Golf Course Designer or Architect
How to Become a

Golf Course Designer or Architect

The complete career guide to be a Golf Course Designer or Architect: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $68,600
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 5.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

A golf course designer or architect functions as a specialist in landscaping and utilises both knowledge of the game of golf and the technicalities involved with creating an optimal space for both amateurs and pros.

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What is a Golf Course Designer or Architect?


A Golf Course Designer or Architect serves important functions such as those given below:

  • Provide support to both owners and developers in relation to reviewing and assessing multiple site in consideration of project costs and construction potential.
  • Create estimates of necessary spending for golf course design, to share a budget, schematic routing plans and other alternatives for the project.
  • Accurately create detailed designs for the golf course, which takes into account the existing area and its features, to optimize functionality yet preserve the natural habitat.
  • Collaborate with other professionals such as technical specialists to establish effective and complex designs for irrigation, e.g. utilise equipment for reservoirs, pumps and hydraulics.

Day In The Life

As a golf course designer or architect, you have to find your niche alongside very experienced competitors, and be successful in the industry. Having the best possible landscape for patrons is crucial for golf clubs and various associations. As a specialised designer, your day to day work revolves around studying the land closely – looking at aspects such as terrain, drainage systems, construction viability, environmental feasibility, etc. Research requires you to plot and discuss schematic designs and support the creation of master plans alongside every client. Many professionals oversee the completion of multiple golf courses during peak demand, with each landscape taking up to a year or two. In most cases, the role will require you to work with a team instead of showcasing your work as a single individual.

Depending on whether your project is a renovation or new construction, you will assess an existing course’s facilities or evaluate a new site’s potential respectively. More and more golf course designers are taking the help of computer-aided design software to create blueprints hassle-free. In this line of work, you may also come into contact with scientists to determine the environmental impact of constructing at the selected topography. Close attention must be paid to the effects of overhauling land on immediate wildlife and vegetation. Once this is done, all site evaluations are compiled into a master plan documentation, that is later approved by the municipality – this is required to obtain building permits and other approvals. Other work involves estimating and managing the costs of hiring construction personnel and purchase of materials.

Work Schedule

You can expect to work long hours through the course of a typical week – anywhere between 40 to 60 hours. In case you are independently employed, you may have to work irregular hours to complete tasks within agreed upon deadlines for projects. Your attitude must be professional and focused on getting the job done and delivering the finished designs on time, no matter how much effort it takes.

Growth Of The Job

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a golf course designer or architect can look forward to a 5% rise in demand between 2014 to 2024 – around the same as the national average for other professions.

Typical Employers

You can find related positions at organizations such as golf course building firms, irrigation firms, landscape and golf course architecture companies. Some may also find employment opportunities with real estate developers, non-profit and municipal bodies.

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How To Become a Golf Course Designer or Architect

To be successful in this field, an aspiring golf course designer or architect must become an expert in the game of golf to gain a deep understanding of what concepts will work. You should also hone your expertise in cost estimation, agronomy, environmental science, engineering and landscape architectures.

Typically, professionals on this career path complete a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. For admission into these specialized programs, you should have a portfolio ready to showcase your unique perspective and creativity regarding designs, freehand sketches or CAD designs. A related degree program, such as civil engineering also works as an alternative to acquire the educational qualifications necessary to design golf courses across the country.

It is recommended that aspiring designers and architects find internship opportunities or part-time work under established golf course design businesses. You can also expand your network via well-known associations if you have sufficient exposure, e.g. the American Society of Golf Course Architects require you to have 8 years of design experience and be above 28 years of age.

Golf Course Designer or Architect Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Golf Course Designer or Architect salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Golf Course Designer or Architect's can make an average annual salary of $68,600, or $33 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $49,780 or $24 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #210 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Golf Course Designer or Architect. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Golf Course Designer or Architects

  • 8.2%   Doctorate
  • 31.9%   Masters
  • 49.1%   Bachelors
  • 4.7%   Associates
  • 4.6%   College
  • 1.3%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Golf Course Designer or Architect job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 1,200 jobs for a total of 23,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 5.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #412 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Golf Course Designer or Architects

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 4,200 200 0%
Landscaping services 3,500 200 0%
Engineering services 2,400 300 0%

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