'Listen to the land' - The making of a golf course

Renowned golf course designer Peter Matkovich was a professional golf player before venturing into designing golf courses during the 1990s. Matkovich has designed some of the finest golf courses in southern Africa.

Among these are Simbithi, Salt Rock, KZN, Ebotse, Benoni, Gauteng and Arabella, near Kleinmond, Western Cape to name just a few.

Matkovich says the first step in creating a golf course design involves meeting with a client and finding a way to best translate their wishes into the ultimate design.

It's what i call, listen to the land. You gotta walk out there, you gotta sit under a tree and feel it. It's all about feel.

Peter Matkovich, golf course designer

Matkovich says design and construction are part of a dynamic process, requiring constant on-site refinement. With this in mind, he says they will only take on a few projects at a time, ensuring full and proper attention to each course.

Matkovich adds that his team makes regular site visits through every step of construction, to ensure that every detail is examined and addressed.

Matkovich says the holes should vary, play into the prevailing winds than with them, up hills, and then down, long and then short, with greens of varying difficulty, all to test the golfer physically and mentally.

Matkovich emphasizes the importance of considering who plays on the course when designing.

He says most golfers playing on courses are amateur players, with the average handicap of around 15. So a course should be designed with the average player in mind, rather than the top professional.

It needs to be fun and enjoyable for every level of golfer.

For more on the gold course design master class listen to audio below:

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