Past President of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, David Williams has been working as Consultant at Real Golf de Pedreña, situated near Santander on Spain’s northern Atlantic coastline, for the last eight years and, in that time, has completely renovated five holes of the Harry Colt 1928 layout, one of only two remaining Harry Colt 18-hole courses in Spain, as well as effecting other improvements to the historic course.
However, the Club’s main claim to fame is its link with the great late Seve Ballesteros, who was associated with the Club for all his life. He was born in nearby Pedreña and learnt the game over the Club’s course.
This autumn, rather than just continuing renovation work on the Harry Colt course, the Club has also decided to re-work some of the holes on the shorter 9-hole course which runs around the main 18 hole layout. That 9-hole layout was designed by Seve, and originally aimed at those players who found the existing 18-hole championship layout too testing, including high handicap players, beginners, ladies and seniors.
However, as David Williams explains: “Unfortunately, the 9-hole course was probably a little too difficult for such players and, as a result, was not played as much as it should have been. The Club therefore took the decision this year to concentrate on making it more playable and, as the first phase, we are re-building three holes, those changes also being required because of the recent construction of a major reservoir for the Club over the closing two holes of the original Seve layout. A dramatic totally new downhill par 3 hole played to a green just in front of the reservoir will form a fitting final hole, and the previously sharp dogleg par 4, 2nd hole will be transformed into two par 3 holes with a totally new green complex for the 2nd hole, and new tee complexes for both.”
David continued: “The purpose of Phase One of these works to the 9 hole course is to demonstrate to the membership how playable holes can be created, and hopefully lead to the re-design and redevelopment of the remaining six holes in future years.”
The construction has been awarded to JeriGolf of Jerez, Spain, with whom David has successfully collaborated on previous projects within Spain in recent years. However, re-construction work to the main 18-hole Colt course will also continue at the same time, as the contract also includes complete renovation of the par 3 12th and par 4 18th holes of the Championship Course, meaning that over one third of the historic 18 hole course will have been re-built to DWGD design in the past few years.
Construction began in September with completion planned for late October. Re-opening of the holes is programmed for spring 2019.
Real Golf de Pedreña http://www.realgolfdepedrena.com/
David Williams Golf www.williamsgolf.co.uk