A new ‘state of the art’, sustainable pay-and-play golf course is about to begin construction in Leigh, north of Manchester, in the coming summer. Golf architect David Hemstock has designed an 18-hole, 6,300 yard course for Wigan Council under project managers Scott Wilson, with driving range and pitch-and-putt course aiming to be a vibrant centre in the region for golf for all ages.
The golf is part of a 200 hectare ex-mining site which will feature extensive outdoor activities, park and wildlife areas.
The emphasis for the whole project is on ecology and sustainability, reducing the project carbon footprint to a targeted zero, and with at least 20% of materials used to be recycled.
“We are employing a philosophy of ‘green proposals must not cost more than the standard’, and must have been tried and tested previously”, says David. “We are providing the basis for sustainable construction and maintenance, but ultimately the greenness of our new course will be entirely dependent on the management by the Greenkeeper, not on recycled materials, ecological reserves or biofuels.
“We are really looking for integrated pest control, frugal use of fertiliser and water, and tight control over inputs generally to achieve our targets. I think we have a very good start by using a derelict site for this. In my opinion, golf is naturally ‘green’, so long as management is targeted that way, and sites better left to nature are not used.”
Work is also starting in southern India on the company’s ‘Dragon’s Eye’ Golf Complex, Coimbatore, known as the ‘Manchester of the South’ due to its industrial background. An 18-hole championship length course is being formed on suburban scrub-land, for the regions many experienced golfers, but with an extensive academy area to aiming to bring new blood into the game.
“The academy concept for Dragon’s Eye is the same as that developed for our new complex at Flaxby Park G&CC in Yorkshire; top level golf combined with a state-of-the art driving range, indoor coaching facilities, putting course and extensive practice areas, including chipping-target zone and a 6-hole layout within the range area to help teach etiquette whilst having fun” comments David.
This will be his third construction project in India. His layout for the Amby Hills Golf Club in the Western Ghat mountains above Mumbai, designed in 1997, was his first venture in India, and was awarded the accolade of ‘the best course in the country’ by the Indian PGA, following the inaugural Asian Tour tournament in 2006
David Hemstock www.hemstockassociates.com