Ipswich Golf Club has embarked on a bunker renovation project that will see the famed course’s sand traps returned to their original style.
The club has called in renowned golf course architect Martin Hawtree to oversee the project, 88 years after his grandfather Fred, along with legendary golfer James Braid, designed the course. The multi-phase project will be implemented over a number of years, with work having already started on four holes.
Neill Ellice, Ipswich Golf Club General Manager, said: “The vision is to have the bunkers restored, as close as possible, to the original Fred Hawtree style.
“The bunkers are one of the course’s outstanding features, quite intricately shaped, with bays separated by heather. Over the course of the last 88 years they have begun to show signs of age, a product of years of use, weather and maintenance.
“By analysing old photographs and utilising the skills built up through designing golf courses all over the world, Hawtree Ltd, will ensure all bunkers on the course will be restored to their former glory.”
Hawtree Ltd, which has also worked closely with the R&A on five Open Championship venues and with Donald Trump, undertook a comprehensive review of the Purdis Heath bunkers, before recommending the work.
The club has employed outside contractors to complete the construction work, leaving its own greenkeeping staff free to continue their work. It is hoped the work will have minimal impact on the enjoyment of golfers playing during the construction process.
“While the first phase is taking place we will have one hole, the third, out of action completely, while the other three, one, five and 18, will be in play but with temporary greens,” added Ellice.
“We anticipate that by Christmas all the holes will be fully open again, though the bunkers will remain out of play.”
Ipswich Golf Club is currently ranked within the top 100 golf courses in England by website top100golfcourses.co.uk.