Golf Course Design… How you can use TheGrint to navigate and beat the architect!

Golf Course Design… How you can use TheGrint to navigate and beat the architect!

Designing a golf course can be a rather difficult task, and quite costly as well. Some golf course designs are visually deceiving while others are more straight-forward. Golf course architects (specially the good ones) are able to manage golfer’s perspective to ensure visually engaging golf courses that present a fair challenge for every type of golfer.

We want to highlight how to use TheGrint GPS golf app to beat the architect.

We rarely have the opportunity to look at a golf course from above. Aerial visuals of a golf hole allows you to identify areas and angles that you wouldn’t be able to see standing on the golf hole.

For example, here is an image of a finished Hole, that from the Tee, you might not be able to see ALL of the elements that the designer added to make the Hole more challenging:

Golf strategy and risk reward design

Book: Golf Course Architecture, Evolutions in Design, Construction and Restoration Technology, Second Edition by Dr. Michael J. Hurdzan.  Page 148. 

Here we explain with more detail a few of the biggest factors of consideration for any Golf Course design:


Most golf courses range between 5,500 to 7,000 yards. (even though PGA Tour players rarely play in events with less than 7,000 yards). Yardage is important, especially for club selection off the tee, which is when we as golfers we design our strategy.

Here is an example of two different strategies a Player can use when playing this specific hole:

Golf Course design and strategies
Book: Grounds For Golf. The History And Fundamentals Of Golf Course Design. By Geoff Shackelford. Illustrations by Gil Hanse. Page 141.

Now, as everyone knows, the tee boxes are not always placed on the same place. So a 370 yard Par 4 , may be 400 yards some days and 340 others. Which would result in a completely different strategy. You may select to go with a 3-wood if the hole is playing 340.

So before you step into any tee box, instead of looking at the scorecard, take a look at TheGrint GPS and strategize your hole accordingly. And remember to play the Tees that corresponds to your Golf Handicap, it will make your round more fun and faster.

Slopes, Course Ratings and Other Course Factors

Did you know that there are committees that visit golf courses to determine Slope and Course Ratings? Let’s cover what they are before we talk about them:

The Slope. The Slope is that number that determines how difficult a Course is for a “bogey Golfer” (scoring average of 18-over par) compared to a scratch golfer, and it is usually shown between 55 and 155.  The standard number 113.

The Course Rating. This number is a specific value given to each set of Tees to calculate the number of strokes a scratch golfer should take to complete a course. Most course ratings are between the upper 60s to mid 70s. If a Course Rating is 73.8, then a scratch golfer are expected to post an average score of 73.8.

Good golf course design represent a fair challenge to every golfer. And one key element to that is placing every tee box in the right spots to adjust the golf course for every golfer.

As you can imagine, the yardage of a hole doesn’t necessarily means as a long or short hole. There are several length factors such as: How much the ball will roll? Is there a Lay-up or Dogleg? Is there a change in elevation? How high is the Course from sea level?

That’s why Kapalua’s 18th hole, a 663 yards Par 5 is actually reachable for many players in the PGA Tour (It’s a massive downhill hole)

Beautiful golf hole

Use TheGrint GPS golf app to understand your best layup spots to manage Dog-Legs, Water Hazards, and any other obstacle.

Maintenance (Greenery and Water)

Contrary to popular belief, not every type of tree can be placed on a golf course. Actually, USGA agronomists spend more time convincing the Golf Course Manager to remove trees instead of planting more; trees should be planted only if they have a purpose on the Course.

Designers usually ensure that the greenery, from the turf to the trees, requires minimal trimming and watering, offers high visual appeal and does not grow to obtrusive lengths and widths, unless that is the idea from the beginning.


Did you know that the average golf course is designed with at least 30 bunkers and high-end public golf courses and Clubs have between 50 and 70 bunkers? As you might know or experienced, each bunker is strategically placed to make each hole more challenging and depending on which Tees you are playing from, they might come into play or even make you use a different strategy to attack the hole. However, too many or incorrectly placed bunkers can make a design both confusing and unattractive to play.

Bunkers, Water Hazards, Trees and Hills are those factors that make a Course more attractive and more challenging for every golfer, no matter what your Handicap is; but just like everything else, too much of something, is not a good thing.

The best way to navigate those strategically place obstacles is to use the aerial imagery presented in the GPS map. Make sure to strategize the hole on every tee box using TheGrint and Beat the architect!

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