Broad Vision, Careful Thought, Handcrafted Design

“To plan, we must know what has gone on in the past and feel what is coming in the future.”
– Sigfried Gideon

ROBERT McNEIL golf course architect
(401) 667-4994

Planning Process

The development of a golf course or the renovation of an existing facility requires a clear understanding of the many issues which will need to be addressed within the planning process. The following issues are identified to provide golf course developers, owners, chairpersons and committees with the necessary information to efficiently navigate getting a new golf course approved and built or improving the conditions of an existing facility.

The scope of your project will determine which of the items listed below need consideration.

Project Design and Approval Team

  • Engaged Developer/Committee
  • Golf Course Architect
  • Project Engineer/ Site/ Land Use Planner (civil, structural)*
  • Project Surveyor
  • Environmental Consultant*
  • Legal Counsel
  • Irrigation Consultant*
  • Agronomic Consultant*
  • Golf Course Superintendent
  • Clubhouse Architect*
  • Financial/Project Feasibility Consultant*

* Available through the McNeil Design Collaborative, Inc.

Golf Course Development Considerations:

  • Market to be reached
  • Public/Private/Resort/Municipal structure
  • Style of golf course/improvements
  • Consideration of all site permitting issues
  • Financial Considerations:
    • Project/Operational Feasibility
    • Design/Construction/Start-up/Operational Budgets
    • Secure Project Financing
  • Communications Strategy

Base Mapping Elements:

  • Aerial Photography (1"= 100')
  • Topographical Survey (1"= 100' and 50') in digital format
  • Property Survey including surrounding properties within 200' (or within ordinance requirement) in digital format
  • Ground Control (easements, structures, utilities, rights of way, etc)
  • Soil Type mapping Water Considerations: · Existing stormwater calculations
  • Drainage Strategy for golf course and all other proposed uses
  • Existing Water Resources (quantity, quality)
  • Irrigation Needs/Source
  • Potable Water Needs/Source
  • Aquifer issues
  • Off-site water flow issues
  • Wetland quality definitions

Local Land Use Laws to Consider:

  • Ordinance Interpretation relative to:
    • proposed uses (golf, housing, commercial, recreation, etc)
    • required plans for local, state, federal submittals
    • scale of documentation - integrated turf management plan - stormwater management
    • traffic study
    • parking requirements
    • easement requirements
    • setback requirements
    • agency communications/documentation (Soil Conservation Service, State EPA, State DOT, Army Corps, other local, state and federal agencies/commissions)
    • fee requirements
    • bonding requirements

Environmental Considerations:

  • Existing Vegetation (flora)
  • Existing Wildlife species (fauna)
  • Integrated Turfgrass Management Program
  • Integrated Pest Management Plan · Expert Testimony
  • Wetland Delineation (Value, Letter of Interpretation, Buffer requirements)
  • Runoff/Drainage Strategies
  • Nutrient Loading Calculations
  • Sanitary Management
  • Erosion Control (Soil Conservation Requirements)

Amenities/Site Planning Considerations:

  • Maintenance facility
  • Clubhouse uses (golf, restaurant, grill, lockers etc.)
  • Parking requirements
  • Vehicular/Pedestrian flow patterns
  • Landscape Architecture

Construction Considerations:

  • Soil Types
  • Water Supply
  • Topsoil (quality, depth, organic content)
  • Depth to water table
  • Existing rock formations
  • Power Supply (clubhouse, pumphouse, maintenance building, accessory buildings)
  • Potable Water Supply (clubhouse, pumphouse, maintenance building, accessory buildings)
  • Existing Vegetation
  • Clearing/stump removal requirements, permitting
  • Site Access
  • Maintenance Budget

As your Golf Course Architect, we are committed to providing golf course development recommendations based on project experience and quality working relationships.