Balcarrick opts to go with ?1m makeover
BALCARRICK Golf Club members have approved a ?1 million major overhaul of their course.
The North County Dublin club, founded in 1992, will undergo a 30-week renovation to restyle and upgrade the parkland setting near Donabate.
The construction will start next spring and course designer Roger Jones has been commissioned to carry out the work.
Jones, star of the 'I Want A Garden' show recently aired on RTE, is currently co-designing a course with Ryder Cup star Paul McGinley in Co Wicklow and was delighted with the near unanimous support of the club's members.
He said: "I visited the course several times and talked directly to the golfers themselves as well as club officials.
"I eventually presented the full plan to a special meeting of members and they seemed to like what I was saying very much."
The main areas of work will be teeing areas, bunkers, mounding on fairways, the green surrounds and meadowland rough areas.
Ponds will be re-shaped and relocated to enhance the challenge and an interesting decision is the re-routing of the course to start at the existing par-4 17th.
Balcarrick vice-captain Gerry Mulholland commented: "Roger reckons that best hole on the course is the 16th, so he wants that to be the closing hole. The members are very happy with the plans."
The designer and members agreed on two objectives: first, to create a golf course which has its own identity and is more natural looking than at present; and second, to encourage a greater diversity of flora and fauna.
Balcarrick should also become a more attractive venue for green fee golfers and members alike in the Fingal area which has an abundance of golf courses.
Jones' priority is to carry out the work without unduly affecting the members' golf.
"When you are dealing with members, they want as little disruption as possible and to see great rewards for their investment," said Jones. The designer said the project offered a different challenge.
"I visited the course several times and talked directly to the golfers themselves as well as club officials and eventually presented the full plan to a tremendous special meeting of members. "They seemed to like what I was saying very much and I'm delighted by the almost unanimous support for the project."
Planning has already started and construction is due to begin in February 2007.
This is a big undertaking for the club which was founded in 1992 but reflects the members' confidence in the future.
Balcarrick has a membership of around 780, and is open for a limited number of five-day and seven-day memberships.
A five-day membership will cost approximately ?2,500 and full membership is around ?6,500.