The Wisley, Surrey, was been nominated by a US judging panel as one of only 5 International Renovation of the Year finalists, following the reconstruction of its Garden Nine.
The Club’s inclusion was all the more impressive as the project, which began in August 2008, is not due to be completed until the summer of 2009. The Wisley was the only club in the UK to be honoured, with the eventual winner being the Manila Golf Club in the Philippines.
The Wisley’s general manager, Wayne Sheffield commented, “In an increasingly competitive ‘quality’ world golfing market, it is important that it is The Wisley which continues to upgrade to set the standards others envy. It is also important that we continue to benchmark our services and quality against the world’s most revered golf clubs.”
Robert Trent Jones II, the design team behind the original concept, saw the renovation as an opportunity to “polish the gem” and take an already renowned Garden Nine and make it better. With the original course constructed some 20 years ago and significant advancements made in modern technology, it was important to challenge the existing design ideas and at the same time improve the drainage, irrigation, and bunkering.
With the introduction of new tees, some of the world’s leading golfers amongst its membership will also be offered a greater challenge. The redevelopment, uniquely project managed by the clubs highly skilled and experienced course manager, Stephen Byrne used a new strain of pure Bentgrass to ensure The Wisley continues to enjoy some of the world’s finest putting surfaces. New grasses were also used for the fairways to maximise roll whilst each hole continues to be framed by the clubs iconic long Fescue.
The Garden first opened in 1991, immediately being placed in the top 20 courses of the UK. Despite its continued inclusion and many acclaims, The Wisley are looking to further enhance the quality of its member facilities both on and off the course and the renovation of the Garden is a prime example of this.
On a recent visit of UK golf courses, the President of the US Architects Association, Bruce Charlton commented on The Wisley, “In my 28 years in the golf course design field, I have not seen a better example of creating a totally new golf experience or a more dramatic transformation of an existing golf course refinement project.”
The Wisley www.thewisley.com