Westenborg Golf course architecture
Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club
Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club, better known as S & A, is a stunning links golf course, designed by the great James Braid. It has hosted two Ryder Cup’s and, is an Open Qualifier venue and regularly hosts high-profile amateur tournaments.
Westenborg Golf Design was commissioned in 2018 to consult for the Club. Since then, some quite significant work has occurred in the form of removing granite paths and replacing them with high specification grass paths. Additionally, some major renovation of the 18th occurred, constructing a series of new dunes along the right of the hole to visually separate it from the adjacent driving range, as well as new and removed bunkers and adjustment of the levels of some dunes to improve the view of the hole from the tee complex.
The site is a SSSI and we therefore work closely with Natural England, especially with the formation of sandy areas which are the perfect habitat for the rare sand lizard.
More work is planned during 2020 and 2021 – constructing more grass paths, formation of more areas of open sand, removal and addition of bunkers and the construction of new dune systems.
Rockliffe hall golf club
Rockliffe Hall was the development of a high quality 18 hole golf course and the accompanying renovation of a derelict hall into a 5 star hotel and spa. The developer Steve Gibson, the chairman of Middlesbrough Football Club.
We were involved from the very first meeting with the client to inspect the site to the ceremonial opening tee shot.
Since then the golf course, and associated hotel and real estate, has grown and matured into one of the finest developments in the North East of England and is currently the “Golf World” 37th best golf resort in the UK.
The course has twice hosted the English Senior Open and hosts several regional tournaments as well as the Trilby Tour.
Dun Laoghaire golf club
The project involved the relocation of Dun Laoghaire Golf Club to a new site financed by a developer who planned to redevelop their existing site. Predominately due to external boundary safety concerns, the existing Harry Colt course’s future was uncertain so, following several presentations to the membership, relocation to a new 27 hole golf course with the highest possible specification was agreed.
The project was complex due to strict environmental considerations due to the site bordering a Natural Heritage Area. This affected options for drainage requiring the capacity to attenuate a 100 year storm. The drainage programme used wetland filtering technology, archaeological relics had to be protected and the water source is rain water harvesting. The Club’s brief was to move into a golf course with a very early sense of maturity which was challenging since the most of the site was treeless with limited topographical interest. Solving these problems required extensive earthworks, wall-to-wall irrigation, intensive drainage and robust landscaping. The civil element of the design including flood attenuation, drainage, buggy paths, wetlands and large water features.
Our involvement spanned all aspects of the project lasting more than three years of continuous activity.
The course was voted best parkland golf course in Ireland 2013, 2014 and 2016 and also hosted the Curtis Cup in 2016.
Cobh golf club
As with Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, this project involved the relocation of a golf course; this time from a 9 hole facility to a new 18 hole lay-out financed entirely by the Club.
Our involvement included presentation of the masterplan to the membership and full responsibility for all aspects of the planning process, layouts, design, tendering procedure and construction management.
The total area of available land was just 115 acres with some of the land being exceptionally steep, further reducing the useable land for golf holes. However, a spacious course of good length was laid-out to the great satisfaction of the membership and is a good example of how an excellent golf course can be laid out on a small difficult area of land with only a limited budget.
Dooks golf club
This project was a complete renovation of all 18 holes over a period of five winters between 2003 and 2008. The work included 16 new greens, some close to their existing locations and some in completely new locations. All 18 tee complexes and bunkers were renovated in a similar vein to the green complexes.
The initial brief was to recommend measures to solve their 1st hole safety problems and recommend uses for land between the 15th, 16th and 17th holes. However we realised the huge potential of the golf course and developed a masterplan for its renovation and updating of all 18 holes.
Our role involved yearly presentations to the member at EGM’s, detailed designs, site reports, tenders, construction management and weekly supervision visits during construction.
Following the work the course moved from outside the top 100 ranked courses in Ireland to its current position of 24.
Cork golf club
Cork Golf course is an original Mackenzie design, but its original landscaping style and Mackenzie features had gradually been eroded over time and the course was very much developing, despite its outstanding location, into a parkland style golf course.
Our involvement started with a detailed audit report and our recommendation were three fold:
i) Adjust the bunkering such that their style at the very least represented some of the features and design philosophies that Mackenzie was well known for. Those being smaller, deeper bunkers with high clearly visible sand faces and surrounds consisting of a series of sharp hillocks, hollows, ridges and swale with a great variety of differing gradients.
ii) Commence a programme of tree removal, opening up the golf course to the outstanding views of the Cork Estuary and surrounding countryside. Additionally develop areas of gorse to assist with the gradual dissolving of its parkland feel and return it to a more open seaside/links/heathland style of golf course.
iii) Renovate tee complexes that were in poor condition and sometimes poorly located as well as rebuilding the 13th green, that was poorly designed and, at times, unplayable.
The work took place over a period of 5 years and is now, apart from the continued removal of trees and establishment of gorse, is now largely complete. The results have been spectacular and the golf course is now of a style that Mackenzie would appreciate and probably be more comfortable to associate his name with.
Trump International Golf Links
This was a very high-profile project and included in-depth liaison with environmental consultants to develop the ecological concept of the project and ensure minimal impact and criticism. When still working for Hawtree Ltd, Marc Westenborg prepared the majority of the plans including earthworks and habitat translocation.
Marc was heavily involved with the preparation of the case for the public enquiry that resulted after the initial refusal of planning permission.
The golf course achieved 8th place in the top 100 golf courses in the UK and Ireland even before it had officially opened.
ZAGALETA GOLF CLUB
Zagaleta is a high class real estate development with two 18-hole golf courses. The older of the two course, "Zagaleta Old Course" was in need of upgrading. A complete new irrigation and drainage systems was installed as well as the latest Bermuda grass cultivar to replace the previous bent grass fairways which were always a challenge to maintain during the summer months. During that work, it seemed sensible to address the bunkering; reducing their number and improving upon their style. In total, the area of bunker sand was reduced by just over 1500m2 considerably easing their maintenance, while at the same time, the bunker designs were adjusted to better suite the spectacular rugged scenery around the golf course. Additionally, a new 7th green was constructed (pictured), some new/renovated tee platforms and some re-profiling around the green surrounds to vary the visual and playing characteristics of these areas.
Tat International golf club
Originally designed and constructed by Hawtree Ltd in 1994 the course had been neglected over the years and had fallen behind the top quality new golf courses being constructed in the Antalya area. Over the past few years we have designed and supervised the renovation of all 27 holes, including bunkers, all tee complexes and three new greens.
Before the work commenced the bunkers were in a state of disrepair, often out of position and poorly styled. As can be seen from the pictures below, the bunkers now possess a distinctive style that blends well with the nature of the site. All the bunkers were effectively designed on site. A masterplan was prepared but we personally marked the location and shape of the bunkers out on site and worked directly with the shaper during construction. The work has transformed the golf course.
It was also clear that area between the holes required addressing. The irrigation system spreading water into the trees was causing the growth of numerous shrubs, bushes and other unwanted vegetation that spoilt the open sandy feel between the the trees and would also make recovery of ball difficult and slow play. Gradual removal of all this vegetation is occurring (along with the neccesary adjustments to the irrigation system) to open up these areas and give the golf course the unique and attractive appearance of open sandy areas between the trees in stark contrast to the greenness of the in play areas.