Golf Course Architecture - Issue 75, January 2024

25 Photo: Losby Golf Club The new greens have been designed with several runoff points to move water off them as quickly as possible gets trapped on the putting surfaces and turns to ice. The greens are very large, which means that water has a long distance to travel to get off the putting surface. Also, we have a very limited number of pesticides and chemicals available for maintaining the greens and it looks like restrictions will be further tightened in future. To maintain the course in a sustainable fashion, the design and construction must take this into consideration. How will you address this? The new greens will be designed to ensure no water will run onto them from the surrounds and there will be several runoff points to move water away from the green surfaces as quickly as possible. Making greens smaller will also reduce the distance water has to travel. Some of the greens have also been moved to get them out of shaded areas to give the grass better conditions to grow. From a playing perspective, the new greens will be smaller targets. However, with updated bunkering and runoff areas, the course will be more strategic. The new greens and updated bunkers and surrounds offer more diversity of challenge. Great care has been taken to open the approaches to greens so players with slower swing speeds can roll their ball on. I have revamped the aprons to facilitate more variation in the shots played from the surrounds, but also to make the visual impact of the greens suit the surrounding landscape. The real challenge for me as an architect is to combine the practical and agronomic aspects with aesthetics and playability. Since the course was built in the 1990s, a lot has happened to the game. Future phases include matching the fairway bunkering to the new greens design as well as updating tees. They will be realigned to improve the playing experience and new forward tees will be added. What will you start with? The driving range is the first phase, due to it suffering from very wet conditions, making it impossible to keep it open. The new range will feature a new drainage system as well as being sandcapped, so it can be kept open as long as there is no snow. Work on greens will mean parts of the course will be closed for play. To make it less painful for the players, the range will be updated with target greens and the club is also investing in Trackman technology to help create the best possible practice conditions. The club already has traditional putting greens and a synthetic putting green to allow players to practice their short game as soon as possible in the spring. TEE BOX