Date: Wed 19 Dec 2012

Affordable Golf Facility Development: Growing the Game - a new publication from the R&A

The R&A supports the development of the game globally and wants to encourage more people to play golf in more places, more often. The lack of access to affordable and enjoyable facilities available for practice and play is a major barrier to this goal. Facility development must be viable not only for today’s golfing public but also over the long-term to support sustainable development of the sport.

Affordable Golf Development

There are two distinct aspects to affordable and enjoyable golf facility development:

  • strategic; involving local, national or regional planning. This should address issues such as land use, availability of resources (notably water), the impact of development on the community and the demand for the sport
  • the facility; developing a business that is viable over the long-term. This is the responsibility of the developer who needs to ensure the project delivers the needs of the golfing public without damaging the environment or impacting negatively on the local community.
  • Individual developers or residential and resort projects looking to make a profit from golf tend not to consider the broader, strategic picture. Governments and golf’s governing bodies need to take a more strategic view to ensure golf contributes positively to local economies, does not pose a burden on resources and reflects the needs for the development of the game in any country or region. For both, the product must meet the parameters of sustainable golf:

  • the playing performance requirements of the golfing public
  • the economic performance for long-term financial security
  • a light environmental footprint
  • a positive contribution to the local community.

  • This publication introduces the options for developing golf facilities to suit different markets, the basic principles of site selection and its implications on the sustainability of any particular project and the need to plan for the cost of ongoing maintenance to retain performance standards.

    We have included a downloadable pdf of this on the Planning page of our website at

    Golf Course Design
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