The Buckinghamshire Golf Club in southern England has commissioned design firm Thomson Perrett & Lobb to undertake a strategic review of its golf course, with a view to implementing proposed changes over a two to three year period.
Located in Denham, to the northwest of London, Buckinghamshire is the home of the Ladies European Tour, and plays host to one of its flagship tournaments, the ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters, won this year by Wales' Lydia Hall. The course, which opened in 1992, was originally designed by legendary golf coach John Jacobs' and developed by Kajima UK.
“Our key goal at Buckinghamshire is to improve the playing experience for the members, and help the club attract new ones,” said TPL principal Tim Lobb. “Obviously, though, we have to take into account the fact that the course is the home of the LET, and is hosting the Tour regularly. The owners are especially keen to increase the number of women among the membership, and we will consider playability for lady golfers very carefully during our review.”
Lobb said a key issue was the course's bunkers. “Buckinghamshire has many, many bunkers – in total, they amount to 1.4 hectares of sand,” he said. “Naturally, that creates a lot of work for the greens crew, and we will be focusing on bunker strategy closely. We don't want to reduce the challenge of the course, but we do want to give maximum bang for the bunker!”
Lobb cited the short par four eighth, which offers a direct route to the green over a lake, or a safe layup and pitch option, as one of the course's standout holes. “The eighth is a terrific hole, but it needs to be made more enticing for golfers,” he explained. “We're considering adding a little more fairway on the direct line to the green, to encourage more people to have a go at it.”
Former Ryder Cup player John O'Leary is director of golf at the Buckinghamshire. He said: “We have a terrific golf course, as anyone who saw this year's Ladies British Masters will know, but we believe that, with TPL's help, we can make it better still, and we look forward to seeing their proposals.”