How to Become a Golf Course Designer

We get many requests from people with diverse backgrounds wanting to get into the industry and become a Golf Course Designer.

What is Golf Course Design: Golf Course Design is golf couse routing & strategy, detail design, drainage, irrigation, turf–grass selection, planning, construction, and environmental considerations.

Being such ‘niche’ profession it can be very difficult to break into and stand out from the crowd

The typical route would be to obtain a degree in Landscape Architecture. This would give a wide brush of skills in design, planning, the environment and plant species.

That being said coming from a design background in Architecture or Civil Engineering is also starting point to go onto further studies or enter the industry (or like both me and Jeremy, we have backgrounds in greenkeeping & construction and degrees in Turfgrass Science).

The European Institute of Golf Course Architects offer a Diploma course in Golf Course Architecture. Visit for more information. Also look at the American Society of Golf Course Architects website

We would also advise people to try and get a work placement with a reputable golf design company.

Another route in would be to have CAD (Computer Aided Design) skills in a relevant dispiline and enter at a support level and study while you learn the business from the bottom up.

You can have all the qualifications available but natural ability is also needed when it comes to laying and designing a golf course.

Good reading material:
– The Golf Course: Planning, Design, Construction and Management by F.W. Hawtree

– The Anatomy of a Golf Course: The Art of Golf Architecture by Ben Crenshaw and Tom Doak

– Golf Course Architecture: M Hurzdan

– Routing the Golf Course: Forrest Richardson

– Grounds for Golf: Geoff Shackleford

– Golf Course Design: R M Graves & G Cornish

– Golf Course Architure –

– Look out for seminars, exhibitions and golf shows.