Golf Course Design Schools and Courses: How to Choose
Those who are interested in learning how to design a golf course may find training courses in a landscape architecture or a turfgrass science program. Programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels.
How to Select a Golf Course Design School
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional golf course designers and other landscape architects typically have at least a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture (www.bls.gov). Students may find classes in golf course design in landscape architecture programs, as well as turfgrass science programs.
While being fundamentally in the realm of landscape architecture, golf course design has its own nuances and requirements. Aspiring designers might look for programs with specific classes in golf course planning, as well as construction methods and styles for fairways, greens, sand traps and tees. Prospective students may consider schools that have their own golf courses or existing educational partnerships with local golf courses.
Many turfgrass science programs also have classes on golf course design and construction. Students who are interested in golf turf management in addition to design may choose to enroll in one of these programs. Classes might cover cultivation of turfgrass and various types of grasses used in the construction of golf courses.
Golf Course Design Program Overviews
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Landscape Architecture
A 4-year landscape architecture degree program typically combines the fields of ecology, environmental studies, urban studies and design. Many B.S. in Landscape Architecture programs offer coursework in golf course design, and students also may have the opportunity to create a golf course concept for their design portfolios.
Bachelor of Science in Turfgrass Science
Turfgrass management programs combine coursework in agricultural sciences, such as agronomy, soil science and plant pathology, with business management and applied economics. Such interdisciplinary degree programs usually include coursework in the fundamentals of golf course design and construction. Internship opportunities at turfgrass production companies or golf clubs may be required.
Master of Landscape Architecture
Students may choose to earn a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA). The MLA is a professional degree that prepares students for licensure. In addition to coursework in landscape theory and design software, students may learn advanced techniques in landscape design studio courses. Graduate seminars and independent thesis research are usually required.
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