Gaunt Golf Design – FAQ’s – Design Techniques

February 13th, 2013

Question:  How much CAD do you use and how much is done by hand? 

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt ……….

CAD is an integral part of our design process. We use PCs for illustration purposes, photo-manipulation, photo-montage, quantity calculation and presentation drawings. We always prepare initial design concepts by hand because, in our opinion, it allows greater flexibility for flair and creativity in relation to existing site characteristics

Gaunt Golf Design – FAQ’s – Golf Course Development

February 13th, 2013

Question: How much space do you need for an 18-hole golf course?

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt ………

A good quality 18-hole golf course generally needs about 70-90 hectares but it may be possible to proceed on smaller sites – depends on whether other facilities are proposed, for example – residential units, hotel/spa wellness etc.

Question: How long does it take to build a course from scratch, and then be ready for play?

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt ………..

From experience, we know that a course which is built on a difficult site in the UK, such as landfill, mineral waste deposits and reclaimed land, always takes longer to establish; sometimes up to 30 to 36 months from starting construction. On good agricultural land in Northern Europe, it is possible to open a course for play 18 to 24 months after starting construction. In Southern Europe, North Africa, Latin America, and in other arid climates on a reasonable site, it is possible to establish a course within 18 to 24 months from the start of construction to the opening for play, depending on the scope of the construction works.

Gaunt Golf Design – FAQ’s – Prospective Golf Course Architects

February 12th, 2013

Question: How do I become a Golf Course Architect?

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt …………….

Golf course architecture is a difficult profession to enter. The labour market for golf course architects is unregulated, uncertain and small in comparison to other professions. Nonetheless, for those who succeed, golf course architecture can provide an occupation, which is both intellectually and economically rewarding. Routes of entry into golf course architecture include landscape architecture, greenkeeping and professional golf. Cornish and Whitten in their 1998 book, “Golf Course Design”, note that a 1991 study of the academic background of all members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects found that the largest proportion (53%) of members had landscape architecture degrees.

Jonathan Gaunt is a formally qualified landscape architect. For anybody considering a career in golf course architecture, we offer the following advice:

  1. Obtain a degree in a relevant academic field such as landscape architecture or civil engineering.
  2. Obtain a relevant post-graduate qualification in golf course architecture, through EIGCA.
  3. Get relevant work experience in golf course construction; continue to update your detailed knowledge of golf, its history, the great courses and key architects; maintain an ability to play golf to a reasonable standard; develop a particular speciality, which will set you apart from others in the golf design labour market. Ultimately, the successful golf course architect must have a broad range of knowledge in both science and arts disciplines and important core skills such as computer literacy, financial management and presentation techniques.

Contact the European Institute of Golf Course Architects for details on its Professional Diploma course (tel: +44 (0)1483 891831), or email Julia Green on:

Question: I am a student of golf course architecture. Please can you advise me on the techniques that you use to design golf courses?

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt ………

We receive numerous requests for information from students of golf course architecture, greenkeeping and related subjects. We are keen to encourage students but it is increasingly difficult for us to answer individual requests. We hope that the following information will help by signposting you to relevant subject areas, publications and websites. This information presents an indicative list; in no way should it be considered as definitive.

Kaskada Golf Resort voted No 2 in Czech Republic – as published in US Golf Digest

November 27th, 2012

In April 2012 US Golf Digest published its top ratings for golf courses in 203 countries in “Planet Golf” – we’re delighted to report that the course Jonathan designed in 2005 – Kaskada Golf Resort – was rated No 2 in the country (out of 103 courses), finishing second only to Albatross near Prague. In fact, Kaskada is the busiest golf course in Czech Republic and has, arguably, the best and most wide ranging facilities available, with 100 bedroom hotel, spa, wellness centre, restaurant, bars, bowling hall, conference centre, practice putting greens, short game practice zone, 350m driving range (double tees), 6-hole academy course and 3 x 9-holes of championship standard.

Please click on the US Golf Digest link below:

Kaskada Golf Resort, Brno, Czech Republic features in the Top100 Golf Courses’ website

November 5th, 2012

Kaskada Golf Resort, Brno, Czech Republic – designed by Jonathan Gaunt and opened for play in June 2007 – now features in the Top100 Golf Courses’ website.

Please click on the link below to view :

Chesfield Downs Golf Club (new 27 hole golf course designed by Jonathan Gaunt in early 1990) gets The Poulter Factor!

October 10th, 2012

Chesfield Downs Golf & Country Club, which is part of the Crown Golf group and the club Ian Poulter joined as a junior in 1992, made national TV news headlines this week when it found itself in the spotlight following Ian Poulter’s inspiring performance at Medinah, which gave the European Team the momentum it needed to retain the Ryder Cup in the USA.

Click on the following link to read the full Golf Business News article

                  Chesfield Downs Golf Club – Hole #3

Ilkley Golf Club – New Course Flyover – Commentary by Mark James

September 10th, 2012

Ilkley Golf Club have added a  new course flyover to their website with commentary by Club Member and English Professional Golfer, Mark James.

Please click on the New Course Flyover tab on the Ilkley Golf Club home page to view one of the most picturesque courses in the country and the latest course improvements, as advised  by Jonathan Gaunt following a  full course audit in 2011 – see link below.

Construction work is back on track at Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club in County Durham

August 28th, 2012

Golf Business News publish the latest news on the contruction works for the new 18-hole championship standard golf course at Ramside Hall Hotel & Golf Club in County Durham.

Read the Golf Business News article at:

Leeds Golf Centre “Wike Ridge” course – Phase 1 of the reconstruction works are now complete

August 14th, 2012

Gaunt Golf Design’s 18-Hole Course Upgrade

The first phase of the reconstruction works are now complete on the 18-hole “Wike Ridge” course at the Leeds Golf Centre in the sand belt of North Leeds, close neighbour to such famous and illustrious courses as Moortown, Alwoodley, Sandmoor, Headingley and Moor Allerton. The course was originally designed in the early 90’s by Donald Steel, the only golf course architect to have undertaken work on all Open Championship venues.

The owner, Park Lane Properties, a Leeds-based property developer of apartments and hotels in Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham, has been brave and forward thinking in its approach to providing golf for all at an affordable price, whilst not compromising on quality.

The new-look Wike Ridge course has had what could be considered to be a “kind-of facelift”, with the renovation of all sand bunkers, the introduction of new strategically-placed fairway and approach bunkers and the eradication of “pinch-points” which included the complete removal of original hole #2.

Other improvements include new tees on holes: #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #9, #12, #14, #15, #17 and #18; a new 394 yards, par-4 hole #3; a new dog-leg 384 yards, par-4 hole #4; a new 187 yards, downhill par-3 hole #5; and numerous new water features and hazards on holes #6, #9, #10, #12, #13, #14, #15 using a naturally-occurring existing ditch and a feature lake on 361 yards, par-4 hole #18. Together with these enhancements the course length has increased to 6534 yards, par 72.

During the course of the construction works 1,500 semi-mature trees (comprising Oak, Silver Birch, Ash, Field Maple, Pine and Rowan) were transplanted (from existing plantations) in-between fairways to further emphasise the design strategy and provide screening. This work was undertaken by Northern Tree Transplanters Limited, managed by Peter Robinson.

The golf course contractors were White Horse (Northern) Contractors Limited, based in Thirsk and managed by Jim Crabbe. The irrigation contractor is AV Irrigation Limited, managed by Andy Veltman and the agronomic advisor to Leeds Golf Centre is the Sports Turf Research Institute.

Gaunt Golf Design’s new 18-hole golf course extension – owned and operated by Ramside Estates Limited

June 7th, 2012

Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club, County Durham’s leading golf resort, has started work on a new £15m development including an 18-hole championship golf course, spa, leisure centre and hotel expansion. 

The 27-hole golf resort and four star hotel is situated on the outskirts of Durham City and is owned by Ramside Estates Ltd, the largest privately owned hospitality group in North East England.
Ramside Hall Estates director, John Adamson, said: “We are pressing ahead with plans to give County Durham a first-class golf resort that it can be proud of. Ramside is already considered among the finest golf destinations in the North of England and by expanding the hotel and creating a new course we are polishing our golfing diamond.” 

The course, designed by Gaunt Golf Design, is the only new golf course development planned for completion in England in 2012. Jonathan designed and supervised the construction of the original 27 holes at Ramside Hall, which opened in 1996.

To create the new course Jonathan will revamp four of the existing Cathedral Course holes, retire five existing holes, and add 14 new holes on former agricultural land near the villages of Pittington and Belmont. The new course will measure a little more than 7,200 yards from the back tees, have a par of 72, and be made up of four par 5’s, four par 3’s and ten par 4’s. Construction began in March and all new 18 holes will be completed by November 2012.

This site is really special. It is a mature and established piece of land with lots of elevation changes, a sense of rural remoteness and natural water features including becks and streams. From the 10th tee there is a view of Durham’s iconic Norman Cathedral which dates from 1093 and is considered one of the greatest religious buildings in the world – as a contrast, from the 16th fairway one can see the “Angel of the North” – possibly the most recognizable contemporary sculpture in the British Isles.

The development also includes 34 executive houses in secluded and picturesque locations bordering the golf course, the construction of which will begin in Summer 2012.

The golf course and leisure complex is expected to be completed and opened by September 2013, when Ramside Estates Ltd celebrates its 50th anniversary as a business.

Click link below to read Q&A interview  with Jonathan about the golf course development at Ramside, published in Global Golfer.