Golf Course Design Programs

By Misty Faucheux

Golf course design programs allow designers to lay out greens, holes and obstacles.
i Golf cart on golf course image by Jim Mills from

Golf course designers have to figure out everything from where the holes should go to how long the course should be to where the obstacles should be placed. While in the past this had to be done by hand, there are programs now available that allow golf course designers to virtually lay out the greens and add or subtract objects. While most of these program require a fee, free programs are available.

Total Pro Golf Course Designer 1

This program works with Windows operating systems, and it is a free program that was designed by Wolverine Studios. Users create golf course layouts via a 2D environment, allowing you to virtually see how each element will look on your golf course. This software program can be used to create new courses or to make reproductions of popular courses. This program can be used as a standalone program, or it can be used in conjunction with Wolverine Studios' Total Pro Golf. This program can be downloaded from any reputable third-party website. This software is geared toward beginners.

3D Nature

This company offers users three software programs: World Construction Set 6, Scene Express and Visual Nature Studio 3. Together, these three programs create the Visual Nature Studio suite that uses geographical information system data and CAD drawings to create realistic images. Users can also add animation and graphics to create realistic images that nearly match the original setting. These images can then be manipulated to create landscapes, greens, challenges, flags and holes. Further, engineers can see whether certain items or obstacles can be seen from the greens or holes. This software is geared toward professionals who must report to stakeholders, managers, environmental impact assessors and clients. This is a paid software program.

Master Upgrade Software

This software uses 3D imagery to create scale models of golf courses, and it assists designers in planning new courses. This program allows users to virtually walk or fly through the course, and you actually see how things like trees, rocks and lakes look on the layout. To run this program, you must have a good video card and a lot of memory to take full advantage of the software. A free trial download is available, but users must purchase the full version. Free instructions and updates are available as well. There is also a 2D version of this software for users with computers with less power. This software is geared toward beginner users.