Construction work has been completed on the David Williams’ designed total transformation of the Short Game Practice Area at Real Sociadad Hípica Española Club de Campo (RSHECC) on the northern outskirts of Madrid, Spain.
As David, Past President of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, explains: “The 36-hole venue was originally designed by American architect Robert Von Hagge in the late 1990s. Although there were two large practice putting greens, close to the 1st tee of each course, the venue however only had one short game practice green, shared between chipping and bunker practice, although well situated on sloping ground between the two courses and directly in front of the impressive clubhouse. However, it became apparent that this was not
large enough for both uses for both courses, and not only became overcrowded at
busy times but also created safety issues with the dual use.”
As David continued; “Because of the sloping ground on which the facility sits, the Club was of the opinion that a second practice green should be provided, separating the functions of bunker and chipping practice. However, the Club officials and membership were fairly evenly divided between providing that second green above the existing one (but taking part of the Club’s car parking), or below the existing green (and taking up the 6th green of the Club’s 6 hole Par 3 facility).
“I was called in to give advice, and I think essentially to provide an impartial but informed decision on that choice. Following a visit to the Club in February 2018, we produced a further alternative – not adding a second green, but essentially extending and re-designing the existing facility in both directions at the same level, although this did require the re-positioning of the 1st tee of the Par 3 course. The Club was immediately impressed by this third alternative, producing over 2,000 square metres of practice green all on one level but divided into three separate sections – a bunker practice green of approximately 850 square metres with three bunkers, a chipping practice green of over 750 square metres, and a practice putting green of over 450 square metres. The overall area of the facility, including the chipping areas, the practice bunkers and the surrounds is in excess of 6,000 square metres.”
The project was constructed by Spanish contractors Chameza Golf during July, August and September, a period when because of very high temperatures in Madrid, the golf course is relatively quiet. The three practice bunkers featured liner by Capilliary Concrete and edging by Durabunker, features which will improve the life and playability of what will become an extremely well-used and popular feature.
With all areas of the facility being turfed, it is programmed to open for play in early November and will be a very welcome addition to the facilities at this prestigious Madrid club.
Pictured top: The new Short Game Area sits just below the clubhouse, and between the North Course (9th green on right) and the Par 3 course (1st and 6th greens in foreground)
Real Sociadad Hípica Española Club de Campo http://rshecc.es/es/
David Williams www.williamsgolf.co.uk