Spogárd & VanderVaart Golf Course Architects (SVV) has broken ground on what is the biggest reconstruction project ever to take place inDenmark. The aim with the renovation of the New Course at Himmerland Golf & Country Club (HGCC) is to establish it among the premium clubs in Europe and bring the European Tour back toDenmarkin 2014.
“The renovation of the New Course will be among the most comprehensive renovation projects ever to take place inScandinavia. In fact, it is the biggest renovation project ever to happen inDenmark. The work will include the design and reconstruction of all 18 greens, all bunkers throughout the course, more than 30 new tees – including 18 new ‘Tournament Tees’ which will make the course the longest in Denmark, a full irrigation system for tees, fairways and greens as well as a 3.500m2 reservoir lake. We will also lower selected fairways to help remove or improve about 80% of the blind or semi-blind shots,” says Philip Spogárd, CEO and Principal Golf Course Architect of SVV.
“We will also look at ways of improving the existing 9 hole course and help design a unique ‘Himalaya-style’ green inspired by the famous green from St. Andrews. The Himalaya green will utilize the area of the old driving range and serve as the connection between the clubhouse, the parking area, the holiday houses and the DrivingRange. It will offer a fun and easy way for newcomers wanting to experience golf – hopefully helping the game of golf grow in accordance with the wishes of the EIGCA, R&A and the Danish Golf Union,” Philip adds.
HGCC took the consequences of years of turf problems with the existing greens. Due to compaction in the soil, the grass struggled to establish itself after the winter months. The new greens will be build to USGA specifications.
Per Gundtoft, who has a background as the superintendent at Valderrama inSpain, is consulting in relation to the agronomic aspects of the projects.
The construction of the golf course has been put in the hands of Scottish contractor, David Nelson, who has a background working for Robert Trent Jones Jr. on courses such as Lübker, The Scandinavian and Bro Hoff in Sweden.
HGCC is currently investing heavily in maintaining their position as the leading golf resort inScandinavia. A multi-million euro project, which includes the expansion of the clubhouse and hotel with the addition of conference, spa and wellness facilities, will run simultaneously with the reconstruction of the new course.
“We all agree; we will be able to offer something pretty unique when both the golf course and our other facilities are ready in 2012. We look forward to working with Philip Spogárd, whose ideas about the landscape fits perfectly with our visions for the golf course. We will start the project immediately and expect to play on the course again from August 2012,” says Claus Birk Larsen, CEO of HGCC.
”The actual reconstruction of the course is based on the existing routing – with the exception of a new par 3 hole and the fact that the finishing holes on the Old and New course are swapped around. New Course is characterised by the space between the holes – which is very rare these days, where most courses are squeezed into very small pieces of land.
“It means that areas of great natural beauty and diversity have had room to establish itself – creating a wonderful natural experience. My thought from the beginning has been to build on this and to try and enhance it where possible. We will help the club create a unique character by introducing a new bunkering style which will be different from what has been seen in Denmark so far,” Philip ends.
Spogard & VanderVaart www.spogardvandervaart.com
Himmerland Golf & Country Club www.himmerlandgolf.dk