Blackmoor begins heathland restoration and bunker project

Richard Humphreysin Golf

Blackmoor Golf Club in Hampshire has started work on a heathland restoration and bunker renovation project.

Tim Lobb, course manager James Norris and committee member Michael Cave, on site at Blackmoor Golf Club in Hampshire, where a heathland restoration and bunker renovation project is under way

The club has been working with Lobb & Partners since 2017 to develop a plan to restore and enhance the course.

The project at Blackmoor, which will be completed in phases over the next three years, will cover all 18 holes and aims to reintroduce many of the design philosophies and features originally laid out by Harry Colt in 1913.

In early November, contractor Profusion Environmental started construction on the first phase, on holes six, seven, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen, and anticipates completing work in six weeks. Fairways and bunkers will be reshaped, and work will be done to restore the heathland environment.

"As with virtually every course of this vintage, the bunker shapes have lost their artistry and the vegetation has changed," said Tim Lobb. "We have been advising the club for several years and spent a lot of time going through the club's archive to understand the landscape and nature of the course. We have now jointly decided it is time to put spades in the ground, so to speak.

New drainage, liner and block edging have been added to bunkers on the seventh hole

"Our refurbishment and restoration will take inspiration from Colt's design principles and be visually traditional but employ modern techniques that support ongoing course maintenance."

The project also includes the installation of liners and drainage in bunkers to alleviate flooding and improve sand consistency.

"Over time, the golf course has evolved and some of Colt's design philosophies have been diluted," said Michael Cave, a management committee member at Blackmoor. "The bunkers have gradually changed shape and during heavy rainfall a few were prone to flooding due to the lack of liners. By doing the work Blackmoor will have bunkers in play all year round, much better drainage and the sand mix will be more consistent, as well as employing a construction technique that is aesthetically pleasing."