Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire now boasts a stunning 18-hole championship quality course thanks to specialised sportsfield and landscape contractors Grassform Ltd. The newly opened hotel, spa and golf facility has been fully refurbished for client Elite Hotels by main contractor Cardys, who brought in Grassform to build the golf course and putting green to a MASS Design. Grassform built the complete structure of the course including greens and fairways to the design, which is incorporated into the grade one listed Capability Brown landscape within the 1,000 acre estate just outside Luton.
Grassform show their capability
The back 9 holes of the course were designed and built to fit into the Capability Brown landscape whereas the front 9 were built from existing scrubland, so offering a number of challenges to Grassform's team of experienced operators. Cardy's Project Manager Mick Woodward comments on the construction project: "Grassform were chosen as the contractor for this project as they came highly recommended to us as specialists in golf course construction.
They did not disappoint and carefully and skilfully built this course within the requirements of the design and the landscape. They turned what was basically an open field of scrubland and wasteland into the front 9 holes, incorporating a reservoir and three lakes with a water harvesting system to reduce irrigation water usage." Every hole has varied tee positions allowing a wider range of players to take on the challenging 7,107 yard Par 73 course. Championship status is also part of the course's appeal, as are six carefully placed water hazards to give an added test to those who visit.
High specification greens
Grassform built the greens to the USGA standard with a 300mm rootzone layer and a full drainage system. The bespoke drainage system will ultimately lead to as little disruption into the wetter winter months, with water draining to the lakes and irrigation reservoir. Careful planning and construction of each individual green, its approaches and surrounding areas by Grassform means that the course has an element of difficulty for all, from the amateur up to the professional player, and will encourage return rounds to take on the challenge once more.
Tough challenges with a pleasing result
Grassform's managing director Mark Dunning believes that the Luton Hoo project was a tough challenge but one that has ultimately become one of the company's major achievements. "We had to overcome a number of obstacles including a vast removal of stone from Jackson Hill (part of the scrubland area) and the mixing of around 6,500 tonnes of rootzone for the main course construction".
Mark says, "In addition to this we also had to be aware of the Capability Brown specified areas of historical significance which required protection and any excavations were prohibited. This meant that all subsoil excavated from the lakes and reservoirs had to be transported to each tee and greens complex on the historic part of the course.
As no cultivations could take place on the Capability Brown area an additional 5,000 tonnes of top dressing sand was utilised to improve the grass sward on fairways and approaches. In areas out of play, large areas of wild flora seed was sown to complement the spectacular surroundings and give a very rugged and natural feel to the course. The end result has left Luton Hoo with a championship quality golf course where once there was just a field, and a landscape that the great man Capability Brown would no doubt be proud of.
For further information on Grassform's range of design, construction and landscaping services, please contact Mark Dunning on 01277 355500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.grassform.co.uk.