Jonathan Gaunt completes renovation work at five UK clubs

  • Castle Royle
    The Club Company

    The feature lake on the thirteenth at Castle Royle has been reconstructed

  • Nizels
    The Club Company

    Bunkers at Nizels have been remodelled

  • Lichfield
    The Club Company

    The project at Lichfield involved work to improve visibility of bunkers

By Laura Hyde

Jonathan Gaunt has completed work to revitalise five of The Club Company’s courses in the UK. 

Projects at The Club at Cams Hall Estate in Hampshire, Castle Royle in Berkshire, Lichfield Golf and Country Club in Staffordshire, Nizels Golf and Country Club in Kent, and The Tytherington Club in Cheshire have focused on “enhancing playability for members and guests, reducing winter closures, and delivering an unparalleled golfing experience”. 

“The course remodelling work is bold and forward-thinking, bringing The Club Company's facilities up to date and offering members and visitors a much-improved playing experience,” said Gaunt. “Primarily, our work involves sympathetic improvements to bunkers, tees, practice facilities, drainage and pathway upgrades to improve accessibility for golfers and maintenance across the courses. Working on these projects is thoroughly satisfying.” 

At the Cams Hall course, which was originally designed by Clive Clark and Peter Alliss, Gaunt has repositioned bunkers “making it necessary to think your way around the course to score well, rather than automatically pulling the driver out of the bag,” he said. Construction was handled by the John Greasley firm. 

At Castle Royle, Gaunt and his team completed a new short game practice area, as well as reconstructing the feature lake on the thirteenth on the Championship course, which was originally designed by Neil Coles in 1994. “The new lake has a raised water level and, following changes to the fairway approach, is now significantly more visible from the tees, making it a much more influential visual feature, and more importantly, it will retain its water level throughout the year,” said Gaunt. 

Bunker remodelling at Nizels has been well received by members and visitors, according to Gaunt. “Our masterplan focused on creating a new, more thought-provoking strategy for play, together with the removal of numerous randomly positioned bunkers and replacement of many of them with grassy hollows, run-offs and swales,” he explained.  

The project at Lichfield was completed in two phases, one in 2021 and a second in 2023. This included the removal of bunkers that are no longer necessary due to advances in technology. “We reduced the sand areas down in the bunkers we have retained,” said Gaunt. “The new bunkers are raised and designed to be significantly more visible from the tees and landing areas. They will have more of a psychological impact upon the golfer playing the course.”  

At Tytherington, a third and final phase of work is due to begin in April. Drainage on holes one to sixteen will be improved in five weeks, while 370 meters of upgraded pathways enhance aesthetics and accessibility for players.  

Gaunt and his team have already worked on tees, greens, bunkers, drainage, lakes and pathways at Tytherington. “The bunkers in particular, were proving to be difficult and expensive to maintain as they were all large and deep,” said Gaunt. “Back in 2017 we worked with Greasley to remodel all bunkers on the third, fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and eighteenth, incorporating drainage improvements. The two-phase approach was adopted for the larger projects to minimise the disruption to members.”