Gaunt at work on Durham course


Sean Dudley

British architect Jonathan Gaunt reports good progress on his new eighteen hole course at Ramside Estate in County Durham, despite the terrible weather during much of spring and summer.

The project is a complete reconstruction of the golf course, which was Gaunt's first solo design back in the 1990s. Fourteen holes are being built on land formerly known as Hilltop Farm, and these holes should be completed this autumn.

An access tunnel between the hotel side of the property and the new holes is also almost finished. This tunnel has been excavated to a depth of six metres to ensure it is at least a metre below the road surface and to allow all golf maintenance machinery to pass through safely. Once fully operational the new tunnel will also allow access for golfers between holes two and three and holes sixteen and seventeen.

Gaunt says the two sides of the course are dramatically different, with the holes near the hotel having a sheltered parkland feel, while the Hilltop land is much more exposed to the prevailing wind, apart from several holes running through a valley with streams.

Work on the four holes on the hotel side will begin this autumn. The Hilltop holes are scheduled to open for play in late 2013, while the four remaining holes should be open the following spring.