Tramore Golf Club in County Waterford has engaged John McHenry, the ex European Tour player, to extend the facility by nine holes and to evaluate/upgrade the existing eighteen. The original Tramore course has seen several locations from the “Back Strand” to its current position at Newtown Hill. Several well known architects have been involved during the development of the course including Willie Park and, most recently, Captain Tippet.
Cork-based McHenry’s extensive experience, garnered through a decade in tournament golf around the globe, has been substantially bolstered for the Tramore project by his choice of associates: award-winning Killarney based golf course architects Gaunt & Marnoch Ltd and premier golf course constructors Contour Golf Ltd.
Gaunt & Marnoch, fresh from the redesign of greens at the Ring of Kerry, are a natural choice for the challenge at Tramore. “The new nine holes are to be built on land that could best be described as rolling farmland moving into marsh,” says Jonathan Gaunt. “Views are extensive and the potential for dramatic water features within the marsh area are huge. Elevation through the site stands at around 25 metres and there is great potential to use the existing natural features”.
Contour Golf was responsible for a “renovation” of Fota Island in 1999 that was, to all intents and purposes, a complete rebuild. Their work will be on view next year when the Irish Open visits.
Tramore sees the need to expand and update the facilities on offer in order to further the claim as being one of the “must play” golf courses on the “Waterford Trail”. Although maintained to the highest of standards, Tramore has seen the upgrading of many neighbouring courses and the management is well aware that it needs to keep up with the pace.
When Captain Tippett laid out the current course in 1939, Tramore was one of only thirty golf courses in Ireland. Now there are more than 300. McHenry, Gaunt & Marnoch and Contour Golf have all identified the Republic of Ireland as a growth region and all three have established offices in the area.
The team has begun the planning and assessment stages of the Tramore extension and upgrade project. Spring 2001 has been slated for the commencement of the first phase, to be followed by phase two – the upgrade and probable re-routing of the existing 18 holes.