David Williams completes second multi-option course


  • David Williams

    The final ninth/eighteenth green is located in front of the property's main house

  • David Williams

    The course has been built at a mountainous location in Europe

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Architect David Williams has completed a golf course for a private client that allows two different 18-hole routings to be played, using nine greens.

Williams, a past president of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, implemented a similar concept for another private client in 2016, with just five greens.

“The first course, designed to offer a full length 18-hole course using only five green and tee complexes, was successfully opened in summer 2016,” he said. “A relative of the client, also a low handicap player, was invited to test it out and immediately realised that he would like a similar concept on his own private estate.”

While the concept for the two courses is quite similar, the site of the second course – in a mountainous region of Europe – is more undulating than the generally flat site of the first course. As such it deviated from Williams’ initial concept, this time having a shape similar to a “four-pointed star”.

“Greens and tees were generally positioned in the points of the star, with all drives directed to a fairly central landing area,” Williams said. “As such, utilising only five greens would not give the difference of play essential to translate the concept into reality. It was therefore decided to site two greens in many of the points of the star, thereby offering the necessary alternative second or even third shot.”

Eight of the course’s greens, averaging approximately 350 square metres each, have been constructed in the main star area, and in some cases are reminiscent of the double greens found on many courses in Japan. The course’s final hole plays through a separate valley away from the rest of the course, to a ninth green built in front of the property’s main house, which doubles up as a practice putting area.

“The overall concept remains the same however, utilising tees and greens differently to make up an 18-hole course of 18 unique holes,” Williams said. “But the challenge was extended even further, in that two different 18-hole routings have been created – one slightly easier and then a tougher test using 18 of the most challenging holes.”

The course has been constructed in two phases, in spring and autumn 2017, and will be ready to play in spring 2018.