A five year renovation project at Stavanger Golf Club in Norway has come to an end with the official opening of the new-look course.
Stavanger, originally designed by Fred Smith in 1956, and one of Norway’s oldest golf courses, has been renovated by Brian Phillips and Graeme Webster of Niblick Golf Design, without closing the course at any stage of the build.
The project, aimed at enabling the course to deal with Norway’s damp climate - nearly 200mm of rain fell this July – involved rebuilding 16 greens, remodelling three fairways, extensive rebunkering, and the installation of a new drainage system.
“It’s a very well respected course, but it had flat, soil greens that had little if any positive fall away from the playing surfaces,” said Phillips. “In an area that gets nearly one and a half metres of rain a year, it is inevitable that greens will suffer through compaction. When we started, there were no catchment basins at all which is typical on an old course, but when the club needs to get visitors and members out on the course as soon as possible after a downpour, they’re absolutely essential.”
As well as contouring greens and reshaping bunkers to promote runoff, Niblick installed thousands of metres of new drainage and laid a top layer of sand over affected areas. Steinar Fløisvik, the club’s general manager said: “For the last 20 years, we’ve been struggling with our drainage especially after heavy rain when it took days before the course returned to its normal playing conditions. Now it doesn’t get wet at all. During the official opening tournament, we had terrible weather but after hours of heavy rain, we were still putting on dry greens.”