MJ Abbott

Construction of new golf course

Royal Norwich Golf Club, Norfolk


Relocation of the prestigious club from the heart of the city to the outskirts

Norwich as a city had seen development expand around and beyond the existing site of Royal Norwich Golf Club. With no room for expansion and the existing site sitting within a development area, the opportunity presented itself to sell the existing site for residential development and re-locate.

The chosen site was further north west of the existing site and encompassed an 18 hole course formerly known as Weston Park Golf Club, plus additional adjoining farmland.

Ross McMurray of European Golf Design was appointed as golf course architect, and Peter Todd, former Courses and Estates Manager at The London Club moved to Norwich to take up the post of Agronomist and Course and Estate Manager throughout the construction process.

Project challenges

Ground conditions proved more difficult than original appraisal suggested

Ground conditions were favourable in the summer months given that the majority of the subsoil was largely sand and gravel, but trying to work the site through winter was a challenge with soils proving far less permeable than originally thought at design stage.

Some budget constraints following the sale of the original site led to value engineering of the academy holes, water harvesting, cart paths, drainage installation and irrigation coverage.

Our approach

Detailed project planning and expert site management

The scope of work comprised the following:

  • Spraying off and clearing the vegetation from the entire site
  • Topsoil strip of all re-usable topsoil for re-use on fairways, surrounds & rough
  • Cut and fill earthworks and golf course shaping
  • Construction of a 5 metre deep 40,000m³ reservoir for the irrigation system
  • Aerators and transfer pumping from reservoir to new 500m³ water storage tank
  • Installation of primary piped drainage to key playing areas on heavier soils
  • Installation of an automatic full fairway irrigation system
  • Construction of 24 no USGA greens and tees
  • Construction of 800m² USGA practice green and 600m² putting green
  • Construction of a new outdoor practice tee and driving range
  • Topsoil re-spread to all playing surfaces around greens, tees and bunkers
  • Incorporation of specified soil amendments
  • Cultivation and seeding to all areas.

A fantastic new parkland course for Norfolk

Construction works were completed in summer 2018, and following a 12 month grow-in by Peter Todd and his team, the course opened for play in 2019 with an eager membership of 1,100 members and visitors wanting to play the new course.

Playing surfaces have been strengthened since opening, with secondary drainage strategically installed to sensitive areas that were omitted during construction due to budget constraints.