English Golf Courses

It's all change as Exeter redesign gets underway

Devon course re-routed due to houses near boundary

Plans for the redesign of Exeter Golf and Country Club have been put in place earlier than expected, with work already underway on the reconfigured layout, which will be ready for play in early 2016.

The club was forced to redesign its course after it was advised by separate specialist golf architects that houses  were sited too close to the boundary, increasing the risk of golf balls leaving  the course and causing injury or damage.

FUNDING

The redesign was given a boost in January this year when, after two years of negotiations, the club secured funding from Charles Church, part of the Persimmon Group, with the changes to be overseen by renowned international golf course architects Mackenzie & Ebert.

Will Gannon, chairman of Exeter Golf and Country Club, explained why the changes are required. “When it emerged in 2012 that houses planned by Persimmon would pose a threat to safety because of their proximity to the boundary, we started negotiations to try and resolve the issue,” he said.

“At one stage, we considered erecting high safety netting around part of the boundary to solve the issue, but the redesign of the course is a much better solution for all concerned.

“The architects have come up with an elegant redesign which will ensure our members can continue to enjoy the quality of golf they have come to expect at the club for many years to come.”

CONSTRUCTION

The work, which began in late April, will involve the extension of the tee on the original 16th, the construction of a new 18th green and pond, followed by the closure of the new 16th and the construction of a new eighth hole. The  old 16th will be brought back in play before the new 16th is closed and, as a result, a full 18 holes will be maintained. None of the work will disrupt play  on the course.

Announcing the approved plans, Gannon said he was pleased the alteration work had started earlier than expected and that an 18-hole course will remain open throughout the construction period. The work is expected to take up to six months to complete.

“The next few months will be exciting as we see the new golf course take shape,” added Gannon. “The new course has an increased yardage which will create a new, more challenging experience for our golfers.”

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