How to Map a Golf Course

by Nicholas Vetrovec

In Short

Map out a golf course using places, boundaries and lines.


Are you a golf enthusiast or just want to map out a local golf course in detail? By following these instructions you can map out a nice-looking golf course.

Here is the list of the features that may be mapped by adding them each as a Place—some will be drawn with a boundary.

  • Golf Course ("Landscaped area designed for playing golf.")
  • Golf Club ("A golf club is a private club organized to play golf. A golf club usually has its own golf course.")
  • Private Golf Course (Likely to be a privately owned course with membership required.)
  • Public Golf Course (A municipally-owned facility.)
  • Golf Driving Range (Boundary) - Practice area used to drive balls. ("Landscaped area designed for practising long golf strokes and swings. It can also be a recreational activity itself for amateur golfers or when enough time for a full game is not available.")
  • Golf Course - Golf Shop (Point) Where to purchase golf time and items.
  • Golf Course - Fairway (Boundary) Short cut grass path to the hole.
  • Golf Course - Hole (Point) The hole itself.
  • Golf Course - Putting Green (Boundary) Short cut grass area used to put into the hole.
  • Golf Course - Rough (Boundary) Tall grass found between the fairway and out-of-bounds.
  • Golf Course - Sand Bunker (Boundary) Sand pit.
  • Golf Course - Tee (Boundary) Area from which ball is initially hit.
Other related categories containing the word Golf may or may not be used when mapping the golf course:
  • Golf Cart Dealer
  • Golf Course Builder ("A company that is specialized in building, renovating or maintaining golf courses.")
  • Golf Instructor ("A person who teaches people how to play golf or improves their game.")
  • Golf Resort ("A golf resort is a place that provides both facilities for playing golf (a golf course) and accommodation along with entertainment.")
  • Golf Shop ("Retail establishment selling golf clubs, balls, clothing and paraphernalia.")
  • Indoor Golf Course (Located inside a building.)
  • Miniature Golf Course ("Miniature version of golf, played on a specially designed course.")
Other golf course features can be mapped by adding them as Outlines (i.e. Natural Features); for example, Water.


1. Add the outer boundary of the Golf course itself and set the category as Golf Course; you may also choose the primary or secondary categories of Golf Club, Private Golf Course, or Public Golf Course depending on the feature. This feature should also contain the contact information of the golf course. Please note the golf course may already exist as a Place on the map (with or without a boundary).

2. Outline the Fairways. Use satellite view at full zoom to be able to see where the boundaries of the fairways actually are. Many golf courses have these areas well defined.

3. Trace the Putting Greens next. Because the Putting Green and Golf Course outlines are very similar in colour, it looks best if you outline the fringe of the Putting Green with the Fairway category then place the Putting Green inside of that.

4. Mark the Hole as a point feature within the Putting Green (illustrated by the small circle in the picture below). It does not have to be exact as golf courses often move the location of their Holes around the Putting Green.

5. Outline the boundaries of the Tee locations. There may be multiple tees per hole; outline each separately.

6. Outline the Sand Bunkers accordingly.

7. Outline any water hazards and any large wooded areas with woods.

8. Outline buildings on the golf course.

9. Mark the Golf Shop (Pro shop) as a point.

10. Mark any golf cart paths as a Road with the priority as no auto traffic.

The end result should look something like this:

11. Outline the entire boundary of the hole playing area including the green, fairway, and tees with rough category. This area is usually lined with trees or paths.

Best Practices

Disc golf (Frisbee golf) should not be marked as a golf course. Disc golf has its own category.


  • Q: Which feature (point or boundary) should contain the name and contact information for the golf course?
    A: See step 1.
  • Q: Are any of the golf features given names like "Hole 1"?
    A: No. Only the Golf Course itself should have a name and contact info associated with the feature.
  • Q: Satellite imagery has poor resolution and is blurry. Should I attempt to draw in these features anyways?
    A: Unless these features are visible in available imagery, they should not be mapped at this time. They need to be visible to a reviewer!