Extended renovation at East Berks


Extended renovation at East Berks
Sean Dudley

The century-old East Berkshire golf club in England is undertaking a multi-year renovation project under the care of Swan Golf Designs.

After a course audit carried out by Swan in 2008, the club and its architects launched a renovation planned to last between five and eight years. As well as a revised bunkering scheme, a major heather regeneration programme is under way. Like many heathland courses, tree growth has had a negative impact on the heather at East Berkshire, which was originally designed by Peter Paxton. The indigenous heather population is being re-established in carry and rough areas, bunker embankments and greens surrounds.

Work on three holes started in 2008 with the rebunkering exercise, which saw heather turfs introduced to selected surrounds from other areas on the course. As part of the exercise, heather seed will be harvested and a nursery established to propagate the species for reuse on the course.

John Schofield, the club’s chair of green, said: “We have moved on greatly in the year or so since we commissioned Swan Golf Designs to create a blueprint for the future of the course. The membership is overwhelmingly behind the renovation programme that we have set and we shall be working on another six holes this autumn. Taking professional advice from our golf course architects has been of great value to us.”

The second phase of work will commence in late October and should be completed by Christmas. Construction will be undertaken by contractor John Greasley and the club’s greenkeeping team under the direction of course manager Matt Nutter.