Herfort Norby specializes exclusively in the design of golf courses and golf practice facilities. This includes long range master planning, new course design, renovation design and construction observation services.

This specialization and experience provides the following advantages:

  • Creative and realistic design solutions

  • Experience in obtaining regulatory approvals

  • Construction phasing & estimating experience

  • Experience working with golf committees and Boards

  • Experience working with golf course contractors

  • Representation by a professional liaison during construction

Master Planning

A long range master plan is essentially a road map or business plan to identify existing issues and to clarify what improvements will be most beneficial to setting the facility on a path to financial success.  Golf is a business and – whether you are selling shoes, cars or golf – it is important to have a long range vision for where the business is going.  Understanding who the competition is and what your niche is in the local market will tell us how to design your course and what improvements will actually translate into additional rounds or revenue.

At Herfort Norby We have extensive experience in golf course master planning and are widely regarded as one the nation’s leading authorities in the area.  In addition, Kevin Norby is a frequent speaker and author on golf course master planning and golf course design.  There are other consultants who offer master planning services for golf courses but our experience and the in-depth nature of our process is unique and unparalleled in the industry.

We don’t just create drawings.  Our studies include an in-depth assessment of the golf course and other competing courses in the area as well as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats) analysis of each hole, interviews with stakeholders and employees, full-color master plan drawings, cost estimates, detailed phasing strategies and an Action Plan.  If desired, we can also provide an in-depth market analysis and operational review for your course.

Renovation Design

Because of our reputation and expertise in golf course master planning, much of our work involves renovations that make those visions to reality.  It’s exciting and gratifying to see our clients implement those master plan recommendations and to be part of the process to make their course more enjoyable, more playable and more financially sustainable.  Renovations include everything from green and tee expansions to construction of new practice facilities and bunker renovations geared towards reducing maintenance and improving playability.

In particular, we have a great appreciation for the old classic courses and the work of those golden-age architects like Tillinghast, MacDonald and Ross who crafted courses without the use of modern bulldozers and scrapers. 

New Course Design

Although in recent years, most of our work has involved master planning and renovation, Herfort Norby has been fortunate to have recently designed a number of new courses.  Some of these are stand-alone golf courses or additions to existing facilities.  Others are golf course communities where we routed the golf course and provided the overall master plan for roads and housing.  Among our most recent and most notable new courses are The Preserve on Rathbun Lake in Southern Iowa and The Refuge in Minnesota.  In 2009, The Preserve was recognized by and Golf Inc. as runner up best new course in America and Top 10 Best New Course by both Golf Magazine and Links Magazine.   Currently we are working on new courses in Louisiana, Arizona, Minnesota and North Dakota.

Construction Observation

Once the design process is complete, we begin the process of selecting a contractor and building the golf course.   We believe that having a regular presence on-site minimizes unnecessary change orders or cost over-runs.  This is particularly important as the contractor is working on greens, bunkers and fairway contouring where subtle details can make the difference between a good project and a great project.

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