Wentworth Club and European Golf Design with support from the European Tour have announced a pioneering new partnership that will see leading European Tour players take on an instrumental role in the delivery of the highly anticipated West Course restoration project.
The landmark deal will see one of the world’s most pre-eminent golf course consultancies, European Golf Design, added to the West Course advisory team, and ensure that feedback from current European Tour players is at the heart of the West Course’s redesign and restoration.
European Golf Design will closely collaborate with Ernie Els Design on the extensive bunker remodelling programme and will become a key consultant on the project that will restore the West Course back to its former glory.
As part of the process, Wentworth’s Director of Golf Courses & Grounds, Kenny Mackay, will work closely with European Golf Design to ensure current players are consulted throughout the extensive renovation and that their views are central in shaping the future of the revered Championship course.
Wentworth’s West Course has been the home of the BMW PGA Championship – the European Tour’s leading tournament – since 1984, hosting the Championship in May this year for the 36th time and the 33rd year in succession. Through significant investment from the Club’s owners, Reignwood Group, and with the full endorsement and backing of the European Tour, the course will undergo a series of comprehensive improvements – from the introduction of the SubAir system to sweeping landscape changes – that will restore the course to its former glory. All the changes will be made well in advance of next year’s tournament in May 2017.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Songhua Ni, Executive President of Reignwood Group, said “We are absolutely determined to make Wentworth the leading venue for European Championship golf. This is very much a long term commitment from Dr. Chanchai, the Club’s Chairman, and this new partnership is a significant step in helping us achieve that mission.”
Wentworth Club Chief Executive Stephen Gibson said, “Having the European Tour as our partner and European Golf Design join our advisory team is absolutely fantastic news for the West Course and for Wentworth. It will mean ongoing player review and endorsement of our plans, which will be delivered by the industry’s best consultants. We really could not have a more complete team for the West Course restoration.
This time next year, we will have one of the most outstanding courses in world golf. Together with Keith Pelley, I have absolutely no doubt that the changes we are making will attract the world’s best players to Wentworth year on year. That is tremendously exciting.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We fully welcome the significant commitment shown by Reignwood Group and Wentworth in making these important improvements to the West Course, both in terms of the investment being made and by enlisting the expertise of European Golf Design to help oversee the project.
Having the best possible playing experience for our members is a key component of our players-first philosophy and the design and condition of the golf course is clearly central to this.”
Jeremy Slessor, Managing Director of European Golf Design, said: “We are delighted to be working with Wentworth on the renovation of the West Course. The process of consulting the leading European Tour players will certainly enhance the project, helping to ensure we deliver improvements that will result in an outstanding Championship golf course.”
Wentworth’s Director of Golf Courses & Grounds, Kenny Mackay, commented, “I’m thrilled that European Golf Design is joining our West Course advisory team. It will allow us to call upon the vast design and playing experience of both the European Tour and its elite golfers, as we deliver a course that will challenge and excite the world’s leading players. The West Course will become one of the standout courses on the world circuit.”
Wentworth Club www.wentworthclub.com
European Golf Design www.egd.com