European Golf Design has progressed with work at Crans-sur-Sierre golf club in Switzerland, despite significant challenges during the winter season.
Green complexes at the second and third have been enlarged to allow for a greater variety of pin positions. The tee area on the first has been redesigned and increased in size, while the putting green has been expanded to almost double its original size.
“The club has decided to carry out small changes to the course over the past few years, with the main focus being the conversion of green complexes to USGA specifications,” said Dave Sampson, golf course designer at European Golf Design. “This has also afforded us the opportunity to review the strategy of each hole.”
Initial shaping and drainage works are carried out at the European Tour venue each autumn, usually lasting until the start of December. Details are then finished off in the spring, with work normally completed by the end of May.
This season the project team has faced several significant challenges. A wet autumn prevented some of the main earthworks and drainage from being completed until after winter.
“Considering the scope of the works, this shouldn’t have been too much of an issue,” said Sampson. “Then along comes Covid-19, and everything and everyone gets shaken to the core. Travel restrictions were introduced throughout Europe, hotels and restaurants were closed, and it made things extremely difficult for both us and the contractor to get back to the site.
“Fortunately, however, construction works were able to continue in the region. Thanks to assistance from the client in helping everyone obtain the necessary local and national authorisations for entry back into the country, we were all able to return safely to site.”
Work restarted at the beginning of April, only a few weeks behind the original schedule.
“Considering all the challenges, to only be a week or so behind is testament to all the hard work, dedication and commitment from the client, the contractors SOL Golf and Arrosage Concept, and the head superintendent Richard Barnes,” said Sampson. “The changes are really starting to come together nicely and as the club continually aspires to keep getting better, this season’s work should prove to be another great step forward.”