Ipswich Golf Club has embarked on the next stage of a complete renovation programme to restore the club’s bunkers to their original style.
The three-phase project was started in September 2014, with the vision of returning the bunkers as close as possible to the original style when the course was constructed 90 years ago.
Work on the Purdis Heath Course – which is ranked in the top 100 golf courses in England by influential publication Golf World – was planned under the guidance of renowned golf course architect Martin Hawtree, grandson of original architect Fred Hawtree, who designed it along with golfing legend James Braid.
Using old photographs Hawtree was able to analyse the bunkers across the course before drawing up a blueprint for contractors and Ipswich Golf Club’s own greenkeeping team to follow.
Phase one of the project was completed ahead of schedule in November 2014 and saw the bunkers on holes one, three, five and 18 completely restored to their former glory.
This second phase will begin in September and will see the bunkers on holes 11 to 17 restored, with work scheduled for completion by Easter 2017. The final phase, which will see bunkers on the remaining seven holes restored, is due to start in autumn next year.
Neill Ellice, Ipswich Golf Club General Manager, said: “The first phase of the bunker renovation was a great success and we have had extremely positive feedback from both members and visitors alike.
“This second phase will see all bunkers on the back eight holes restored to the original vision Hawtree and Braid had when they designed the course back in 1926.
“We expect the heavy tasks to be completed within six weeks, despite the extent of the work taking place. While the number of holes out of play at any one time during this period will vary, golfers will still have holes one to 10 fully in play and will also be able to enjoy nine holes on our delightful Bixley Course if they wish to play a ‘full’ round while the work is in progress.”
Once work on each hole is completed, it will be brought back into play, but with golfers unable to enter the roped off areas where the work has taken place. The club has, once again, arranged to supply golf balls on the affected holes for players to use, so should a player hit a ball into a roped off area, they will not lose a ball.
Ipswich Golf Club www.ipswichgolfclub.com
Hawtree Ltd www.hawtree.co.uk