Construction contracts are often necessary elements for a general contractor. Every little construction requirement and cost of a golf course project over 200 acres and two years is difficult to foresee upfront. Often contractual elements will include clauses for unforseen underground elements, weather, and building parameters that restrict flexibility during the construction process.
One element I have run into a number of times is a set quantity of bunker square footage to be used throughout a course. The builder agrees to build an amount of bunker square footage and the architect can use that area at his discretion throughout the project. Many architects simply instruct the builder on the type of bunker style they prefer, flag a number of bunker locations throughout the course, and then let the builder allocate the square footage over those bunkers as he sees fit.
This practice almost always leads to very uninspired designs and numerous missed opportunities for design upgrades, as the architect may spend only a few hours a per week or month on site. The architect’s vision is now in the hands of the general contractor.
I often work on an hourly basis for my time as a shaper, but within constantly changing parameters that I discuss daily or weekly with the course developer. This way I am able to quickly respond to any design opportunities that may arise throughout the shaping process.
The creative onsite adjustments carried out at the hands of the architect/shaper are invaluable to the level of quality of the final product.