Stoke Poges golf course at Stoke Park Club in Buckinghamshire is undergoing a extensive programme of improvements to extend and enhance its classic 27 hole Harry Colt designed course – one of the finest parkland layouts in the world.
Work is already underway to extend the course from its present 6,787 yards to over 7,000 yards to create a longer, more challenging par 71 championship length. Other remedial work also includes the construction of new championship tees, renovation of the practice range, and the refurbishment of the bunkers.
This is the second major restoration programme undertaken by Stoke Park Club’s current owners. In 1998 Donald Steel was commissioned to recreate the nine original Colt holes that had been lost to food production during the Second World War, thus restoring the club’s original 27-hole layout.
Stuart Collier, director of golf at Stoke Park Club, commented, “We have taken into account the advance in modern golfing technology in our decision to create new championship tees. The new tees will bring back into play many of the original bunkers which Colt placed strategically to capture off line drives and give the golfer options from the tee.”
Estate director, Alex Millar, supported by his team of greenkeeping staff, is directing the new works programme and the new look course will be fully in play by next summer. Alex has been with Stoke Park Club for almost 20 years and knows the course like the back of his proverbial hand. The Colt Association is based at Stoke Park and, with access to Harry Colt’s original documents, drawings and plans, Alex intends to enhance the original design.
Harry Shapland Colt (1869-1951) created many of the world’s finest courses, including Sunningdale, Swinley Forest and Wentworth (East & West), as well as the original Stoke Poges course, which was laid down in 1908 when Stoke Park Club was the home of the legendary Corinthians Sporting Club.
Stoke Poges is a prime example of Colt’s handiwork, with his trademark bunkering guarding the greens and tough par four holes. Its pretty par three 7th was the original inspiration for the world-renowned 12th at August National in Georgia, part of the Amen Corner. Alister Mackenzie (1870-1934), designer of Augusta National, was a one-time partner of Colt‘s, although the two men were not close friends.
Stoke Park Club’s elegant Grade I Palladian clubhouse lies in 350 acres of ‘Capability‘ Brown parkland, lakes and gardens around 35 minutes from central London. The Club offers a small, luxury hotel with just 21 beautifully appointed bedrooms and suites, three dining rooms, and one of the world’s most highly acclaimed spa, health and racquet pavilions.
Stoke Park Club www.stokeparkclub.com.