William Swan of Swan Golf Designs has overseen a bunker renovation project at Huddersfield Golf Club in West Yorkshire, England.
Swan was engaged by the club – commonly known as Fixby – to bring a consistent look to the bunkering, which has been tweaked over the years.
The course was originally designed by Tom Dunn and has been worked on by many well-known architects including Sandy Herd, James Braid, Herbert Fowler, Alister MacKenzie, Fred Hawtree and Donald Steel.
“We went back to the early 1900s when there was arguably the last significant bunker project – under the direction of Herbert Fowler,” said Swan. “With the input of various people, the course here didn’t establish itself properly for the first 20 to 30 years, so Fowler, arguably, created the golf course we know today. There have been some changes since, but 15 holes have been there since Fowler.
“We’ve been able to look at the archive of photographs and plans – including some aerial images, presumably taken by the RAF, from 1926, around the time Fowler was on site. That showed how the course was laid out and how the bunkers looked at that time. And that’s from where we took our inspiration.
“This wasn’t a restoration project, per se, it’s a renovation project; but the opportunity presented itself to restore the traditional, slightly ragged, style of the bunkers present in the 1920s and 30s. We had three years of construction after two years of planning, working with the club and the contractor, ProFusion Environmental, which meant Huddersfield had all-new bunkering ready to play this summer.”
Chris Duffy, general manager at Huddersfield Golf Club, said: “I wasn’t at the club when the process began, but I’m delighted to be here at its conclusion. Pat Wrightson, the former England seniors’ captain, who has been the club’s director of greens throughout the project, and long-time course manager Ben Turner deserve a lot of credit for the way they have worked alongside Swan Golf Designs and the final result is testament to the hard work and professionalism of all concerned.”