The Wisley has received significant plaudits from some of the world’s leading golfers following the reconstruction of its Church Nine which began in April 2010 and re-opened in June this year.
Robert Trent Jones II, the design team behind the original concept saw the renovation as an opportunity to “polish the gem” and take an already renowned Church nine and make it better.
Clearly this objective has been overwhelmingly achieved, with Sky Sports Denis Pugh commenting: “Having played the old Church for many years and the new Church a few times now, in my opinion the Church nine is Trent Jones finest work I have seen anywhere in the world of golf.
“To me, the Church refinements have given an update to the course that presents some old challenges in a fresh light and also presents some totally new tests. Many original bunker features are in place but brought into modern construction and design.”
The Church first opened in 1991, immediately being placed in the top 20 courses of the UK, but with the original course constructed over 20 years ago and significant advancements made in modern technology, it was important to challenge the existing design ideas and at the same time make critical technical refinements to improve the drainage, irrigation, thatch and bunkers.
With the introduction of new tees and an impressive new burn feature to add to the nine’s ‘wow factor’, some of the World’s leading golfers amongst its impressive membership list will also be offered a greater challenge.
The redevelopment, uniquely project managed by the club’s highly experienced Course Manager, Stephen Byrne used a new strain of pure Bent grass to ensure The Wisley continues to enjoy some of the world’s finest putting surfaces. Hydro-seeding of new grasses were also used for the fairways to maximise roll, whilst each hole continues to be framed by the clubs iconic long fescue.
The Wisley’s Chief Executive, Wayne Sheffield commented: “In an increasingly competitive ‘quality’ world golfing market, it is important that it is The Wisley which continues to upgrade to set the standards others envy and that we continue to benchmark our services and quality against the World’s most revered golf clubs’. Most importantly however, we are thrilled that the Church refurbishment has been so well received by our Members.”
During his visit in May, Robert Trent Jones Jr. commented: “I believe that technically and stylistically, the new Church nine is absolutely wonderful and importantly remains in keeping with the great bones of our original routing, while keeping up with the modern game.
“I am fascinated by some of the technical things the team here have achieved and experimented with. I just love the new ‘wee burn’ – and the artistic and intrinsic strategic elements this has introduced to holes. Mowing patterns and course set up will help change and decide the best way for bringing the burn water hazard more decisively into play on these holes, and to think, this fantastic feature started out as an underground drainage concept.”
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