The EIGCA is very pleased to report that two of its Senior Members received awards from Golf Inc for their renovation work. The Awards are made each year in three categories:
- private course, costing more than $1 million;
- public courses, costing more than $1 million; and
- courses costing less than $1 million.
Agustin Pizá won second place in the first category for Las Parotas Club de Golf in Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico, and Ken Moodie won first place in the third category for Moortown Golf Club in Leeds, England.
At Las Parotas the original course was a government design golf course built in the 1990s to accommodate and promote tourism for Huatulco, Oaxaca. A pristine site surrounded by tropical forest that meets the ocean. The brief was to re-design the 18 holes and come up with a more challenging and aesthetic golf course whilst creating a nature friendly sustainable environment. The existing course was a typical and simple 65 hectares “wall-to-wall” parkland design with 1800 irrigation heads that watered over 55 hectares. The overall maintenance had been a complete failure for the past 20 years, St Augustine grass took over so the course was basically in need of a full revamp.
The course was transformed by altering the layout, switching holes for safety and playability, placing new strategic, heroic and penal holes and finding room to make the golf course play over 7000 yds. The maintained parkland was converted into free open nature areas we now call “outer-rough”, and a nature friendly, sustainable course was created which reduced water consumption and general maintenance areas by 25 to 30%.
Moortown Golf Club was originally designed by Dr Alister Mackenzie, between 1908-1910 and it was particularly important that the renovation took this into account. Much of the original course layout was intact, following changes MacKenzie made to accommodate a change of clubhouse position in 1915, but a few new holes had been introduced in the 1980’s – the 6th, 7th and 17th – to allow safety issues on the boundary of the property to be resolved. These holes were completely out of character with the others on the course and so part of the renovation project was directed at giving these holes a MacKenzie-style makeover. On the other holes the changes were aimed at restoring many of the old bunkers which had been removed after the Second World War and introducing a few new bunkers, in a similar style, to maintain the challenge of the course for today’s elite golfers.
The biggest challenge was in gaining and maintaining the support of the golf club members through what seemed quite a revolutionary process at an already well-respected golf course. The removal of a large number of trees was the most contentious issue, even though most of these were less than 50
years old, but the vast majority of the members now recognise that this was a worthwhile and very necessary process to return the course to something like its former glory.
EIGCA members have regularly featured in Golf Inc’s awards. In 2013 Senior Member Tim Lobb and Graduate Member Andrew Goosen won the Renovation Award for Richmond Golf Club in south-west London, and Past President and Senior Member Rainer Preissmann together with Associate Member Wilfried Moroder were finalists in 2011 for their work at Tuscany Resort Castelfalfi in Italy.
Relative new-comers to the industry, Philip Spogárd and Michiel VanderVaart, both Associate Members were recognised in Golf Inc’s Development of the Year Award for Golfbaan Stippelberg in the Netherlands against 30 other high-profile projects in 19 countries.