Golf Course Architecture - Issue 73, July 2023

58 The iconic St George’s Hill club in Surrey, England, one of the finest works of the great architect Harry Colt, has hired new consulting architects, and is thought to be considering a significant restoration of Colt’s original design. A team from Renaissance Golf Design, headed by Brian Schneider, supported by regular shapers Clyde Johnson and Angela Moser, plus agronomist Chris Haspell and Jasper Miners of Evalu18 Ltd as historian and project manager, has been contracted to produce a new masterplan for the entire golf property at the club, which currently includes 27 holes. St George’s Hill was acquired by housebuilder Walter Tarrant at the very beginning of 1912. Tarrant did not play golf, and knew little of the game, but was savvy enough to spot its attractions, and, thanks to golf writer and artist Charles Ambrose, hired Colt to design the course, on what would be the first ever ‘mixed use’ golf and housing development. Colt’s course was hewn from thick woodland, an enormous job for 1912, and yet was constructed in less than a year. Eight thousand trees were removed, using traction engines and dynamite, and 300 men then hand dug the areas cleared, removing ton after ton of peat to reveal the sandy subsoil. By the standards of many Golden Age courses, St George’s Hill’s main eighteen is little changed from the original. The famous par-three eighth hole started life with two separate greens, but one was abandoned fairly REPORT The Surrey course has hired Renaissance to produce a masterplan, with restoration work also mooted. Adam Lawrence reports. Big plans for St George’s Hill Photo: Jason Livy The opening hole of the Red nine at St George’s Hill in Surrey