Bruce Charlton and Mike Gorman of Robert Trent Jones II have completed the redesign of the Garden course at Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore.
Their brief was to redesign the course into a smaller footprint, due to Changi airport – located adjacent to the Garden layout – acquiring land, including part of the par-four fourth hole and the par-five fifth, for an expansion.
The design team worked on reducing the distance of green-to-tee walks, while creating “more width in fairways where possible, added flexible teeing grounds that seamlessly blend into fairways, as well as introducing the ground game as an optional way to approach the green surface on many holes,” said Charlton.
“Players will notice and really enjoy a playable course with a great variety of holes,” added Gorman. “One of our primary goals was to create a balanced, fun and challenging course that contrasts with the bigger brother, the Tampines course [which RTJ II reconfigured in 2018].
“We wanted to give members a completely different playing experience and enhanced shot variety for players with a great imagination to utilise on the Garden course.”
The year-long project also saw all bunkers rebuilt, with BunkerMat lining and Durabunker edging, both of which were also on the 2018 Tampines project.
“The overall design objective communicated to us was for higher, more visible sand faces, sprawling sand lines with non-uniform shape, significant variance of vertical plane and a more definitive sense of individuality from bunker to bunker, whilst still maintaining the feel of clusters that fit together,” said Rhydian Lewis, founder of Durabunker.
“Bunker edges are all synthetic in nature and all of fairly standard height, sealing off the edges and installed directly on top of the chosen bunker liner to avoid any point of weakness in the interface between sand and bunker edge. This has given a crisp, permanent edge that will safeguard design integrity and offer a permanency that turf edges simply cannot hold a torch to. The ease of maintenance and longevity of the product was a primary driver to its inclusion in the rebuild.
“The bunkering has turned out to be a really strong feature of the golf course, being presented to the golfers very clearly and playing a big part in terms of the aesthetic experience of the golfer.”
The designers have arranged the new routing so that it can also be played as independent three, six or nine-hole loops: holes one to nine can be played as a ‘Garden Loop’; ten to fifteen are a six-hole ‘Sunrise Loop’ and sixteen to eighteen as a three-hole ‘Learning Loop’.
This article first appeared in the July 2020 issue of Golf Course Architecture. For a printed subscription or free digital edition, please visit our subscriptions page.