Despite the problems many are facing within the UK golf business, golf is still a necessary haven for many up and down the country, with those well-supported clubs that are weathering the times helping to keep the golf construction business at least ticking-over.
Construction work is underway at Macclesfield Golf Club in Cheshire to form a new 17th hole with spectacular views of the town.
The new hole, designed by Golf Architect David Hemstock, will extend the course and cut-down the previously tiresome walk to the 18th hole. The work is being carried out by Midland Contractors and AJK Plant. Club project leader Robert Higgins has led the convoluted process from the beginning, with safety issues, tree preservation and planting being key to the project going ahead.
Elsewhere, David Hemstock is working with the STRI team, including newly-appointed Agronomist Gwynn Davies, to upgrade the course at Leighton Buzzard Golf Club. A three year programme is in place, with a new 2nd hole being first on the list. The course will be extended significantly, addressing imbalances in the length, Par and Standard Scratch, for all tees.
“We are working closely with Secretary/Manager Duncan Mutton to ensure that the process goes ahead with mininal disruption to the Club” says David. “Although we are sat on the famous Leighton Buzzard sand, part of the course was quarried and filled with clay, so apart from the golfing aspects, we are helping technically with maintenance issues on the differing soil types and greens constructions around the course”.
Many other Clubs have been stimulated into action on scorecard issues, following the publishing of the EGU’s 2009 Guide to Course Rating & Standard Scratch Scores. The EGU intends to ensure that all courses in England are fully assessed accordingly, in the next 5-10 years, which for some has led to remodelling programmes for new tees, bunkering, etc.
David Hemstock www.hemstockassociates.com