McGinley Golf Course Design continues upgrades to set of courses in Ghana


McGinley Golf Course Design continues upgrades to set of courses in Ghana
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Paul McGinley Golf Course Design is helping to revitalise a series of clubs in the African nation of Ghana.

The firm is actively involved in the Ghana Golf Projects, which is being funded by the 100 FTSE listed company Tullow Oil. Along with the works on the golf courses McGinley Golf has joined forces with the R&A’s Working-For-Golf, the Ghana Golf Association and Tullow Oil to form the Ghana Golf Development Board (GGDB). The role of the GGDB is to provide expertise to make the courses where the investment has been made commercially viable and increase participation in the game.

Ghana Golf Projects identified three clubs for work – Achimota Golf Club in Accra, the country’s capital, the nearby Tema Country Club in Tema, and the Royal Golf Club Kumasi, which lies 100km north of Accra.

All three sites have seen the introduction of a ‘golf academy’, the first of which is already open at Achimota. The academies at Tema and Kumasi will open soon, and each club has also benefited from around US$100,000 of new equipment.

McGinley Design is also carrying out upgrade work on the courses at each club. A water and irrigation survey and an agronomy report has been completed at each venue, and a topographic map has been created for all three courses. Using these details, McGinley has completed a routing and upgrade design plan for each course.

Initially, one club was selected for a full specification upgrade. Due to its proximity to the country’s capital city and the fact it opened in 1937, Achimota Golf Club (pictured) was selected and new USGA greens and sand tees were introduced. The course was also totally re-grassed, and the club itself built a new clubhouse.

All capital and operational expenditure was funded by Tullow Oil as part of its Invest in Africa and corporate social responsibility programmes.

“It is fantastic to see such a beautiful world-class golf course in Ghana,” said Aidan Heavey, Chief Executive of Tullow Oil. “Tullow is in Ghana for the long-term and believe the investment we have made will have a lasting impact on helping promote business in Ghana and developing local capacity. We are delighted with the quality of the product delivered by Paul McGinley and his team and thank Achimota Golf Club for their support.”

With the work completed at Achimota in October 2014, McGinley Golf Course Design’s focus has now shift to the Royal Golf Club Kumasi, where a similar renovation project is set to get underway according to an interview McGinley gave with the Irish Independent.

The firm’s work in Ghana follows on from the recently-completed renovation at the Quinta do Lago resort in Portugal, which saw McGinley collaborate with American architect Beau Welling. McGinley Golf has also just completed the third of a five year upgrading programme at Portsalon Links, Donegal, Ireland. The improvements to the course includes a new 1st tee complex, chipping and putting green, new tees and bunkering around the course.