Roger Jones Golf Design and Balcarrick Golf Club in North Co. Dublin, Ireland, have received international recognition as finalists in the recently judged Renovation of the Year Competition 2008, a global competition promoted by US based industry magazine Golf Inc.
“It’s fantastic news. Being one of only five international finalists is recognition of the quality of our work, and the efforts that were put in by the club and many other people. What we achieved in a relatively short space of time, with a sensible budget, and the very positive reaction to the improvements by Club members and visitors has already been very gratifying. Being able to add that the renovation and upgrade has been recognised internationally will hopefully benefit the Club and myself, and show other clubs just what is possible if you have the right team of people. Balcarrick is now a great golf course. It’s a good challenge that can be enjoyed by everyone, and commercially it should have a secure future even in the current difficult times that golf course are finding themselves in.” said course designer Jones.
“With the overall winner being Manila Golf & Country Club, which is considered to be one of the most exclusive in the Philippines, you can see that we were competing at the highest level,” he added.
The extensive works at Balcarrick, which cost in the region of €1.5 million, covered most areas of the North Co. Dublin course, addressing a variety of issues and allowing Roger Jones to make a number of strategic and structural changes. Importantly for the Club the course remained open for play during the work, with only limited disruptions to play.
Following an intensive re-establishment programme, the course was re-launched back in June 2008. The course now has a much stronger visual identity and better features, with new teeing areas, bunkers, ponds, re-shaped green surrounds, and more. An upgrade to the irrigation system and the planting of nearly 20,000 shrubs supplemented the other works.
At a time when Irish golf courses, and indeed golf course everywhere, are finding themselves in a much tougher commercial environment, the need to offer a good product at good value makes the bold steps taken by the members of Balcarrick Golf Club both necessary and praiseworthy.