The English Men’s County Finals 2005 were held in late September at St Enodoc Golf Club in Cornwall, the classic links course which was remodelled by Weller McEvoy in the spring of 2005.
The captain of the winning Yorkshire team, Iain MacKenzie, said of the remodelled 98-year old golf course, “The course is a great test for a good golfer, and over the five days every player I spoke to thought the golf course was fantastic. It looks so natural, like it’s meant to be there, and to be honest none of us noticed the changes so they were obviously very sympathetic to the layout. It’s the best links course I’ve played for a long time, and in superb condition.”
St Enodoc Golf Club, overlooking the River Camel estuary in Padstow Bay on the north Cornwall coast, was originally designed by James Braid in 1907 and remodelled by him in 1935. There are two 18-hole golf courses there. The longer of the two, The Church, is regularly included in UK and World Top 100 lists, and is regarded as one of classic English links golf courses
Weller McEvoy is focused on remodelling golf courses, and offers solutions to the length, safety and general wear & tear issues faced by modern day golf clubs. Peter McEvoy, Bruce Weller and David Weller have, between them, completed over 100 golf course design, construction and remodelling projects during the last 15 years.
Peter McEvoy said, “St Enodoc has always been one of the jewels of English golf, but given recent equipment improvements it was getting easier for the good golfer. We’re simply restoring the challenge the golf course presents without changing its essential character, and we’re delighted that the changes are proving popular.
“This was the first phase in a three-part project: our goals are to get the greens back to being fast and firm, to add length and definition, and to give the modern golfer a test that matches the golf course’s world wide reputation.”
The decision to alter the much-loved Church course was not taken lightly by members and club officials. “It’s almost 70 years since James Braid made the last of his alterations at St Enodoc,” said Tuck Clagett, general manager at the club. “We saw several golf architects during 2004, and then Peter McEvoy set up a Members’ evening to explain his own concept. We were impressed, and selected Weller McEvoy soon afterwards.
“Peter is an entertaining and articulate speaker, and it was clear by his presentation that he was the first architect we’d seen who fully understood what we wanted. Weller McEvoy has worked hard to ensure that our improved bunkers and tees look like features that have always been there. St Enodoc is a special place and we’re blessed with one of the best natural golf links layouts in the world. By deciding to make changes we ran the risk of disturbing that, but Peter and the team accomplished it beautifully, and we’ve enjoyed the whole process very much.”
As chairman of greens at St Enodoc, Nigel Buse was the first club official to oversee significant changes to the prestigious golf course in generations. “The links course at St Enodoc is known the world over for its charm and beauty, but the game has evolved and the time had come for the golf course to evolve too,” he said.
“Even though we’d talked about making alterations for many years, we expected some resistance from the membership when we took the decision to remodel in late 2004. However, we had quite the opposite reaction. Peter McEvoy’s obvious love for the course and his vision for change won us over. Since the first phase was finished we’ve had nothing but rave reviews from members and visitors, and we now have great confidence in seeing the programme through over the next two years.”
Work begins on two new greens at St Enodoc in early 2006.
Weller McEvoy www.wellermcevoy.co.uk