Wetherby Golf Club has recently completed what it believes to be the largest golf development in Yorkshire, the construction of two brand new holes designed by GGD.
Back in the early 2000’s Wetherby GC acquired some additional land and redesigned six holes of the golf course alongside the River Wharfe. These holes were reasonably well received, but the new course layout seemed slightly ‘unfinished’ – as it left golfers playing the 18th to the old first green, about 250 yards from the clubhouse, which didn’t give the kind of quality golfing experience that Wetherby GC felt it should offer. Since 2010, Wetherby has been successful in recruiting new members and has consistently generated more income than it has spent, so the club’s green committee felt it could afford to look again at the 17th hole and, more importantly, the 18th hole, and brought in Jonathan to advise.
The new holes have been designed to be both very memorable and full of challenging features. When the plans were presented to the members in December 2015 they were overwhelmingly approved. The new 17th hole is a par three of around 150 yards (185 yards from the new back tee on top of the old railway embankment), playing over a new wetland to an elevated and undulating green, protected by two deep bunkers on the right flank. One of the issues that had to be faced in the project was the old railway embankment that runs through the club’s property. With the old 17th there was a walk back to the tees of 100 yards, which was not ideal. Now, the flow is much more natural and the path through the embankment from the 16th green is a nicer walk. The hole is a strong one, with plenty of teeing options – and the big green gives the greenkeeper plenty of pin locations for spreading wear and for varying difficulties in playing terms, too.
The new 18th hole is a 550 yard par five and it meanders down a valley along the side of the railway embankment to a theatre-style green, 40 yards in front of the clubhouse. This is something the club had always wanted to achieve since the new holes had been built in the early 2000’s. The new 18th will give Wetherby a much more satisfying and high-quality finishing experience. There’s a good variety of hazards on the hole too, ideal for the 18th – with a pond around driving distance, and a stream that cuts across the fairway. A break was created in the railway embankment to provide new dramatic views of the 1st hole from the clubhouse, which was an added bonus.
Now, the construction work, done by NLS Contracts, is completed and the new holes are scheduled to open for play in May 2018.
Photo Credit: JG