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Ulverston Golf Club, Lake District, UK

Remodelling your course, especially an older one held in reverence by the members, combines technical expertise with political acceptability. Over our 20 years' work, we have built a diplomatic and technically exceptional process to guide the course through this particular labyrinth.

UGC, re-designed by Harry Colt in the mid-1920's, decided a few years ago to upgrade their lovely golf course, which sits on raised land overlooking the mountains of the Lake district to one side, and Morecambe Bay on the other. The Club wanted to refurbish the course, re-assess playing strategy, and increase difficulty, particularly for the lower handicap golfers within the Club

A full technical assessment was made to help define the existing situation, from each tee and for each level of golfer, looking at tee placement, bunker positioning, fairway shaping, and in conjunction with Ecologist Bob Taylor of the STRI Ltd, tree and vegetation effects around the course.

The programme of improvements is well underway, phased so as not to affect play too much, and concentrating initially on new tee positions and new bunkers, placed in more strategically challenging positions.

Ease of maintenance has been important in the process, with Head Greenkeeper Mike Etchells working with David Hemstock on refurbishment of


bunkers, and removal of 'traditional', but hard to mow banking. Subtle changes to fairway mowing, rough areas, and the breaking-up of straight tree lines with additional planting has made a big difference to the golf and the ambiance of the course.