Following the completion of a major bunker renovation programme by golf course architect Tom Mackenzie, Fulwell Golf Club in Middlesex has unveiled its striking new-look layout to members and visitors.
Laid out over 130 acres of parkland on the outskirts of west London, Fulwell is a private members’ club that dates back to 1904. Five-time Open champion JH Taylor laid out the club’s original two courses in Hampton Hill, with later input from Harry Colt and Alister MacKenzie in the 1920s, and then from John Morrison of Colt, Alison and Morrison, who masterminded the move from 36 to 18 holes in the 1950s.
In 2017, Fulwell commissioned golf course design firm Mackenzie and Ebert to oversee a major upgrade project, focusing on the renovation of the course’s bunkering to ensure that the club remains at the very top table of London clubs.
Now, Mackenzie’s work is complete and Fulwell is the proud owner of a reinvigorated course that not only lays down a more thorough challenge to today’s breed of long hitters, but also revives the visual styling and shape of its bunkers of old, with more than a passing tribute to the rugged-edged bunkering from Alister MacKenzie’s input in the 1920s. Some bunkers have been removed, others repositioned, and all renovated and restyled to ensure consistency of design and playing surfaces throughout.
Some of the most significant changes to fairway bunkering have taken place on the 3rd, 4th and 8th holes, with bunkers left and right of the 8th fairway now demanding a high degree of accuracy from anyone attempting to take the hole on. Around the greens, some of the most visually striking changes have been to the 6th and 9th holes, both already very attractive par threes near the clubhouse that are now even prettier.
“We set out to place the bunkers in the thick of the action, while also making the holes as strong as possible visually,” Mackenzie explained. “The idea was to make it as challenging as you would want it to be for better players while not making things too difficult for less skilled golfers.”
“The membership is delighted with the changes carried out to ensure that our bunkers are now consistent throughout and perfectly positioned for modern driving distances,” commented Club Secretary Murray Cook. “We are delighted that our bunkering now meets the high standards we set for our other playing surfaces. We are convinced that our significant investment, along with the endeavours of Tom Mackenzie and Profusion, our extremely professional main contractors, along with our hard-working greenstaff, led by our Master Greenkeeper Sam Evans, will enable us to cement our position as one of the premier clubs in the London area while helping us to attract more members and visitors as our reputation continues to grow.”