PRYORS Hayes Golf Club owners Tim and Richard Barnes have enrolled the expert services of a Cheshire-based golf course designer to further enhance its Chester-based course.
The duo, who took over in January, 2014, have already transformed the course’s drainage, now they have teamed up with Marc Westenborg, from Westenborg Golf Course Design to make some major changes that will see the course lengthened by approximately 250 yards and its par increased from 69 to 70.
The biggest alteration will be to the Chester club’s opening par four hole, which will be lengthened by 70 yards and will become a par five.
Other major changes will see the tee moved back 40-50 yards on the problematic 13th hole as well as revamps on holes 15 and 18.
“We want a course our members can we be proud of,” explained Tim, who also owns Hartford Golf, near Northwich.
“Getting Marc involved was all about getting the full potential from the course.”
Marc, who has been involved involved in a number of high-profile projects including Trump International Golf Links, Rockliffe Hall and Dun Laoghaire, was initially brought in 12 months ago to carry out an overall review of the course. “I call it a hole-by-hole audit,” explained Marc, who is based near Nantwich, in South Cheshire.
“After this extensive review I made recommendations on where improvements could be made and Tim and Richard have decided to go with many of my suggestions, which is great,” he said.
“It’s a lovely site and because it’s so flat it is an easy walk for golfers. Some of the changes will be quite subtle but will make a major difference, such as moving the tee on the 17th, which will give golfers a better view down the hole from off the tee.”
The course, which will now surpass the all-important 6,000-yard mark, will see the first changes in play from the start of next season.
“The beauty of the work we’re carrying out is that there will be minimal disruption for the golfers,” said Richard. “There will be no temporary greens or tees, just some additional areas of GUR.”
The project, which is expected to take two to three years to complete, will be done in-house and Marc will be commissioned to make regular site visits to assess the progress.
“Feedback has been good from the members who are delighted to see the course being enhanced,” said Tim.
“The changes will allow us to rest parts of the course at times and will make it a fairer and more interesting layout.”
He added: “We’ve spent a lot of time and money getting the drainage sorted, which meant we were only closed for five days this winter, now we want to move on to the next level with the design.
“Of course, we could have thought up some of the changes ourselves but the difference you get from using a real expert architect is immeasurable and we are all so excited to start seeing the improvements over the coming months.”
The image shows how the re-designed opening hole will look at Pryors Hayes.