Date: Wed 04 Oct 2017

EIGCA member, partners and affiliate work together at new Royal Norwich Golf Course

Collaboration creates a great golf course at the Royal Norwich

Peter Todd, Steve Briggs, Brew Craig and Ross McMurray

Peter Todd, Steve Briggs, Brew Craig and Ross McMurray

Development of the new home for Royal Norwich Golf Club sees EIGCA President, Ross McMurray of European Golf Design, working with three EIGCA partners and one affiliate on this project in the east of England. Rain Bird, MJ Abbott and Profile Products all have major roles during the construction of this project in the east of England, and EIGCA affiliate, Roger Davey of Irritech, designed the irrigation system.

The new course, designed by Ross McMurray, is located at Weston Park and will replace Royal Norwich’s existing home at Hellesdon on the outskirts of the city. The redevelopment includes an 18-hole, par 73 golf course which will play between 5,300 and 7,200 yards in length, and a 6-hole short course of 1,400 yards. A practice range with covered bays and a dedicated short game training area will also be built along with a 40,000m³ reservoir. The aim is to create a high quality, dynamic member’s golf club which has a broad appeal to all golfers and creates a warm and friendly environment for members, guests and their families. Construction will be completed in late summer 2018 and the plan is for Royal Norwich to move to their new home some twelve months later.

MJ Abbott is responsible for the construction of the golf course, the reservoir and installation of a full Rain Bird irrigation system designed by Roger Davey. Profile Products is providing the rootzone amendments for both tees and greens.

“Royal Norwich Golf Club has gathered together a tremendous team to create its new home at Weston Park and I’m looking forward to working with so many Partners of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects,” says Ross McMurray. “Together I am confident we will provide a fine new golf course of which we can all be extremely proud.”

Jimmy Sandison, Rain Bird’s Golf Area Sales Manager for the UK, Ireland and Iceland, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the club, European Golf Design and MJ Abbott, to deliver an irrigation system that will provide unsurpassed data-driven control. It will also deliver significant energy, water and cost-efficiencies to the club. Peter Todd, Head of Estates at Royal Norwich, was impressed by Rain Bird’s ability to provide a completely integrated irrigation solution from reservoir to rotor with our IC system, sprinklers and Smart Pump. Another significant attribute was the revolutionary diagnostic ability of IC which monitors the health of the system and helps to resolve issues from almost anywhere at any time, providing the course manager with true peace of mind.”

Steve Briggs, Contracts Director at MJ Abbott, said: “We have made good progress in the first few weeks of construction and are looking forward to delivering a first-class project to match the clubs vision and expectations.”

Gavin Kelly of Profile Products commented: “When we spoke to Peter Todd, at Royal Norwich, he was keen to create firm, free-draining and healthy bent/fescue greens. Working with Peter we have developed a specification for rootzone which will enable deeper rooting and far more efficient uptake of water at deeper levels. The porous ceramic drains faster than sand yet, due to its porous nature, increases water and nutrient retention. It also increases air porosity percentages and offers a permanent improvement with less than 3% degradation over 20 years."

This project at Royal Norwich Golf Club is an exemplar of how EIGCA members, partners and affiliates, work together to create great golf courses. For information on becoming an EIGCA partner or affiliate, visit our Partnership section.

Background information on Royal Norwich:

Founded in 1893 Royal Norwich was extensively redesigned by James Braid in 1923. At the time, the golf course was located in the countryside some distance outside the city but over the years the site has been surrounded by residential and commercial development, while a busy main road splits the course in two. With increasing safety problems and a declining membership Royal Norwich recognised that, to secure the long-term future of the golf club, they needed to find a new home which would allow the club to redevelop and modernise.

After several years of looking for a suitable location the opportunity arose to purchase Weston Park Golf Club together with a substantial amount of additional land. At the same time agreements were signed with Persimmon Homes for the sale of the present course to construct up to 1,000 homes and a school. Once planning permission was received the way was clear for the redevelopment proposals to begin, funded by the land sale to Persimmon.

Click here to read more about Ross.

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