously spent on “pet projects” that conflict with long-term goals.

Every golf course, regardless of budget, size or age, should have a comprehensive set of plans for every area of the course. Without a master plan, a facility runs the risk of unwisely spending money or being unprepared if unforeseen issues arise.


Additional Resources

PDF Version