Following on from a design policy report completed in 2015, architecture firm Lobb + Partners has been commissioned by St George’s Hill Golf Club in Surrey, England, to review the club’s main Red and Blue nines, and has already started work on restoring features created by original architect Harry Colt.
“Our first work at St George’s Hill was to rebuild the practice ground and create a new green complex for the short par four sixth hole on the Green nine,” explained Tim Lobb. “That led on to the design policy report, which revealed where the club had moved away from its Colt heritage, and now we are working on the main course itself.”
The biggest job in the first phase of work has been the creation of a new green for the first hole. Colt’s original green, right on top of a hill, was abandoned in the 1930s as members found it too difficult, and a new, lower green built by Fred Hawtree. More recently, this green, which has a slight bowled character, not a style favoured by Colt, has performed badly, so the club and Lobb took the decision to rebuild. The new green will be longer, while an original Colt bunker has been restored on the left side of the fairway, and a new bunker added further up that side, to restore the original strategy of the hole as closely as possible.
An original Colt bunker has been restored on the third hole, as has another on the left side of the ninth fairway and Colt’s original drive bunkers on the thirteenth. The diagonal cross-bunkering in front of this green has also been rebuilt closer to Colt’s original, though in this case the restoration is not quite total as he built one bunker here; Lobb has retained the multiple bunkers that had evolved to cope with foot traffic.
“It’s a privilege to work at St George’s Hill, and very satisfying to be returning the course closer to Harry Colt’s original vision,” said Lobb.
Take a look at this YouTube video of the work, courtesy of Colin Hancock/Alloneworld Media.