MJ Abbott

26 October 2023

Eleven new holes open at Ingestre Park

This article was written by:

Richard Humphries

Richard Humphries,
News Editor, Golf Course Architecture

Ingestre Park Golf Club in Staffordshire, England, has reopened 11 holes of its remodelled course.

The work was required to make way for the UK’s new HS2 high-speed railway line, which will run directly through the land of the club’s former course. This meant 12 holes would be entirely lost and the remainder would be reconfigured due to safety considerations and HS2 landscape mitigation requirements. While there are now some doubts over the extent to which the HS2 project will be completed, the work around Ingestre, which is included in phase 2a of the project, is still expected to proceed, albeit later than first planned.

Contractor MJ Abbott began construction on 12 new holes and renovation of the remaining six in 2021.

“We took the opportunity to level up the playing experience by introducing more playing strategy into the game,” said Jon Hunt, golf architect at International Design Group. “We now have sharper doglegs, approach bunkers and new ditches.”

Hunt says bunkers are steeper and deeper as well as having more character, and that greenside bunkers closer to the putting surface.

“The new first is a classic risk and reward hole,” said Hunt. “If the player can fly the bunker on the left of the fairway, there’s an easy bump and run into the slightly uphill green. However, if their tee shot finds its way to the right of the fairway, the adjacent lake will come into play and a flop into the green is needed.”

The new ninth has a ridge running diagonally across the landing zone. If a player’s tee shot reaches the top of the ridge, they will have good visibility of the green, if they are short, they face a more difficult approach. “The ridge runs across the green, linking the two bunker noses, makes long putts difficult, so accuracy into the green is critical to make a birdie,” said Hunt.

“The new sixteenth [old eighth] is the only significant drop hole on the course. The new teeing position forces a tighter dogleg. Some long and accurate hitters could reach the green but there’s danger all round. It is far better to lay up with a long iron or rescue club in front of the tight fairway bunkers for an easy pitch into the green.

“At the first landing area on the new seventeenth [old ninth], the righthand approach bunker appears to block access to the diagonal green. However, once closer, players will see there is plenty of space behind the approach bunker on the right.

“And the new eighteenth has comically been dubbed ‘the world’s first dogleg par three’ with a long iron off the tee needing perfect placement to land on the small, undulating green. Less confident players can lay up on the fairway meandering round the new pond.”

 

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