Each golf course has a unique profile. Its size, shape, design, and other attributes are so significantly different from other golf courses that a comparison or generalization is almost impossible. Each of the golf courses has been developed by acclaimed golf course architects and technicians. It's a cost and skill intensive enterprise that requires years of grooming and development.
What is the average size of a golf course? To have an idea about how much land would be needed to develop a new golf course, I have made a comparison of some golf courses to work out the average figure. I tend to believe that for an 18-hole golf course, 175 to 200 acres of usable lands will be needed.
What Is The Average Size of a Golf Course in Acres?
There is no cut and dry rule for the size of a golf course. It depends on the size of the land available and the type of game to be played. It is completely situation-specific.
So, What is the number for average size of a golf course in acres? According to the experts of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, a 400-yard par 4 hole may take as much as 10.4 acres.
This amount of land will give a course of 420 yards in length and 120 yards in width. This means a land parcel measuring 10 acres can make for a 400-yard long hole.
The same amount of land can give 4 par 3s each having 60 to 150 yards in length. With the skilled design, there could be more.
At this rate, an 18-hole course having all short par 3s will take about 30 acres. An intermediate length course of par 3s and 4s will take about 75 to 100 acres.
A full-size par 72 course will require 120 to 200 acres. This entire amount of land will be called for laying out the design of the golf course. This entire amount of land should be used for golf courses. It does not provide for restricted areas, wetlands, etc.
An analysis of the golf courses presents all over the world reveals that they are available in all shapes and sizes. Some of these courses are more than 7,000 yards while most of them are around 5,000 yards. All golf courses are unique in size and design.
Thinking of a golf course in terms of fixed size is not appropriate because size is not the only factor in planning a golf course. There are other factors such as design and layout, as well as how the property is spaced out.
However, an average golf course should be about 170 acres. This may include space for a small practice area and a clubhouse. But the exact number of acres required for a golf course would depend on many factors such as the additional facilities being planned, type of property, and how much of it can be used for golf, etc.
An executive golf course is likely to be in the range of 80 to 100 acres with around 36 par rather than 72-par of a full-size golf course. The difference of land required for an executive course and a full-size golf course is because par 3s take much less area than par 5s.
The Average Size of a Golf Course in other measurement units. (Table)
Average Size Of a Golf Course
Types of golf courses
Golf courses are available in different sizes. Many times, you may hear golf courses being referred to in terms of the number of holes they feature. You may also have heard of par 3, par 4, and par 5 holes. To understand what they mean, please read on.
18-hole golf courses are the standard or 'regulation' golf courses. For example, Chicago Golf Club is one of the oldest 18-hole golf courses in North America.
An 18-hole course mostly has par 4s holes along with a mix of par 3s and par 5s holes.
A 9-hole golf course is a smaller course having 9 holes. It has majorly par 4s holes and a mix of par 3s and par 5s holes. There is no special significance to the name. It just says what the golf course is - a 9-hole golf course.
You may have already heard about executive golf courses. It is a kind of rapid-fire golf, a litter shorter and quicker. This kind of golf course could be offered both on 18-hole and 9-hole courses. The distinction between the executive golf course and the standard golf course is that it is shorter and quicker than the standard version of the game.
If you are looking at the shortest version of the golf, it is the par 3 golf course. It is shorter than the executive golf course. It offers you the opportunity to play a quick round of golf and return to your normal routine. The name par 3 course denotes the fact that the course involves playing on par 3 circuits only.
The approach course is for those who find the par-3 course a tad too much. They are looking for a shorter version of the game. At the approach course, you have holes between 30 and 100 yards. Your golf at this course is all about laying the ball pitching and putting.
These details about the sizes of the golf courses and the games that can be played on them may have improved your understanding of the game.
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Different Parts of a golf course
A golf course is divided into different parts such as Tee, Fairway, rough, and so on. Let's have a look at what they mean:
Tee: A tee is the beginning hole located at the tee box. A golf course has several tee boxes.
Fairway: This is a small area that lies between the tee box and the green. Fairway is the area that most golfers use to make great shots.
Rough: This is a large area that lies beyond the green and the fairway. As a golfer, you would like to skip this area because it takes greater effort to hit the ball from here.
Green: This is a beautiful green area and here lie the holes. In this part of the golf course, golfers use putters.
Hazards: Hazards are obstacles in the game and they make your game enjoyable by introducing a twist. Hazards may come in the form of artificial ponds, lakes, or other areas. These areas are usually marked with red or yellow colors. All these parts make the golf course longer and more enjoyable.
For a comfortable play, the length of the fairway grass should not exceed half (0.5) an inch. If the grass is more or less of this length, your game will be affected. It is, therefore, necessary to mow the grass regularly and maintain its ideal length.
The golf course management needs to ensure the grass is mowed regularly throughout the course and round the year.
When the grass is shorter, hitting the golf ball is easier. Shorter grass leaves mean tighter surface and it becomes easy to take shots on such surfaces. On a softer surface, taking a shot is not as easy as on a tighter surface.
If the length of the grass is more than 1.5 inches, taking an accurate shot from the fairway is a difficult thing even for professional players. So the grass length should be maintained between half-an-inch and 1.5 inches.
Why does the length of the golf course need to be increased?
The average length of an 18-hole golf course is an important point of discussion when we talk about the size of golf courses. At present, the average length of an 18-hole golf course is between 6500 and 7000 yards. The golfers are required to walk down the golf course starting from the tee boxes to complete their mission.
Now, there are golf courses that extend beyond 7000 yards. In recent years, the length of 18-hole golf courses has been extended.
It has been done keeping in view the improved performance of golfers who are increasingly taking longer shots. Golfers are using improved golf clubs and techniques to make longer shots.
To keep pace with the long shots of the golf ball, golf courses are required to increase the length of the course. Earlier, sending the ball for 200 yards was supposed to be a difficult feat, but now golfers are sending the ball 250 yard and more. This has made it necessary to increase the average length of the golf courses.
I have seen many golf courses around the world and all of them have unique specifications. You can find 18-hole, 9-hole, and executive golf courses.
Each of these has varying sizes and its own set of unique features. While an 18-hole golf course can be commissioned in 200 acres, a 9-hole golf course or an executive golf course can be made ready in 80 to 100 acres. A par 3 golf course can be implemented on 30 acres.
What is the average size of a golf course? I will say the actual size of a golf course depends on many factors including the kind of facility it is planned to be - 18-hole, 9-hole, or par-3 golf course.
If it is going to be a par-72 full-size golf course with additional facilities such as a clubhouse and store; you would need no less than 200 acres of usable land, keeping wetlands and restricted areas out of the calculations.
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