Williams extends Royal Porthcawl

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Wales, a regular host for prominent events including the Amateur Championship on six occasions, the Walker Cup, Curtis Cup, and the Home Internationals, has been refurbished by Welsh architect David Williams.

At a length of 6,700 yards and par of 72, Porthcawl has become rather short for modern tournaments. With this in mind, Williams was commissioned to carry out a comprehensive review and suggest proposed alterations and improvements to retain its eminent position.

In that role, Williams suggested amendments that included lengthening three of the four par fives, and minor alterations to other holes. Small scale improvements to the par three eleventh and fourteenth holes, mainly to improve the visibility of the green and surrounds from the tees, were implemented by greenstaff last winter. At the same time, they also constructed a new back tee for the par five fifth, lengthening it to more than 600 yards.

However, the main proposals included lengthening two of the other par fives, (the 12th and 17th) which were relatively short for modern play. Williams drew up detailed designs, and planning permission was sought and granted for the extension of the 12th.

The hole has now been extended by over 100 yards by the provision of a new green on an existing level piece of practice ground.

Williams said: "Many were concerned that it would be difficult to assimilate the extension to the hole onto this relatively flat open area, but the detailed design and construction has now recreated typical linksland throughout the whole area of the extension." The contract for the work was awarded to 360 Golf, and construction was carried out over six weeks in autumn 2006. The lengthened hole will come in to play in late 2007 or early 2008.