The reworked bunkering on the Downs Course at Goodwood near Chichester, UK, is bedding in well according to the club’s general manager of golf Stuart Gillett.
“Our desire was to have consistency in our bunkering across all 18 holes and make the course a little ‘friendlier’ to the higher handicap,” Gillett told GCA. “Both these objectives have been achieved very well indeed.”
The recent work, which was completed earlier this year, was led by Mackenzie & Ebert.
“The first phase of works has grown in exceptionally and the most recent and last phase, which was completed in January this year, looks like it’s been in there for years,” Gillett said. “Feedback has been excellent and we are delighted as to how the bunkers now lend themselves to the topography of the downland landscape.”
The Downs Course at Goodwood was designed in 1914 by architect James Braid. The club’s other course – the Park Course – was designed by Donald Steel.
According to Gillett, golfers who have played the Downs Course before but have not done so in the last year can expect ‘consistency and a slightly fairer test’ if they choose to go back to Goodwood.
“There are some clever and subtle changes to bunker shapes and placement,” he said. “For example, the third hole, a long uphill dog legged par four, had a bunker positioned in front of the green some 30 yards short. This has been shifted seven yards left and thus allows for the ball to be run up to the green through a channel that wasn’t there previously. A few fairway bunkers have been repositioned to challenge the longer hitter and make the tee shot easier for the higher handicapper.”
Gillett is pleased with what he’s heard from golfers so far.
“As we all know golfers don’t like change!” he said. “However, the overall feedback has been extremely positive now all 18 holes have been completed, and members are getting used to the changes. We have adjusted some of our shaping, and when combined with managing the longer rough areas, the character of the course has changed a little. I look forward to the back end of the season when the course really looks at its best and am confident that the reviews of the course will all be extremely positive.”