The Club embarked upon a programme of improvements that commenced in October 2011, the first phase of works comprised holes 2, 3, 16 and 17. These were traditionally the wettest holes being set at the lowest part of the course where the underlying subsoil is London clay, as impermeable a soil as you can experience.
Following a tender process the club chose contractor Profusion Environmental Ltd to carry out the works. A relatively new name to the industry, the people behind Profusion have a wealth of experience in solving the problems experienced at the course and were delighted with the appointment.
The course is situated on the slopes of Sydenham Hill with wonderful panoramic views over London from Canary Wharf in the East to Wembley in the West. It is situated just five miles from The City of London. Originally set out in 1894 and re-modelled in 1909 by Harry Colt, one of the most eminent course architects of that era, the course is a gem, framed by wonderful mature trees and features undulating fairways and small fast greens.
The works consisted of the installation of new large diameter carrier drains to move water quickly to the location of the outfall, additional lateral drains reducing the spacings of the original system, and the installation of a secondary drainage system. Work commenced in October 2011, and advanced quickly assisted by the unusually dry conditions. Whilst the dry conditions benefited the installation of the primary system, the London clay was baked solid which made the installation of the secondary gravel bands impossible. Moisture was required in order to carry out the installation and Profusion had to wait until December before ground conditions were suitable before duly completed the contract that month.
The club had the opportunity to appreciate the full benefits of the enhanced scheme in April this year when 150mm of rain fell on the course. Course Manager Roger Tydeman commented: "Our traditionally wettest holes have now become our driest. We are delighted with the work that Profusion Environmental has completed. The results speak for themselves and we are looking forward to the team returning for phase 2 in the autumn."