Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture


The recent proliferation of environmental research on golf courses has greatly expanded the understanding of the environmental impacts and costs of various golf course design, construction, and management strategies. This new body of research, however, has not yet been consolidated into a set of principles for sustainable golf course development and management. The purpose of this research will be to draw from current research to develop such a set of principles and, in particular, to examine the economic and environmental benefits of using native vegetation on golf courses. The objectives of this research were to: -- review and synthesize the large body of recent research to develop golf course design, construction, and management principles that have the greatest potential for maintaining playability, aesthetic value, and keeping costs down while minimizing environmental impacts (i.e. reduction of fertilizer and pesticide usage and runoff, reduced water consumption, and improved water quality); -- document the environmental impacts and potential maintenance savings possible through the construction and management of large areas of native vegetation in out-of-play areas such as buffer areas around lakes, streams, and ponds by examining selected, existing golf courses. The principles articulated in this study were developed by synthesizing the large body of current research on the environmental impacts of various golf course design, construction, and management practices. This particular study focused more on issues of water quality, soil protection, and the use of native vegetation but less directly on wildlife ecology.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Mark Gregory Kuiper



File Format


File Size

171 pages