Chapter 7: Golf Courses

7.1 Number of Facilities

Existing Facilities

The National Golf Foundation (NGF) estimated 15,487 facilities operated 17,108 golf courses in 2000.59 Of these facilities, 2,438 are operated by public entities; 8,759 are operated by private entities and are open to the public; and 4,290 are operated by private entities and are restricted to members only. The NGF estimated 17 percent of existing golf facilities are part of a residential community.

No data was available on the number of driving ranges. The new construction and alterations impacts on these facilities are minimal, and we did not expend resources to develop models to estimate the number of existing and newly constructed driving ranges.

New Construction

The NGF estimated 524 new golf courses were constructed in 2000, and 87 percent of these courses are open to the public. Of the new golf courses constructed in 2000, 171 were additions to existing facilities and 251 were nine-hole layouts. The NGF estimated 377 new golf courses were constructed in 2001. The NGF estimated about 45 percent of golf course construction today is part of a residential community.60

Small Entities

For golf facilities operated by private entities, using the methodology described in Chapter 2, we estimated 97 percent are small entities. For golf facilities operated by public entities, we assumed the percentage operated by small governmental jurisdictions is the same as in Table 2.1.

7.2 Final Guidelines

Table 7.1 summarizes the final guidelines for golf courses.

Table 7.1 - Final Guidelines: Golf Courses


Accessible route must connect accessible teeing stations with accessible parking spaces. Accessible route must be 48 inches wide minimum. Where handrails provided, accessible route must be 60 inches wide minimum.

olf car passage complying with 15.4.7 permitted in lieu of accessible route.

Section Requirement

15.4.1 General

Application


Newly designed and constructed and altered golf courses, driving ranges, practice putting greens, and practice teeing grounds must comply with 15.4.

15.4.2 Accessible Route - Golf Course

General

Exception - Golf Car Passage

Exception - Handrails


Accessible route must connect accessible elements and spaces within boundary of golf course. Accessible route must connect golf car rental area, bag drop areas, practice putting greens, accessible practice teeing grounds, course toilet rooms, and course weather shelters. Accessible route must be 48 inches wide minimum. Where handrails provided, accessible route must be 60 inches wide minimum.

Golf car passage complying with 15.4.7 permitted in lieu of accessible route.

Handrail requirements do not apply to accessible route located within boundary of golf course.

15.4.3 Accessible Route - Driving Ranges

General

Exception - Golf Car Passage

 

15.4.4 Teeing Grounds

Scoping

Forward Teeing Ground


Exception - Alterations

Where two or fewer teeing grounds provided for hole, at least one must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and maneuver within teeing ground. Where three or more teeing grounds provided for hole, at least two must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit teeing ground.

Forward teeing ground must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit teeing ground.

In alterations, forward teeing ground not required to be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit teeing ground where compliance not feasible due to terrain.

15.4.5 Teeing Stations at Driving Ranges and Practice Teeing Grounds

Scoping


Where teeing stations or practice teeing grounds provided, at least 5% must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit teeing station or practice teeing ground.

15.4.6 Weather Shelters

General

Where weather shelters provided on golf course, each shelter must provide clear floor or ground space 60 inches minimum by 96 inches minimum, and must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit station.

15.4.7 Golf Car Passage

General

Width

Where curbs or other constructed barriers provided along golf car passage to prohibit cars from entering fairway, opening 60 inches wide minimum must be provided at intervals not to exceed 75 yards.

Golf car passage must be 48 inches wide minimum.

15.4.8 Putting Greens

General

Each putting green must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit putting green.

 

7.3 Alternatives

Table 7.2 presents the alternatives considered in the proposed guidelines and final guidelines. The significant comments raised during the public comment period are summarized in the preamble to the final rule, along with the Access Board’s assessment of the comments and the reasons for selecting the alternative adopted in the final guidelines. The Access Board minimized the significant economic impact of the final guidelines by permitting a golf car passage to be provided on golf courses and driving ranges instead of an accessible route.61 The Access Board also modified the requirements for teeing grounds in the final guidelines. No other significant alternatives were considered or rejected.

Table 7.2 - Golf Course Alternatives

Item Proposed Guidelines Final Guidelines
Teeing Grounds - Scoping Where one teeing ground provided for hole, it must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and maneuver within teeing ground. Where two or more teeing grounds provided for hole, at least two must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and maneuver within teeing ground. Where two or fewer teeing grounds provided for hole, at least one must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit teeing ground. Where three or more teeing grounds provided for hole, at least two must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit teeing ground.
Teeing Grounds - Forward Tee No requirement. Forward teeing ground must be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit teeing ground.
Teeing Grounds - Alterations No exception. In alterations, forward teeing ground not required to be designed and constructed so that golf car can enter and exit teeing ground where compliance not feasible due to terrain.
Teeing Grounds - Clear Area Accessible teeing grounds must have minimum clear area of 10 feet by 10 feet with slope not exceeding 1:48 in all directions. No requirement.
 

7.4 New Construction Impacts

The new construction impacts are minimal. The final guidelines permit a golf car passage to be provided instead of an accessible route. The golf car passage does not have to be a prepared surface. Single rider golf cars adapted for individuals with disabilities are available from about a dozen companies.62 These golf cars are generally designed to be “greens friendly” and have low ground pressure that is evenly distributed on all four tires. Some manufacturers report that the ground pressure of these golf cars is less than the ground pressure of a typical standing person and cause no turf damage even in wet conditions. Golf course designs are site specific. Some sites may be very difficult with steep slopes and rocky outcrops. If a riding lawn mower can operate on a course, single rider golf cars adapted for individuals with disabilities would generally be able to operate too.

7.5 Alterations Impacts

The alterations impacts are minimal.

7.6 Total Costs

We did not estimate any compliance costs for golf courses and driving ranges.