Golf Course Architecture - Issue 73, July 2023

Clayton, DeVries & Pont (CDP) has completed a bunker renovation project at The Royal Dublin Golf Club in Ireland, which has seen hazards rebuilt to a style closer to Harry Colt’s work on the course in the 1920s. Dublin Golf Club was founded in 1885 and moved to its present location on Bull Island in 1889. Two years later, it received its royal patronage from Queen Victoria. Following damage inflicted to the course while it was used as a rifle and artillery range in the First World War, it was rebuilt and redesigned by Colt. In the 2000s, Martin Hawtree completed a renovation and lengthening of the course, also moving previously low-lying green complexes above the water table. By 2019, a member survey had raised issues relating to playability, presentation, safety, sand consistency and the number of bunkers. The club asked CDP to study the hazards. “Their enthusiasm for the project, professionalism, and knowledge of Harry Colt were three key factors for us selecting CDP to oversee our bunker project,” said general manager Jeff Fallon. “The club felt that there were too many bunkers,” said Frank Pont, who completed the audit with Hendrik Hilgert and with input from Mike Clayton. “There were 94. A lot were very steep, and some were small and pot bunker-ish, which made it hard for members to get in and out. Given that there were so many, players would often find themselves in a few during a round, leading to a general feeling that the course was quite tough.” 11 Renovated greenside bunkers on the fourth hole at Royal Dublin Photo: Clayton, DeVries & Pont