„No matter how skillfully one may lay out the holes and diversify them, nevertheless one must get the thrill of nature.“
– GEORG THOMAS, Golf Architecture in America, 1927.
The Designs of “Himmel Golf Design” are based on combinations of the history of the game and the modern requirements of design and construction. The game of Golf originally evolved on the dunes of Scotland. No big, if any, earthmoving nor any special construction methods were needed. The lesson that is drawn from those natural courses has stood the test of time. “He who designs and builds a golf course with the land cuts down the initial as well as maintenance costs and obtains, from the very start, a harmonious golf course embedded into his natural surrounding.”
Besides all the tradition and history, we are open to all modern requirements of the game.
Golf Course Design as an “Art-Form” is required when earthmovements and constructions have to be done in such a manner that the golf course can reflect the appearance of harmony between him and the natural surrounding.
The golf course as a strategic challenge
„The strategy of the golf course is the soul of the game.“
– GEORG THOMAS, Golf Architecture in America, 1927.
The central aspect of our design work is the creation of a “strategic golf course”. Strategy is when every single hole possesses its own personality and challenge according to the natural surrounding, the topography, the shape of the greens, the hazards, the fairways as well as the optical thrills. The 18 or 9 holes put together create a complete challenge for golfers of all levels of skill. That means: The high-class golfer is never underchallenged, the less skilled golfer never over challenged. Strategy also means that several abilities of the golfer, regardless of his playing-level, are demanded: his imagination, his technical skills, his tactics, his power, his stamina and his talent for strategic thinking”.
Unfortunately, the term “challenge” is often placed on a equal footing with the word “difficulty”. With feel that challenge is more the synonymous for a round of golf that produces a feel of joy and fun, because the skills of each golfer are demanded in the right degree.
We design courses with a great amount of shot values, giving the average golfer ample landing-areas whereas the accomplished one has to deal with numerous risk-reward elements and features. At every shot each player must be given a challenge in such a manner that it conforms with his abilities.
The perfect golf shot is invariably rewarded.
The golf course within nature
We design golf courses that possess timeless beauty rather than golf courses that are fancy for a short period of time. We can only achieve this goal by blending the golf course into its natural surroundings. As in all aspects of life: The eye gets tired by the modern while the classic keeps its charm throughout the time. We love the design of and still enjoy playing the classic golf courses of Great Britain and America.
The task to achieve harmony between the golf course and the surroundings requires an intensive study of the land and its characteristics. Flying visits followed by a plan are a strict taboo.
The groundwork for our plans is the careful reading of the land and all the feature it has to give. This is the only way to preserve and to develop natural habitats.
The golf course in detail
„Putting greens are to golf courses what faces are to portraits.“
– C.B. MACDONALD, Scotland´s Gift – Golf.
The Design of our golf courses contain an detailed planning of all the design elements: Our greens are soft an flowing. We put an eye on fair approaches to the greens but at the same time believe that accurate play must definitely be rewarded. At the same time no greens are alike. A varying and interesting Design of the greens is paramount.
We make use of multiple tees to create different angles of play. At the same time each hole receives a good variety in playing-lengths making the golf course playable and enjoyable for every golfer.
Interesting bunker-design is too often been neglected. We put a lot of emphasis on bunker-design and believe that every type of land and golf course should obtain their unique bunker-design following the characteristics of the surroundings and the existing colour of the soil.
Super modern can tire the eyes very quickly – classic preserves its charm for long. This also applies to golf courses. We design courses that not only emit beauty for just five to ten years following some trends – they shall display their beauty for longer. Possible is this by embedding the design in a harmonious way into the natural surroundings. Short flying visits followed by a plan on the computer is a taboo for us. The basic principle for the designs are the parameters given by the existing land. By getting the feel for the land and its natural features, the proposed enhancement through design can be achieved without turning the original land upside down. Sometimes although a more aggressive approach to a completely feature-less lamd can be the right way for improvements.
Studying old „classics“ and famous architects:
An important part for responsible design is the study of classic golf courses and renowned architects and their philosophy. By having played over 100 of the famous British links and inland courses a good knowledge of what is important for every Golfcourse is gained – be it a design of a classic (following dsigns by a great past architect) or a design adjusted to the requirements of modern society and the modern golfing structure. On every project a good amount of sure instinct is needed. Learning from the classics allows the introduction of a more „old-fashioned“ styling to modern courses (i.e. Bunker with natural looks) that make the look more time-less.
Ecology and sustainability:
Together with our philosophy we take advantage of all methods of ecological design and construction and we focus on saving as much precious structures as possible – we believe that we owe that to our nature. On a land with no or very low ecological value we increase it by creating new precious features during every design process. This approach normally also speeds up all necessary permissions. Only a design that keeps fitting into its natural surroundings will give the golfer the feel of ease and enjoyment.
We form our designs in a way that they can be maintained in an ecological and a cost-saving manner. By no means is this a loss in quality. Ecological maintenance in several areas of the course opens up resources for the important playing surfaces.
Climate change is a fact: Golfcourses need, apart from the design, to be prepared for changes in the environment and the climate. We consider this aspect in our designs. Part of this are, depending on the demand,
- The reduction of turf-areas by turning no- or low-play areas into natural areas with low or no maintenance
- Optimizing and modernizing the irrigation system /design to reduce unnecessary use of water
- Using the right type of grasses
The client´s golf course
Apart from our Design-Philosophy we set a high value to plan a golf course that fulfills all the dreams and expectations of our client.
The priority are the clients wishes and from the start we have in mind the economical aspect of the project. As a rule, it is not the construction costs that make a golf project less lucrative. Mostly it is the post-construction costs that were not considered carefully during design and construction process that can cause financial problems to the client. Our goal is to produce golf courses that, with reasonable management, can be profitable over a long period of time.