Torvean Golf Course on the Northern side of the River Ness and adjacent to the Caledonian Canal is split into three separate areas by the A82 Trunk Road and General Booth Road requiring golfers to cross these busy roads to complete their rounds. The Highland Council West Link Road Improvement project, which will connect the A82 Trunk Road to the Southern Distributor road to the south by way of a new bridge over the River Ness, will shortly afford an opportunity to create a new Torvean Golf Course entirely within one area of land. The relocation of the existing golf course onto adjacent land will see a self-contained course being created, opening up an improved masterplanned gateway to Inverness.
The course is being constructed by Coffey Construction and European Golf Services in Joint venture, with the course programmed to become playable in 2019.
Stuart Rennie, Director of Rennie Design Golf Course Architects, was raised in the Highlands before embarking on university studies in Edinburgh. Being a member at Muir-of Ord and Royal Dornoch golf clubs from a young age, has inspired the career path he is on today. Rennie is an award winning member of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects and has worked globally for five times Open Champion, Peter Thomson, in his design practice in Australia and in London.
The Torvean project is progressing to the construction stage, following three years development through the planning process, with both the Torvean Golf Club and the client Highland Council. The proposed course will be developed on more undulating land to the West of the existing course running up towards the Scottish Natural Heritage headquarters. The vision is to create a like for like golf course, bringing modern day design principles into play, with a view to create a heathland style course using a quintessential highland landscape planting pallet incorporating the likes of heather, gorse and fescue grasses. Whilst creating a routing that flows with the contours and works with the landscape, the course has been designed to improve the biodiversity of the site. A series of waterbodies and wetlands along with buffer planting and grassland planting will create an ecologically rich landscape to coexist with the day to day functioning of the golf course. Public access will also be provided with a designated signed access/fitness trail through the golf course creating a more accessible space for the local community. The new clubhouse will be located closer to the community adjacent to General Booth Road.
Hamish Spence President of Torvean Golf Club, commented: “We have been working with the Highland Council and design team to ensure the transition from our existing facility to the proposed course and clubhouse is not problematic. Yes it is sad to move from our current home, but a new era of golf is to emerge in the Torvean area of Inverness and we are proud to be at the forefront of creating fantastic facilities to be enjoyed by both members and the wider community for years to come.”
Rennie is delighted to be working on a project close to home and looks forward to working with the client, and the chosen contractor, to realise the intricacies of the design whilst overseeing the construction process. “Having grown up in the Highlands I am thrilled to be returning home to deliver such a fantastic project. The construction stage is an extremely important part of the process where my team of experts come together to help deliver the technicalities of the design. I have a passion for creating golf that coexists with the local environment and fits into the landscape context in a natural manner. To create a new course in the Highlands of Scotland my home of golf will be a dream come true.” says Rennie.
Chair of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Audrey Sinclair said: “The construction of the West Link required a reconfiguration of the Golf Course and additional enhancements to the golf course were agreed as a greater ambition to deliver substantial long term assets for the City of Inverness, which will further economic development in the area.
“As well as delivering a new golf course the Highland Council is also carrying out major site servicing works on the adjacent land to enable the delivery of 160 new homes in the west part of the city. Any surplus soil from the housing site will be re-used to contour and shape the new golf course providing a cost effective and sustainable solution .”
Click here to read more about Stuart.
The article first appeared on The Highland Council website