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North Wales architect reigns in Spain

COLWYN Bay-based golf course architect David Williams, Principal of David Williams Golf Design, International Golf Course Architects, and Past President of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, is seeing many of his designs being turned into reality this winter as two projects within Spain have concluded the construction phase, and Masterplans on three other courses in the country being prepared in advance of renovation work at those courses.

Last autumn David returned to Real Golf de Pedreña, near the city of Santander on Spain’s northern Atlantic coastline. He said: “In the past seven years, we have worked on the renovation of six holes on the 1928 Harry Colt designed championship golf course, made famous by its association with the late great Seve Ballesteros, who grew up overlooking the course and spent his early life playing and practising there.

“Recent work has also involved the reconstruction work to the smaller nine-hole course, designed by Seve, which runs around the main Championship course. The works included the construction of three new holes, a totally new par three finishing hole to a green located on the edge of a new lake and the sub-division of the formerly dogleg par four, second into two separate par three holes. The overall intention is to convince members of the benefits of the renovation of this second course, so that hopefully the other six holes can be re-built.”

The project also included the complete re-building of the 12thand 18thholes on the 18-hole Colt designed Championship course, home to three Spanish Opens, and regularly listed in Spain’s top 25 courses. David explains: “We have previously totally re-built six holes of the main course, so this will bring the project up to almost half of the Championship Course having been re-designed and re-built in the last few years!”

The second scheme was at Real Sociedad Hipica Española Club de Campo (RSHECC) on the northern outskirts of Madrid, a 36-hole championship venue designed by American architect Robert Von Hagge during the 1990s. David has produced an enlarged short game practice area of over 6,000 square metres of total area on sloping land immediately in front of the clubhouse and between the start points of both courses.

The facility consists of three linked greens totalling over 2,000 square metres of green area, with separate greens dedicated to chipping, bunker and putting practice. Work commenced in July last summer and continued through August into September, taking advantage of their quiet time in the club year – as the temperatures in Madrid are in excess of 35°C all summer, and leaving a very quiet golf course!

In recent months, David has also visited and consulted elsewhere in Spain, producing Masterplans for Spain’s oldest golf club at Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, at Club de Golf Sant Cugat on the outskirts of Barcelona, (which along with Real Golf de Pedreña, is one of only two remaining 18 hole Harry Colt designed golf courses within Spain), and at Club de Golf Sant Joan, also on the outskirts of Barcelona, designed by Seve, the only public golf course in Catalunya and destined to become the playing centre for the Catalan Golf Federation.

David added: “Clubs closer to home have not been forgotten either, with consultancy and design work at Sandiway in Cheshire, and at both Conwy and Rhos-on-Sea golf clubs in North Wales, much nearer the office – and not requiring long flights to reach!”

For further details, visit or contact David Williams on 01492 512070 or email to