Prince’s Golf Club in Kent, United Kingdom, is progressing with a renovation of its Shore and Dunes nines, with the project being overseen by golf architecture firm Mackenzie & Ebert.
“We were thrilled with the reopening of our Himalayas nine last year and, as a result, came to the prompt realisation that we require similar upgrades to the other 18 holes on the property,” said Rob McGuirk, Prince’s general manager.
Bunkers on several holes have been reconfigured; several new tees added; and some holes have been lengthened to bring the fairway bunkers back into play for elite golfers.
Much of the heavy machinery work and initial development was completed over the winter.
“Our research has shown that the greens used to be much larger, so many of the surfaces have been restored in size simply by mowing them out,” said Martin Ebert. “In terms of new features, the fifth hole on the Shore nine stands out. The carry over bare sand areas and the view towards the sea makes for a stunning hole, and it also provides a welcome change in angle for the course.
“The sixth – currently playing as the fifth hole – has also benefited from the fifth hole project, with a new alignment from elevated tees in the dunes. The reconfigured tee complexes have added character to many of the holes, as have the restoration and creation of bare sand areas.”
The par-three second on the Dunes nine now features a wooden sleeper path from the middle of the hole through a new bare sand area up to the green, aimed at enhancing the visual appeal from the tees.
The new short par-three is under construction on the Shore nine and will play as the new fifth hole, with a variety of tee positions allowing it to play between 110-155 yards. Similar to ‘Bloody Point’, the new par three on the Himalayas nine, the new hole has the sea as a backdrop, albeit at a slightly different angle.
New open sand scrape areas will provide a natural habitat for rare coastal species of flora and fauna.
Martin Ebert said: “We have been delighted to continue our involvement at Prince’s. Having the opportunity to provide design input to the Shore and Dunes has led us to enjoy an even greater respect for the quality of the detailed shaping of the greens and green surrounds at the club. The original work of Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison in restoring Prince’s as a great golf course after the Second World War was fantastic. It has been a great honour to have followed in their footsteps.
Rob McGuirk said: “I believe the steps we’re taking to elevate the visual and playing aspects of the courses are overwhelmingly positive, and it shows how determined we are to provide a world-class experience to our members, guests and visitors.”
Work on both nines is expected to be complete by spring 2020 with both nines fully in play and will host the final qualifying for the Open Championship this year.