Originally Posted by turtleback
The problem with #1 is that if the longer distance causes a need for a larger parcel then some projects are just not going to be built. So it is not an issue of competitiveness with other designers it is an issue of shrinking the market.
But I'm sure I'm being silly to think that a 6000 yard course would take less land than a 7500 yard course in the first place.
You got it backwards man.
An owner buys a piece of land, he is confined to this land parcel. Lets say 10 acres (just throwing out a number). He wants to build a golf course. He says, "I want a golf course built for 3 million dollars max:" So he goes out to the golf design companies, Arnold Palmer, Jack, Gary Player, ect.. They all with there teams come up with a golf design, and do there pitch. Ok, this golf course, this look, this design, this build time, this cost. The guy picks one, and they run with it. Designs will change a bit, be finalized, and things get rolling.
You think Jack has control over the amount of land is used, only if the a 7200 yard course fits in the same land parcel as a 6000 yard course. Other than that, Jack has to design a course based around a boundary line. Jack isn't going out there saying, "Were only building 7000+ yard courses", nope, he is constrained in his designs by the usable land.
Originally Posted by 0ldblu3
I agree with Erik that land and maintenance costs are not as impact-full as one might think. What has meaningful impact on a budget is labor, labor is the number one component of a maintenance budget. If you can change the amount of time it takes to do maintenance jobs on course, then you can have fewer employees...fewer employees have lower costs (pay, overhead, insurance, workmans comp claims, etc...). The reason shortening the course doesn't help is that modern equipment has made all the employees as efficient as possible. Dialing back fairways 20% doesn't have appreciable impact because the fairway mower is already a beast with a 72 to 100 inch cut and a 7.5mph mowing speed. There are still 3 acres of greens and all the tee boxes and 37 bunkers to maintain. And roughs only get cut twice a week in peak growing season, once a week in hot/cold conditions. Superintendents are already running as tight as possible with the labor force, the equipment is already as efficient as it is reasonably going to get, there is no slack in that system to get rid of. Now, if you want to cut the cost of maintaining a golf course, invent a safe un-manned mower and self-raking bunkers.
that's not necessarily true as well, it depends on the math. You can just take an extra week with a smaller crew and save money compared to going with a larger crew and working a shorter week. It all depends on how the hourly wages line up with the time table.