David Williams Golf Design

David Williams Presents Real Golf De Pedreňa With Specially Commissioned Watercolour Painting

David Williams Golf Design, international golf course architects, celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2020, and to mark the occasion commissioned a number of watercolour paintings of holes created during that time. The commission was awarded to Welsh artist Arwyn Davies, who incidentally had worked for the practice in its early years.

David Williams (left) presents Real Golf de Pedreña General Manager Pedro Navedo with the watercolour painting

One of the paintings was of the par 3 10th hole of Real Golf de Pedreña, re-designed by Williams in 2014. Unfortunately, because of Covid travel restrictions, the painting could not be delivered during the Anniversary Year, so David took the opportunity during a site visit to inspect the Autumn 2021 renovation programme to present the painting to the club General Manager Pedro Navedo.

The hole was chosen to be painted to represent the work undertaken by Williams in the last ten years at the club, following his preparation of a detailed Masterplan and hole-by-hole audit produced back in 2010.

As David explains “We were originally commissioned to produce the masterplan of the historic course, designed by the great Harry Colt and built in 1928, over ten years ago and, since that time have worked virtually every year – usually in the autumn – to re-design and re-build virtually all the features of the holes, greens, tees, bunker, drainage and irrigation, leading to all the features being transformed, continuing with holes 2 and 4 this autumn.”

He continues “With this continuing and long-standing involvement, Pedreña was the obvious project used to illustrate our renovation/restoration projects, where we have assisted over a hundred courses throughout the UK and Europe.”

However, the decision as to which hole at the course to illustrate was a relatively simple one, as David explains “The renovation of holes at Pedreña generally retains the greens and tees in the same locations as previously, although many of the bunkers have been re-designed and re-located. However, the par 3 tenth hole was an exception, with a completely new green location.

The 10th hole at Real Golf de Pedreña. Original watercolour by Arwyn Davies

When Colt originally built the course in the late 1920s, both the 9th and 11th holes, which run side by side but in opposite directions, were par 4 holes, with the magnificent par 3 tenth hole played in land from behind the 9th green to behind the 11th tee.

However, in the 1970s, the club wished to extend the course, and purchased land beyond the tenth hole to lengthen both the 9th and 11th holes into par 5s, with a new green on hole 9 and a new tee complex on hole 11. In consequence, the original and magnificent Colt designed 10th green complex was totally abandoned but left in the carry area in front of the 11th tee, still a testament to Colt’s design but now unplayed. It was replaced by a new long and uphill par 3 to a difficult small green and, not unsurprisingly, unpopular with most members and visitors.

When I produced the Masterplan in 2010, it was clear that this issue had to be addressed, and I was determined to reinstate the magnificent Colt green complex. However, it was also clear that it could not just be re-opened, given its position directly in front of the 11th tees!

Careful examination of the ‘new land’ produced an area of ground very similar in size and contours to the ground on which Colt had created his 1928 design, so we proposed re-creating that original complex in the new location, about 100 metres away from its original location.

The concept was put to the members, who, unsurprisingly given their dislike of the 1970s replacement, gave the idea their full support. Detailed surveys of the original complex were undertaken, and closely replicated in the new location, although minor amendments were made to the green surface contouring.”,

The construction work was undertaken in 2014 by leading Spanish contractors Garden and Golf, and was opened to play – to general acclaim – the following year.

As David concludes “It was the obvious hole to illustrate, and I am delighted that Arwyn Davies, an old friend and colleague, has fully captured the character and test of the hole. I am also very pleased that the club appreciate the painting as a fitting reminder of our long association together.”

For further details, please contact David Williams on +44 7831 372585 or david@williamsgolf.co.uk