Creative Golf Design begins multi-year renovation at Royal Blackheath


Creative Golf Design begins multi-year renovation at Royal Blackheath
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Creative Golf Design has completed the first phase of a multi-year renovation project at Royal Blackheath Golf Club in London, UK.

At 406 years old, Royal Blackheath is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world. Work began on the three-phase project in August and included modifications to the bunkers on the 2nd, 17th and 18th holes.

Going forward, new tees and bunkers will be introduced, as well as extensive alterations to the existing bunkering and teeing grounds. A wide range of general course improvements will also be carried out.

Based in Chester, UK, Creative Golf Design is headed by Ken Moodie, former president of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects.

“There’s a natural thrill, and also a certain weight of responsibility, when you’re asked to make alterations at one of the world's most historic golf clubs,” said Moodie. “But even the most cherished golf courses change as a result of wear and tear, past maintenance practices, in-house alterations and inappropriate tree planting. Successfully interpreting what makes the course special, and refining the challenge which golfers face at venerated clubs like Royal Blackheath requires experience, a deep appreciation of the history of the game, and a knowledge of the design style of the original architect.”

Creative Golf Design is working closely with John Nicholson Associates to help restore the club’s ‘English parkland’ feel.

“The work will reveal natural-looking copses and attractive large-specimen trees such as oak, lime and beech, and it will remove some of the smaller ornamental trees which have been planted over the last few decades,” said John Nicholson. “The aim is also to return the views and vistas to and from the clubhouse which have been lost to trees.”