The first consultation in 2005 was to carry out a safety analysis on the existing driving range which led to an upgrade of the driving range which included all weather tees, a covered teaching bay and reinforced planting along the range boundary.
Then in 2014 Steve was commissioned to provide a 5 year plan for the golf course which was presented firstly to the committee and then following approval, to the golf club members.
Although in general the green surfaces of the course were in good condition there were a number of small and poorly placed bunkers which were letting the course down and much of the improvements concentrated on bringing some shape and strategy to each hole through fairway shaping and bunker placement. The work started with the removal and breaking up of straight lines of trees which were constraining the fairways edges and this allowed more generous landing zones for the higher handicappers and this was combined with new planting and bunkering to tighten the fairways for the lower handicappers and longer hitters, who would have to decide on whether to take on the hazards or play short.
The bunkering tended to be placed on either side of the greens and the proposals were to select one bunker on each hole and extend it around the front of the green in order to influence the approach shots, underline and define the green target and help form a strategy particular to that hole.
The work is being carried out 'in-house' by the greenstaff team during the winter months and they soon got the hang of shaping up the bunkers and ponds under the supervision of Course Manager Chris Lewis and with Steve setting out the designs on the ground and advising on the shaping as the work progressed.
The original 5 year plan has now led onto a rolling programme of improvements around the golf course, which to date have included a new pond on the 17th hole to introduce the only water body to the course, upgrading fairway bunkering on the 2nd, 4th and 6th holes and designs are now underway to improve the 3rd, 13th and 18th holes this winter and the committee are also now considering introducing one or two par 5s to the course which is noted for its formidably long par 4s.
Roll on the next 5 year plan.
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