David Jones has completed renovation work on the final five holes of the course at Glasson Golf Club in County Westmeath, Ireland.
The work on the Christy O’Connor Jnr-designed course is part of a redevelopment of the 175-acre resort and hotel.
“The client wanted to expand the facility on a large scale and build lodges out into an area occupied by the golf course,” said Jones. “That meant opening up some space in front of the existing hotel and trying to create clear views towards Lough Ree from the hotel and the new accommodation.”
GolfLink Evolve began construction in August, progressing in extremely wet conditions to completion, with the holes now growing in.
“Two were very long par fives [the fourteenth and seventeenth], so I reconfigured those, and introduced a new hole through a formerly unused and quite wild area, to achieve the client’s aim,” said Jones. “I feel the change has improved the course as those two very long holes have been replaced with two much more accessible par fours, both enjoying the same great setting but will be a lot more playable for most golfers.
“I managed to retain Christy Jr’s ‘signature’ hole… a lovely par three across the Lough, which now becomes the seventeenth hole. I have also, overall, honoured the original design in feel and character.
“The eighteenth hole was rerouted away from the front of the hotel to create space for beautiful new garden terraces. It went down into what turned out to be the rockiest, roughest area I’ve ever worked on with boulders the size of cars coming up. Pat, our dozer shaper, needed a new set of teeth when he’d finished that! Initially it wasn’t a promising location, but the final hole has turned out really well with a good ‘arena’ feel to it.”
Jones has also made changes to some of the internal lakes that feature on the last five holes.
“I altered their shapes and introduced a new one to add more character to the revised holes,” he said. “We used all the rocks we had to dig out to construct natural rock wall facings for those lakes.
“Oakmount, the owners, really got behind the project as they saw the holes take shape, and now have ambitious plans for the course as part of the development strategy.”
The course is on track to reopen in May 2021, and it will play host a Faldo Series event as well as the International King’s Cup team challenge.