With the aim of enticing beginners into the game, Welwyn Garden City Golf Club has embarked on an extensive upgrade of their practice facilities. Anthony was commissioned to design and supervise the project with the first phase being a new short game area and the second phase, a new 4-hole academy course, laid out over the existing driving range. The previous short game area consisted of a small 100 m2 green which sat in a low lying area which regularly became flooded, the surrounding areas were not conducive to short game practice due to a steep cross-fall. Utilising cut material from within the site a 3m2 green complex has been created that includes a large green-side bunker adequately sized for group lessons.
All involved worked hard on what was the detailed shaping of the green surrounds and there is now range of short game shots that can be practised
With the first phase now complete and open for use the 4-hole academy course is scheduled to begin construction in September, with the aim of maximising the amount of land use functions. The short hole course is planned to be laid out of the existing driving range outfield so that the greens can also function as driving range targets when the 4-hole course is closed. The views of encouraging new players especially ladies and juniors into the game aren’t revolutionary as there has been a real drive to get more people to take up golf across Europe. Like other clubs, Welwyn Garden City is providing a ‘stepping stone’ facility where people can learn the basics of the game with the aim of them progressing into full club members.
With the high traffic and pitch marks anticipated from the dual use targets, Anthony has included synthetic greens that will be more durable and cost effective in terms of maintenance. Seeding of the green surrounds and tees is expected in the autumn 2016 and the facility should therefore be open in spring 2017.
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