Tandridge Golf Club in southern England has reopened for play on all eighteen holes after a four year restoration process led by golf architect Frank Pont of Infinite Variety Golf Design.
Tandridge was originally designed by Harry Colt in the 1920s, but is extremely unusual among Colt’s courses, in that the course originally had close to 300 bunkers, many of which were very large. “No other Colt course, before or after Tandridge, had so many bunkers,” said Pont. “The other striking feature of the course is the rather extreme topography that holes 13-18 occupy.”
“The overall focus of the works was to bring back original playing strategies to the holes, restore Colt’s original flashed up sand bunker style and renovate most of the teeing areas,” Pont added. “Fairways were widened on many holes, short grass run off areas were reintroduced around the greens and trees were removed in many spots to bring back the original playing corridors.”
Mark Elliott, a former captain and chairman of the club’s course improvement committee, said: “We received amazing support from the members to undertake this work and it has produced all and more that we could have hoped for. The course improvements have been a resounding success, reflected in comments from members and their guests and in significantly increased numbers of society green fees.”
The restored course will undergo its first test when it hosts the English Woman’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship in the first week of August. The restoration work on the course was carried out by contractor John Greasley Ltd with significant assistance by the club’s greenkeeping team.
Pont concluded: “I am very proud of the work we have done at Tandridge to bring back the spectacular bunkering that makes this course truly unique in Harry Colt’s oeuvre. We were very lucky that the club had a 1920s aerial and various vintage detail pictures of golf holes which allowed us to determine with great certainty where bunkers had been on the various holes, and what their often very large sizes were. The club showed great vision and courage in its decision to restore these unusual but unique features to its classic Colt golf course.”