Title:
Compact golf course and privatized golf course community, and a method of designing and dynamically playing a compact golf course
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed to a compact golf course, a privatized golf course community having a compact golf course, methods of designing a compact golf course and/or privatized golf course community, and methods of dynamically playing a compact golf course. The compact golf course includes a plurality of regulation distance hole possibilities that are condensed to occupy a parcel of land that is substantially smaller than the amount of land required to accommodate a conventional golf course. The dynamic method of playing the compact golf course allows a player to play from any tee box to any one of a plurality of greens, thus increasing the number and variety of hole possibilities. The compact golf course is particularly well suited for low-volume usage since the holes can be played in a dynamic and/or random fashion. The compact golf course allows a player to play a round of golf in a random order (i.e., randomly playing a round by dynamically selecting to play any of said plurality of hole possibilities in any order). The compact golf course may be integrated with a residential design to form a privatized golf course community. The privatized golf course community is particularly well suited for parcels of land having low-density zoning. The compact golf course can occupy the open-space required by the zoning thus providing golf-front properties and increased property values.



Inventors:
Aronchick, Bryan P. (Narberth, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/351176
Publication Date:
08/09/2007
Filing Date:
02/09/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BakerHostetler (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A compact golf course, said compact golf course comprising: a golf course perimeter defining an outer boundary of said compact golf course; a peripheral area located within said perimeter; an interior, central region located within said peripheral area; a plurality of tee boxes located proximate said golf course perimeter and within said golf course peripheral area; a plurality of greens located proximate and within said plurality of tee boxes; a common fairway area located in said interior, central region of said compact golf course; and a plurality of golf hole possibilities comprising golf holes formed from any of said plurality of tee boxes to any of said plurality of greens; whereby said compact golf course allows a player to dynamically select to play any of said plurality of golf hole possibilities.

2. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said plurality of golf hole possibilities further comprise a plurality of golf hole possibilities that may be dynamically created by said player from one or more pre-determined and fixed golf course features, wherein said fixed golf course features comprise one or more of: said tee boxes, said greens, said common fairway area, and/or hazards.

3. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said plurality of tee boxes, said plurality of greens, and/or said common fairway area comprise a template that said player can work within to dynamically chose to play any of said golf hole possibilities.

4. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said plurality of tee boxes, said plurality of greens, and/or said common fairway area are strategically located to: maximize said number of hole possibilities; maximize a variety of hole length; maximize a variety of tee shots; and/or maximize a variety of green approach shots.

5. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said golf hole possibilities is determined by a number of tee boxes comprising said plurality of tee boxes multiplied by a number of greens comprising said plurality of greens.

6. The compact golf course of claim 5, wherein said golf hole possibilities is further determined by said dynamic manner of play made available to said player, wherein said common centralized fairway area allows said player to play several different ball paths from a selected tee box to a selected target green, wherein each of said ball paths comprises a different golf hole possibility.

7. The compact golf course of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of ball paths from a tee box to a green, whereby said compact golf course allows said player to dynamically select to play any of said plurality of ball paths.

8. The compact golf course of claim 7, wherein said plurality of ball paths allow for golf hole possibilities of: a par-3 golf hole possibility, a par-4 golf hole possibility, and/or a par-5 golf hole possibility, wherein said plurality of ball paths and resulting golf hole possibilities are formed between the same tee box/green combination, depending on a selected ball path that said player chooses to play.

9. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said golf course perimeter further comprises an enclosed area of land covering less than about one hundred acres.

10. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said compact golf course further comprises an area of land enclosed within a range of about twelve to about thirty acres.

11. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said compact golf course comprises at least eighteen golf hole possibilities.

12. The compact golf course of claim 11, wherein said at least eighteen golf hole possibilities further comprise regulation-distance golf holes.

13. The compact golf course of claim 12, wherein said regulation-distance golf holes comprise a combination of par-3 holes, par-4 holes, and par-5 holes.

14. The compact golf course of claim 12, wherein said regulation-distance golf holes possibilities comprise combinations allowing for a total par range of from about 68 to about 74 and having a total yardage of from about 5,500 yards to about 7,500 yards.

15. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said plurality of tee boxes comprises less than eighteen tee boxes, and wherein said plurality of greens comprises less than eighteen greens.

16. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said plurality of tee boxes comprises less than nine tee boxes, and wherein said plurality of greens comprises less than nine greens.

17. The compact golf course of claim 1, further comprising one or more fairway branches, said fairway branches extending from said common fairway area toward one or more of said greens.

18. The compact golf course of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of hazards strategically located around said compact golf course.

19. The compact golf course of claim 18, wherein said plurality of hazards further comprise a plurality of bunkers.

20. The compact golf course of claim 19, wherein said plurality of bunkers further comprise: a plurality of fairway bunkers arranged in or proximate said common fairway area, wherein said fairway bunkers being located in and around said fairways to affect tee shots from one than one of said plurality of tee boxes; and a plurality of green-side bunkers arranged around said greens, wherein said green-side bunkers are located around said greens to affect approach shots from a plurality of shot angles to each of said greens.

21. The compact golf course of claim 1, whereby said compact golf course further allows a player to randomly play a round of golf by dynamically selecting to play any of said plurality of golf hole possibilities in a random order.

22. The compact golf course of claim 1, wherein said compact golf course comprises at least nine golf hole possibilities.

23. The compact golf course of claim 22, wherein said at least nine hole possibilities further comprise regulation-distance golf holes.

24. The compact golf course of claim 23, wherein said regulation-distance golf holes comprise a combination of par-3 holes, par-4 holes, and par-5 holes.

25. The compact golf course of claim 23, wherein said regulation-distance golf holes possibilities comprise combinations allowing for a par range of from about 34 to about 37 and having a total yardage of from about 2,250 yards to about 3,750 yards.

26. A method for playing a compact golf course, said method comprising: dynamically selecting a tee box from a plurality of tee boxes located around a periphery of said compact golf course; dynamically selecting a target green from a plurality of greens located around said periphery of said compact golf course; and hitting golf shots, comprising hitting a golf ball with one or more golf clubs from said selected tee box toward said selected target green, until said golf ball is hit into a cup on said target green.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein said method further comprises: dynamically selecting another tee box from said plurality of tee boxes located around a perimeter of said compact golf course; dynamically selecting another target green from said plurality of greens located around said perimeter of said compact golf course; and hitting golf shots, comprising hitting a golf ball with one or more golf clubs from said selected another tee box toward said selected another target green, until said golf ball is hit into a cup on said selected another target green.

28. The method of claim 27, wherein said method further comprises: repeating said steps of dynamically selecting another tee box, dynamically selecting another target green, and hitting golf shots until said golf ball is hit into a cup on said selected another target green until a desired number of holes has been played.

29. The method of claim 27, wherein said method further comprises repeating said steps of dynamically selecting another tee box, dynamically selecting another target green, and hitting golf shots until said golf ball is hit into a cup on said target green until eighteen holes have been played.

30. The method of claim 28, wherein said method further comprises: randomly selecting said desired number of holes from a plurality of hole possibilities, said hole possibilities comprising different tee box and green combinations.

31. The method of claim 28, wherein said method further comprises: randomly selecting said desired number of holes from a plurality of hole possibilities, said hole possibilities comprising different ball paths from the same tee box and green combination.

32. The method of claim 26, wherein said method further comprises: randomly selecting a hole from a plurality of hole possibilities, wherein said selected hole comprises said selected tee box and said selected green; determining a path to follow from said selected tee box and said selected green; and defining boundaries along said path that said golf ball must stay within.

33. The method of claim 32, wherein said method further comprises: taking a penalty stroke if said golf ball is hit outside of said boundaries; and dropping said golf ball back within said boundary.

34. The method of claim 26, wherein said method further comprises: identifying a target area that a golf ball must be hit to or past from said tee box; hitting said golf ball along a first ball path toward said target area until said golf ball enters or clears said target area; turning to said target green; and hitting said golf ball along a second ball path toward said target green until said golf ball is hit into said hole on said target green.

35. The method of claim 34, wherein said step of turning to said target green further comprises: turning at an angle from said first ball path from said tee box to said target area to said second ball path from said target area and said target green, wherein said angle is between 90 degrees and 180 degrees.

36. The method of claim 26, wherein said method further comprises: counting a number of strokes required to hit said golf ball from said tee box and into said hole on said target green; and recording a golf score for said hole, wherein said golf score comprises said counted number of strokes.

37. A compact golf course comprising: a parcel of land having open space for accommodating said compact golf course; tee boxes located around an outer periphery of said parcel within a perimeter of said parcel; greens located around said outer periphery of said parcel within said perimeter of said parcel; a common fairway area located in a central region of said parcel; one or more branch fairways extending from said common fairway area toward one or more of said plurality of greens; a plurality of hole possibilities, said hole possibilities comprising any tee box and any green, whereby a golfer dynamically selects a tee box from which to hit a tee shot and dynamically selects a target green.

38. The compact golf course of claim 37, wherein said plurality of hole possibilities further comprise a selected ball path, said ball path comprising: a first portion from any tee box to a designated area in said common fairway area; and a second portion from said designated area in said common fairway area to any green.

39. The compact golf course of claim 38, wherein said second portion of said selected ball path is oriented at an angle from said first portion of said selected ball path, wherein said angle is an angle including about 0 to about 180 degrees.

40. The compact golf course of claim 38, wherein said plurality of hole possibilities further comprise: a dog-leg right hole having said first portion of said selected ball path extending in a first direction and said second portion of said selected ball path extending in a second direction that is angled to the right of said first direction, and/or a dog-leg left hole having said first portion extending in a first direction and a second portion extending in a second direction that is angled to the left of said first direction; and a target area located between said selected tee box and said target green; wherein said player completes said first portion of said selected ball path in order to reach or clear said target area; wherein said player can turn and plays toward said green once said target area has been reached or cleared; wherein said player completes said second portion of said selected ball path in order to complete said dynamically selected hole.

41. The compact golf course of claim 40, wherein said angle between said first direction and said second direction is between about 30 degrees and about 90 degrees.

42. The compact golf course of claim 38, wherein said plurality of hole possibilities further comprise: a switch-back hole having said first portion extending in a first direction and a second portion extending in a second direction; wherein said second direction of said second portion is at an angle of between 90 degrees and 180 degrees from said first direction of said first portion; and a target area between said first portion and said second portion; wherein said player must hit shots in said first direction from a selected tee box to said target area before turning and hitting shots in said second direction from said target area to a selected target green.

43. The compact golf course of claim 42, wherein said switch-back hole further comprises said second portion extending in a direction that is substantially opposite to said direction of said first portion.

44. The compact golf course of claim 42, wherein said switch-back hole possibility provides for hole distances greater than a width of said parcel of land.

45. The compact golf course of claim 37, wherein said plurality of hole possibilities share common features of said compact golf course, and wherein a dynamically selected hole possibility shares said common feature with other potential hole possibilities.

46. A privatized golf course community, said privatized golf course community comprising: a parcel of land; a residential community comprising a plurality of homes located around a periphery of said parcel; a compact golf course integrated within said residential community; and a plurality of hole possibilities comprising a plurality of tee box and green combinations that may be played in a random order.

47. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, wherein said compact golf course further comprises: a plurality of tee boxes; and a plurality of greens; wherein said plurality of hole possibilities comprise any one of said plurality of greens dynamically combined with any one of said plurality of tee boxes.

48. The privatized golf course community of claim 47, further comprising a common fairway area, wherein said common fairway area is shared by a plurality of hole possibilities.

49. The privatized golf course community of claim 47, wherein said plurality of hole possibilities comprises at least eighteen hole possibilities.

50. The privatized golf course community of claim 49, wherein said at least eighteen golf hole possibilities further comprise hole possibilities that allow for total hole yardage of about 5,500 to about 7,500 yards.

51. The privatized golf course community of claim 49, wherein said at least eighteen golf hole possibilities further comprise hole possibilities that allow for total hole par score of about 68 to about 74 strokes.

52. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, wherein said parcel comprises at least ten acres.

53. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, wherein said residential community occupies approximately 20% of said parcel and said compact golf course occupies approximately 80% of said parcel.

54. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, wherein said parcel comprises: a first, outer zone in contact with a parcel line of said parcel, wherein said first, outer zone extends from said parcel line inward toward an interior or central region of said parcel; wherein said homes and a plurality of tee boxes are located in said first, outer zone; a second, intermediate zone in contact with an inner boundary of said first, outer zone, wherein said second, intermediate zone extends from said inner boundary of said first, outer zone inward toward said interior or central region of said parcel; a plurality of greens are located in said second, intermediate zone; and an interior or central region within an inner boundary of said second, intermediate zone, wherein said interior or central region comprises open space for a common fairway area that is shared by a plurality of hole possibilities comprising any one of said tee boxes and any one of said greens; whereby any combination of tee box to fairway to green is permissible to form a golf hole.

55. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, wherein said privatized golf course community further comprises: zoning restrictions on said parcel of land requiring low density housing; a plurality of lots based on said zoning restrictions, wherein said parcel is divided into said plurality of lots based on said zoning restrictions, wherein at least one home is located on each lot; and open space required by said zoning restrictions, wherein said compact golf course is located on said open space required by said zoning restrictions.

56. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, wherein said zoning restrictions require at least two acre minimum lots.

57. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, further comprising a parcel-line buffer zone formed between a parcel-line around a perimeter of said parcel and said home on said lots, wherein said parcel-line buffer zone acts as a buffer between said homes and an exterior surrounding of said parcel to ensure home safety.

58. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, further comprising a home-site buffer zone formed around each of said homes, wherein said home-site buffer zone acts as a buffer between said homes and said compact golf course to ensure home safety.

59. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, wherein each of said homes is a golf course front home having a substantially unimpeded view of said compact golf course.

60. The privatized golf course community of claim 46, wherein said homes further comprise luxury homes, wherein said compact golf course is owned by homeowners of said luxury homes, and wherein said compact golf course is only open to play to said homeowners and their guests and not the general public.

61. A combination residential development and compact golf course, said combination comprising: a parcel of land having an outer perimeter; a plurality of home sites located in a residential zone on said parcel, wherein said residential zone comprises an outer boundary and an inner boundary, wherein said outer boundary of said residential zone borders said perimeter of said parcel; a plurality of tee boxes located in a tee box zone on said parcel, wherein said tee box zone comprises an outer boundary and an inner boundary, wherein said outer boundary of said tee box zone borders said inner boundary of said residential zone; a plurality of greens located in a green complex zone on said parcel, wherein said green complex zone comprises an outer boundary and an inner boundary, wherein said outer boundary of said green complex zone borders said inner boundary of said tee box zone; and a common fairway area located in a fairway zone on said parcel, wherein said fairway zone comprises an outer boundary, wherein said outer boundary of said fairway zone borders said inner boundary of said green complex zone; wherein said common fairway area can receive tee shots from any one of said plurality of tee boxes; wherein each of said plurality of greens can receive approach shots from a plurality of angles from said common fairway area; wherein any one of said plurality of greens may be played to from any one of said tee boxes.

Description:

TECHNOLOGY FIELD

The subject matter described herein relates generally to the game of golf. More particularly, the subject matter relates to a compact playing field for the game of golf, a privatized golf course community, methods of designing a compact golf course and/or privatized golf course community, and methods of dynamically playing a compact golf course.

BACKGROUND

A conventional golf course for the game of golf consists of eighteen holes. The eighteen holes are typically broken down into two sets of nine holes. A full or regulation round of golf consists of eighteen holes, but players may play more or less holes as desired. Golf courses having other numbers and combinations of hole groupings are possible.

Golfers play the golf course in a predetermined order. For example, the player (or group of players) start at hole number one and plays the desired number of holes in numerical order until the player has completed eighteen holes. As such, the player plays hole number one by teeing off on tee box number one, playing the golf ball up fairway number one, onto green number one, and eventually into hole number one. The player then proceeds to hole number two where the player tees off on tee box number two, plays the balls up fairway number two, onto green number two, and eventually into hole number 2. This ordered progression from hole to hole continues in numerical order until the player completes hole number eighteen. In addition, play proceeds from the tee to the corresponding green on each hole.

Further, most conventional golf courses are laid out around a pro shop and/or club house (club house). The club house provides a convenient location for players to park their car, use a locker room, meet other players, pay for the round of golf, get a golf cart, etc. The club house and a common starting area near the club house allows the manager (or golf pro) of the golf course to better control play on the course. In the convention manner, the first hole tee box is located proximate to the club house and the course then leads away from the club house. Typically, the ninth hole leads back toward the clubhouse with the ninth green being location proximate to the club house. This allows player to use the bathroom, grab a drink or something to eat, etc. The tenth hole, like the first hole, typically has its tee box located proximate to the club house and the hole then leads away from the club house. Typically, the eighteenth hole, like the ninth hole, leads back toward the clubhouse with the eighteen green being location proximate to the club house. This allows players to return the golf cart, store their clubs, use the locker room, return to their cars, visit the nineteenth hole, etc. This layout does not easily permit players to start play at any hole of their choosing, other than at a hole located proximate to the club house. In fact most conventional golf course do not permit players to start at any hole other than the first hole or, in some instances, the tenth hole.

Also, conventional golf courses typically require that players play the golf course in numerical order in order to allow for the maximum number of players to play the golf course at any given time. Typically, groups of players (typically up to four players) tee off at set intervals of time and follow the group of golfers ahead of them as they proceed in numerical order through the holes on the golf course. Play continues from the first tee to the last green. This style of play helps ensure high volume usage of the golf course and helps maximize revenues for the golf course because the maximum number of players is accommodated.

Because of the high volume of play and the staggered grouping of players on the course at any given time, each hole typically is a stand-alone hole and is separated from adjacent holes by a buffer zone to ensure the safety of play. The buffer zone may include, for example, open space and/or a natural or man-made hazard, such as trees, bushes, water, safety netting, fences, rocks, walls, etc. As such, each hole is independent of the other holes and the holes do not share features, such as tee boxes, fairways, hazards, greens, etc. Also, holes do not cross over one another for safety reasons. This design and manner of play of conventional golf courses requires a relatively large area of land to accommodate the golf course.

Additional golf courses are constantly in demand due to the increasing popularity of the game of golf. Media coverage of various golfing events and tournaments has fueled this increased interest in golf and the number of people playing golf continues to grow. Due to the increased number of people wanting to play golf out pacing the number of new golf courses, it is becoming more difficult for golfers to get out and play a round of golf or to play a round in a reasonable amount of time. As a result, many people are abandoning public golf courses and joining private golf courses or country clubs. Private golf courses limit the number of people that can become members, and hence limit the number of golfers. This helps to ensure that members can get out and play a round of golf when they want without too much delay.

The size and location of new golf courses is also impacted by the limited availability and relatively high cost of land suitable for golf courses. For example, a typical golf course occupies approximately 150-200 acres of land. Large tracks of land suitable for a golf course are scarce, especially in densely populated areas. As a result, some new golf courses are being built outside of populated area and/or golf courses are being built with less than the normal eighteen holes. This is problematic because new golf courses built outside of populated area do not receive as high a level of play as the course might otherwise experience if it were built within or near a more densely populated area. Further, golf courses built having less than the normal eighteen holes are less desirable to golfers and therefore, also receive a lower level of play.

Further, in order to fit a golf course into an area that is not large enough to fit a full eighteen holes of regulation distance, some golf courses are shorter than regulation distance. For example, certain golf courses include only par-3 holes. Other golf courses include par-3, par-4, and/or par-5 holes generally having a shorter length than a corresponding hole on a regulation golf course. Although these shorter than regulation yardage golf courses may fit within a smaller area of land, they do not allow golfers to hit the full array of golf shots and are typically less challenging to players because of the shorter distance that a player must hit each golf shot.

There are instances where certain people have one or more private golf holes located on their property. In the case of a single golf hole, the player quickly becomes bored with and is not challenged by the golf hole. Multi-hole private golf holes typically follow the traditional pattern of play wherein a player starts on a first tee box and proceeds to play the holes in numerical order. Therefore, the player gets bored playing the same holes on the private golf holes because there is a limited number of holes and there is no variety in play. Also, the player is not challenged with a wide variety of shots. In addition, private golf holes are expensive. The cost for construction, equipment, maintenance, operation, etc. for a private golf hole or holes can be quite high, and thus private golf hole(s) are not available to most people because they can not afford to build, maintain, or operate the private golf hole(s).

What is needed are compact golf courses, privatized golf course communities, methods for designing compact golf courses and privatized golf course communities, and methods for dynamically playing compact golf courses that are challenging to a golfer of a variety of skill level, and provide the maximum hole possibilities and shot opportunities.

SUMMARY

In view of the above shortcomings and drawbacks, compact golf courses, privatized golf course communities having compact golf courses, methods for designing compact golf courses and privatized golf course communities having compact golf courses, and methods for dynamically playing compact golf courses are provided. Preferably, the compact golf courses provide for a dynamic and random method of play and are challenging to golfers of a variety of skill levels while providing for maximum hole possibilities and shot opportunities.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, a compact golf course is provided. The compact golf course includes a golf course perimeter that defines an outer boundary of the course. A peripheral area is located within the perimeter and an interior, central region is located within the peripheral area. A plurality of tee boxes are located proximate the golf course perimeter and generally within the golf course peripheral area. A plurality of greens are located proximate and generally inward from the plurality of tee boxes. A common fairway area is located in the interior, central region of the course. The compact golf course provides a plurality of golf hole possibilities comprising golf holes formed from any of the plurality of tee boxes to any of the plurality of greens. The compact golf course allows a player to dynamically select to play any of the plurality of golf hole possibilities.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the plurality of golf hole possibilities may be dynamically created by the player from one or more pre-determined and fixed golf course features. The compact golf course preferably allows a player to randomly play a round of golf by dynamically selecting to play any of the plurality of golf hole possibilities in a random order. The fixed golf course features include one or more of: tee boxes, greens, fairways, and/or hazards. The plurality of tee boxes, plurality of greens, and/or a common fairway area comprise a template that a player can work within to dynamically select to play any of the golf hole possibilities.

Preferably, the plurality of tee boxes, plurality of greens, and/or the common fairway area are strategically located to: maximize the number of hole possibilities; maximize a variety of hole length; maximize a variety of tee shots; and/or maximize a variety of green approach shots.

In one embodiment, the golf hole possibilities are determined by a number of tee boxes comprising the plurality of tee boxes multiplied by a number of greens comprising the plurality of greens. In another embodiment, the golf hole possibilities can be determined by the dynamic manner of play made available to the golfer. For example, a player to play several different ball paths from a selected tee box to a selected target green using, for example, the common centralized fairway area. Each of the potential ball paths may comprises a different golf hole possibility, as between the same tee box/green combination. The compact golf course allows a golfer to dynamically select to play any of a plurality of ball paths. In accordance with another aspect of the compact golf course, the plurality of ball paths between any tee box/green combination may allow for golf hole possibilities of, for example: a par-3 golf hole possibility; a par-4 golf hole possibility; and/or a par-5 golf hole possibility.

Preferably, the compact golf course perimeter comprises an enclosed area of land covering less than about one hundred acres. In another embodiment, the compact golf course comprises an enclosed area of land covering at least ten acres. In a more preferred embodiment, the compact golf course comprises an area of land enclosed within a range of about twelve to about thirty acres.

Preferably, the compact golf course comprises at least eighteen golf hole possibilities. The at least eighteen golf hole possibilities preferably comprise regulation-distance golf holes. The regulation-distance golf holes preferably comprise a combination of par-3 holes, par-4 holes, and par-5 holes. The regulation-distance golf holes possibilities preferably comprise combinations allowing for a total par range of from about 68 to about 74 and comprise a total yardage of from about 5,500 yards to about 7,500 yards.

The compact golf course may include less than eighteen tee boxes and/or less than eighteen greens. Further, the compact golf course may include less than nine tee boxes and less than nine greens.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the compact golf course may include one or more fairway branches that extend from the common fairway area toward one or more of the greens. Further, the compact golf course may include a plurality of hazards strategically located around the compact golf course. In one embodiment, the plurality of hazards may include a plurality of bunkers. The plurality of bunkers may further include a plurality of fairway bunkers arranged in or proximate the common fairway area and/or the fairway branches and a plurality of green-side bunkers arranged around the greens. Preferably, the fairway bunkers are located in and around the fairways to effect tee shots from one than one of the plurality of tee boxes, and the green-side bunkers are located around the greens to effect approach shots from a plurality of approach shot angles to each of the greens.

In an alternate embodiment, the compact golf course comprises at least nine golf hole possibilities. The at least nine hole possibilities preferably comprise regulation-distance golf holes and provide for combinations of par-3 holes, par-4 holes, and par-5 holes. In a nine hole course randomly selected by a golfer from the at least nine golf hole possibilities, the regulation-distance golf holes possibilities preferably comprise combinations allowing for a par range of from about 34 to about 37 and a total yardage of from about 2,250 yards to about 3,750 yards.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a method for playing a compact golf course is provided. The design of the compact golf course allows for a dynamic method of play. This dynamic method of play allows a golfer to dynamically select a tee box from a plurality of tee boxes located around a periphery of the compact golf course. The golfer may them dynamically select a target green from a plurality of greens located around the periphery of the compact golf course. Once the golfer has selected a tee box to hit from and a target green to hit to, the golfer hits golf shots, comprising hitting a golf ball with one or more golf clubs from the selected tee box toward the selected target green, until the golf ball is hit into a cup on the target green.

The method further comprises dynamically selecting another tee box from the plurality of tee boxes located around a perimeter of the compact golf course as well as dynamically selecting another target green from the plurality of greens located around the perimeter of the compact golf course. The golfer then hits golf shots from the currently selected tee box toward the currently selected target green until the golf ball is hit into a cup on the currently selected target green.

Preferably, the method steps of dynamically selecting another tee box, dynamically selecting another target green, and hitting golf shots until the golf ball is hit into a cup on the selected another target green is repeated until a desired number of holes has been played.

In a preferred embodiment, the method includes repeating the steps of dynamically selecting another tee box, dynamically selecting another target green, and hitting golf shots until the golf ball is hit into a cup on the target green until eighteen holes have been played.

Preferably, the method provides for randomly selecting a desired number of holes from a plurality of hole possibilities, wherein the hole possibilities comprise different tee box and green combinations. The method may also provide for randomly selecting a desired number of holes from a plurality of hole possibilities, wherein the hole possibilities comprise different ball paths from the same tee box and green combination.

In one embodiment, the method comprises randomly selecting a hole from a plurality of hole possibilities, wherein a selected hole comprises a selected tee box and a selected green. The method allows a golfer to determining a path to follow from the selected tee box to the selected green. Further, the method may allow a golfer to define boundaries along the selected ball path that the golf ball must stay within in order to avoid a penalty.

In another embodiment, the method includes identifying a target area that a golf ball must be hit to or past from the tee box. The golfer then hits a golf ball along a first ball path toward the target area until the golf ball enters or clears the target area. Then the method of play continues as the golfer turns to the target green and hits the golf ball along a second ball path toward the target green until the golf ball is hit into a hole on the target green. The method also provides for the golfer turning at an angle from the first ball path to the second ball path, wherein the angle is between 90 degrees and 180 degrees.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a privatized golf course community is provided. The privatized golf course community includes a parcel of land preferably having zoning restrictions for low density housing and is divided into a plurality of lots based on the zoning restrictions. The privatized golf course community includes a residential community having a plurality of homes. The homes are located around a periphery of the parcel with at least one home located on each lot. A compact golf course is integrated with the residential community, with the compact golf course being located in the open space required by the zoning restrictions. The compact golf course provides a plurality of hole possibilities that are dynamically selected by a golfer and that may be played in a random order.

According to other aspects of the invention, the privatized golf course community includes a first, outer zone in contact with a parcel line of the parcel, wherein the first, outer zone extends from the parcel line inward toward an interior or central region of the parcel. The homes and a plurality of tee boxes are located in the first, outer zone. A second, intermediate zone extends inward from an inner boundary of the first, outer zone toward the interior or central region of the parcel. A plurality of greens are located in the second, intermediate zone. An interior or central region located within an inner boundary of the second, intermediate zone comprises open space for a common fairway area that is shared by a plurality of hole possibilities comprising any one of the tee boxes and any one of the greens. Any combination of tee box to green is permissible to form a golf hole.

The compact golf course is particularly well suited, but by no means limited to, parcels zoned for cluster and/or low-density zoning. The open space required by the zoning restriction is preferably used for the compact golf course. Preferably, the open space is conglomerated in the interior, or central region of the parcel for use as the compact golf course. According to one embodiment of the privatized golf course community, the zoning restrictions require at least two acre minimum lots.

According to another aspect of the invention, the privatized golf course community includes a parcel-line buffer zone that can be formed between a parcel-line around a perimeter of the parcel and the home on the lots. The parcel-line buffer zone acts as a buffer between the homes and an exterior surrounding of the parcel to ensure home safety. According to yet another aspect of the privatized golf course community, a home-site buffer zone can be formed around each of the homes. The home-site buffer zone acts as a buffer between the homes and the compact golf course to ensure home safety. Preferably, each of the homes in the privatized golf course community is a golf course front home having a substantially unimpeded view of the compact golf course.

According to another embodiment of the invention, a combination residential development and compact golf course is provided. The combination residential development and compact golf course is located on a parcel of land having an outer perimeter. A plurality of home sites are located in a residential zone on the parcel. The residential zone includes an outer boundary and an inner boundary, wherein the outer boundary of the residential zone borders the perimeter of the parcel. A plurality of tee boxes are located in a tee box zone on the parcel. The tee box zone includes an outer boundary and an inner boundary, wherein the outer boundary of the tee box zone borders the inner boundary of the residential zone. A plurality of greens are located in a green complex zone on the parcel. The green complex zone comprises an outer boundary and an inner boundary, wherein the outer boundary of the green complex zone borders the inner boundary of the tee box zone. A common fairway area may be located in a fairway zone on the parcel. The fairway zone includes an outer boundary, wherein the outer boundary of the fairway zone borders the inner boundary of the green complex zone. The common fairway area can receive tee shots from any one of the plurality of tee boxes and each of the plurality of greens can receive approach shots from a plurality of angles from the common fairway area. The compact golf course allows any one of the greens to be played to from any one of the tee boxes.

Preferably, the compact golf course provides a wide variety of shot opportunities, including shot distances, shot angles, shot selection, man made and natural hazards, maximizes shot distance, etc. Where the compact golf course is integrated with a residential community, the residential design preferably safely integrates homes with golf holes of the compact golf course, provides scenic views for home owners, provides golf course front homes, allows dynamic selection of hole play (tee box to green, ball path, etc.), allows a random fashion of play (any tee box to any green in any order), provides a choice of par-3, par-4, par-5, etc.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be made apparent from the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments that proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is best understood from the following detailed description when read in connection with the accompanying drawing. Included in the drawings are the following Figures that show various exemplary embodiments and various features of the present invention:

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary parcel of land divided into lots based on predetermined zoning restrictions;

FIG. 2 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 1 further showing exemplary home placement designations on each parcel and home buffer zones;

FIG. 3 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 2 further showing exemplary tee box locations;

FIG. 4 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 3 further showing exemplary tee box distance measurements from one of an exemplary middle tee boxes to confinements of the compact golf course and to the perimeter home sites;

FIG. 5 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 3 further showing exemplary tee box distance measurements from one of an exemplary corner tee boxes to confinements of the compact golf course and to the perimeter home sites;

FIG. 6 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 3 further showing exemplary tee box distance measurements from one of an exemplary side tee boxes to confinements of the compact golf course and to the perimeter home sites;

FIG. 7 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 1 further showing exemplary area for the compact golf course;

FIG. 8 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 3 further showing exemplary green and hazards locations;

FIG. 9 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 8 further showing exemplary fairway implementation;

FIG. 10 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 1 further showing another exemplary implementation of tee boxes, greens, hazards, fairway, etc. for a compact golf course;

FIG. 11 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 9 further showing exemplary rough and tree hazard implementation;

FIG. 12 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 11 further showing hole possibilities that can be played from the various tee boxes T1-T8 to green G7;

FIG. 13A shows the parcel of land of FIG. 12A further showing exemplary boundaries and hole lay out from tee box T1 to green G7;

FIG. 13B shows the parcel of land of FIG. 13A further showing exemplary hole strategy, shot opportunities, and an exemplary ball path from tee box T1 to green G7;

FIG. 14A shows the parcel of land of FIG. 11 further showing exemplary boundaries and hole lay out from tee box T5 to green G7;

FIG. 14B shows the exemplary boundaries and hole lay out from tee box T5 to green G7 of FIG. 14A, further showing exemplary tee to green differential based on launch position;

FIG. 14C shows a plurality of exemplary ball paths that may be selected by a golfer from tee box T5 to green G7 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 15 shows another embodiment of a compact golf course on an exemplary irregular-shaped parcel of land divided into lots based on predetermined zoning restrictions;

FIG. 16 shows the irregular-shaped parcel of land of FIG. 15 further showing exemplary home and tee box locations;

FIG. 17 shows the irregular-shaped parcel of land of FIG. 16 further showing exemplary green locations;

FIG. 18 shows the irregular-shaped parcel of land of FIG. 17 further showing exemplary distance measurements from each tee box T1-T8 to target green G1;

FIG. 19 shows the irregular-shaped parcel of land of FIG. 17 further showing exemplary distance measurements from each tee box T1-T8 to target green G2;

FIG. 20 shows the irregular-shaped parcel of land of FIG. 17 further showing exemplary distance measurements from each tee box T1-T8 to target green G3;

FIG. 21 shows exemplary fairway implementation;

FIG. 22 shows the irregular-shaped parcel of land of FIG. 17 further showing exemplary fairway lay outs from each tee box T1 to greens G2-G7;

FIG. 23 shows the irregular-shaped parcel of land of FIG. 17 further showing exemplary fairway lay outs from each tee box T5 to greens G1-G7;

FIG. 24 shows the irregular-shaped parcel of land of FIG. 17 further showing the exemplary compact golf course lay out showing fairway areas and hazards areas;

FIG. 25 shows another embodiment of an exemplary parcel of land for a compact golf course;

FIG. 26 shows the parcel of land of FIG. 25 further showing the parcel of land divided into lots based on predetermined zoning requirements;

FIG. 27 shows the parcel of land divided into lots of FIG. 26 further showing home sites and boundary areas;

FIG. 28 shows the parcel of land having home sites and boundary areas of FIG. 27 further showing exemplary distance measurements;

FIG. 29 shows the parcel of land having home sites and boundary areas of FIG. 27 further showing exemplary tee box, fairway, and green locations;

FIG. 30 shows another possible golf course and housing community lay out;

FIG. 31 shows yet another possible golf course and housing community lay out;

FIG. 32A-32D show an exemplary green complex location implementation strategy;

FIG. 33 shows an exemplary corner tee box lay out that allows for variations in hole distance;

FIG. 34A shows a portion of another exemplary compact golf course;

FIG. 34B shows an exemplary fairway area showing a plurality of different possible tee shots and shot angles;

FIG. 34C shows an exemplary green showing a plurality of different possible approach shots and shot angles; and

FIG. 35 shows an exemplary hole lay out and possible shot choice for playing a compact golf course.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

The compact golf course, privatized golf course community, and methods for dynamically playing a compact golf course provide a plurality of golf hole possibilities and gives a golfer the ability to create his or her own version of a golf hole given pre-determined and fixed golf course features, i.e., the tee boxes, greens, fairways, hazards, etc. The features of the compact golf course provide a template that the golfer can work within to dynamically chose to play any of the possible hole lay-outs. The compact golf course and dynamic method of playing create an interactive golf course palette from which the golfer can create his or her own version of a golf hole and round of golf. Preferably, the compact golf course is designed to, and the golf course features are strategically located to: maximize the number of hole possibilities; maximize the variety of hole length; maximize the variety of tee shot appearance, strategy, obstacles, etc.; and/or maximize the variety of green approach shot appearance, strategy, obstacles, etc.

The number of hole possibilities is determined, in part by the number of tee boxes and the number of greens. Preferably, a golfer can choose to play from any tee box to any green. In addition, the number of hole possibilities is also increased by other golf course features and the dynamic manner of play made available to the golfer. For example, the implementation of a common centralized fairway area and strategically placed hazards may permit a golfer to play several different ball paths from a selected tee box to a selected target green. This allows the golfer to create a plurality of hole possibilities (each following a different ball path), even when playing from a particular tee box to a particular green. In addition to the use of golf course features to present different hole possibilities for a golfer to choose from, the dynamic manner of play permitted by the compact golf course also provides additional hole possibilities. For example, the same tee box/green combination may by played as a par-3, a par-4, or a par-5 depending of the ball path that the golfer chooses to play.

One embodiment of the present invention is directed to a condensed or compact golf course. The compact golf course occupies a parcel of land that is substantially smaller than a conventional golf course while still providing a plurality of regulation distance golf hole possibilities. For example, a conventional eighteen-hole golf course typically occupies 150-200 acres. In one embodiment, the compact golf course includes eighteen-holes or more and covers less than 100 acres.

In addition, a conventional eighteen-hole golf course typically includes at least eighteen tee boxes, at least eighteen fairways, and at least eighteen greens. Preferably, the compact golf course includes less than eighteen tee boxes, less than eighteen fairways, and less than eighteen greens. More preferably, the compact golf course includes less than nine tee boxes, less than nine fairways, and less than nine greens, yet still provides eighteen-hole possibilities or more. In one embodiment, the compact golf course provide at least nine hole possibilities, which may only require three tee boxes and three greens (or possibly less).

The compact golf course allows a player to play from any tee box to any one of a plurality of greens, thus increasing the number and variety of possible holes to be played. The compact golf course preferably also includes a common fairway area, wherein the common fairway area can be used to play a plurality of tee box to green combinations. The compact golf course may include a plurality of branch fairways that extend from the common fairway area toward a green proximate the perimeter of the compact golf course. The common fairway area and branch fairways also allows for multiple hole possibilities even when hitting from a selected tee box and target green combination, because the golfer may choose from multiple ball paths to get from the tee box to the target green.

Preferably, the compact golf course is designed to allow for maximum shot distance and variety in hole playability. The compact golf course is particularly well suited for low-volume usage since the holes can be played in a dynamic and/or random fashion. The compact golf course allows a player to play a round of golf in a random order (i.e., randomly playing a round by dynamically selecting to play any of the plurality of hole possibilities in any order).

The compact golf course can include any number of a plurality of tee boxes and greens to allow for the maximum number of holes for a given area of open space available for use as the compact golf course. The table below illustrates how the number of tee boxes Tn (listed horizontally across the top) and the number of greens Gn (listed vertically down the left side) helps to determine the number of hole possibilities (Hn). (Tn X Gn=Hn).

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It is also preferred that the compact golf course include sufficient tee boxes and greens to ensure at least eighteen-holes of golf. Referring to the table above, the compact golf course can provide eighteen holes or more using various combinations of tee boxes and greens, such as the tee box/green combinations indicated above in the shading. Combinations providing less than eighteen hole possibilities are also contemplated for parcels of land having less open space available in which to accommodate the compact golf course.

Another embodiment of the present invention is directed to a residential golf course community. The residential golf course community includes a unique residential design that can be used to help inflate property values. This residential golf course community integrates the residential design with a compact golf course.

This is made possible by selecting parcels of land having relatively large areas of open land available for a compact golf course. For example, parcels of land designated for cluster and/or low-density zoning, wherein the required open space can be used for the compact golf course. Also, the homes are preferably located around the perimeter of the parcel of land and the compact golf course is integrated with the residential design and home lay out such that the majority of the playing area of the compact golf course is located in an interior or central region of the parcel of land.

The zoning requirements for a parcel of land help determine the suitability of the parcel of land for a residential golf course community having a compact golf course in accordance with the present invention. Preferably, the target low density zoning includes lot sizes of about two acres or greater minimum lot restrictions. A more preferred range for the lot size is 3-10 acres minimum restricted. For example, a parcel of land having a low density zoning of three to five acre minimum lot restriction, would allow for six to sixteen homes within a twenty to fifty acre parcel.

In another example, a target thirty acre parcel of land that is zoned for three acre minimum lots would allow for the necessary land to allow for ten homes while still having sufficient open space to implement a compact golf course. The ten homes would preferably be arranged around the perimeter of the parcel and the compact golf course would be laid out within the parcel and around the homes in such a manner so as to ensure the safety of the homes and an aesthetically pleasing view of the golf course from the homes. This innovative residential design strategy of arranging the homes around the perimeter of the golf course results in the creation of golf course front properties. The value of each home is thus increased by its location in close proximity to and view of the golf course (golf course front property), and in addition, the value of the property is further increased by the amenity of privatized golf for the home owners.

Preferably, the compact golf course is part of a privatized golf course community and is only playable by the home owners within the privatized golf course community. The compact golf course is preferably privately owned by the home owners and the home owners share the cost for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the compact golf course. Preferably, the residential design includes luxury/up-scale homes that share the costs associated with the compact golf course. Sharing the costs of the compact golf course makes it more reasonable to integrate a compact golf course into the residential design.

Preferably, parcels of land targeted for the privatized golf course community are located in or on the periphery of the core area of commerce, where other luxury or high-priced homes are located. The parcel size, shape, and zoning restrictions will dictate the number of homes to be built, the home location on the parcel, and the compact golf course lay out. The size of the lots is dictated by the zoning restrictions and preferably helps ensure that the homes are dispersed and spaced apart from one another on the parcel. Preferably, the homes are located on each lot to provide a buffer zone between the home and the golf course to ensure home safety, while also providing an enjoyable view of the golf course. The homes are also preferably located proximate the perimeter of each lots and the parcel to maximize the open space in the interior or centralized region of the parcel for the compact golf course.

The privatized (or residential) golf course community can help increase realized revenue to a builder of a potential small-scale development. For parcels having low-density zoning requirements, a home builder is restricted in the number of homes that can be built on the targeted parcel, and the remaining open space is not available for home building. By adding a compact golf course in the otherwise unusable open space, the home builder can maximize use of the land and get a premium for each lot in the parcel. The cost for implementing a compact golf course would be off-set, and minimal, in comparison to the added value that is created by integrating a compact golf course within a private residential community. Value is realized by converting open space front properties to golf course front properties and providing the home owners with the private amenity of a compact golf course.

Still another embodiment of the present invention is directed to a method of designing a compact golf course and a method of designing a residential/privatized golf course community. The method of designing a compact golf course involves certain steps that are performed in sequence to target a suitable parcel of land, and to select and design the compact golf course to make maximum use of the terrain and natural hazards present on a parcel of land while also maximizing hole possibilities, the variety of shot opportunities, playability of the golf course, etc. In one embodiment, the method of designing the compact golf course includes the step of: determining the number, size and location of the tee boxes; performing distance measurements between the tee boxes and various features of the compact golf course, such as the boundaries of the parcel, the proposed location of greens and other hazards, etc.; determining the number, size and location of the greens; determining the number, size and location of hazards; determining the size and lay out of the fairway areas; and the like.

The method of designing a residential/privatized golf course community also involves certain steps that are performed to integrate an up-scale residential community with a private compact golf course. Preferably, a parcel of land is selected having the required zoning requirements that provide an incentive for a builder to integrate an up-scale residential community with a private golf course. The homes are preferably located to maximize and conglomerate the open space for use by the compact golf course. Preferably, distance measurements are made in the process of designing and laying-out the features of the compact golf course, including for example: the land boundaries; the distance from each tee box to features of importance around the boundaries, such as the homes, other tee boxes, particular points on the boundaries, etc.; from each tee box to each green; and the distance from each tee box to features on the compact golf course, such as the common landing areas, fairways, hazards, etc. Each of these measurements helps to: ensure the maximum use of the land; ensure the maximum hole possibilities, optimize the location of golf course features, optimize hole playability, ensure home safety, and the like.

Further, another embodiment of the present invention is directed to a method for dynamically playing a compact golf course. Conventional golf courses are played in numerical order, typically from the first numbered hole to the last numbered hole. In accordance with this conventional manner of play, the player tees off at the tee box of the first hole, plays the ball up the fairway for the first hole, on to the first green and eventually into the hole on the first green. The player than proceeds to the second hole where the player tees off at the tee box of the second hole, plays the ball up the fairway for the second hole, on to the second green and eventually into the hole on the second green. This conventional manner of play is repeated in consecutive numerical order until the desired number of holes has been completed (e.g., for a normal round of golf, eighteen-holes).

The present invention includes a method for dynamically playing a compact golf course wherein the player may choose to hit from any tee box to any green. The player selects a tee box and a target green. The player then tees off toward the target green and plays the balls toward the target green until the ball is hit into the hole on the target green. Also, the player may further select a ball path, from a plurality of possible ball paths, from the tee box to the target green. The player then randomly selects another tee box and another target green. The player continues in this dynamic manner until the player has played the desired number of holes, preferably eighteen holes.

FIGS. 1-15 show an embodiment of an exemplary privatized golf course community having a compact golf course. The first step in designing either a compact golf course and/or a privatized golf course community is to target a parcel of land. For the compact golf course, the target parcel does not have to be able to able to have home built thereon, and preferably includes land that has been designated as open space. For the privatized golf course community having a compact golf course, the target parcel preferably includes land zoned for low-density and/or cluster-density housing.

Preferably, the size of the target parcel is at least about ten acres and is less than about 100 acres. A preferred range for the size of the parcel is from about 30 to about 60 acres.

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary parcel of land 1 of approximately forty acres, having dimensions of 556 yards×695 yards (1668 feet×2085 feet=3,477,780 square feet). The parcel 1 is bound by parcel lines 2. In the illustrated embodiment, roads run along the parcel lines 2. As shown, the target parcel 1 has a substantially regular shape, although the invention is not limited to any particular shape parcel of land.

The table below illustrates two possible zoning designations for the targeted low-density zoned parcel 1.

Property
Householdsspace
Zoning IDTypeLot restrictionsper lotrequirements
R1-190SingleLow density single familySingle familyFront - 60 ft.
familyneighborhood uses (minimumdwelling unitSide - 30 ft.
residential190,000 sq. ft. lot)per lotRear - 60 ft.
R1-130SingleLow density single familySingle familyFront - 60 ft.
familyneighborhood uses (minimumdwelling unitSide - 30 ft.
residential130,000 sq. ft. lot)per lotRear - 60 ft.

Using the exemplary R1-190 zoning for the parcel yields minimum lot sizes of about 4.36 acres. For the target forty acre parcel 1 identified above, this would allow for eight lots of about 5 acres. Alternatively, using the R1-130 zoning for the parcel yields minimum lot sizes of about 2.98 acres. For the target forty acre parcel 1 identified above, the R1-130 zoning would allow for thirteen lots of about 3 acres. The remaining discussion of FIGS. 1-15 assumes that parcel 1 is subject to the R1-190 zoning.

Accordingly, the parcel of land is divided into the designated number of lots L1-Ln determined by the size of the parcel 1 and the zoning restrictions for the target parcel 1. The lots are bound by lot lines 3. As shown in FIG. 1, the parcel 1 is divided into eight substantially equal sized lots L1-L8. The lots do not have to be of equal size, providing all of the lots meet the minimum lot size in accordance with the zoning restrictions on the target parcel 1.

A home H1-Hn is placed on each lot. FIG. 2 shows the placement of homes H1-H8 on each of lots L1-L8. Preferably, the homes are located on each lot to maximize the area available for the compact golf course 10. For example, in a preferred embodiment the homes are located on each lot around the periphery of the target parcel 1. In other words, the homes are preferably located proximate the perimeter of the parcel lines 2 while the compact golf course 10 is preferably located in the interior or central region 5 of the target parcel 1. This helps maximize and conglomerate the open space in the interior or central region of the parcel 1 for the compact golf course.

The homes are also preferably placed to maximize home safety. As shown in FIG. 2, a parcel line buffer zone 6 can be established between the homes and the parcel line 2 to ensure home safety. The parcel line buffer zone 6 is akin to a minimum set-back of the homes on each lot and determines the proximity of each home to the land around the parcel 1, such as for example, surrounding developments, roadways, forests, water, open space, etc.

Further, each home preferably includes a home-site buffer zone 7 to ensure an adequate distance between adjacent homes and adequate distance between each home and the compact golf course 10. The home-site buffer zone 7 is an area of land around each home that helps ensure that a home can be set-off from adjacent homes and/or the compact golf course. The home-site buffer zone 7 helps to ensure the safety of each home from, for example, errant golf balls hit from the compact golf course 10, the prying eyes of golfers on the compact golf course 10, and the like. The home-site buffer zone 7 can also include a hazard (not shown in FIG. 2), either natural or man-made, that is positioned between adjacent homes and/or the compact golf course 10. For example, the home-site buffer zone 7 can include hazards, such as for example, trees, bushes, shrubs, fences, stones, walls, and the like.

In addition, the homes are preferably placed on each lot to maximize visual satisfaction of the home owners. This includes providing aesthetically pleasing views of the compact golf course 10 from within and immediately around the homes. This can be accomplished by the physical location of the home on the lot, the angle that the home sits on the lot, the elevation of the home on the lot, the placement of trees, bushes, vegetation, walls, fences, rocks, etc. Unless required for safety purposes, the home buffer zone 7 preferably does not interfere with the visual spectrum of the compact golf course 10 offered from a home.

The size and shape of the parcel line buffer zone 6 and the home-site buffer zone 7 can vary depending on several factors, including the size and shape of the parcel, the size and shape of the lots, the size and shape of the home-sites, safety concerns, etc.

The design of the compact golf course 10 requires careful planning that preferably integrates the existing topology of the parcel and existing natural hazards into the compact golf course 10. Preferably, the compact golf course 10 is design to accommodate a wide range of player skill levels, including the most skilled to beginners, men and women, old and young, etc. Normally, separate grades of skill are considered in designing and constructing a golf course, including for example, pro, men, women, junior, senior, etc. In embodiments wherein the compact golf course is integrated as part of a privatized golf course community, the design of the compact golf course should also take into account the design, lay-out, and safety of the homes.

Generally, the compact golf course will include a plurality of tee box areas, fairway areas, rough areas, hazards, and green areas. The goal in the game of golf is for the player to get the ball from the tee into a hole on the target green in the least amount of strokes possible. Obviously, to do this the player attempts to hit the ball in the fairway and tries to avoid the rough and other hazards. Typically, a player has a plurality of golf clubs which are used to hit or strike the ball toward the target green. The golf club for each shoot is selected based on the shot presented to achieve the desired distance, loft, spin, etc.

Preferably, the compact golf course is designed to include defenses that present challenges to the player in getting from the selected tee box to the target green. These defenses can include the length of the hole, the path to the hole, hazards, etc.

Hazards can include natural and pseudo-natural hazards. Natural hazards include, for example, the general terrain and topography of the parcel, undulations, contours, obstacle, obstructions, trees, shrubs, bushes, other vegetation, the texture and height of grasses, and the like. Pseudo-natural hazards can include features added by the designer, such as making of contours and undulations to direct the play of the golf ball, the provisions of sand traps, water hazards, deliberately placed trees, shrubs, and vegetation, etc. These hazards affect, for example, the type of shot the player may hit, the path the player may take from the selected tee box to the target green, the lie and roll of the golf ball, etc.

Another type of defense is an out of bound area. If a player hits a golf ball out of bounds, such as into a home-site buffer zone, the player typically picks up the golf ball and take a drop back in the field of play. The player is penalized for hitting out of bounds and adds one or more penalty strokes to his or her score.

Tee boxes T1-Tn are located on the compact golf course 10. The number, size, and location of the tee boxes for the compact golf course is one factor that determines the overall golf course design strategy and the possible golf hole opportunities. FIG. 3 shows exemplary tee boxes locations. As shown in FIG. 3, tee boxes T1-T6 are preferably located around the perimeter of the exemplary parcel of land of FIGS. 1 and 2. Preferably, the tee boxes are located as close to the periphery of the parcel as possible while still ensuring the safety of the home. In embodiments of the privatized golf course community, the tee boxes may be located just within the home-site and/or in between home-sites. Positioning the tee boxes proximate the perimeter of the parcel (and/or just within and/or between the home sites) helps ensure the maximum hole distance for the compact golf course 10, and enhances the variety of hole possibilities and shot opportunities.

Preferably, for a rectangular or square shaped area of open space for the compact golf course, there are at least four tee boxes, located with one in each corner area. As shown in the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 3, four corner tee boxes T1, T3, T4, and T6 and two side tee boxes T2 and T5 are provided. The corner and side tee boxes are shown positioned between the home-site buffer zone near the periphery of the parcel 1. Alternatively, the tee boxes could be positioned toward the interior or central region 5 of the parcel 1 and inward of the home-site buffer zones 7. The tee box areas may have a variety of shapes. As shown in FIG. 3, the corner tee boxes have a substantially L-shape and the side tee boxes have a substantially rectangular shape. The tee box area can include natural, synthetic, or a combination of natural and synthetic tufts.

Preferably, the tee boxes provide for a level stance and are sided to allow for a variety of launch positions (i.e., providing variations in shot distance, launch angles, etc.) within each tee box area, thereby ensuring maximum variations in shot opportunities. Also, the tee boxes are preferably sized to provide sufficient room to move the launch position around within the tee box area to maintain the tee box in good condition and allow for maintenance of the tee box. For example, tee boxes covering about 5,000 to about 15,000 sq. ft. may be sufficient to ensure a variety of launch positions within each tee box.

The location, number, and size of the tee boxes can vary depending on several factors including the location, number, size and shape of: the parcel, the lots, the home-site, the other tee boxes, the greens, other golf course features, etc. The tee box design will also be determined, in part, by the number of possible golf hole combinations desired.

In designing the compact golf course 10, it is desirable to measure the distances from the various tee box locations to the confinements of the designated golf course area and other points of interest within the parcel, such as the parcel lines, parcel line buffer zone, home-site buffer zone, homes, other tee boxes, potential hazard locations, potential green locations, etc. These measurements are useful in designing the actual hole lay-out on the golf course and also in ensuring home safety.

FIG. 4 shows exemplary measurements from side tee box T5 to various points of interest on the parcel. For example, line A shows a measurement from the tee box T5 to home location H5; line B shows a measurement from the tee box T5 to home location H3; line C shows a measurement from the tee box T5 to tee box T1; line D shows a measurement from the tee box T5 to home location H1; line E shows a measurement from the tee box T5 to tee box T2; line F shows a measurement from the tee box T5 to home location H2; line G shows a measurement from the tee box T5 to tee box T3; line H shows a measurement from the tee box T5 to home location H4; line I shows a measurement from the tee box T5 to home location H6. Other measurements may be taken from tee box T5 as necessary in the design of the golf course. For the exemplary forty acre parcel of FIGS. 1-3, exemplary measurements from tee box T5 are:

LineYards
A278.00
B364.88
C425.69
D417.00
E417.00
F417.00
G425.69
H364.88
I278.00

FIG. 5 shows exemplary measurements from corner tee box T6 to various points of interest on the parcel. For example, line A shows a measurement from the tee box T6 to tee box T1; line B shows a measurement from the tee box T6 to home location H1; line C shows a measurement from the tee box T6 to tee box T2; line D shows a measurement from the tee box T6 to home location H2; line E shows a measurement from the tee box T6 to tee box T3; line F shows a measurement from the tee box T6 to home location H4; line G shows a measurement from the tee box T6 to home location H6; line H shows a measurement from the tee box T6 to tee box T4. Other measurements may be taken from tee box T6 as necessary in the design of the golf course. For the exemplary forty acre parcel of FIGS. 1-3, exemplary measurements from tee box T6 are:

LineYards
A312.75
B347.50
C425.69
D495.19
E556.00
F547.31
G495.19
H451.75

FIG. 6 shows the addition of two side tee boxes T7 and T8. The addition of side tee boxes T7 and T8 allows the golf course design to incorporate more par-3 hole possibilities and also creates additional hole possibilities. Each additional tee box can create up to one times the number of greens (1×number of greens) additional hole possibilities.

As shown in FIG. 6, exemplary measurements are taken from the left side tee box T7 to various points of interest on the parcel. For example, line A shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to home location HI; line B shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to tee box T2; line C shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to home location H2; line D shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to tee box T3; line E shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to home location H4; line F shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to tee box T8; line G shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to home location H6; line H shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to tee box T4; line I shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to home location H8; line J shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to tee box T5; and line K shows a measurement from the tee box T7 to home location H7. Other measurements may be taken from tee box T7 as necessary in the design of the golf course. For the exemplary forty acre parcel of FIGS. 1-3, exemplary measurements from tee box T7 are:

LineYards
A191.13
B312.75
C382.25
D469.13
E477.81
F408.31
G477.81
H469.13
I382.25
J312.75
K191.13

Similar measurements would preferably be taken from each of the other tee boxes T1-Tn. Other features of interest that may be desirable to measure the distance from each tee box include hazards, such as ditches, ravines, hills, cliffs, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and the like.

These distance measurements are also useful in the design process for locating other features of the compact golf course, such as green location strategy. Knowing the created distance variation possibilities from each tee box T1-Tn before actual location of the greens on the compact golf course 10 is helpful in creating the maximum amount of hole possibilities and the optimal hole lay-outs, especially in terms of hole distance variation, hole path variations, and hole playability. In addition, these measurements are helpful in ensuring home safety.

FIG. 7 shows the potential golf course area 11 for the compact golf course 10 for the forty acre parcel 1 of FIGS. 1-6. The potential golf course area 11 for the compact golf course 10 includes whatever space is left over after considering the parcel-line buffer-zone, the home-sites, and the home-site buffer-zones. As shown, the potential golf course area 11 includes the open space in the interior or central region 5 of the parcel. The potential golf course area 11 can also include the open space between home-site buffer zones 12. Preferably, the size of the potential golf course area 11 for the compact golf course 10 is at least ten acres and less than about one hundred acres. The preferred range for the size of the potential golf course area 11 is about twelve to about thirty acres. In the case of FIG. 7, the acreage available for the compact golf course 10 can be estimated at about twenty to about twenty-six acres.

FIGS. 32A-32D illustrates an exemplary green complex location strategy for the parcel 1 and privatized golf course community having a compact golf course 10 shown in FIG. 31. Preferably, the green location strategy seeks to maximize the variety of approach shot angles and distance variations. As shown, various measurement distances are taken from the various tee box locations to potential green locations within the potential golf course area 11. By taking and comparing distance measurements from each of the tee box locations to potential green locations, the greens can preferably be located to maximize the hole possibilities and shot opportunities. The green location strategy preferably maximizing the variety of shot distances, and seeks to avoid common distances from different tee boxes to any particular green location.

Preferably, distance measurements are taken from each of the tee box locations T1-Tn to the potential green locations G1-Gn. FIGS. 32A and 32B illustrate a comparison of exemplary distance measurements from two of the tee boxes, tee box T1 and tee box T2, to potential green locations A-G.

LineYardsLineYards
A333A143
B357B191
C397C294
D468D357
E421E333
F357F341
G333G

FIGS. 32C and 32D illustrate a comparison of exemplary distance measurements from two of the tee boxes, again tee box T1 and tee box T2, to potential green locations A-J. These distance measurements can be used by a designer of the compact golf course to determine the preferred location of the greens to maximize hole possibilities and shot opportunities.

LineYardsLineYards
A310A119
B373B183
C389C230
D429D286
E468E349
F468F373
G429G357
H389H357
I365I373
J310J349

FIG. 8 shows exemplary green G1-Gn locations within the golf course area 11. Nine green G1-G9 locations are shown in FIG. 8. The greens are preferably located to maximize the potential hole distance and optimize the hole possibilities and playability. As shown, the greens are preferably located around the periphery of the interior or central region 5 of the golf course area 11. Also as shown, the greens G1-G9 are preferably location toward the interior or central region 5 of the golf course area 11 with respect to the tee boxes T1-T8.

As can be appreciated, the number of hole possibilities is determined, at least in part, by the number of tee boxes Tn and the number of greens Gn. The number of hole possibilities can be the number of tee boxes times the number of greens (Tn×Gn). A player can shoot to any green from any of the tee boxes. So, for the exemplary compact golf course 10 shown in FIG. 8, the number of hole possibilities may be seventy two holes (eight tee boxes (T1-T8)=nine greens (G1-G9)=seventy two hole possibilities). In addition, in the illustrated exemplary privatized residential golf course community having a compact golf course, seventy two hole possibilities are provided on a forty acre parcel having eight home-sites.

The location, number, and size of the greens can vary depending on several factors including the location, number, size and shape of: the parcel, the lots, the home-sites, the tee boxes, the other greens, etc. Preferably, the greens are of sufficient size to provide a variety of pin locations on the green and to facilitate a variety of approach shots (i.e., approach shot distance, angle, loft, etc.). Preferably, the greens have a size of about 7,000 to about 9,000 sq. ft. A preferred range of the number of greens is about 7 to about 13 greens. The design of the greens will also be determined, in part, by the number of possible golf hole combinations desired.

Preferably, the compact golf course includes hazards. Hazards may include, for example, the general terrain and topography of the parcel, undulations, contours, obstacle, obstructions, trees, shrubs, bushes, other vegetation, rocks, stones, walls, fences, the texture and height of grasses, sand traps or bunkers, water holes, etc. These hazards can affect hole possibilities and shot opportunities, such as shot path and shot distance, the lie and roll of the golf ball, etc. Hazards are preferably designed and located to make the hole possibilities more challenging by considering how a particular hazard will effect shot value and shot strategy.

FIG. 8 also shows a plurality of sand traps or bunkers B1-Bn (referred to hereinafter as bunkers). As shown in FIG. 8, the bunkers are strategically located around the compact golf course to provide defenses and to make the compact golf course more challenging. Bunkers can include fairway bunkers and green-side bunkers. The fairway bunkers are located in or along the fairway areas and are typically located around areas, or at distances, where golfer tend to hit a majority of shots, such as tee shot landing areas. For example, fairway bunkers are typically located at the tee shot landing area, i.e., the distances from the tee boxes where groups of golfers are likely to hit a tee shot, or where players typically lay-up when approaching a green. Bunkers B-17, B-18, and B-19 of FIG. 8 are examples of fairway bunkers. Green-side bunkers are typically located around, and protect the greens. Bunkers B-1 and B-2 around green G-2 of FIG. 8 are examples of green-side bunkers.

In addition to the green-side bunkers that protect the area around the greens, golf course defenses can be incorporated into the greens themselves. Green defenses can be used to control the direction and speed of the ball on the green surface. Defenses on the greens are preferred because the compact golf course provides a plurality of approach shots to the greens and therefore it is not always possible to adequately protect a green using green-side bunkers alone. Green defenses can include, for example, the use of contours, undulations, plateaus, rolls, swales, grass type, grass grains, elevation changes from the fairway, and the like.

FIG. 9 show exemplary fairway 15 implementation. Preferably, the fairways are defined so as to maximize the different strategies available to a player for playing a selected hole possibility. This strategy should account for the tee shot from the selected tee box or the approach shot to the selected target green, and preferably the fairway design accounts for both. As shown in FIG. 9, the compact golf course includes a fairway central area 15a in the interior or central region 5 of the compact golf course 10. Preferably, the fairway central area 15a provides the primary landing area for a plurality of the possible tee shots for various hole possibilities on the compact golf course.

The fairway central area 15a is preferably left substantially open, and devoid of tee boxes and greens. But in certain embodiments, one or more tee boxes and/or greens may be strategically located in or around the interior, central region 5. Select hazards may be strategically located within the fairway central area 15a, such as, for example, bunkers B17, B18, and B19 in FIG. 9, but any hazards should be limited to ensure a relatively large and open common fairway area.

In addition, as shown in FIG. 9 the fairway implementation may include one or more fairway branches 15b. The fairway branches 15b extend from the fairway central area 15a toward one or more of the greens. For example, a fairway branch 15b is shown in FIG. 9 extending from the fairway central area 15a toward green G-1. Also, a fairway branch 15b may further branch into two or more fairway sub-branches that extend from the original fairway branch toward one or more of the greens. For example, a fairway branch 15b having additional sub-branches is shown in FIG. 9 extending from the fairway central area 15a toward greens G-7, G-8, and G-9.

FIG. 10 shows another exemplary fairway l5a/15b implementation and also includes a water hazard 16. As shown in FIG. 10, the fairway implementation integrates the natural water hazard 16 into the compact golf course design to effect shot strategy and hole possibilities. As shown, the water hazard 16 includes a pond or lake-like portion 16a and a stream or river-like portion 16b extending from the main body of the water. The fairway implementation of FIG. 10 still includes a fairway central area 15a in the interior or central region 5 of the compact golf course and one or more fairway branches 15b. As shown, the fairway central area 15a provided in the central region 5 of the golf course and can be used a common landing area for a majority of shots on the compact golf course.

As shown in FIG. 10, the residential community includes eight homes. Also as shown, the compact golf course of FIG. 10 includes eight tee boxes T1-T8, seven greens G1-G7, and twenty-five bunkers B1-B25.

FIG. 11 show the implementation of rough or waste areas 20 in and around the compact golf course 10. Preferably, rough 20 is established at strategic locations in and around the compact golf course 10 to provide additional defenses and to make the compact golf course 10 more challenging. As shown, the rough 20 is generally disposed around and along the fairways 15, tee boxes T1-Tn, greens G1-Gn, and bunkers B1-Bn. In this manner, errant shots that miss the fairway area 15 or greens often find the rough 20. Shots from the rough 20 are generally more difficult and provide less options to the player than shots hit from the fairway. As a result, players are typically penalized with a more difficult next shot for hitting a bad shot that ends up in the rough.

Preferably, the rough areas incorporate features natural for the location of the compact golf course. For example, for a compact golf course in the south-eastern part of the United States, the rough would preferably be fescue or some other type of long growing grass. Alternatively, for a compact golf course in the south-western part of the United States, the rough would preferably be a dirt, rock, desert, waste-like landscape. Shots from the rough are typically more difficult than shots hit from the fairway because the golf ball typically has a poor lie or is sitting and a surface that is more difficult to hit from. As another example, golf balls in the rough do not allow a player to get a clean hit on a golf ball and as a result a player may have more difficulty putting a spin on the ball.

FIG. 11 also shows the placement of trees, shrubs and other vegetation 21. Trees, shrubs and other vegetation 21 may be used for several reasons, including home safety, home seclusion, aesthetic value, to affect shot choice, to affect hole possibilities, etc. Generally, trees, shrubs and other vegetation 21 are located in and around the homes, tee boxes and in the rough areas alone fairways.

The location of the various golf course features (tee boxes, greens, hazards, fairways, rough, etc. are preferably implemented to maximize hole playability. Hole playability includes factors such as creating the maximum amount of hole possibilities, creating the maximum distance and distance variations, increasing shot value, ensuring home safety, etc.

FIGS. 12-15 illustrate several hole possibilities for a player to dynamically choose from on the compact golf course. One of the novel features of the compact golf course is that a player is not required to play a set pattern or order of holes. The player may dynamically select the holes to be played either prior to starting a round, or on the fly during a round—as the player completes a hole, the player randomly selects the next tee from any of the tees on the course and randomly selects any one of the greens on the course as the target green to hit to from the selected tee.

FIG. 12 illustrates all of the hole possibilities to green G7, showing the potential launch points and general hole paths to green G7. The potential launch points include all of the tee boxes T1-T8 on the compact golf course. As can be seen from the figures, there are a plurality of possible hole opportunities, and in the case of the embodiment shown in FIG. 12, there are at least eight different hole possibilities for a player to select from. Further, the size and orientation of the tee boxes also provide additional hole opportunities and shot choices. Preferably, the tee boxes are of sufficient size to allow the hole distance to fluctuate thereby providing further hole possibilities and shot options. For example, the box may be sized to allow distance fluctuations of approximately 10-50 yards depending where within the tee box area the player decides to hit the tee shot. This will require that the player hit a different golf club depending on the hole distance. Further, the fairway lay out also provides additional hole opportunities and shot choices, such as explained in more detail below with respect to FIG. 14C.

Shot choices or shot opportunities include, for example, shot path, shot distance, shot loft, shot angle, etc. For example, with respect to shot distance, the player would have the option and would have to decide whether to gamble and try to hit a long tee shot over a hazard or play it safe and lay up short of the hazard. If the player successfully gamble and clears the hazard, then the player would be rewarded with a short, and presumably easy shot to the green. If the player gamble unsuccessfully and hits into the hazard, then the player is penalized with a much more difficult second shot, one that the player may not even be able to attempt to reach the green with.

As another example with respect to shot angle, the player may have the option and would have to decide whether: (i) to take a straight and shorter path toward the green that has a relatively difficult approach shot to the green, or (ii) possibly an in-direct and longer path toward the green that has a relatively easy approach shot to the green.

FIG. 12 illustrates the yardage distance from each of the tee boxes to green G7. Exemplary distances from the various tee boxes to green G7 are listed in the table below:

Tee BoxYards to G7
1460
2313
3235
4104
5122
6209
7408
8374

Having a plurality of difference available to choose from allows the compact golf course to accommodate golfers of skill levels.

FIG. 13A show the hole possibility from tee box T1 to green G7. The approximate boundaries 25 and probable ball path of the selected hole T1 -G7 are illustrated. As shown for the exemplary compact golf course of FIG. 13A, selected hole T1 -G7 would be a 460 yard,par-4 hole. as explained above, once the player has selected the hole to be played, the player would still have several options regarding shot opportunities (i.e., shot path, shot distance, short angle, etc. to the green.

FIG. 13B show one possible ball path 25 from tee box T1 to green G7. As shown, the tee shot can play relatively straight and down the middle of the fairway (along shot path 25a). A tee shot on this trajectory and hit a distance of, for example, 286 yards would land and come to a stop in the fairway 15a short of the fairway bunkers B17, B18, B19. This places the golf ball is a relatively safe position and with a moderate distance for the second shot to the green G7. As shown,the second shot may be played directly toward the green G7 (along shot path 25b). A approach shot this trajectory and hit a distance of, for example, 173 yards would land and come to a stop on the green G7. The second shot would have to clear the green-side bunker B13 and B14, and also be hit short enough not to go over the green G7 and into green-side bunkers B15 or B16.

A more aggressive ball path may be taken. For example, the player may opt to aim the tee to the left of the illustrated ball path in FIG. 13B. This shot path is more risky because the shot must clear fairway bunkers B4, B5, and B6. However, a tee shot hit on the more aggressive shot path and angle from tee box T1 and also hit the same distance as the tee shot illustrated in FIG. 13B would leave a much shorter, and presumably easier, second shot to the green G7. The second still have to contend with a similar approach shot and hazards as the approach shot illustrated in FIG. 13B.

Alternatively, a less aggressive, and safer, shot may be decided upon by the golfer. For example the player may opt to aim the tee shot to the right of the illustrated ball path in FIG. 13B. This shot path and angle is less risky because there are no fairway traps that should come into play alone this shot path. However, a tee shot hit from tee box T1 on the less aggressive shot angle and also hit the same distance as the tee shot illustrated in FIG. 13B would leave a much longer, and presumably harder, second shot to the green G7. The player could risk it and choose to go for the green or alternatively, could play another safe shot and lay up in the fairway area 15b in front of the green G7. A relatively short, and presumably easy, chip shot would then be left for the player to get the golf ball on the green G7.

FIG. 14A shows one hole possibility from tee box T5 to green G7. The approximate boundaries 24 and probable ball path of the selected hole T5-G7 are illustrated. As shown for the exemplary compact golf course of FIG. 14A, selected hole T5-G7 would be a 122 yard, par-3 hole. As explained above, once the player has selected the hole to be played (as shown, hole T5 to G7) from the plurality of hole possibilities, the player would still have several options regarding shot opportunities (i.e., shot path, shot distance, shot angle, etc.) to the green G7.

FIG. 14B show one possible ball path 25 from tee box T5 to green G7. As shown, the tee shot can be hit from various launch position within tee box T5. For example, the tee shot could be hit from a portion T5a of tee box T5 closest to green G7 along ball path 25a. This tee shot would present the shortest, and presumably easiest, shot to the green. As shown, this shot would be about 191 yards. This portion T5a of the tee box T5 could be used for, for example, women, senior, children, etc. Alternatively, the tee shot could be launched from a middle portion T5b of tee box T5 along ball path 25b toward green G7. As shown, this shot would be about 217 yards. This portion T5b of the tee box T5 could be used for, for example, average men and women, teenagers, etc. In yet another option to the player, the tee shot could be launched from a portion T5c of tee box T5 along ball path 25c. As shown, this shot would present the longest, and presumably most difficult, shot to the green. As shown, this shot would be about 252 yards. This portion T5c of the tee box T5 could be used for, for example, advanced and professional players, etc.

FIG. 14C shows how selection by the golfer of the ball path from the selected tee box to the target green can further increase the number of hole possibilities. In addition to the ball path A illustrated and explained with reference to FIGS. 14A and 14B, the compact golf course provides for multiple additional ball paths, such as ball paths B and C shown in FIG. 14C. For ball paths B and C, the golfer selects a target area, such as a marker, a line, an obstacle, a designated area, etc. on the compact golf course that the golfer must first hit to or clear before turning toward and hitting at the target green G7. Ball path A may provide the golfer with a par-3 hole, ball path B may provide the golfer with a par-4 hole, and ball path C may provide the golfer with a par-5 hole.

Preferably, the compact golf course provides enough hole possibilities for a golfer to play a full regulation round of golf. For example, the compact golf course preferably include a combination of par-3 holes, par-4 holes, and par-5 holes and allows for eighteen holes of golf. Further, the compact golf course preferably includes sufficient combinations of regulation-distance golf holes possibilities to allow for a par range of from about 68 to about 74 and includes a total yardage of from about 5,500 yards to about 7,500 yards. For a compact golf course having at least nine hole possibilities, the regulation-distance golf holes possibilities preferably include combinations allowing for a par range of from about 34 to about 37 and include a total yardage of from about 2,250 yards to about 3,750 yards. Although preferred hole yardage and par values are provided, the invention is not limited to any minimum or maximum yardages or par valves and the actual hole yardage and hole lay-out will depend on the open space available for the compact golf course designer to work with.

The table below illustrates an exemplary round of eighteen holes of golf on the exemplary compact golf course 10 shown in FIG. 11. As illustrated in the table, the golfer may dynamically select the holes to be played, the hole and total yardage to be played, and the hole and course par value to be played. Individually selected hole possibilities are grouped into a round of golf by the golfer. The dynamic hole selection can be performed prior to starting a round of golf, or during the round. As shown in the table, an exemplary eighteen holes of par 70 golf having a total yardage of 6,370 yards can be dynamically selected and played by the golfer. As can be appreciated, the present invention allows a full, regulation round of golf to be played on the exemplary compact golf course of FIG. 11 covering only about 20 to about 26 acres.

Score
HoleHoleHole par(# of
Hole lay-outnumberyardagevaluestrokes)
T6-G71408Par-4
T8-G22365Par-4
T1-G33173Par-3
T2-G74313Par-4
T3-G15485Par-5
T7-G56399Par-4
T3-G97434Par-4
T5-G18208Par-3
T1-G59417Par-4
T8-G310295Par-4
T1-G811401Par-4
T5-G412364Par-4
T2-G213228Par-3
T7-G714374Par-4
T4-G215443Par-4
T7-G916156Par-3
T6-G517495Par-5
T3-G218417Par-4
Total18637070

The dynamic and/or random fashion of play afforded by the compact golf course makes it particularly well suited for low-volume usage. Low-volume usage applies to the number and the interaction of different players/groups out on the course. Preferably, the number of players/groups is such that the players/groups substantially do not interfere with one another. In addition, grouping of players tends to improve play on the course because the players are all playing the same hole together. For example, a group can include one to about six golfers. On the exemplary compact golf course of FIG. 11, about two groups fit on the course with a relatively low-volume. Additional players/groups can be accommodated, however, this increases the volume of play on the course and is less desirable.

FIG. 15 another embodiment of the privatized golf course community wherein the target parcel 1 is an irregular shaped piece of land. In the illustrated embodiment shown, the irregular parcel 1 is forty acres and is subject to low density zoning restrictions, which helps ensure the necessary open space for the compact golf course similar to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-14 (e.g., R1-190 zoning). The low-density zoning results in five acre minimum lots and eight homes.

The parcel depicted in FIG. 15 is a parcel that has low density zoning with the availability to cluster development strategy. Cluster zoning typically allows builders to condense the home area and designate main, large, area as open-space.

FIG. 16 shows an exemplary residential design having home-sites H1-H8 located near the periphery of the parcel of land for each of the homes. The interior or central region 5 of the parcel 1 is preferably designated as the required open space and will be used for the compact golf course 10. Preferably, a parcel-line buffer zone 6 is provided as well as a home-site buffer zone 7.

As shown in FIG. 16, distance measurements are taken from each of the tee boxes to the various points of interest in the design and lay-out of the compact golf course. The tee boxes are preferably located around the periphery of the open space available for the compact golf course (i.e., within and/or between the home-sites H1-H8). As shown, the distance measurements from one of the tee boxes, tee box T1 include: line A that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to a front portion of tee box T3; line B that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to back portion of tee box T3; line C that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to home H3; line D that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to tee box T4; line E that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to home H4; line F that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to home H5; line G that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to tee box T5; line H that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to home H6; line I that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to home H7; line J that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to tee box T6; line K that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to the parcel line at point 27; line L that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to tee box T7; line M that shows a measurement from tee box T1 to home H8; etc. Similar measurements are preferably taken from each of the tee boxes. Other measurements may be taken as necessary is the design of the residential community and/or compact golf course.

For the exemplary irregular parcel of FIG. 16, exemplary measurements from tee box T1 are:

LineYards
A260
B287
C374
D451
E547
F590
G582
H599
I530
J452
K425
L356
M321

FIG. 17 shows the location of exemplary greens G1-Gn locations within the golf course area. Seven greens G1-G7 are shown in FIG. 17. The greens are preferably located to maximize the potential hole distance and optimize the hole possibilities. To this end, the greens are preferably located around the periphery of the interior or central region 5 of the golf course area. As shown, the greens are preferably location toward the interior or central region 5 of the golf course area within the perimeter of the tee box locations (i.e., within and/or between the tee boxes). As shown, the interior or central region 5 of the compact golf course is preferably left open and preferably does not include any tee boxes or greens. The distance measurements illustrated in FIG. 16 are preferably used in designing and locating the greens.

FIG. 18 illustrates the possible holes and exemplary shot paths from each of the tee boxes T1-T8 to green G1. Exemplary distance measurements and par designations are listed below for the hole possibilities depicted in FIG. 18:

Hole possibilityyardagePar value
T1-G11093
T2-G11823
T3-G13214
T4-G14524
T5-G15565
T6-G14004
T7-G13044
T8-G11393

FIG. 19 illustrates the possible holes and exemplary shot paths from each of the tee boxes T1-T8 to green G2. Exemplary distance measurements and par designations are listed below for the hole possibilities depicted in FIG. 19:

Hole possibilityyardagepar
A2433
B963
C1223
D261¾
E4264
F3654
G3484
H2874

FIG. 20 illustrates the possible holes and exemplary shot paths from each of the tee boxes T1-T8 to green G3. Exemplary distance measurements and par designations are listed below for the hole possibilities depicted in FIG. 20:

Hole possibilityyardagepar
A3654
B2253 or 4
C1653
D1563
E2954
F2784
G2954
H3134

FIG. 21 shows exemplary measurements that can be made from each of the tee boxes T1-T8 toward the interior or central region 5 of the parcel 1. These measurements represent exemplary tee shots and are preferably made along a line (not shown) in a direction that corresponds to the longest possible distance from the tee box until an obstacle or obstruction would be encountered. Dots A-H in the interior, center region 5 correspond to a distance of approximately 280 yards from launch points A-H shown on each of the respective tee boxes T1-T8 and represent a typical tee shot. The cluster of dots A-H, as well as any outlining dots, can be used to facilitate fairway implementation. The cluster of dots represents the preferred location of the common fairway area for tee shot landings. The stand-alone or outlying dots represent potential branch fairways.

For example, FIG. 22 illustrates the fairway implementation for the hole possibilities that are presented to a player teeing off of tee box T1. As can be seen with reference to FIGS. 21 and 22, the majority of the dots (i.e., dots B-E and H) are encompassed within the illustrated fairways between, for example, tee box T1 and greens G3-G6. The common fairway area 15a is represented by at least the overlapping areas of each of the fairways for the various hole possibilities. The branch fairways 15b extend from the common fairway area toward each of the potential greens, such as for example, G3-G7. As shown, green G2 could have a fairway area that is separate from the common fairway area.

In another example of the fairway implementation is illustrated in FIG. 23. FIG. 23 shows the fairway implementation for the hole possibilities that are presented to a player teeing off of tee box T5. As can be seen with reference to FIGS. 21 and 23, the majority of the dots (i.e., dots B-E and H) are again encompassed within the illustrated fairways between, for example, tee box T5 and greens G1-G3 and G6-G7. The common fairway area 15a is represented by the overlapping areas of each of the fairways for the various hole possibilities. The branch fairways 15b extend from the common fairway area 15a l toward each of the potential greens, such as for example, G1-G3 and G6-G7. As shown, greens G4 and G5 could have fairway areas that are separate from the common fairway area.

FIG. 24 shows the exemplary compact golf course of FIGS. 15-23 with the tee boxes T1-T8, greens G1-G7, and fairway 15a/15b implement complete. FIG. 24 also shows exemplary bunker B locations, including both fairway bunkers and green-side bunkers. Preferably, at least some of the fairway bunkers are located proximate the normal landing area for tee shots to effect tee shots from a plurality of tee boxes and the green-side bunkers are preferably located to provide protection of the greens from a plurality of different approach angles. In addition, FIG. 24 shows rough 20 surrounding the fairway, bunker, and green areas.

FIG. 25 shows yet another possible arrangement and lay-out for a privatized community having a compact golf course. FIG. 25 shows a parcel 1 of land of approximately twenty acres, having dimensions of 278 yards×347.5 yards (834 feet×1042.5=869,445 square feet). The parcel 1 is bound by parcel lines 2. The dots illustrated on the parcel 1 on FIG. 25 illustrate acre designations.

The table below illustrates two possible zoning designations for the targeted parcel 1.

Property
ZoningHouseholdsspacing
IDTypeLot restrictionsper lotrequirements
R1-190SingleLow density singleSingleFront - 60 ft.
familyfamily neighborhoodfamilySide - 30 ft.
residentialuses (minimumdwelling unitRear - 60 ft.
190,000 sq. ft. lot)per lot
R1-130SingleLow density singleSingleFront - 60 ft.
familyfamily neighborhoodfamilySide - 30 ft.
residentialuses (minimumdwelling unitRear - 60 ft.
130,000 sq. ft. lot)per lot

Using the exemplary R1-190 zoning for the parcel yields minimum lot sizes of about 4.36 acres. For the target twenty acre parcel identified above, this would allow for four lots of about 5 acres. Alternatively, using the R1-130 zoning for the parcel yields minimum lot sizes of about 3.33 acres. For the target twenty acre parcel identified above, the R1-130 zoning would allow for six lots of about 3 acres. The remaining discussion of FIGS. 25-29 assumes that parcel is subject to the R1-190 zoning.

Accordingly, the parcel 1 of land is divided into the allowed number of lots L1-Ln determined by the size of the parcel of land and the zoning restrictions for the target parcel. The lots are designated in FIG. 26 by lot lines 3. As shown in FIG. 26, the parcel is divided into four substantially equal sized lots L1-L4.

A home H1-Hn is placed on each lots. FIGS. 26 and 27 shows the placement of homes H1-H4 on each of lots L1-L4. Preferably, the homes are located on each lot to maximize the residential value and also maximize the area available for the compact golf course. For example, in a preferred embodiment the homes are located on each lot proximate the periphery of the parcel 1 of land. However, if corner lots are undesirable, the homes can be located away from the corners of the parcel. As shown, the homes are preferably located just inside the periphery of the parcel lines 2 while the compact golf course is preferably located in the interior or central region 5 of the parcel 1. In the illustrated embodiment, the home size is about 8,000 sq. ft. and the home-site is approximately one acre. That leaves approximately 16 acres of open space for construction of the compact golf course.

The homes are also preferably placed to maximize home safety and visual satisfaction. As shown in FIG. 27, each home preferably includes a home-site buffer zone 7 to ensure the space/area around the home. In addition, a secondary buffer zone 6 can be established between the home-site buffer zone and the parcel line to further ensure home safety and also protect the compact golf course from the outside area surrounding the parcel. The area within the secondary buffer zone is the area of land 11 available for the compact golf course.

FIG. 28 shows distance measurements from one corner of the parcel to points of interest along an opposite boundary of the parcel. These distance measurements allow the designer of the compact golf course to determine the location of various golf course features and maximize the hole distance, hole possibilities, and shot opportunities for the compact golf course. Exemplary measurements from FIG. 28 are listed in the table below:

LineYardage
A443
B391
C347.5
D313
E287

FIG. 29 shows the location of various features of the compact golf course, including tee boxes T1-T8, greens G1-G7, bunkers B1-B23, common fairway area 15a, branch fairways 15b, and the rough areas 20. As can be seen in FIG. 29, using the corner areas 12 of the parcel for portions of the compact golf course, such as tee boxes and greens, helps ensure the maximum hole distances possible for a particular parcel.

FIG. 30 shows another exemplary privatized golf course community 8, including a residential community 9 and a compact golf course 10. As shown, the homes H1-H10 in the residential community 9 are generally located across a top end of the parcel 1 with some of the homes extend toward the interior or center region 5 of the parcel 1. This design of the residential community 9 in the top portion of the parcel 1 creates open space in the lower middle and side end portions of the parcel (i.e., at the bottom portion and the two side ends). As shown, corner tee boxes T1-T4 can be located in each of the corners of the open space and one relatively large and elongate tee box T5 can be located at the bottom portion of the parcel in the region between the open space at the two side ends. Greens G1-G7 and hazards, such as bunkers B1-B20 and rough areas 20, are strategically located to provide the maximum hole possibilities and potential golf shots. The fairway area include a common fairway area 15a in the lower middle portion of the open space, two semi-common fairway areas 15c in the open space in the two side end portions, and various branch fairways 15b.

FIG. 31 shows another exemplary privatized golf course community 8, including a residential community 9 and a compact golf course 10. As shown, the homes H1-H6 in the residential community 9 are generally located alone two sides of the parcel 1 with two sides of the parcel 1 remaining open. This design of the residential community 9 alone two ends of the parcel 1 creates open space in the central regions and at the top and bottom ends of the parcel. As shown, corner tee boxes T1, T3, T4, T6 can be located in each of the corners of the open space and, for example, one tee box T2 can be located proximate one side of the parcel having home sites, and another tee box T5 can be located proximate the other side of the parcel having home sites. Greens G1-G6 and hazards, such as bunkers B1-B16 and rough areas 20, are strategically located to provide the maximum hole possibilities and potential golf shot opportunities. The fairway area include a common fairway area 15a in the middle portion of the open space and various branch fairways 15b.

FIG. 33 shows an exemplary corner tee box. As shown in FIG. 33, the corner tee box may be formed at an angle and is preferably sized and oriented on the course to further provide the maximum hole possibilities and shot opportunities. Depending on the target green the player chooses to shot for, the tee box provides numerous hole possibilities and shot opportunities. For example, if the player is playing to target green G1 shown in FIG. 33, then the corner tee box may provide shot possibilities of about 220 yards from portion Z, about 190 yards from portion Y, and about 150 yards from portion X. In addition, portion Z also provides varying shot opportunities, such as different shot angles depending on whether the player launches the tee shot from the top or the bottom of portion Z of the illustrated corner tee box.

FIGS. 34A and 34B show portions of an exemplary compact golf course and details of how various hole possibilities result in different shot opportunities and challenges to the player. FIG. 34B shows a detail view of a portion of an exemplary compact golf course of FIG. 34A showing the tee shot opportunities (represented by arrows) to a common fairway area 15a for several hole possibilities. Several hazards, including fairway bunkers B3, B4, B6, a stream 16, and rough 20, are illustrated. As shown in FIG. 34B, each shot opportunity includes different hazards, or groups of hazards, that the player has to contend with. Likewise, FIG. 34C shows a detail view of an exemplary target green and the various approach shot opportunities (represented by arrows) to an exemplary target green G. Several green-side bunkers B1 and B2 and a fairway bunker B3 are illustrated and, as can be seen, each of the different approach shot angles presents the player with a different hazard.

The player may play from any tee box Tn to any green Gn on the compact golf course 10. This may include playing from a tee box on one side of the compact golf course to a green on the opposite side of the golf course. In other words, the hole is played in a substantially linear fashion from the tee box to the green.

Alternatively, the player may hit a tee shot from a tee box on one side of the compact golf course to a target green that is on an adjacent side of the compact golf course. In this scenario, the player may select to hit directly to the green (in a substantially linear fashion) in which case the hole may play as a par-3 hole, or may select to hit to a designated area on the compact golf course, such as the common fairway area 15a in the interior or central region 5 of the compact golf course, first and then turn and hit a subsequent shot toward the target green, in which case the hole may play as a par-4 hole. This is typical of a dog-leg hole, and the hole may dog-leg to the right or left depending on the hole lay-out as selected by the player. In this manner, the player selects target area 30, such as a marker, a boundary line 31, an obstacle, a designated area, etc. that the player has to first hit to or clear before turning toward the target green. The target area 30 may include a feature of, or on, the golf course, such as a trap or bunker, a hill, a ditch, a ravine, a pond, a lake, a stream, a tree, a bush, a marker, etc.

A player may also select to play to a target green that is on the same side as, or adjacent to, the selected tee box. Again, the player would select target area 30, an object or obstacle, a boundary line 31, a designated area, a marker, etc. that the player has to first hit to or clear before turning back to the target green. This is type of hole possibility is a switch-back hole possibility. The switch-back can include an angle of up to and including 180 degrees.

This method of play, of dog-legs and/or switch-backs, allows hole possibilities of greater length than may otherwise be possible on the compact golf course 10. For example, as shown in FIG. 35, the player may select a hole possibility from tee box T6 to green G6, and also may select to play this as a par-5 hole. To achieve the desired distance of a par-5 hole of, for example 516 yards, the player can select to hit a tee shot from tee box T6 and may designates a boundary line 31 (or target area 30) at approximately 235 yards out from the tee box toward the common fairway area 15a. The boundary line 31 can be represented by one or more features of the compact golf course 10, such as for example, the group of fairway bunkers B around the common fairway area 15a. The player hit the tee shot, and as many subsequent shots as necessary, to clear the boundary line 31. Once the boundary line 31 has been crossed, the player turns back (switch-back) toward the target green G6. As shown, if the player hits a tee shot of about 265 yard from tee box T6 to the left side of the common fairway area 15a, then the player would have a shot of about 250 yards to get back to the target green G6.

When given a plot of land with the intention of designing a small-scale privatized residential golfing community, there are certain processes to follow and certain design features that should be present in order to preferably maximize both the visual satisfaction for the residents that live around the golf course as well as the playing capabilities of the golf course itself. In an embodiment including a residential golf course community, the design strategy of both the compact golf course and the residential development are preferably integrated to maximize the benefits of each aspect of the design. For example, the golf course is preferably designed in direct correlation with the residential development strategy in order to satisfy a business angle of property value inflation while offering a privatized golf course amenity that offers unprecedented playability in terms of strategy and visual satisfaction.

Exemplary design goals for the development include: (1) to create the maximum amount of golf hole possibilities within the open space available for the compact golf course; (2) to locate the tee boxes and greens in order to create the greatest potential for hole length and physical characteristics variation within the designated golf course land; (3) to arrange the centralized tee-shot landing area as to challenge the golfer from a plurality of feasible launch angles; (4) to create the maximum amount of approach shot angles into the numerous green complexes; (5) to locate the green complexes as to create distinctly different approach shots, i.e., to make each green appear as its own entity, each entity having many different angles created for different strategy of approach shot; (6) maximize all, or incorporating as many as possible of the above features of the compact golf course within the open space remaining after the finalized orientation of the integrated residential home sites; and the like.

Although several embodiments described above describe the compact golf course integrated with a new residential community, the invention is not so limited. The invention also includes a compact golf course, compact golf courses integrated with existing homes and/or communities, and the like. The invention also covers residential golf course communities wherein the homes are constructed in phases, and also embodiments wherein some of the homes may be built set-back from the golf course. In the case of set-back homes, the home still preferably includes views of the compact golf course. For example, the set-back homes may be located between golf-front homes, elevated above golf-front homes, etc.

Another benefit of the compact golf course that allows golfers to dynamically select what golf holes they would like to play from a plurality of hole possibilities is that the compact golf course can accommodate golfers of different skill levels. For example, a more skilled golfer can select more challenging holes (tee, fairway, green, hazards, etc. combinations) while a less skilled golfer can select less challenging holes. A hole may be made more difficult, for example, by the player choosing to increase the length of the hole, increase the difficulty of the available shot selection, incorporate more hazards into the hole, etc. Alternatively, a less skilled golfer may choose to make a hole less difficult by decreasing the length of the hole, decreasing the difficulty of the available shot selection, incorporating less hazards into the hole, etc. This makes playing the compact golf course enjoyable for more skilled golfer while not being too difficult for less skilled golfer, and vice versa, makes playing the compact golf course enjoyable for less skilled golfer while not being too easy for more skilled golfer. Thus, in addition to preferably providing for a full regulation distance golf course on a compact parcel of land 1, the compact golf course 10 also accommodates golfers having varying skill levels.

In addition, the compact golf course also preferably designed to provide an interactive course having a palette of golf course features (tee box, green, fairway, hazards, etc.) from which a golfer can create a version of a golf hole from a plurality of golf hole possibilities. Preferably, the compact golf course is designed to include a template of golf course features that provide the maximum amount of creative potential for the golfer to choose/select from within a predetermined piece of land.

Still another benefit of the compact golf course 10 is that because of the plurality of hole possibilities provided, the compact golf course is easy to maintain and keep in good shape. On conventional golf course having a pre-determined hole lay-out that requires that golfers play the numbered holes in numerical order and follow a common route from the first tee down the first fairway to the first green, second tee down the second fairway to the second green, etc. certain common areas get a concentration of play. Areas that experience a concentration in of play experience more wear and tear, thus requiring continuous maintenance to keep these areas in good playing condition. This is not the case for the compact golf course and hence the compact golf course is easier to keep in good condition and maintain.

The reason for this is simply, the compact golf course 10 allows golfers to dynamically select the hole to be played from a plurality of hole possibilities, and hence there are no common routes that are followed by golfers. In addition, the golfer can select to hit to any green from any tee box. In this manner, golfer may enter and exit the tee box areas from different angles because they will be coming from or heading to different locations (i.e., coming from the previous hole possibility selected and heading to the target green selected for the current hole possibility selected). As a result, the area around the tee boxes do not experience a concentration of play. Because the golfer can select to hit from any tee box to any green, the fairway will change constantly based on the hole possibility selected. As a result, the fairway area does not experience a concentration of play in any particular area. Further, the greens may be approached from any of the tee boxes on the compact golf course. The approach angles to the greens vary because of the location of the different tee boxes. As a result, the area around the greens also does not experience a concentration of play.

A further advantage of integrating a compact golf course with a residential community, is that a plurality of home owners can share in the cost associated with the compact golf course (i.e., the cost of designing, constructing, maintaining, operating, managing, etc. the compact golf course). The design and construction costs can be included, for example, in the cost of purchasing the home. The maintenance, operation, and management costs can be paid, for example, via annular assessments/dues.

While systems and methods have been described and illustrated with reference to specific embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that modification and variations may be made without departing from the principles described above and set forth in the following claims. Accordingly, reference should be made to the following claims as describing the scope of disclosed embodiments.





 
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