The game of golf is a game of mental dexterity as much as it is a physical test. It is also big business. There are about 24 million golfers in the United States alone. Taking care of the thousands of golf courses around the United States is a large responsibility. Golf course conditions are dependent upon factors that even the best course managers cannot control. However, there are three major elements that can be directed.
Each course has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies—in short, its own personality. Course superintendents must decide on the types of grass that will be best for particular courses. Is Bermuda grass or fine-leaf fescue species better for slopes, roughs, and bunker surrounds? What about trees? On one hand, they add aesthetic beauty and raise challenge levels, but on the other, they take nutrients and water away from the turf. Keeping the natural elements of a golf course balanced and healthy is vital for long-term success.
As golf is a social—and a generally sociable—game, most golf courses have club houses of some sort. Courses built up within real estate developments often have fine social venues for people to meet and mingle. As the number of golf courses in America has risen, so has the responsibility for managing all aspects of the course. Experienced golf course management companies run some of this country’s golfing facilities and maintain high standards in all areas, from social clubs to parallel venues such as tennis courts, swimming pools, and fitness areas.
Golf courses contain elements called hazards to test players’ skill and mental concentration. Hazards come in two types—water elements and bunkers. Water features can be natural aspects such as rivers, lakes, creeks, and even the ocean if a course is on the coast. In addition to testing golfers’ mettle, water hazards can be used to help bolster the environment. For example, they can be maintained as an environment amphibians favor.
Bunkers are holes filled with sand lining the fairway and putting green. This may sound straightforward, but course superintendents must decide on the best type of sand. They must consider particle size, color, and overall playing quality, among other characteristics.
Managing golf courses requires attention to detail and the ability to make decisions on numerous factors affecting the courses’ playability and operation. Many courses turn to skilled management companies to run well-appointed social clubs, one of the three major areas of course oversight. Golf course managers must carefully direct all three major elements to ensure players have a great experience every time.