Stiff and Stephens start work on rebuild of 36 hole English pay and play


Stiff and Stephens start work on rebuild of 36 hole English pay and play
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Golf architects Adrian Stiff and Ben Stephens of SAS Golf Design have begun a reconstruction project at the 36 hole Grey’s Green course near Henley on Thames in southern England.

Grey’s Green was originally built by a local farmer to a basic standard, without irrigation and with greens that Stiff describes as ’low quality’. Now, Stiff and his partner Stephens have started construction on a project that, over four years, will see the facility transformed.

“Around 30,000 trees have been planted at Grey’s Green over the past 20 years, and the playing corridors are established,” said Ben Stephens. “So the routing will remain largely unchanged, but we will build proper tees and USGA-spec greens, along with adding an irrigation system to improve the quality of the playing surfaces.”

The pair also intend to recontour three of the holes fairways to improve visibility and playability. These fairways will also be the locations of the waste recovery operation that will defray much of the cost of construction. Nine holes will be rebuilt each year so the course always has 27 holes in play. Shaper Bobby Painter, who has worked on courses such as Kingsbarns, the Wisley and Queenwood, is helping with construction.

SAS has also recently achieved planning consent for a reconstruction project at the Westbury Golf Club in White Horse Country Park in Wiltshire. This project involves using recycled soil, better known as inert landfill, to create nine new holes. The landfill process is to commence as soon as possible and the shaping of the golf course will commence next year.