SGD Gets Go Ahead At Sundridge Park

Sundridge Park Golf Club’s two 18-hole courses will begin a phased renovation this autumn under the auspices of Swan Golf Designs.

The practice has recently completed the blueprints for the management of the landscape and bunker strategy on both the East and West courses, following a detailed appraisal of both layouts, and is being retained by the club as golf course architects throughout the implementation of the improvements.

Bob Walden, Sundridge Park Golf Club’s general manager, said: “We wanted to look to the future and make sure we were keeping pace with the modern game and its equipment. Also, like most clubs, we have criticism of bunkers from our members and we wanted to address those from a completely independent point of view.”

Sundridge has a unique setting: the venue proudly claims to be the nearest 36-hole golf club to a major metropolitan city, just seven miles from the centre of London, and is set in the grounds of the Sundridge Park Estate, designed by Humphrey Repton, considered by many to be the last great English landscape designer of the 18th century and natural successor to Capability Brown.

The courses also boast an impressive design pedigree: the West Course was laid out by Willie Park under the supervision of James Braid while Sir Guy Campbell and Major CK Hutchinson – whose work as a team has been regularly recognised, including courses ranked in the UK’s top 100 – created the East Course.

Swan Golf Designs was selected for the work because the club felt the company had the right qualities to follow in such prestigious footsteps. Walden added: “We were particularly impressed with Swan Golf Designs’ experience in the renovation of golf courses – the roll of commissions and the ability to devise and execute project programmes at venues across the spectrum of design heritage. We were satisfied we had selected an architect that would appraise our courses backed by considerable experience, objectively and on merit.”

Swan Golf Designs’ architect Nigel Henbury said: “This is a genuine classic that makes good use of the excellent topography of the site and the River Quaggy’s natural features, giving elements which will continue to stand the test of time. The Repton elements are indistinguishable but the aura just survives and the project has definitely been an enjoyable challenge to work on.”