The Owners of The Woll Golf Course near Selkirk in Scotland were showing great confidence in the golf market with their growing membership at Woll and increasing visitor numbers. Together this encouraged them to continue with their development of the course over last winter. But now they are having to take bold moves to help their members and ensure the course keeps moving forward.
The work took on the redevelopment of two more greens, the green complexes (surroundings of the greens), new bunkers, three new tees and new irrigation, but it doesn’t stop there. A number of changes are being made with more new tees coming into play some specifically to encourage the lady golfers. There are also new paths designed to improve movement around the course and help in the winter where the course is able to stay open and playable all year round. Since 2013 16 holes of the 18 hole course have been redeveloped.
However, although the course is now looking better than ever there are no golfers. Like all the courses in the Borders it is being looked after by a skeleton staff with essential maintenance until the green light is given to re-open.
Everyone is desperate to welcome golfers back to enjoy it when it is safe to do so and the owners are trying to help. They have confirmed to all their members and potential new members that they are re-setting the membership year. So, depending on when restrictions on golf are lifted in the Borders their membership year will restart and no-one loses out. Essentially, the membership year for existing members will be extended and new members will benefit from their membership lasting from the date of restrictions lifting for an entire year.
Co-owner David Brown said: “Up till now our continuing investment and development in the course and all the facilities has seen real benefits with our membership strong and growing. In the current environment though we are trying to do what is best for members and look to the future.
“We are trying to offer the best course, playable all year round and enjoyable and accessible to golfers of all standards. We are lucky to have such good and hardworking teams throughout the business giving us great end results. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to golf!
Co-owner Nicholas Brown, added: “We believe it is important to move forward and ensure we improve all golfers’ enjoyment of the game with the best course possible and facilities to match. It is not always about large developments but also continued small improvements and robust ongoing maintenance programs. Most important of all is looking after the members.”
The redevelopment work has all been completed with the same team to ensure consistent high-quality results. Ringwood Construction, the international shaping specialist, has been pivotal in ensuring the designs are finished to the owner’s specifications and has been design and build architect as well as shaper designing the new holes with David and Nicholas Brown.
Shane Ringwood, who has worked on courses all over the world for designers such as Nick Faldo, Gary Player, Paul McGinley and Arnold Palmer, has worked on every redevelopment phase of the Woll Golf Course and he will be involved in their plans in the coming years.
The second major part of the team is all in-house headed up by Tommy Yeomans the head greenkeeper, along with Gary Lackie, Ian Riddell, Thomas Bell and Thomas Yeomans Snr who have worked on all the development projects at The Woll and gained great experience.
The greenkeeping team has not only been involved in the redevelopment, with greater investment in the annual maintenance program a new and natural approach to looking after the greens and rest of the course is also reaping huge benefits.