The European Tour’s 3 Hole Design competition has been won by Dylan Emms after the 11 year old’s final three hole submission was judged the best of more than 500 entries by European Golf Design, the European Tour’s golf course design company.
The challenge was to design three holes on an actual site plan being worked on by European Golf Design, to conjure up a dramatic stretch of three strategic and creative golf holes, where the total par for these three holes must be 11 or more. The routing could start from any one of three greens already on the plan, with the 18th finishing in front of the clubhouse.
Various different judging criteria were used. Had the design matched the brief, how well did the scheme fit within the landscape, did it continue the design style outlined on other holes and where the 18th green was located, were all important elements, as were golf strategy, scale and playability.
Dylan, who plays off a handicap of 28 at Styal Golf Club in Cheshire, England, designed the closing stretch featuring a risk-reward par 5, a tough par three and challenging final hole to a three-tiered green.
“I’m very passionate about designing courses and this was a great opportunity to show everybody what I could do,” explained Dylan.
“There were three points we could start from so I did one design from each and then chose the best route and worked on that design. I like holes that are very challenging but still give an opportunity for a good score.
“The 16th is a risk and reward par five, the 17th a par three with trouble up around the green and the 18th climbs up the hill to a dramatic three-tier green.”
The Winning Design
Dylan has been playing since the age of five, already has two holes-in-one to his name and regularly sketches and designs golf holes when he is not playing. Among the submissions he beat was one from his own Dad!
The 3 Hole design competition was supported by European Tour Destinations with the winning prize a game at a European Tour Destination of his choice. While he earned the bragging rights over his Dad on the design, he has agreed to take him to play the iconic Le Golf National in France, host venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
“I watched the Ryder Cup on TV and really liked the tough finishing holes with all the water and island greens so it will be great to play there,” said Dylan.
The competition brief was to design a ‘final three hole stretch’, using any one of the three green locations for the 15th green and finishing in front of a clubhouse located on the eastern side of the site. The three holes needed to present an exciting and dramatic conclusion to a tournament course but while the holes needed to challenge the best players they also needed to be playable for the average golfer.
Jeremy Slessor, European Golf Design’s Managing Director commented: “We were blown away by the number of entries and the quality. Many entrants clearly put a huge amount of time and effort into their submissions and I want to thank everyone who took part. I would particularly like to highlight the submissions we received from Rob McLean, Christopher Jordan, Trevor Hansen and Emmet O’Sullivan, all of whom clearly put in a massive effort. It’s been an incredibly tough task to select a winner.”
The judging panel finally agreed on a top three of Rob McLean, Dylan Emms and David Minogue and it was interesting that all three submissions treated the routing and strategy of their golf holes in a similar way.
Jeremy continued: “It was a real toss-up between these final three but, in the end, we felt there was one person who just stood out a little more when we took all the factors into consideration. I am delighted to say that our winner is Dylan Emms. What marks Dylan out is that he is only 11 years old. We were going through the entries and Dylan’s kept going through to the next round and we were thinking, this guy’s so young but he’s here competing against all these other entries, even some from experienced golf course designers. We felt we needed to keep that in mind when he reached the top three and I hope everyone is as impressed as we were with his design submission”.
“Our congratulations go to our three finalists, but especially to Dylan. I know from the reaction we received just how many people have enjoyed having the chance to create their own golf hole designs and hopefully we can do it again sometime soon.”
Think golf course design is easy? Now here’s your chance to prove it!
With no European Tour tournaments taking place at this time as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, why not take out those golf frustrations by designing some holes in our 3 Hole Design Competition, sponsored by European Tour Destinations.
The Site – This is a real site and forms part of an 18 hole European Golf Design project, however the Clubhouse location given is fictitious.
1. There are approximately 12 hectares (30 acres) of ‘usable’ space.
2. The site is generally undulating, with some steeper slopes and softer valleys, and you are to assume that it also free draining. The survey shows contours in one metre intervals.
3. It has numerous mature trees which need to be retained; these are shown in green on the plan.
1. Design three strategic and creative golf holes, where the total par for these three holes must be 11 or more. The holes can be of whatever length you like.
2. You are to use any ONE of the three green locations labelled A / B / C , as ‘your’ 15th green. The challenge is to design your ‘final three hole stretch’, with the 18th green to be located in front of a clubhouse located on the eastern side of the site. The three holes should present an exciting and dramatic conclusion to a tournament course, but remember, while the holes will need to challenge the best players they should also be playable for the average golfer.
3. Design plans can be submitted as either computer drawn or freehand, and you can show as much detail as you would like.
All entries are to be submitted by email in either pdf or jpeg format.
Entries are to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for entries is 1700 BST on Monday 18 May.
Entries will be judged by European Golf Design, the Design Company of The European Tour and IMG.
A winner will be announced across European Tour social media platforms.
The winner will receive a four-ball tee time of his or her choice at any European Tour Destination venue.
The European Tour returns this week to Royal Greens G&CC, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia for the Saudi International powered by SBIA.
The course designed by European Golf Design plays to a par of 70 and a length of 7010 yards. The golf course is characterised by beautifully manicured playing surfaces, enhanced by the creation of wadi & lake features and colourful and maintained native landscaped areas. Regular shaped bunkers, set within the manicured grassed areas, contrasts with freeform desert waste bunker edges. The creation of bold contouring, contrasting with the odd subtlety and ‘imperfection’, not only creates intrigue, but also ties all golf course features seamlessly into the neighbouring leisure facilities.
Inspired by the surrounding Saudi Arabian desert landscape, numerous wadi features, which meander through the golf site, play a significant strategic & functional role on numerous holes. These features help to alleviate storm drainage from both the golf course and adjacent residential neighbourhoods and each wadi terminates in one of the four salt water lakes, all of which have been created for strategic challenge, aesthetic enhancement and habitat creation. As well as enhancing the course’s visual appeal and challenge, these ‘drainage’ features, along with the spectacular views of the Red Sea, will further characterise the course setting and compliment the perfectly manicured green, tee & fairway edges.
Complimenting the golf course is a premium golf academy featuring a state-of-the-art teaching facility with extensive practice areas including a full length driving range with swing studios, as well as extensive putting, chipping and bunkers greens complexes. The Academy will open in early 2017, offering instruction and practice facilities including special facilities for women and children to learn the game.
The following images follow the journey in creating the high-end international 18 hole golf course.
January 30 – February 02
Saudi International – Royal Greens, King Abdullah Economic City
The end of January sees The European Tour return to Royal Greens, King Abdullah Economic City for the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers. The course, designed by European Golf Design, boasts panoramic views with the Red Sea coast as the backdrop and is the first European Tour event to be played in Saudi Arabia. Dustin Johnson returns as defending champion.
European Tour Destinations Senior Classic – PGA Catalunya Resort, Girona, Spain
The third edition of the European Tour Destinations Senior Classic will take place from July 12-14 at the home of Spain’s no.1 course, PGA Catalunya Resort, as part of the Stadium Course 20th anniversary celebrations. The Stadium Course design by European Golf Design in association with Ángel Gallardo has hosted three editions of the Open de España and was the setting for European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage for nine consecutive years until 2016. In 2019, the Stadium Course, will host The European Tour Destinations Senior Classic, an event that has been on the Staysure Tour International Schedule since 2016. European Golf Design are currently planning the renovation programme for the Stadium Course.
July 23 -26
Evian Championship – Evian Resort Golf Club
The Evian Championship is one of the 5 major tournaments in Ladies golf, and his held every year on the of the world women’s golf held every year on the French shores of Lake Geneva, at within the Evian Resort Golf Club, in Evian-les-Bains. The 26th edition of The Evian Championship will be held from 23 to 26 July 2020. Having completed the redesign and renovation of the existing course we are now in the process of making changes to the short course at the Evian Academy.
August 27 – 30
Omega European Masters – Crans-sur-Sierre
The Omega European Masters is one of the most prestigious golf competitions and indisputably the most spectacular course on the European Tour schedule. Originally hosted at Golf-Club Crans-sur-Sierre in 1939, this years tournament shall take place from the 27 to 30 August. As in previous years, European Golf Design have been overseeing renovation works through this past winter, with noticeable changes being made to the 2nd and 3rd greens, as well as an enlarging of the putting green.
September 03 – 06
Porsche European Open – Green Eagle North Course
Top stars return in September to Green Eagle in Hamburg for the sixth edition of the Porsche European Open that will be played on the Porsche Nord Course from 3 to 6 September 2020. A delighted Paul Casey was the winner in 2019.
Opened in 1997, the North Course was designed by its owner, Michael Blesch. At 7165 metres, it is one of the longest courses in Europe. During the discussions and negotiations that led to the course being awarded the rights to host the 2017 Porsche European Open, it was agreed that some features of the course needed renovation. A programme of changes was started and completed within seven weeks in the autumn of 2016. This included the redesign and construction of six green complexes, all of the physical work for which was undertaken by the Club’s own staff. Further work is ongoing to improve the course even more prior to future European Tour events.
September 10 – 13
BMW PGA Championship – West Course
Almost needing no introduction, the West Course has featured prominently in the European Tour’s schedule for many years and, as such, is known to golfers and spectators around the world. Originally designed by Harry Colt, the course has been changed several times with over the years, the most recent being in 2009. It would be fair to say that those changes did not meet the approval of either the Members or European Tour players and as a result, plans were put into place to renovate the course during the summer of 2016 to reintroduce style, strategy and enjoyment. Working with Ernie Els and his design associate, Greg Letsche, along with a European Tour Advisory Group, including Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjørn and David Jones, Wentworth’s Director of Courses, Kenny Mackay, and Chief Executive, Stephen Gibson, we were tasked with liaising with each stakeholder to prepare a cohesive plan that addressed all of the stated concerns.
To design an 18 hole golf course in the Pirin Mountains, Bulgaria, in association with Ian Woosnam.
Located close to the Bulgarian Ski resort of Bansko, the resort has been designed to be a year round destination, guests are able to play golf in the summer months and ski during the winter.
Situated in a valley the course has views of snow-covered peaks. Lakes and mountain creeks come into play with greens guarded by towering pine trees. Residential properties, a state of the art academy and clubhouse compliment the golf course.
Designed in association with: Ian Woosnam
Client: Pirin Golf Holiday Club Ltd
Course: 18 Holes
Length: 6210 metres, Par: 72
Pirin Golf & Country Club
T: +359 (0) 700 18 500
The European Golf Design course at The JCB Club makes the Golf Monthly 10 Most Exclusive Golf Clubs In The UK.
The JCB club is the newest venue on this list, having opened for play in 2018.
The club is the brainchild of Lord Anthony Bamford (son of Joseph Cyril Bamford) who is the chairman at the construction company started by his father, where the club gets its name.
The club is located in Rocester, Staffordshire which is the same small town where JCB is headquartered.
It features an island green par-3 and has some stunning countryside views.
Read more at www.golf-monthly.co.uk
Photos by Jeremy Slessor of European Golf Design