Golf Course Lighting
Perth 17th February 2010
Later tonight I will be going out to check on a fairly common lighting issue. Local residents are complaining about the glare from the nearby golf course lighting. In this case, more specifically, the driving range. As so many developments in the Asia Pacific region (and probably around the world), golf courses are build as complete resorts, leisure and sports facilities and residential developments around it happily make use of the golf course’s presence to promote a “lifestyle”.
There is nothing wrong with that as long as golf is played during daytime, but with the nice climate that we have in many of the countries in Asia Pacific it is really nice to play golf in the cooler hours of the evening. So in comes golf course lighting…but most of the time as a commercial afterthought! 🙂 Some clubs just provide lighting for the driving range, some for the last 9 holes, and some for the whole course.
For those not familiar with golf, the lighting at night needs to illuminate the flight path of the ball which can go up fairly high. The general guideline calls for about 50m high as a “volume” to light up. Simplified this means that when using about 25m poles, the floodlights are shining pretty much straight ahead. With floodlights ranging from 1 to 2 KW it is easy to see the amount of glare that will be produced!
Unless the golf course design has been developped to consider playing at night under lighting right from the start (playing directions and related lighting aiming directions, etc), golf courses are generally not really designed and suitable to be lit. It is already challenging enough to design golf course lighting to be comfortable for the players themselves, let alone to control the glare within a residential environment!