Hugh Alison’s Hirono re-emerges as restoration work progresses

  • Hirono

    Mackenzie & Ebert is progressing with its work to restore Hugh Alison’s original design intent at Hirono

  • Hirono

    A visualisation shows Mackenzie & Ebert’s plans for the par-three thirteenth

  • Hirono

    And the same hole as it was originally laid out

  • Hirono

    The large hazard in front of the seventh hole is being recreated

  • Hirono

    The seventh before renovation work began…

  • Hirono

    …and as it was originally laid out by Alison

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

The UK-based golf architecture firm Mackenzie & Ebert is now well in progress with its work to restore Hugh Alison’s original design intent at Hirono Golf Club in Hyogo, Japan.

In a report compiled for GCA, Martin Ebert explains how the firm’s work is being informed by a rich archive of materials. Along with Alison’s plans and the club’s photographs, Ebert and the team tracked down old aerial photography of the course from the 1940s and 1960s.

The design team and club agreed that restoring the bunkering and rebuilding the greens were the main points of focus. “Alison had drawn up green plans, but the greens had been rebuilt in the 1980s when they were converted to bentgrass,” said Martin Ebert.

The architects and the club’s committee members visited and played some Colt & Alison courses and others where the greens were good models for Hirono, including Swinley Forest, St George’s Hill and Royal Portrush.

Construction work, which was awarded to Japanese firm Takenaka, began in early January 2019, and the plan is for all greens to be seeded by mid-May with all other areas turfed. The reopening of the course is expected to be October.

Download the full report from Martin Ebert about the Hirono restoration.

An article on the restoration project appears in the April 2019 issue of Golf Course Architecture. For a printed subscription or free digital edition, visit our subscriptions page.