St Enodoc Golf Club in Cornwall, England, has undertaken a substantial programme of winter work on its flagship Church course, following on from a course audit produced in 2017 by American architect Tom Doak.
Doak produced a report for the club advocating fairway widening in many places, the creation of a number of large-scale naturalised blowout bunkers and a considerable shortening of the course (almost 600 yards) from the ladiesʼ tees. He also advised that the club should liaise with the neighbouring landowner and try to remove as much scrub vegetation as possible to the left side of the controversial tenth hole.
Doak typically works on a design and build basis, with his own associates shaping work and the architect himself overseeing construction. However, St Enodoc declined to go down this route, and so, rather than hiring UK-based Doak associate Clyde Johnson to shape the winter work, the club went with contractor MJ Smith, and carried out all turfing work using its own personnel.
Changes carried out this winter include the levelling of tee complexes on the first, fifth and tenth holes, while tee areas have also been expanded to protect them during the busy summer months.
The scrub areas to the left of the tenth have been cleared. The area revealed is extremely wet, and now resembles a water hazard. Doakʼs suggestion to consolidate fairway bunkers on the thirteenth hole into one single hazard has been ignored, with two circular pot bunkers built instead.
Doakʼs recommendation that the course be significantly shortened from the ladiesʼ tees was rejected by the clubʼs ladiesʼ section, which argued that the club needed to retain its championship status and that women players enjoyed the challenge of playing the course at its current length.