Friday, May 22, 2009

Golf Maintenance Design Criteria

By Michael Vogt, CGCS, CGIA


During the past decade as the number of golf courses has continued to increase the number of golf rounds played have remained about the same. These new golf courses, public and private, all are capable of providing a quality golf experience. As a result of increase in the availability of golf, the challenge to existing golf course operators, and private clubs, is to continue to deliver a high quality golf experience and to effectively manage costs associated with the golf course. Delivering a quality golf experience ensures that a golf operation retains its loyal group of customers and supports the golf course’s goal of maintaining a positive revenue stream.

At the McMahon Group as we continue to work with different types of golf course operations we have seen the contribution that a well designed golf maintenance facility can make to the quality of a golf course. For private golf and country clubs golf is the number one reason an individual will decide to join a club. For a daily fee or municipal golf course the most important product is the condition of the course and practice facilities. Often players will discuss the speed of the greens, the condition of the fairways, bunkers and rough. During these discussions one golf course is often compared to another and that is typically where the decision to return to a golf course is made.

For the operator, loyal customers translate into an increase in rounds played, more golf shop sales, an increase in food and beverage sales, in short more revenue. However many times operators of golf courses (private country clubs, daily fee and municipal) do not consider the condition of the golf course as a competitive necessity and therefore do not engage in the necessary planning of the facilities that support the condition of the golf course, specifically the golf maintenance facility or turf care center.

Based on recent survey results private country clubs as well as daily fee operators can be expected to spend $35,000 to $78,000 per hole in golf maintenance dollars (these figures vary based on the region of the country). Typically these figures include payroll, supplies, employee taxes and benefits. In addition, daily fee, municipal and private clubs alike have made significant investments in maintenance equipment. For example, many clubs currently have well over one million dollars inventoried in equipment and related golf maintenance items needed for the smooth operation of the golf course and surrounding grounds. Regardless of the dollar amount a significant investment is made in the equipment and the facility that maintains the golf course and the adjacent property.

The Planning Process

A. A decision must be made

As with all organizations whether they are private country clubs, daily fee or municipal operators, the first priority is the golf course. The second priority is typically those areas that are highly noticeable to a club’s membership or the public, such as the clubhouse or other recreational facilities. The golf maintenance facility is often overlooked. The most important step in this process is the first. The leadership must reach consensus that something needs to be done.

A method that many country clubs, daily fee golf courses and municipal operations can employ is the use of a Strategic/Business Plan. This type of plan would accomplish the following; identification of the issues and clarification of the goals. The plan establishes a time line as to when the issue should be studied and a recommendation of a solution is proposed. Finally a person or group is assigned ownership of the task. The benefit is when a club or business creates a written record it is usually followed and most issues can be addressed before they become major problems.

B. Formation of a committee to analyze the issue.

The task of analyzing and studying the golf course’s maintenance facility is normally assigned either to the club’s Planning Committee, the Green Committee or an ad hoc Golf Planning Committee. Typically the task of reviewing the maintenance facility occurs in conjunction with a golf course improvement project. Ideally this committee is composed of past and present members of the Green Committee and the Board of Directors, who, in total represent every segment of the club’s membership. For technical expertise the committee may also include the club’s professional staff, specifically the golf course superintendent. Additionally, the committee should also include the appropriate specialists such as a golf course architect, and an environmental specialist. For those committees who are assigned the task of analyzing just the golf maintenance facility the participants within this group will change.

Once assembled the committee’s initial tasks are to study the condition of the existing maintenance facility and its infrastructure to determine the full scope of work needed in a master plan of improvements. From here an improvement plan for the maintenance facility can be developed with the issues prioritized. During the development of the plan the committee begins to develop probable cost estimates. These figures are reasonable costs of construction plus any contingency amounts. For example, cost overruns, and an estimate of the financial impact to the golf operation, etc.

One of this committee’s responsibilities is to communicate with the membership and other parties that are interested in the development of this project. In a private club environment space should be dedicated within the club’s newsletter for the Chairman of the Planning Committee or another officer of the club to provide periodic updates regarding the progress of the project.

For municipal and daily fee golf operations the manager/owner is the primary decision-maker regarding the project, consequently consensus is more easily achieved. Within this stream lined environment it is helpful to have experienced individuals available to assist with the development of the plan.

C. Developing a Financing Plan

In the private club environment developing financial options is the most critical success factor in cultivating membership support and approval for capital projects. Typically the most preferred methods of funding a capital improvement are: 1) a monthly capital dues increase 2) a non- refundable assessment 3) a refundable assessment and 4) cash flow from operations. Each funding method provides the club and membership with advantages and disadvantages. What follows is a summary of these financing methods.

1. Monthly Capital Dues Increase: Using this alternative the club uses a capital dues increase to finance a loan. The advantage of this funding method is most members prefer a low monthly payment in lieu of a large one-time payment. A member is excused from future payments if he or she leaves the club. The disadvantage of this financing method is a loan will put a club in debt, and future member resignations could threaten a club’s finances.

To illustrate how a loan program is applied, a club borrows $1,000,000 to pay for a capital improvement. The loan interest rate is 6% fixed over a term of 10 years equating to an annual 13.33% principal and interest repayment cost. Monthly the club would be required to make a payment of $11,108 to support the loan. If a club had 400 members, each would be required to pay $27.77 per month. If a loan option is considered, a provision should be obtained to allow the loan to be repaid ahead of schedule.

2. Non-Refundable Assessments: Using this method the total project cost is divided equally among all golfing members and immediately paid. The advantage of this method is the project is immediately paid for. The disadvantage is it is the most unpopular method of securing funds with a membership due to the high initial cost, and it forces the current membership to pay most of the cost.

3. Refundable Assessment: The upfront assessment can be made more marketable to a membership if the club provides a refundable feature that becomes effective if a member leaves the club. It is recommended that the refundable amount be depreciated over the life of the project. For example, if a member were assessed $5,000 to fund a capital project, a depreciation schedule of 10% per year for 10 years might be used, therefore if a member left after five years the assessment balance he or she would be refunded would equal 50% of the original assessment amount ($2,500). Experience has shown the depreciation feature has little impact on gaining member approval for the project, but it will support the future financial profile of your club.

4. Cash flow from operations: At times private country clubs as well as daily fee and municipal operations will set aside a portion of their revenue in a “Capital Reserve Fund” which has been created for improvement projects. For a private clubs initiation fees or funds generated from a monthly capital fee is normally the source of this revenue. For the other types of operators a percentage of greens fee revenue may be set aside to fund capital projects. Ideally operating surpluses would be used to finance golf projects.

The important point is for the owner/operators to carefully monitor their cash flow from operations. The primary revenue source for municipal golf operations is tax revenue. As with private club’s it is important for a municipal operation to clearly explain the benefits to the taxpayers of the community.

The Use of a Consultant

At times it may be necessary to locate and use a third party to review the existing facility, provide recommendations, and prepare communications for a project related to the Golf Maintenance Facility. At the McMahon Group we offer two services to the golf course superintendent. One, which we visit your golf course maintenance facility, review the site and floor plans of the facility, conduct a needs analysis, review the golf course maintenance schedule and staffing levels then compare the facility itself to the strategic goals of the club/golf course. Along with this analysis a report will be generated to include an architectural solution as well as an opinion of probable cost, an outline of specifications and how to proceed with improvements. This process will identify the facilities shortcomings and propose a solution. The second service is less expensive but still requires a site visit. This product will review your golf course, staffing, golf maintenance facility site and building floor plans, conduct a needs analysis and provide a recommendation based on a review of the site and floor plans of the maintenance facility.

Golf Maintenance Facility Design and Sizing Criteria

Golf maintenance facility design should attempt to accomplish three primary objectives. The first objective is to provide a safe environment for the employees of the club and golf course. Second, to allow for optimal efficiency by the maintenance staff and third, the maintenance area should be designed in such a way that the risks to the immediate environment are reduced. Improper handling and disposal methods at a golf maintenance facility can create serious environmental problems and potentially expose members and owners to legal liabilities.

The golf maintenance area is where pesticides are handled, equipment and fuel are stored and where general equipment maintenance is conducted. It is essential that this facility is well conceived and organized; otherwise a club could be living with a maintenance facility that is wasteful, fails to address the needs of the golf operation and could expose the club to legal liabilities, which could include penalties and fines. What follows are the general sizing guidelines for golf maintenance facilities.

Determining the Facility Site:

A few planning issues to be considered when selecting a site for the golf course maintenance facility. For new and existing golf courses identification of the site is important to the design and efficiency of the facility. While some courses will attempt to centrally locate a maintenance facility within the course (see figure 1) other clubs do not have this option. Consequently the location of the maintenance facility is on the border of the club’s property sometimes next to a residential area. Regardless of the location the site should have enough space where good traffic circulation is ensured. When deciding on a location several key questions should be answered, such as:

- Does the proposed site provide enough space for a building(s) of the size you want? If the total space requirement of your facility is 12,000 square feet, a site that supports 8,000 square feet is unacceptable.
- Are there utilities nearby?
- Is there space on the site for fuel storage and dispensing?
- Are natural water sources (ponds and streams) nearby?
- Is there sufficient space for chemical, fertilizer storage, and equipment wash areas?
- Is there sufficient space on the site that allows for the primary structure, ancillary buildings and the delivery of golf course supplies, storage bins and waste gathering areas?
- Is there enough space on the site to provide employee parking?
- Ideally this facility provides a loading dock that is compatible for a forklift.
- What are the anticipated reactions from your neighbors?

In addition to the questions noted above, it is equally important to know if the site that is being considered is on a floodplain and is suitable for construction. At times this critical piece of information is overlooked and causes problems when the time comes to secure building permits. Other issues to consider: Is the area concealed from the golf course? This is usually a consideration when the quality aspects of the golf operation are reviewed. Whether or not the initial site analysis is favorable it is always advisable to have a secondary location in mind in case an unforeseen circumstance eliminates the first choice.

For maintenance facilities that care for more than 18-holes it is recommended that the floor space for each of the key areas be increased by 50%, with the exception of the administrative office spaces. For example a maintenance facility may have 8,000 square feet of space to store the club’s equipment. If this facility were required to maintain a total of 36-holes an additional 4,000 square feet should be secured for additional storage.

Building and Site Requirements:
In general a few planning guidelines should be considered when designing and building a golf maintenance facility. A total of 10,000 – 13,000 square feet should be allocated for the main structure. Within the primary structure administrative space, primary equipment storage, the mechanics area including a lift, parts storage, a grinding room, and possibly an irrigation storage room would be included. The chemical and fertilizer storage building(s) should be separate from the main building, construction materials of these buildings should be chosen based on local and federal codes designated for these uses. During the planning process and reviewing the operation of the site it is critical that all government requirements are verified (federal and local environmental guidelines, OSHA, etc) to ensure code compliance. Other planning characteristics include:

- The outside area should be paved (highway code) to support the delivery of equipment and supplies by large trucks and a paved area allows for the easier pick up of waste materials.
- Fuel Storage areas should be above ground (compliant with the EPA and OSHA).
- Outdoor covered storage bins for sand and soil.
- A greenhouse if it is feasible for your operation.
- Waste and dumpster areas. Consider excavating and paving a bay that puts the top of the dumpster at ground level.

The Primary Maintenance Facility Structure: If site conditions permits it is recommended that this structure range from 10,000 to 13,000 square feet and include the following characteristics

- Administrative Space
- Equipment Storage
- Mechanics Repair Areas and Parts Storage
- Compressor/Grinding/Sanding and Painting Rooms
- Other Considerations

Administrative Space: This area handles the communication of the daily work priorities. Ideally the location of this space should be as far away from the equipment storage area as possible. Maintenance logs, invoices and other essential records must be maintained daily, and a quiet workspace ensures accuracy. Storage should be provided for the maintenance department’s records and supplies. A fireproof cabinet should be used to store MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets), plant protectant spray application records, back-up irrigation programs and inventory documents; these documents along with others should be duplicated and stored off site.

Climate control is a requirement of this area as well. Computers are used for record keeping and the update of the superintendent’s maintenance procedures. Very often the computers located in the area are dedicated to run a golf course’s irrigation system. Climate control will help your computers operate efficiently. If your club’s maintenance and invoice records are stored on a computer in this area the superintendent should consider having this information “backed up” on a daily basis. Depending upon how your golf course’s computer system a 3rd party provider should be considered as a resource to back up important records. Other key characteristics of this area include:

- Typically 1,500 to 2,500 square feet is allocated to administrative/break room areas, record storage etc. Depending upon the size of the maintenance staff.
- Private office space for the superintendent, assistant superintendent, horticulturist, irrigation technician and the club’s mechanic and a conference room area, if feasible.
- A break room/conference room.
- Men’s’ and women’s locker room areas equipped with ½ lockers.
- A guest restroom for club members or other visitors.
- A drying/mudroom to hang and store damp overalls, etc.

The goal of the administrative area is to provide and efficient workspace that promotes communication of the daily golf course requirements.

Equipment Storage: For most golf course maintenance facilities the McMahon Group has recommended 6,000 – 8,500 square feet to be allocated to the storage of maintenance equipment. A few key characteristics are as follows:

- Floor areas of the storage area should be marked so each piece of equipment has a designated space.
- The storage area should provide a small / secure equipment storage area for handheld equipment such as trimmers, chain saws, etc.
- This area should be designed for optimum circulation so the equipment can be driven through (eliminate the need to back up into a space).

Mechanics Repair Area / Parts Storage: Aside from the primary equipment storage area the mechanics repair shop is the second largest space within the maintenance facility’s primary structure. On average most equipment repair areas are 1,500 – 2,000 square feet and are connected to the equipment storage area and the parts storage room. Within the repair area space should be designated for equipment that is scheduled for repair. Ideally the mechanic’s repair area is equipped with a hydraulic lift that positions the equipment for quick and timely repairs and adjustments. Attachments are available for many lifts so that the golf course smaller equipment may be lifted during repair.

Parts storage in most golf maintenance facilities average approximately 200 - 250 square feet in size and should be used to store the most frequently used repair items. Some club’s will secure this area with a locked door so that the mechanics and the superintendent are the only personnel that have access. Regardless of access this room should have a direct entry into the equipment repair area so that the technicians working on the equipment do not have to waste time retrieving parts. Other considerations may include:

- An identified area for equipment in repair
- An overhead rail system (if feasible).
- For northern climates this area should be supplied with forced air heating with thermostat control.

Compressor Rooms: For southern climates a separate compressor building is acceptable but a compressor should be located inside the primary structure in northern climates. Additionally, the noise from a compressor can be distracting to the players on the course and to the local neighborhood. If feasible it is recommended that a separate compressor room be provided within the equipment storage area or main repair shop with ventilation and sound insulation.

Grinding Room: Similar to the parts storage room the grinding room in the main structure of the maintenance facility should be located adjacent to the mechanic’s repair area. Grinding rooms range in size from 200 to 300 square feet and should support rotary, reel and bed knife grinding. An adequate ventilation system should be available, one that controls the filings that are created when grinding is performed.

Other Considerations: Depending upon the size of the golf maintenance facility’s primary structure other rooms may be introduced. Some of the plans that have been reviewed show that many operations have added the following:

- Irrigation storage rooms
- Oil and lubrication storage rooms
- Equipment tool set up rooms.

Good planning will determine what features the primary golf maintenance facility will include. It is important to the maintenance needs of the superintendent be accurately accounted for during this process.

Chemical and Fertilizer Storage Facilities

Chemical Storage: One of the most important features of a golf maintenance facility is the chemical storage building. Normally it is recommended that a maintenance facility use a separate structure that meets local environmental and safety requirements. The most obvious benefit of a separate facility is employee safety. If the golf course’s chemicals are not stored properly they could end up in high traffic areas where the original container could be ruptured, resulting in a spill. The second benefit of a chemical storage facility is the ability to properly contain a spill and minimize your club’s exposure to the immediate environment. Finally a dedicated space promotes an accurate inventory, reducing waste, theft and the duplication of your businesses orders. Other key characteristics include:

- Ideally this structure is located at least 50 feet away from other structures on the site to allow for emergency access and 500 feet away from natural water sources.
- Chemical storage areas should average 400 – 500 square feet. More space is required if a mix load area is incorporated in the design.
- All steel or sealed masonry construction (non-combustible materials).
- Shelving should be chromed, coated or painted metal or plastic.
- All light switches should be located on the outside of the building and control the ventilation system so all systems are activated prior to entry.
- If feasible an electric garage door opener so the building may be opened with entry.
- Fire/smoke, security alarm with a dedicated line to the fire department or security company.
- Exhaust fans and an emergency shower / eye wash stations are mandatory.

When the installation of a new chemical storage facility is necessary the use of a pre-fabricated structure should be given consideration. One of the advantages of a pre-fabricated structure is the assortment of sizes that are available for the maintenance facility site. Reviewing a manufacturer’s web site shows that a pre-fabricated structures range in size from 62 cubic feet to 2,300 cubic feet and all have the necessary safety features. Other benefits include that all of the necessary building, fire and electrical codes are met and these structures are compliant with environmental legislation. The use of this turnkey approach would offer your golf operation an efficient alternative in meeting you chemical storage needs.

Fertilizer Storage Facilities: Fertilizer storage areas are equally important and many of the principles outlined above apply as well. An important feature of the fertilizer storage area is a racking system that has a high weight capacity (18-ton) and is capable of being loaded with a forklift (reducing manual labor). Other key characteristics are as follows:

- Fertilizer storage area should average 1,500 square feet and feature a high weight racking system that can be loaded using a forklift.
- Seamless flooring made of metal or concrete that is non-skid and treated with chemically resistant paint.
- Exhaust fans and emergency wash areas are mandatory.
- Ensure OSHA and Federal and Local EPA compliance.

Mix Load Area/Storage Combination Facility: A golf turf care center mix load area is used to fill the sprayers that are used on a golf course and grounds. The principle goal of this area is to provide an environment that promotes efficient mixing of the club’s plant protectant chemicals and water-soluble fertilizers while maximizing safety and minimizing environmental risk. Some maintenance facilities have created a combination facility where chemical and fertilizers are close to the mix load area. A few of the features of a mix load area are as follows:

- Ideally a minimum 600 square feet and connected to the chemical storage facility.
- The building itself is all steel or masonry walls and made of non-combustible materials.
- This structure should have 3 bays, one drive through bay as rinsate/mix load pad, one to store products, and one to store spray equipment.
- The door height of the entrance should be large enough where the club’s equipment can be parked for filling.
- Two available water sources, potable water for eyewash and safety shower and non-potable irrigation water (unless effluent) to fill the sprayers.
- Equip with exhaust fans with the volume capacity that can exceed 6 air changes per hour.
- Electric to code with wires in sealed conduit between inner and outer walls.
- Concrete filled steel pipe to protect corners of the building and entryways.
- Air gap quick cam hose hook ups.

Note: This floor plan should have provided forklift access to the fertilizer storage area. Depending on your golf operation ability to receive supplies quickly a larger fertilizer storage facility may not be necessary.

Equipment Cleaning: The Clean Air and Water Act is very specific about what can and cannot be passed as effluent from the wash down from a maintenance facility’s equipment cleaning area. Ideally when a golf course or private club is renovating or building a new facility the wash down area should strive to meet three objectives. The first is 100% containment of the oils, greases, solvents, fuels and any other contaminants found on the equipment. Second, it must be compliant with state and federal environmental protection agencies and third it must be affordable and within the overall budget of the capital project.

- Create a blowing station that has the ability to remove materials from the equipment prior to washing.
- Typically a wash pad is 750 square feet (30 X 25) this allows two machines to be washed at one time.
- Water recycling systems that are compliant with state and federal EPA requirements.

Environmental Concerns & Resources:

A golf course superintendent has many resources available to him/her when an environmental issue presents itself. Perhaps the easiest resource to use is the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s homepage. The GCSAA web site provides policy updates on a regular basis that are easily found. The association’s home page can be found at In addition to environmental updates this site is an excellent source of ideas and other information.

The federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency’s web site has plenty of information regarding the sale, storage and use of pesticides. Specifically these topics are covered in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). After these products are used on golf courses the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act governs the disposal or recycling of the remaining material. For detailed information the web site is:

Interestingly the Federal EPA does not have regulations regarding the sale and use of fertilizers. Those requirements are defined at the state level. With regard to water and rinse containment federal legislation was drafted in 1994 and has yet to be adopted. The Container and Containment rule covers the majority of the issues regarding the handling of refillable and non-refillable containers, the structure of the container and labeling however this proposal does not cover pesticide rinsate.

While the Federal Government has yet to establish regulations regarding pesticide rinsate many states have, it is best to review these requirements at the local level. Several states have published detailed guidelines reviewing the handling of chemicals, rinsate and other environmental issues facing golf maintenance departments, for example the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection has develop an entire manual entitled “Best Practices for Golf Course Maintenance Departments” while this document was originally drafted in 1995, and currently out of print, it contains information and practical advice that are relevant for today’s golf courses. A copy can be obtained by visiting

During the planning and construction phase of the maintenance facility it is best to review the environmental and zoning requirements with local resources.

Many times a golf course’s maintenance facility is constrained by the physical size of the building site, where the entire complex is located, or by the funding capacity of the operations (club or daily fee alike). When considering the installation of a new facility or a renovation of an existing facility it is important that the best general practices be observed. Specifically the following:

- Ensure that the safety needs of the staff are met.
- The facility is organized to minimize the cost of labor and supplies
- Chemicals and fertilizers should have a defined storage place that can contain a spill.
- That the maintenance facility complements the strategic needs of your golf course (i.e., the best quality daily fee course in the metropolitan area).
- Compliant with all Federal and State EPA and OSHA guidelines.
- Compliant with all local zoning guidelines.

For the physical facility it is best to see if your plans address the following areas:

- Overall site circulation
- Staff and fleet parking
- Outdoor storage bins for topdressing sand, bunker sand, mulch and other materials.
- Green waste disposal and recycling
- Chemical storage and mixing areas
- Fertilizer storage
- Fuel storage
- Equipment wash and rinse containment
- Equipment storage and circulation
- Equipment maintenance, including a lift and parts storage
- Administrative offices, staff locker and break room.

Sources used in the development of this publication:

USGA Green Section Record
Golf Course Management Magazine
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Midwest Association of Golf Course Superintendents
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Carbtrol Corporation, Bridgeport, CT
Audubon International, Selkirk, NY
Midwest Plan Services, Ames, IA

Special thanks to:

Daniel Dinelli, Superintendent North Shore Country Club, Glenview, IL
Paul Vermeulen, PGA of America
Allen Zelco, Superintendent, Missouri Bluffs Golf Club, St. Charles, MO
Rob Ritchie, CGCS, Persimmon Woods Golf Club, Weldon Springs, MO
J. Scott Warner, CGCS, Superintendent, Lincolnshire Fields Country Club, Champaign, IL
Bay Hill Lodge & Country Club, Orlando, FL



Maintenance Facility Overview:
Michael Vogt, CGCS of the McMahon Group and the Golf Course Superintendent of Sample Country Club, met to review the Club’s current golf and grounds maintenance facility. Golf Digest Magazine currently ranks the Sample Country Club’s golf course as one of America’s top 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The golf course maintenance budget for the year is projected to be XXX for the upcoming years, or approximately XXX per hole. The Sample Country Club is located on 200 acres in the Midwest United States.

Key Characteristics of the Golf Operation:
Total Acreage:
- 24 acres of fairways
- 4.2 acres of tees
- 4.25 acres of greens
75 total bunkers, a total of 80,000 square feet.
Average Green Size:
8,900 square feet, as compared to a typical course where the greens are approximately 5,000 to 6,000 square feet.
Practice Facilities:
13,000 square feet practice green.

2 chipping greens

2 short game practice greens

3 target greens on the driving range with a total square footage of 18 – 20,000 square feet.

5,000 square feet of tee space on two tiers that support the primary practice facility.
Rounds Played
Approximately 22,000
Primary Maintenance Schedule:
- Greens are mowed 7 days per week weather permitting with 6 green mowers and 2 collar mowers.
- Aeration occurs twice per year (spring and fall)

Top dressing is performed twice a month. A typical golf course may perform this task once a month. This contributes to a smooth fast putting surface.

The approach areas to the greens are mowed 3 times per week using a tri-plex mower.
Tees & Fairways:
Mowed 3 times per week. Typically 3 men mow the fairways in the morning and this takes a total time of 4 to 6 hours.
The rough is cut 1 to 2 times per week, along with the bunker side grass, depending upon the rainfall and grass growth.
Bunkers are hand raked every day and machine raked after a heavy rain.

Strategic Goals of the Golf Course:
The Sample Country Club has hosted national championships. The condition of the course is very important to the membership of the Club as the course receives national exposure on a periodic basis. As noted above members and their guests play approximately 22,000 rounds of golf per year. According to the National Golf Foundations “Operating & Financial Performance Profiles of 18-Hole Private Golf Facilities” the number of rounds is significantly lower than the median for the region, 26,500 rounds.

The Club’s golf maintenance budget of XXX is significantly higher than the average of XXX (based on a marketplace analysis conducted by the McMahon Group). In conclusion, the Sample Country Club’s goal is to provide its members with the best condition course that is possible and is easily accessible to member play.

Personnel and Staffing:
The staff at the Sample Country Club includes the (1) superintendent, 1 part-time secretary, 2 assistant superintendents, 1 irrigation technician, 1 horticulturalist and 2 mechanics. The club has a total of 22 employees that are responsible for turf care and maintenance.

Maintenance Facility Current Characteristics:

Facility / Characteristics
Square Feet Est.
Percent Allocation of Space
Acreage of Site

Approximately 1.7 acres
Total Number of Golf Holes
18 holes of regulation golf

Site Issues:
The facility is located on a road that is perpendicular to the road that features the Club’s main entrance. The location of the maintenance facility is located on the lowest point of the club property. The maintenance facility is protected from “heavy rains” by a large storm washbasin that channels the majority of storm run off away from the facility. In order for the facility to be flooded a large amount of rain would have to fall rapidly and/or the washbasin would have to be blocked with organic material (brush, branches, etc).

The current asphalt surface is suitable for deliveries and the movement of the Club’s maintenance equipment. A few minor areas were noted as in need of repair but in general the area was to be found in good condition.

Primary Facility Analysis:

Administrative and Employee Areas: The superintendent’s office was found to be in excellent condition with sufficient space to meet with the Club’s Green Committee and other visitors. In addition to the Superintendent’s private office workspace has been provided for the Club’s assistant superintendents. They are stationed in a 400 square foot office that is equipped with 3 workstations all of which have a view of the maintenance site.

Daily work priorities and assignments are posted on large “white” boards that reside within the employee break room and are located next to the time clock. The Club is currently using manpower/time management software that requires an employee to enter the hours spent on a specific task. This has helped the Club understand the allocation of payroll dollars on the golf course.

The Club has a large break room (600 square feet) located next to the men’s and a women’s locker rooms. A drying room/mud room is available for hanging of overalls and damp clothes. The addition of this room has helped reduce locker room odor. The maintenance facility has restroom facilities for visitors as well, located away from the employee areas.

Equipment Storage: In total the Club has 7,200 square feet of space dedicated (among 2 buildings) to the storage of the Club’s equipment. Each piece of the Club’s equipment has been assigned a designated storage space and the layout of the facility allows the Club to flow the machinery through, eliminating the need to back equipment into its space. This area was found to be appropriate in terms of storage the Club’s equipment (see inventory) and layout.

Mechanics Shop and Supporting Areas:

1. Parts Storage: The Club’s parts are stored in an area that is adjacent to the equipment repair area. The inventory of parts is well organized and accessible to the staff.

2. Grinding Room: The grinding room is convenient to the hydraulic equipment lift and is well ventilated to control the shavings that are generated during routine maintenance.

3. Sanding and Painting Room: Currently the Club does not have a sanding and painting room. Theses functions are performed on the Club’s parking lot.

Fertilizer Storage: The Club has an adequate fertilizer storage area that features a high weight racking system that is forklift accessible. This storage area shares an enclosed barn that also allows for indoor storages of the Club’s topsoil and other planting material.

Soil/Sand/Planting material covered storage: The Club uses a large structure that stores the planting materials and the Club’s fertilizer. The structure is adequate in that trucks and small vehicles may be backed up for loading.

Fuel Storage: The Club’s fuel storage tank is underground and is thought to be in good condition. Should the Club consider the removal of the existing tank and replacement with an above ground tank the location should be carefully studied.

Pesticide Storage: The Club has purchased a pre-fabricated structure and it is located next to the area that is used by the irrigation technician. This structure is located sufficiently far away from any natural water sources. The only concern is that the structure is located just close enough to the irrigation technician’s area where it might be difficult to access in time of an emergency.

Pesticide/Fertilizer Mix – Load Area: Currently the Club does not have a defined area for the mixing and loading of water-soluble pesticides and fertilizers. The equipment is flushed after every third application of pesticides. It is unknown if the maintenance area has a non-potable source of water to fill the equipment.

Blowing station: At the present time the Club designated “blowing station” where impediments may be removed from the Club’s equipment prior to washing.

Wash-off rinsate water containment: The Club does not have a specific area where the equipment is washed after use.

Waste Dumpster Areas: Currently the Club has one dumpster. Any trees, branches etc. are typically mulched and used on certain areas of the golf course, for example to the right of the 12th fairway.


1. Covered Storage: While comparing the equipment inventory to the available square footage indicates that sufficient storage is available at the Club, it should be noted that much of the equipment remains outside during the winter months. The Club should consider the addition of covered areas where at least this equipment is protected from the elements.

2. Mix – Load Area: Presently the Club does not have a formal area for the mixing and loading of water-soluble fertilizers and pesticides. Future improvement should incorporate this feature within the plan.

3. Equipment Blowing Station: Presently the Club does not have a formal that allows materials to be removed for the Club’s equipment prior to washing. Future improvement should incorporate this feature within the plan.

4. Equipment Rinsate water containment: Presently the Club does not have a designated equipment rinse area that provides water containment. Future improvement should incorporate this feature within the plan.

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