Why Do Golf Courses Have Ponds And Lakes?

by Steve | Last Updated: 6 September 2021

Ponds and lakes are one of the most distinctive features on a golf course. They provide visual interest, but they also serve an important function: they help keep the course from becoming too dry.

In order for a green to stay healthy, it needs water to be constantly applied – either through rainfall or irrigation systems.

Golf courses use ponds and lakes as part of their natural irrigation system because these bodies of water can retain large quantities of moisture that then seeps into the soil below them, keeping nearby greens moist.

Ponds and lakes can also be used as natural boundaries between holes, which allows them to fit more holes onto one course than they would otherwise have been able to do with just flat land

Are Golf Course Ponds Man Made?

Ponds and lakes on golf courses are often man-made and many of the ponds at a typical course were formed by natural means such as glaciers or erosion from water runoff.

Some have been created artificially to improve conditions for wildlife habitats and irrigation systems. In some cases where groundwater levels are high, as in parts of Florida, ponds are built to control water.

Some golf courses have created ponds throughout the course for aesthetic reasons, while others put them in strategic locations so that they can be used as hazards during play.

Water hazards on a typical 18-hole course account for about 30 acres of land and 50 percent of all non-fairway territory.

What Do You Call A Pond On A Golf Course?

Simply put, a pond on a golf course is called a Hazard

A “hazard” in the rules is a term that refers to anything that might cause difficulty to a golf shot.

A hazard can be either a water hazard or a Bunker

A water hazard is a particular sort of hazard that might be a pond, lake, river, stream, or any other body of water on the golf course.

This is not to be confused with “casual water,” which is a temporary wet spot, such as a puddle (but can also include snow or ice).

Ponds are not only a source of beauty, but also a challenge. Whether you call them ponds or water hazards, they’re still a kind of hazard.

How Deep Are Ponds On Golf Courses?

The depth of ponds on golf courses vary based upon the course, its location and whether or not it is private or public.

Most ponds are usually quite shallow and tend to be quite silty, which is the slimy mud and vegetation in the water

Quite often, Divers retrieve golf balls from larger bodies of water all over the world, and while the water depth is rarely more than 40 feet and usually less than half that, reclaimed balls and equipment might easily cause divers to become disoriented or heavily weighted down.

Divers on a golf course, what are you talking about Steve?

You may have played ‘Lake Balls’ in the past and they don’t just magically appear. Divers are often contracted by a golf club to come and empty the balls in their ponds and lakes.

There is a big market for selling lake balls and the cost of the hire of the divers is usually well offset by the resale value of the golf balls that are retrieved.

Whether you should actually use lake balls is a whole topic of it’s own.

Despite losing balls sometimes, it is always fun to play over water

Ponds and lakes can retain large quantities of moisture that seeps into the soil below, keeping greens moist.

They are one way golf courses keep from becoming too dry, not to mention how much fun it is to hit balls in these areas!

Steve King, the founder of Fore King Golf, started playing golf at the tender age of 29, after years spent playing many other sports and getting dodgy knees. Although late to the game, Steve soon fell in love with the sport and found himself, like many others, addicted to the pursuit of improvement and playing better. He is currently a member of The Kendleshire Golf Club & Hercules Golf Society, as well as running several competitions for Fore King Golf