The drive for longer golf courses is adding to maintenance costs, according to one course architect.
Phil Ryan, speaking at the World Forum of Golf Architects in St Andrews, revealed research based on 26 golf courses in the Melbourne area showing that, for each 100 metres of additional length, the cost of maintaining the course increases by 1.7-2 per cent.
But increasing use of technology in course construction is helping to cap costs, Ryan said, comparing two courses in Malaysia and Thailand, from 1999 and 2009 respectively. After a heavy rain event, the Malaysian course needed 22 staff, working for half a day, to repair the bunker features. At the Thai course, which, being built more recently, had advanced geotextile liners in its bunkers, two staff were able to repair the faces in three hours.