Earlier this week, the Bonnie Doon Golf Club welcomed defending Australian Open Champion Geoff Ogilvy back to the club to inspect the works being carried out by his design company Ogilvy Clayton Golf Design.
Ogilvy Clayton began work on a major redevelopment of the Bonnie Doon GC in May, and with Stage One of the project nearing completion, Ogilvy escorted journalists and members of the golfing media on a walking tour of the new works. Commenting on progress made to this point, Ogilvy noted that, “It’s a pretty stunning piece of land with some great stuff growing out of it. It’s pretty exciting to get on the ground and see stuff like that. It’s pretty fun.”
Ogilvy Clayton Golf Design The Ogilvy Clayton Golf Design partnership (above) was formed in 2010 between former US Open Champion Geoff Ogilvy and respected course architect Michael Clayton, along with two colleagues from Clayton’s previous design company, Michael Cocking and Ashley Mead. While Clayton, Cocking and Mead have worked on numerous prestigious courses around Australia, including Kingston Heath, Victoria, Metropolitan, Royal Adelaide, The Lakes, Lake Karrinyup and Royal Queensland, for Ogilvy the Bonnie Doon project was his first of any real significance. Ogilvy’s enthusiasm for design and the works done at Bonnie Doon are evident, as he explains “This (golf design) is definitely an area that I’m really, really interested in, and straight away to get a project like Bonnie Doon is exciting.”
Stage One of the Bonnie Doon GC redevelopment involved the building of a new par five, a challenging uphill par three and a comprehensive practice facility on a previously unused and weed-infested tract of land. Tens of thousands of cubic metres of sand were brought onto the site to enable the area to be built up to a similar level to the existing holes, and to allow for some strategic shaping to be introduced into the new holes. Ogilvy Clayton partner Michael Cocking noted of the new holes that, “we went to great effort to create similar contours on the new land to what you would find on the original parts of the course. Once the roughs and vegetation become established it will further ensure this new part of the course is indistinguishable from the rest.”
Also included as part of the Stage One redevelopment were drastic changes to the old 1st, 2nd (below), 3rd and 8th holes, and the reversal of the previous 4th hole to now play south-to-north rather than north-to-south. Commenting on the excitement of the membership with the work being done, Bonnie Doon President Andrew Woods said, “the members have watched the transformation of the development site over the past six months with great anticipation and are eagerly looking forward to the new holes opening for play on the 31st March 2012.”
Bonnie Doon Golf Club – 3rd Hole Beyond improving the golf course and experience for the Bonnie Doon membership, the redevelopment project also has brought significant environmental benefits to the local community. A previously unused tract of land has been converted to exciting and attractive golf facilities, a large number of exotic tree species have been removed from the site, and replaced with the indigenous Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub, which once covered a large proportion of the Eastern Suburbs.
Stage One of the redevelopment will be ready for play on March 31st 2012.