David Williams Golf Design

DWGD complete British projects – from north to south, from east to west

Although the vast majority of their 2023 projects have been throughout Spain and the Canary Islands, North Wales based David Williams Golf Design have not neglected the British market, with projects completed throughout England and Wales – from north to south, and east to west.

The new 17th par 3 island green at Penrhos Park Golf & Country Club

Close to their North Wales office, at the beginning of the year, David Williams oversaw the construction of a short game practice area for a client on a private estate near St Asaph. Built by local contractors 360 Groundcare, the facility included a 400 square metre USGA spec green, practice bunkers (using Ecobunker edging and lining), and a range of practice tees.

Also in North Wales, the practice advised both Holyhead and Northop Golf Clubs on safety issues, as well as providing a masterplan for Hawarden Golf Club, and starting its implementation.

The new short game practice area at Llys Meirchion

Close to England’s south coast, DWGD have been advising Highways England for a number of years on the impact of the proposed routing of the A27 Arundel By-pass through the middle of the 18 hole Avisford Park golf course. As David explains “The course was already divided into two nines by an existing road which ran north to south through the course, separating the older front nine to the west from the newer back nine, which was built a few years later.

Unfortunately, the proposed A27 by-pass was designed to run from west to east straight through the middle of both nines, and affecting 14 of the existing holes, either by direct land take or holes lying within the safety margin of the proposed new road.

With such a drastic effect of the course, initially complete relocation was considered, but ruled out because of the impact it would have on a large, formerly Hilton, hotel which sat on the edge of the course, and which contributed largely to play on the course.

The existing 18 hole course at Avisford Park

With such a huge loss of holes, retaining a full length 18 hole layout proved impossible and, following lengthy consultation with local Golf Unions, golf consultants and other interested bodies, a final solution was found, retaining a full length 9 hole course on the eastern side of the site (based on the existing back nine) but converting the existing front holes into a 9 hole par 3 course (using four of the existing greens) and adding a full length floodlit driving range and comprehensive practice facilities, including a dedicated short game area.

However, in the spring of this year, Highways England paused the road scheme ‘for a few years’ so the project is now on hold,” Williams added.

Also in the south east, DWGD have been advising the owners of Braxted Park in Essex on the creation of two new par 4 holes which will replace two existing holes which lie very close to the historic house, and which will be abandoned to improve the setting of the house.

Close to England’s east coast, DWGD have been advising Grimsby Golf Club for a number of years, initially beginning with preparing a masterplan for the Colt designed course. This year, the club sold the site of their existing 8th green to a local housing developer, so DWGD were called in to design its replacement. As David explains “The hole was originally a short par 5 but the loss of the complete green area has reduced the hole to a long par 4. In consequence, the long par 4 11th hole has been extended to a par 5 by the creation of a new tee complex , and the introduction of new bunkering to increase the strategic nature of the hole, and to retain the overall par of the course at 72.”

The new 8th green under construction (with temporary green in the foreground)

The work, including the 400sq.m. new green and flanking bunker on the 8th hole was undertaken by Derrick Crane and his team, who will shortly be returning to the course to re-build all the bunkers on the club’s par 3 holes, to DWGD designs, using Ecobunker edging and linings.

Close to Wales’ west coast and to the university town of Aberystwyth, DWGD have been advising Penrhos Park Golf & Country Club on their 18 hole layout, starting with the production of a masterplan many years ago. This year, their ‘signature hole’ the downhill par 3 17th was threatened by the expansion of the caravan park, so approached David Williams for the solution.

This was to create a completely new island green in a small lake which sat behind the existing 17th green, and create a new tee complex on the sloping ground in front of the existing tees, retaining the hole length of 150 yards from the White tees, but creating a far more dramatic, and to be talked about, hole! The construction was undertaken by the club’s own in-house staff and is due to open in spring this year.