United Utilities has splashed out £130,000 for a make-over at Stand Golf Club that will leave other clubs in the area green with envy, writes David Birtill.
The redesign work at the Whitefield club has been carried out in advance of a new water pipeline which the company is to lay across part of the course in June next year.
The company has employed the golf architect Jonathan Tucker to reconfigure six holes on the course so that there will always be 18 to play on throughout the pipeline scheme. The makeover includes the creation of three new greens and seven new tees.
Stand secretary Trevor Thacker said, “When United Utilities approached us to discuss the route of the pipeline we were naturally concerned about the impact on the club. But the company has really gone the extra mile to mitigate any disruption.
“It has been great to work with the architect to redesign the holes and now that it is nearly finished we are very pleased with the result. Our members will have a really first class course with some new challenges.
“The new greens are so well designed that the club will be keeping them after the pipeline has been laid. We will be able to alternate the holes on the course as members wish. It’s a great facility to have such high quality greens in reserve.”
United Utilities is building a £125m pipeline linking Liverpool and Bury which will help safeguard water supplies for people across Manchester and Merseyside for decades.
As the area is very built up, golf courses present some of the last remaining open spaces. United Utilities engineers have chosen a route that takes in five courses to avoid causing disruption along busy roads and through residential areas.
Other affected clubs to benefit are Bury, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Ellesmere and Marriott Worsley Park.
Dave Schofield, project liaison manager for United Utilities, explained, “This is the single biggest scheme we are working on at the moment. The engineering challenges are huge, particularly the logistics of laying 55 kilometres of 1.2m wide pipeline without bringing the region to a halt.
“We are very grateful to the golf clubs for allowing us to work on their land, and we wanted to do everything possible to keep them open for business throughout the work. The new holes are already looking fantastic, and I hope they‘ll invite me back for a round or two!”
Thacker was so impressed with the course redesign that he invited David Leaver, from Ellesmere, to see how it was shaping up. Leaver is a committee member at Ellesmere which is getting a similar makeover.
Stand Golf Club www.standgolfclub.co.uk