Balmoral completes major course redevelopment

The new 15th green at Balmoral GC with extended water feature

YOU have to hand it to the members at Balmoral Golf Club.
Once they had finally decided not to sell up back in 2004, the members launched plans for an ambitious redevelopment of their facilities.
The key component of those plans was the installation of 18 brand new, high spec greens.
The traditional greens at Balmoral (home club of the great Fred Daly) which had been left practically untouched for 90 years, always had a good reputation but in essence they were ‘eight month’ greens.
The members wanted high quality surfaces that were playable all year round.
A development committee approached renowned course architect David Jones to present some ideas on the way forward.
According to club secretary Anthony Shepherd, the plan was to carry out the contract over a four phases, which included the creation of a turf nursery for the new strain of Penn A4 grass that was to be used on the new greens.
The estimated cost of the works was £1.2m
Over the last four years Balmoral has undergone a remarkable transformation. The pace of change was stepped up dramatically over the winter of 2009/2010 and the work has been completed in record time.
The final two greens were only officially opened for play within the last month and works on new tees and other landscaping has also been completed.
It will take time for the finished product to bed in, but golfers turning up at the Belfast club now face a more daunting challenge.
New strategically placed fairway bunkers have been created and the greenside bunkering has also come in for attention. There are new water features at 10, 11, 12 and 15 and the extensive drainage work has the course running fast and true.
However, it is the greens that will startle any visitors returning to the club after a long absence. They are big surfaces, undulating and firm and certain to provide a real test for even the most accomplished of putters.
*IF you fancy pitting your wits against the ‘new Balmoral’ the club’s Open Week runs from, Sunday June 20 – Sunday June 27.
For further information contact the professional’s shop on 028 90 667747.

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