After more than twenty years of planning Royal Norwich has finally relocated to its new home at Weston Estate, a few miles outside the city. The golf course, created by European Golf Design, was officially opened for play by Ian Poulter, who took time out from his BMW PGA Championship preparations to play the course on Monday 16th September.
The move for Royal Norwich comes after 125 years at its Hellesdon site and after selling that property to Persimmon Homes.
Speaking about the project European Golf Design MD, Jeremy Slessor, said: “I first visited the site in 2006 and knew immediately that it had the potential to become a fine golf course. The mature parkland with its many specimen trees sets it apart from most other sites. After all this time I’m thrilled that we have played a part in creating an exciting future for Royal Norwich and I wish the membership the best of luck in their new home”.
Ross McMurray was the lead designer on the project for European Golf Design and he commented: “From the start our design goals have been inspired by the wishes of Royal Norwich. The club developed a clear vision for its future and set strategic aims which helped us to define the design requirements on the Weston Estate. ‘Acknowledge our heritage and embrace the future’ was one of Royal Norwich’s fundamental objectives and so we have gone to great lengths to design a golf course which is very modern in its outlook but respects and responds to the existing landscape. I wanted the course to possess an immediate sense of maturity so that it sat comfortably within this fabulous parkland and I’m delighted that this has been achieved.”
“The club wanted the course to be long enough to challenge the best golfers if required, but most importantly it needed to be a course which was playable for higher handicaps and short enough for golfers of all standards to enjoy. The course measures over 7,200 yards from the back tees but only 5,330 from the forward tees, so there should be a course length that is suitable for everyone. I’m sure the members will find it great fun.”
As well as the new 18 hole course at Royal Norwich, European Golf Design has also created a six hole Academy Course. Built to the same standards as the main course it provides a much shorter golf experience with three par 3s and three par 4s and should take no more than one hour to play. The Academy Course has been an important part of the proposals from the start and it fulfils another key objective for Royal Norwich, to ensure there is a clear members’ journey in place from junior through to senior.
Ross McMurray continued: “I must say I am full of admiration for what Royal Norwich have done. To relocate their golf course and also change the whole structure and strategy of their club has been a magnificent achievement. They deserve every plaudit and I hope what they have done provides a template for other golf clubs to follow.”
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