Golf Course Architecture - Issue 66, October 2021

63 Illenis erume sitatatur maio int maxim alitiis dolor atquatium que vit exeria paritio reiuntia vellest, sequissit voluptis int, alit For the Marco Simone project, EGD’s Dave Sampson was installed as the lead architect with the firm’s managing director Jeremy Slessor responsible for working with the club and various other organisations involved in the project, such as the FIG and Ryder Cup Europe. “Having Jeremy overseeing the project from that side was great, as it allowed me to concentrate on the design of the course,” says Sampson. Construction began in 2018 with Italian firm Zeppieri overseeing the first phase (back nine) of earthworks and SOL Golf of Ireland handling feature and finish work. SOL then took over both earthworks and finishing for phase two (front nine), with Tom Fazio II playing an important role in managing construction. A supporting cast of specialists included Aquafert, which handled irrigation, Capillary Concrete, EcoBunker, Toro, Pure Seed and Atlas Turf International. A team, led by former Le Golf National superintendent Alejandro Reyes and his fiancé Lara Arias, now the Marco Simone superintendent, took over the grow-in of the course in mid-2020. The redesign was driven by the desire to create a course suited to match play golf and for the property to be able to handle mass crowds: 270,000 people descended on Le Golf National when it hosted the contest in 2018. Now, nothing remains of the original course at Marco Simone, with only the sixth hole even playing in the same corridor. Every other hole is now in a totally different location or orientation. “One of the issues with the old layout was that, from a spectator and player point of view, there were a lot of crossing holes, with links between greens and tees crossing numerous times,” says Sampson. “For a Ryder Cup this becomes really difficult. So, one of the big changes was rerouting the course to consider spectator movement, grandstands and hospitality.” Photo: Marco Simone Golf and Country Club The Marco Simone course has been rerouted and redesigned to host the 2023 Ryder Cup