In a world of Blackberry devices, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, there is no substitute for personal interaction, the kind found every day through the game of golf. Golf courses provide the basis for the numerous social benefits provided by golf, says the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA).
“Golf course are a source of tremendous economic and environmental value to a community,” said ASGCA President Erik Larsen. “But the social benefits a golf course provides are just as valuable. Whether you are out for a round with some friends, conducting formal business in a friendly, competitive atmosphere or introducing your son or daughter to a practice range for the first time, the golf course remains a truly unique place; not to mention the health benefits which come from being outdoors.”
Walking a golf course leads to better health. Anyone looking for a moderately paced, cardiovascular workout will benefit by walking nine or 18 holes designed to work with the natural undulations of the land. A recent msn.com article cited additional benefits of walking, including lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes, reducing stress, preventing heart disease and decreasing the need for medication.
“A course can also be used for other activities which benefit a community, including trails for jogging and cross-country skiing or concert space,” Larsen said in the most recent issue of By Design, the definitive source of information for individuals and organizations seeking best practices in golf course design. “The practice range at a course is a great place to bring in a portable movie screen. A course manager or owner who invites area residents for an evening’s entertainment under the stars may find they will return for a lesson or round of golf.”
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Founded in 1946 by 14 leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout the United States and Canada. Members have completed a rigorous two-year long application process that includes the peer review of four representative golf courses. ASGCA members are experienced golf course architects, able to counsel in all aspects of golf course design and remodeling and comprise many of the great talents throughout the golf industry.