MAJOR work to transform three holes on the back nine at Alsager Golf & Country Club is nearing completion.
The changes, which were introduced to improve playability and retention of members, as well as making more of the stunning views over six counties, began in June.
The sharp incline meant that the current par three 13th hole was often played blind and from the start of next season players will make their way to a new 13th tee and play down a new fairway to the existing 14th green.
The current 15th hole will remain unchanged but will be played as the 14th. Golfers will then make their way to a new tee and play a short par three to the old 13th green, which is being extended.
The spectacular 16th hole will have a new tee set 25 yards further back to make up for the lost yardage on the par three.
The idea was originally brought to the management committee by one of the members and was voted through at the AGM in April.
Alsager management committee member Dave Prendergast explained: “We’re always looking to improve and are continually asking ourselves where can we make the course better.
“Every year we invest something back into the club and the beauty of this project is that it has been paid for by our generous members through our 200 Club.
“The new layout is going to be fantastic. We’ve been able to add an additional tee at the top of the hill for the new 15th so players get to see the views over Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Denbighshire from two tees now rather than just the one.
“Golfers won’t have to trudge up the steep 13th anymore and the old 14th was a killer on the knees walking downhill. That’s no longer the case as the slope is less severe and the fairway can now be seen from the tee box.”
The major task of moving earth took just 48 hours and there has been minimal disruption to play while the work takes place.
“We got contractors in to do that work and they were great. We’re doing all the rest in-house,” added Dave.
“The new 13th fairway was seeded last summer and had its first cut within a month! New paths and irrigation were added last month and the tees have been turfed. We’ll seed the new 15th green (currently the 13th) in April.”
Feedback from the members has been all positive. Alsager Lady captain June Hulme said: “We even took a mixed ability group of golfers to the new 15th tee to hit balls to the proposed green in order to ensure we are considering all areas of the membership in the new design and they all saw it as a major improvement. The par and standard scratch will remain the same but the stroke index of the back nine holes will change.
“We just can’t wait for it all to be ready for play in just a few months’ time.”