Reprinted from the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA)

As part of ASGCA’s successful Remodeling University program, Forrest Richardson, ASGCA recently presented on “Seven Essential Steps for Moving a Remodeling Project Forward.” Richardson has been an ASGCA member since 2000 and established his own firm, Forrest Richardson & Associates, in 1988. The firm is based in Phoenix, Arizona

Building the team…To gain the support necessary for a remodeling project, it is important to create a team of competent and respected team members. Two of your key team members should be a project “champion” and the golf course architect. Usually, the project champion is someone already in the club who understands the need to remodel and has the respect of influential club groups and luminaries. If you don’t already have a preferred golf course architect, the ASGCA membership list is a good place to look.

Creating an exciting, smart, and responsible vision…Understanding the course’s rooted history will allow you to marry it with new design elements that enhance the course without compromising its legacy. You can prepare by taking inventory of existing conditions and by identifying and classifying key issues as either agronomic or architectural so they can be addressed accordingly.

Developing a “wish list”…When proposing a remodeling project, it is important to know exactly what kinds of enhancements will make sense for your course or club. To combat an overeager mentality, develop a comprehensive “wish list” of what could be done. Considering the feasibility and necessity of the items on your list will lead to a hierarchy or prioritization of the various project components. You will want to present the list as a flexible plan that can be adjusted as need be.

Establishing a financial plan…To ensure support from various decision-makers, you will need to establish a viable financial plan. Set up a preliminary budget that takes into account all the possible expenditures a project may incur, and be sure to have a qualified expert properly evaluate your long-term financial projections. Always remember to be clear, accurate, and concise with any facts, figures, and explanations, and to only hold financial discussions when appropriate and when potential funding mechanisms have been identified.

Having a sound strategy…A good remodeling strategy helps move a project through its various phases of development. Having a sound strategy ensures that course availability is maximized and that club members do not become disgruntled by too much construction. Part of the strategy should also incorporate the completion of detailed course plans and documents and take into account when they will need to be presented.

Communicating with enthusiasm…Remodeling projects require commitment, attention to detail, and enthusiasm. In addition, having an ASGCA member in your corner will help prepare you for unforeseen difficulties and can really be your ally in getting your project off the ground.