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Swan has designs on Huddersfield’s bunkers

9.37am 12th September 2019 - Courses

Huddersfield Golf Club has unveiled a new-look course following an extensive re-bunkering project carried out by golf course architects Swan Golf Designs.

William Swan, managing director of the Suffolk-based design firm, was engaged by the 128-year-old Yorkshire club – known locally as Fixby – to bring a consistent look to the bunkering which has been tweaked down the years by some of the best-known names in golf course design, after it was created originally by Tom Dunn.

Swan explained: “We went back to the early 1900s, when there was arguably the last significant bunker project under the direction of Herbert Fowler. With the input of various people the course here didn’t establish itself properly for the first 20 to 30 years, so Fowler, arguably, created the golf course we know today. There have been some changes since, but 15 holes have been there since Fowler.

“We’ve been able to look at the archive of photographs and plans – including some aerial images, presumably taken by the RAF, from 1926, around the time Fowler was on site. That showed how the course was laid out and how the bunkers looked at that time. And that’s from where we took our inspiration.”

He added: “This wasn’t a restoration project, per se, it’s a renovation project; but the opportunity presented itself to restore the traditional, slightly ragged, style of the bunkers present in the 1920s and 30s. We had three years of construction after two years of planning, working with the club and the contractor, ProFusion Environmental, which meant Huddersfield had all-new bunkering ready to play this summer.”

Huddersfield Golf Club’s general manager, Chris Duffy, said: “I wasn’t at the club when the process began, but I’m delighted to be here at its conclusion. Pat Wrightson, the former England seniors’ captain, who has been the club’s director of greens throughout the project, and long-time course manager Ben Turner deserve a lot of credit for the way they have worked alongside Swan Golf Designs, and the final result is testament to the hard work and professionalism of all concerned.”

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