A leading Scots golf club is teeing-up an ambitious £240,000 makeover. Ladybank, which dates back to 1879, is regarded as one of the UK’s top heathland courses*.
A project spearheaded by internationally renowned golf course architects KimberGlen will transform more than 50 bunkers over two or three winters, embracing state of the art technology to enhance the golfing experience for members and visitors.
The investment comes at a time when many clubs are struggling.
Club captain Jim Hair said it had been triggered by a survey of around 900 members.
“We consulted with the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) at the outset and Ladybank is delighted to welcome the KimberGlen team, who have been progressing the new and eagerly-awaited Dumbarnie Links course at Lower Largo,” said Mr Hair.
“The work is being tackled in phases, in tandem with our rough management programme to ensure members and visitors continue to enjoy the best possible golfing experience at Ladybank.
“Work on 11 holes will be completed by the start of the new season as the course continues to offer an enjoyable winter challenge.”
Long-time Ladybank head pro Sandy Smith noted: “KimberGlen are among the most respected specialist architects in world golf and we are delighted to have them on board. They handled the test facility for the R&A at Kingsbarns and Dumbarnie Links is already attracting interest from all around the world in advance of the opening in May.
“KimberGlen have a wealth of experience at courses ranging from Fancourt to Machrihanish Dunes and at heathland courses similar to Ladybank, such as Hesketh to Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links.”
Paul Kimber, Niall Glen and shaper Gary Semple, who has been working at Loch Lomond and Sunningdale recently, are working hand-in-glove with course manager Colin Powrie, assistant Mike Ewan and their Ladybank greenkeeping team.
“This is an exciting project,” said Paul Kimber. “The aim is to provide more consistency of bunker play and to complement the wonderful heathland character, which is what Ladybank is all about.
“We are working with wonderful natural assets in the form of a sand and gravel base, superb drainage and quality turf across the golf course. We are re-shaping bunkers and run-offs to enhance the existing green complexes, with all standards of golfer and shot-making options in mind.
“We have been given flexibility with the design but while some bunkers have altered, most of them have remained surprisingly relevant to the modern game.”
The “Blinder” bunker liner material from Profusion is made from recycled old tyres.
Paul Kimber added: “This technology now has a proven track record, ensuring a consistent depth of sand, greater playability and ease of maintenance.”
Ladybank Golf Club https://www.ladybankgolf.co.uk/
*The original Ladybank lay-out was designed by Old Tom Morris, with an additional nine holes added in 1962.
Pictured top from left: Ladybank head pro Sandy Smith, Niall Glen, golf architect, Paul Kimber, golf architect, Colin Powrie, course manager and assistant manager Mike Ewan assess progress around the 18th green