renowned the world over for its scenic beauty and stunning landscapes.
Many areas are popular for visitors purely because of the quality
of the scenery and their character. Indeed, many areas are designated
as National Scenic Areas, or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
and Areas of Great Landscape Value. Golf courses are found in all
of these areas, and are present in areas of local landscape sensitivity.
Indeed all golf
courses have an impact on the aesthetic qualities of their surroundings
and on the character of their local landscapes. Many of the best
courses are those which work with local landscape character, and
feel part of the landscape. The older links courses for example
were designed out of the original topography and vegetation. They
are part of the evolution of those landscapes. Conversely, more
recent golf courses have had a greater and perhaps sharper impact
on landscapes, borne out of greater earth-shifting and redesign,
and resulting in courses which are less harmonious with their surroundings.
As with the
management of habitats, golf clubs can take their surroundings into
account when considering the character and structure of the course.
There is much they can learn by looking at local tree cover, the
presence of heather and other vegetation types, the views and vistas
from the course into the wider countryside, and most importantly
the characteristics of the golf course landscape itself.
By taking such
things into account clubs can ensure that future proposals are not
going to detract from the ambience of the golf course. By looking
to the local landscape clubs can ensure their efforts have maximum
benefit to local landscape character, and by so doing, to the golfer.
Golf is a game to be played in pleasant and attractive surroundings,
appropriate for the courses' location. The majority of golfers prefer
to play on courses which have a sense of place, and by learning
from your surroundings you can develop and enhance that sense of
are of historical significance. For example many old estates comprise
Historic Parklands and Designed Landscapes. Many golf courses are
situated in such landscapes. Those that are should consider the
historical qualities of their site when preparing proposals for
landscaping and course development. Indeed they should speak to
their local authority or local office of Scottish Natural Heritage
to receive guidance on the exact qualities of their particular landscape.
Again this is beneficial to the club as they can then appreciate
the landscape history and features which attracted golf to that
area in the first place. We see so many clubs over planting parkland
golf courses, and thereby removing the parkland character so typical
of the course. Remember there is a distinction between a parkland
and woodland golf course, and its not always the best thing to turn
the former into the latter.