Kent’s Prince’s Golf Club – host of the 1932 Open – has confirmed details of course renovation works to the Shore and Dunes nines at the 27-hole links venue.
Following on from the acclaimed redevelopment of the Himalayas nine by top golf course architects, Mackenzie & Ebert, the historic links has commissioned more improvements to upgrade all 27 holes.
Rob McGuirk, General Manager of Prince’s Golf Club, said: “We were thrilled with the re-opening of our Himalayas nine last year and as a result, came to the prompt realisation that we require similar upgrades to the other 18 holes on the property.
“I believe the steps we’re taking to elevate the visual and playing aspects of the courses are overwhelmingly positive and it shows how determined we are to provide a world-class experience to our members, guests and visitors.”
Work commenced in October 2018 and much of the heavy machinery work and initial development has already been completed. Both nines will be finalised for Spring 2020, but the course remains fully open for uninterrupted play throughout 2019.
The club has once again retained Mackenzie & Ebert to oversee the project, with the intention of integrating some of the distinct design styles implemented on the Himalayas. The work will give the two loops a substantial lift, making use of the natural landscape to fully highlight the quality of the courses.
Martin Ebert said: “We have been delighted to continue our involvement at Prince’s. Having the opportunity to provide design input to the Shore and Dunes has led us to enjoy an even greater respect for the quality of the detailed shaping of the greens and green surrounds at Prince’s. The original work of Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison in restoring Prince’s as a great golf course after the Second World War was fantastic. It has been a great honour to have followed in their footsteps.
“Our research has shown that the greens used to be much larger so many of the surfaces have been restored in size simply by mowing them out. In terms of new features, the 5th hole on the Shore Nine stands out. The carry over bare sand areas and the view towards the sea makes for a stunning hole and it also provides a welcome change in angle for the course.
“The 6th (existing 5th) has also benefited from the 5th hole project with a new alignment from elevated tees in the dunes. The reconfigured tee complexes have added character to many of the holes, as have the restoration and creation of bare sand areas in many areas. Prince’s really has three world class loops of nine holes.”
A tactical reconfiguration of the bunkering on several holes, as well as the addition of several new tees will not only provided more balance between the back tees and members’ yellow tees but increasing the length of some holes has brought the fairway bunkers back into play for elite golfers.
Much the same as the changes made to the Himalayas, new open natural sand scrape areas add an attractive landscape feature, while also providing a natural habitat for rare coastal species of flora and fauna.
On the notable par-three second hole of the Dunes, an attractive wooden sleeper path now weaves its way up the middle of the hole through a new bare sand area up to the green enhancing the visual from the tee dramatically.
A new short par-3 is under construction on the Shore, with a variety of tee positions allowing it to play between 110-155 yards. Similar to Bloody Point, the signature new par-3 hole on the Himalayas, the new hole sits with the backdrop of the sea, albeit at a slightly different angle, and will open for play in Spring 2020.