Harry Colt designed Wentworth’s famed West Course in the 1920s. Some 80 years on it was felt that some of the original shot values had been lost and that the course did not play as Colt intended it. Thus in October 2005 began an extensive programme of restoration and modernisation, in consultation with Ernie Els Design, that was completed in 2017.
The first and second phases involved extensive re-bunkering and hole lengthening where appropriate. The Ernie Els Design changes blended successfully with the original Colt design and ensured that this great course remained a test for the best players in the world and yet was also still fun for Club members and visitors. This work was completed in 2007.
In 2009 Wentworth then announced a third phase of major work, again to be carried out in consultation with Ernie Els Design, in which all 18 greens and greens’ surrounds were re-built to USGA specification to ensure they perform to the absolute highest standards. This construction work would also address long-standing settlement issues and improve drainage to help disperse water more efficiently to the perimeters of the greens.
The final phase of work was completed in 2017, prior to the staging of the European Tour’s flagship tournament the BMW PGA Championship, and was led by Ernie Els Design in collaboration with renowned consultants European Golf Design. The two parties also worked closely with an advisory team, which included Thomas Bjørn, Paul McGinley and David Jones, representing the views of the Tour players, and Wentworth’s Director of Golf Courses & Grounds, Kenny Mackay. Attention was focused on the greens, greens’ complexes and bunkering.
All 18 greens were stripped of the old turf and re-seeded with a new creeping bent, which improves the appearance and playability of the putting surfaces. Many were either rebuilt or partially rebuilt and, crucially, a new sub-air system was installed to help make them play firmer and faster. New irrigation and drainage was also introduced. In addition, a further review of the bunkers was undertaken. As a result, all bunkers were redesigned and reconstructed, with 29 bunkers removed from play.
Ernie concluded, “We believe this final phase of modernisation and renovation helps more closely realign the course with Harry Colt’s original vision, whilst also being mindful of the demands of the modern game; that’s always a delicate balancing act. All in all, the completion of this project is great news for Wentworth, for BMW and the European Tour, and obviously for the players and the fans who love to come here every year.”
|Location||Virgina Water, England|
Back to whole map