Site Inventory & Project Program

The best time to discover the 'genius loci' of a site is in the reconnaissance and information gathering process. Thorough investigation is the best way to prepare for the early stages of design. Familiarity with the site is only accomplished by walking and viewing the elements that compose the physiography. Reviewing soils and topographic mapping will bring a basic understanding of the two most important elements that impact cost and turfgrass quality.

Review of site before and during the site inventory will assure that all the best attributes will not be missed. In the field observations are always the best way to unveil the 'spirit of a site'. Thousand Acres in Swanton, MD is a magnificent site located on Deep Creek Lake.

The other elements that impact golf design are vegetation, solar orientation, rain fall, annual precipitation, prevailing winds, views, geology, adjacent land use and water resource inventories. Combining and assimilating the information is another important process that requires 'team' input and communication. Each season brings a different impression of the site as the hydrologic cycle repeats. Existing roads and utility easements must be considered to bring the essential infra-structure to the site. Electricity and water are the essential utilities that must be properly programmed to maintain the golf course.

When assimilating all the information, decisions are made that will impact the golf course and residential community throughout its existence. Sound judgment is achieved with experience and humility. We are always expanding our knowledge as we learn more from each project. Relying on people that have knowledge about the site is part of being a team player. The land can dictate certain aspects of a design that ultimately will prove valuable if it is understood and utilized.

The Program is usually similar in general terms from project to project but always site specific. The evolution of a project is always subject to some minor changes. Site carrying capacities and limitations usually impact the scope of the program when large residential and golf course projects are planned. Understanding the big picture helps to guide decisions regarding the smaller details.




Installed Technology

Integrating holes with natural terrain and vegetation is a goal of site sensitive design. The 15th at the Grande Dunes Members Club rewards tee shots that skirt the fairway hazards on the left. The safer but longer route is to the right, which results in a more difficult second.

Tee shots that flirt with the fairway bunker are rewarded with the best angle into the green on the 7th at Johns Island North Course.

Man-made wetlands can be manufactured to add wildlife habitat and to retard storm water. The 10th at the Signature of Solon reveals a short hole surrounded by hardwoods and new homes with an optional route (less direct) on the right.