DTM*4200 Golf Course Design and Construction

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2023 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

Students will examine design and construction techniques practiced in golf course and sports field development. The course focuses on design with the aesthetics, function and management of such facilities as priorities.  Designing to conserve and reduce water use for such facilities is emphasized.

Students will practice design skills that lead to a clear understanding of what constitutes meaningful golf course design.  Inclusive is a study of the basic steps to constructing golf features.

Every superintendent who has the responsibility of maintaining a golf course or athletic field must, at some point in their career, react to proposed design intentions for a site.  This will require their involvement in some form of a construction project.  This course teaches students how to make best decisions regarding design intentions and to understand proper construction techniques.

Pre-Requisites: DTM*2400, DTM*3400

Restricted to Associate Diploma students in the Turfgrass Management program.


Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Diploma

Academic Department (or campus):

Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to WebAdvisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course, students should be able:
  1. Have insight into the fundamentals to good golf course design: function, aesthetics, sustainability and history.
  2. Communicate design intentions.
  3. Discuss the logic leading to golf course renovations/design; and understand the role of the superintendent, architect and contractor in this process.
  4. Learn construction methods for golf projects.
  5. Evaluate materials used for best results in golf course construction projects.
  6. Cost project work.

Lecture Content:

Topics to be covered in lectured include:
  • Study and interpretation of topographical mapping
  • History of golf architectural design
  • Understanding components of renovation
  • The role of the superintendent in assessing the design needs of an existing golf course
  • Existing green analysis
  • Developing conceptual routings
  • Golf course design fundamentals
  • Designing greens and bunkers
  • How to construct golf features such as tees, greens, bunkers and cart paths
  • Budgeting for construction projects
Labs & Seminars:
Topics to be covered in labs include:
  • Identifying contours
  • Slope analysis
  • Laying out a hole on a topographic map
  • Interpreting contours from spot elevations
  • Graphic communication techniques for site analysis
  • Routing 3 holes on a property
  • Guest speakers on golf design history and construction management techniques
  • Greens renovation
  • Construction cost budgeting

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or test Contribution to Final Mark Learning Outcomes Assessed

Presentation on Classic Holes


1, 2

Design Golf Experience


1, 2

Routing concept


1, 2, 4, 5, 6

In-class lab work/participation


2, 4, 5, 6

Mid-term quiz


1, 3, 4

Final quiz


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Final examination:

There is no final examination scheduled for this course.

Course Resources:

Recommended Texts:

Readings will be assigned as the semester progresses.  The following texts will be used as sources: 

  • Routing the Golf Course, The Art and Science That Forms The Golf Journey by Forrest Richardson.
  • The Anatomy of a Golf Course by Tom Doak.
  • The Links by Robert Hunter.
  • Golf Course Architecture, Evolution in Design, Construction and Restoration Technology, 2nd by Michael Hurdzan.
Lab Materials:
  • Pencils, HB and 2H
  • Sharpener
  • Eraser
  • 45 degree triangle
  • Metric circle template
  • Metric scale 1:100 to 1:500 (Very important)
  • Masking tape
  • Plain bond paper for practicing or plain paper journal
  • Roll of sketch paper 12" length (Very important)
  • Calculator 
Other Resources:

Web sites on golf course architecture:







Podcasts on golf course architecture/golf history
  • The Fried Egg
  • Feed the ball
  • State of the Game
  • Talking Golf
Field Trips:

There will be no field trips this year.

Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

All projects due at the beginning of class on the due date.  Any projects submitted following this time will receive a zero. Diploma Grading Procedures.

Please note that these policies are binding unless academic consideration is given to an individual student.

Course Policy on Group Work:
The Golf Course Architect presentation and Golf Course Routing project are team projects, ideally carried out in teams of 2 or 3. The presentation will be graded. Grades for the projects will not be assigned if the team is not ready to present or hand in their assignment. Team members will contribute equally to the final results. Academic misconduct policies continue to apply on a student-by-student basis with the entire team not necessarily held responsible for an individual’s violations.
Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor. When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

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University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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