Tom Mackenzie of Mackenzie & Ebert has started the second phase of a rerouting project at Liphook Golf Club in Hampshire, England.
Liphook is set to celebrate its centenary in 2022 and part of its preparations include plans to eliminate its dangerous road crossings.
Mackenzie has worked with the club throughout as a new underpass was planned close to the existing ninth green and tenth tee. As part of the project, Mackenzie devised a rerouting of the course, allowing the club to eliminate the problematic crossing between the fourteenth and fifteenth and keep its second nine starting point near the underpass.
“The crossing over the old A3 after the fourteenth has long been a thorn in the side of the club,” said Mackenzie. “We found a way to reroute the course so that this is eliminated but keeps the ninth green and tenth tee close to the new underpass. The three resultant new holes – eighth, ninth and tenth – achieves this and produces a run of three strong, enjoyable and attractive holes.”
The first phase took place over summer 2019 and was completed by September. It involved building two of the new holes, a new green and tee, and significant heathland and wetland creation.
“The holes being lost are the tenth and fourteenth,” said Mackenzie. “In fact, the tenth and eleventh are being run together so the tenth hole is being dropped out with new tees brought forward, eliminating the blind tee shot on the current hole. The hole then plays to the current eleventh green, so the present eleventh tees are dropped out. It sounds terribly complicated by it is quite logical. We later found out that Tom Simpson had suggest something similar in the 1930s when a plan to widen out the old A3.
“The new eighth and ninth were built last year and we also built a new green on the present twelfth [new eleventh] to create the longest par five on the course. We are now merging the tenth and eleventh to form the new tenth and re-aligning the fifteenth hole to use a different crossing under the railway. The eleventh tees are also being adjusted as well as the removal of the present twelfth green.”
Construction work was done by Profusion Environmental, supported by Liphook’s course manager David Murdoch and his team.
“The whole club has been enormously impressed with the quality of Profusion’s work and its dedication throughout to produce the best results. It was great to complete phase one so smoothly as it will allow the new holes to be fully mature well before our centenary year,” said Murdoch.
Huw Waters, chair of the course committee, said: “There is a real excitement to see how the new holes will play. They will be a great addition to the course at this exciting time in the club’s history. Horrible though the coronavirus pandemic is, it has offered us the chance to bring forward the completion of the work and work started this month that will allow the new course to open later in the summer, which is incredibly exciting for the club. We are entirely happy that the work can be completed safely.”
Profusion Environmental’s managing director Nigel Wyatt said: “The Liphook project is a good one for us as we were able to show off our broader construction skills having previously worked with Mackenzie & Ebert on the bunker refurbishment at Fulwell over previous winters. We are proud of the results and look forward to completing phase two speedily over the next two months.”
The new holes are expected to be in play in 2021.