After 15 months of redevelopment, Leeds Golf Centre has formally opened the new Wike Ridge course layout for play as part of its impressive wider £2m redevelopment.
The facility – the home of modern golf – has worked in conjunction with Jonathan Gaunt of Gaunt Golf Design to redevelop and reinvigorate its 18-hole Wike Ridge course ahead of a busy summer of golf.
The new layout includes new tee complexes on 11 holes, two new USGA specification greens, over 40 new bunkers, five substantial water features, new buggy paths, improved drainage works on fairway landing areas and approaches to greens, and an extensive tree transplanting programme.
Highlights of the new design include the 18th hole which has been developed into a truly memorable end to any round. The addition of a large body of water in front of the green will provide on-course drama and a real sense of theatre for those watching from the remodelled clubhouse and restaurant, thus bringing a spectacular end to the new Wike Ridge course.
Nigel Sweet, Leeds Golf Centre’s Operations Manager, said: “It’s fantastic to get golf underway on the new layout after 15 months of redevelopment work – we’re looking forward to seeing what our members and visitors make of it! It’s already been a huge year for Leeds Golf Centre, especially given our recent announcement that we have been selected as the UK headquarters of The Leadbetter Golf Academy. The timing of our new centrepiece being unveiled ahead of the golf season hitting full stride is just perfect – all we need now is the weather to improve and I’m certain 2013 will prove to be an incredible year.”
Project Architect, Jonathan Gaunt, added: “Being involved in the dramatic improvements at Leeds Golf Centre over the past two years has been challenging yet thoroughly rewarding. Our brave and ambitious redevelopment plan which includes strategic design improvements to lakes, bunkers, tees and greens, together with numerous aesthetic enhancements in the form of native woodland planting, will add new challenges and appeal to all golfers for many years to come.”
Opened in 1993, the first 18-hole Wike Ridge layout was designed by former English Golf Union President and esteemed golf course architect, Donald Steel. However, 2012 witnessed some significant changes – the intent very much being to transform it into Leeds’ best ‘modern’ golf course.
Each hole has been improved to ensure that players of all standards find attributes of real appeal during their round. To achieve this, the design hasfour key areas:
The addition of five stunning new ponds, lakes and streams creates an unbroken ribbon of water in the valley to broadly separate the front nine holes from the back nine; this obviously requires precise shot-making during the round.
A signature lake with fountain in front of the eighteenth green adds drama on-course and theatre off-course, as the newly remodelled clubhouse and restaurant will be in full view of the spectacular closing hole.
Plantation of 1,400 Trees
More than fourteen hundred 20 year-old trees have been moved from plantations into active areas of the course to provide more definition, depth and character.
46 brand-new bunkers have been strategically located to provide a greater challenge off the tee as well as when approaching greens.
New teeing areas feature on more than half of the holes, adding length to the course but also some new perspectives that will challenge the better player and add further drama to the overall experience.
Leeds Golf Centre www.leedsgolfcentre.com
Gaunt Golf Design www.gaunt-golf-design.com