• Latest News from European Golf Design

    Dubai Hill named ‘World’s Best New Golf Course’ at the prestigious 2019 World Golf Awards

A Titanic Renovation

While many of us are still getting used to the new normal of having to work from home it was a bit of sweet relief to hear that the major overhaul of Titanic Golf Club in Belek, Turkey commenced last week. Originally planned to start in September to minimise disruption during the main tourist season the temporary closure of the surrounding hotels and golf courses has allowed the construction to be brought forward.

The driving force behind the work was the construction of a new resort hotel which impacted several of the existing golf holes but the addition of some extra land along the coast and the re-routing of a portion of the existing golf course enabled the golf resort to be extended from 27 to 36 holes.

The two 18 hole layouts will vary slightly in length with a 6,000y academy course and a more challenging 6,600y golf course, however, the four nine-hole loops, that all return to the clubhouse, will be interchangeable to help ease golf course operations during the busier months.

The new golf will retain many of the lakes and water features of the original layout but wider fairways and new bunkering should significantly improve the playability.

The construction work is being carried out by Turkish Construction company Golf Tek and will be the fifth project that they have built with us. Construction is due to take 18 months but a phased opening will see the first new golf holes being open for play in late 2020.

Tor Mastorta Project Update

EGD has been commissioned to provide design services for a new 18-hole golf course, as part of the proposed Tor Mastorta resort development, some 20 kilometres to the north-east of the centre of Rome, Italy.

The project site sits upon an open, downland-style, agricultural site, with superb views to the north-east towards the historic town of Tivoli and the beautiful Sabine Hills. The project involves the restoration of the dilapidated Tor Mastorta villa as the new golf clubhouse, with new resort hotel buildings and residential annexes bordering the golf course. The project site is set within an area of archaeological significance, which necessitates a layout with minimal earthworks. The open, rolling terrain provides significant elevation changes and challenges in locating tees and greens at as close to natural grades as possible. The course will be a true exponent of the ‘minimalist’ school of golf course architecture.

Early layout planning has been completed, with a golf course in the region of 6,000 metres, Par 72 having been achieved.

Our ‘Newbie’ – Tom Kelly

Tom Kelly

Our Design Associate and CAD supremo, Tom Kelly is our having only been with us for a little over two years (the next newest member of the team has been with us nearly fifteen years). While you may know us through our work, in a series of profiles over the coming months, we aim to give you a little more insight into who we are as individuals.

Tom was born in Nottingham and at the very tender age of three or four years old became captivated with golf, watching with his dad on the TV. Armed with a plastic set of clubs, Tom hacked the family garden to pieces just as over the proceeding years he has hacked many a proper course. After getting his first set of real clubs, he joined Radcliffe-on-Trent Golf Club, where he learned his trademark power push-fade and wild, oh-so-unbelievably-wild, duck hook.

It was while in his final year of his Masters degree course in Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Birmingham that he realised, having spent a summer watching metal corrode as part of an investigation into new coatings for aluminium parts used in the aeronautical world, that he needed a change in direction and, with golf being his passion, further realised to his amazement that designing golf courses was an actual job!

Following graduation, and hoping to put off real work for a while longer, Tom took a gap year, travelling extensively throughout South America, New Zealand and, inevitably, Australia, where by chance he managed to persuade the good folk at Michael Clayton Golf Design to give him a job on a maintenance and construction crew on some of their projects. Clearly undeterred by that experience, Tom returned to the UK and eventually landed a job with MJ Abbott, the renowned golf course contractor, where he was to stay for six years as a CAD Technician and Surveyor.

Tom Kelly

Tom joined us early in 2018 and has been a hugely valuable member of the team ever since. He is currently taking part in the European Institute of Golf Course Architects two-year education programme, which he says is time-consuming, but highly valuable. He also explains that his advice to anyone considering taking the course would be to get as much construction, course maintenance and/or design experience as they can prior to starting the course. He remains a passionate golfer and a member at Liphook Golf Club. When he’s not working, or playing, he enjoys all sports, live music, films and would like to see a bit more of the world. His favourite possessions are a Scotty Cameron putter, which exemplifies his interest in engineering, sport and art; his music collection and a map showing all the places he’s ever visited which gives him constant reminders of all his experiences.

If he could ‘be’ anything, he would like to be a professional golfer and play in The Masters (there’s no chance of that until the hook is sorted).

New Par 3 course at the Evian Resort Golf Academy

European Golf Design have been working with the Evian Resort for almost 10 years now, and what a pleasure it has been – a client, who year on year strives to grow, evolve and improve their golf offerings, we are honoured for the opportunity to help them on their ambitious journey.

This year their focus turned to the state of the art Golf Academy – an exquisite facility with 180 degree views down over Lac Leman and set above the town of Evian-les-bains. The practice facilities are fantastic, with a double-ended practice range, a large putting green in front of the old Manoir house (which serves as the Clubhouse), and numerous other practice greens to practice all variety of shots. In addition to this, was a 4 hole executive course, and this was where this years changes have taken place.

The brief was to transform the existing course into a 6 hole par 3 course, with the simple instruction being that every hole had to have both the ‘Fun’ and ‘Wow’ factors. To achieve this, we developed a routing which managed to re-utilise all four of the original green sites, with the addition of two new ones. The hole lengths vary from a mere 115m to 165m, with each hole having multiple tees to vary both the lengths and shot angles. We have also managed to incorporate numerous different tee shot offerings – from the drop shot on holes 1 and 4, to the uphill 5th with its semi-blind pin, and the side-slope holes of 3 & 6, variety is in abundance.

Works commenced in the first week of 2020, and all greens, both new and existing, were turfed by early March. The final areas will seeded later on this week, and the new 6 hole par 3 course at the Evian Resort Golf Academy is scheduled to open for play in early June.

The New Normal

This, for us and many, many millions of people around the world, is the new normal. The office is closed. Construction sites are closed. We are all working from home, trying to do the best we can in less than ideal circumstances….flakey wifi anyone? We’ve had more video conference calls in the past two weeks than we’ve ever had before; trying to get design work out to clients is proving challenging – coordinating a team remotely is not as easy as Microsoft would have you believe – but we are getting work done.

Of course, for a distressingly high number of people, this is going to be life-threatening and our thoughts will be with them, their families and friends as they come to terms with the personal cost of this virus. We are truly grateful that we are all, for now at least, healthy and safe.  To each of you reading this, we hope the same is true.

Royal Greens G&CC – From creation to consecutively hosting the Saudi International on the European Tour

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.