How to Become a Golf Course Designer

Golf course design is an art and science that begins with training in landscape architecture and civil engineering. Beyond regular landscape design skills, a golf course designer must learn how to design maintenance-free greens that have good drainage flow and safe traffic patterns along with a challenging and visually appealing course. Read on to learn how to become a golf course designer.

Steps

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    Start work on a degree in landscape architecture from an accredited school. Accreditation is offered by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Most bachelor degree programs require 4 to 5 years of study to complete. Study the ASLA website for information about how to become a landscape architect.
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    Work on both design and golf as hobbies. Keep up with news and trends in landscape design, but work on your passion for golf as well. Working as a designer will demand a passion for golf courses that are safe, challenging and visually appealing.
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    Get practical and specific experience while working towards your degree. Look for a job at a local golf course or a firm who handles similar landscape design, like parks, athletic fields or entertainment complexes.
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    Develop the necessary skills for working as a landscape architect. Analytical skills, as well as design and artistic skills, are necessary. Work on communication, writing and presentation skills.
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    Learn to use computer aided drafting (CAD) software. Become proficient with general computer software, office production software and office equipment.
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    Think about going to school for an advanced degree. Masters programs are accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects.
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    Investigate your state's licensing requirements for landscape architecture. Licensure is required by nearly all states. Requirements vary by state but generally demand a combination of work experience and education from an accredited school.
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    Prepare to take the Landscape Architect Registration Examination. This test, which includes graphic and multiple choice sections, is offered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards.
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    Consider moving to a state where golf course design is in demand. Licensing requirements for landscape architects vary from state to state and it may be difficult to get certified in another state. If designing golf courses is your goal, be sure to live in a state where there are employment opportunities.
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    Be prepared to work in an apprenticeship or internship for a few years after you graduate. State licensing requirements often call for up to 4 years of work experience as an apprentice before seeking a license in landscape architecture.
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    Join the American Society of Golf Course Architects. The organization's website offers information and learning tools along with information on how to become a golf course designer. It also has a member directory where potential employers and clients can find you. Membership requires experience and a portfolio.
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    Apply for a job or internship at a company that specializes in golf course design. Some of the more well known and highly regarded companies were started by gold legends like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Be sure to have a portfolio of your work to show off.

Article Info

Categories: Golf | Architecture and Design Occupations