World’s fourth oldest golfing association working on comprehensive upgrade of Willie Park Jr course with architect Tom Mackenzie.
Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, founded in 1761 and thus the fourth oldest golf body in the world, will shortly complete a total renovation of the bunkers on its 1898 Willie Park Jr-designed course, incorporating the Capillary Concrete bunker liner technology.
Bruntsfield is working with architect Tom Mackenzie on the project, which also includes a number of new greens, a new lake and the reconfiguring of the course routing. Work started last winter, when 42 bunkers were rebuilt, and is continuing this year, with more than forty to be done.
The club is working closely with Capillary Concrete distributor Border Sports Services; Border boss Neil Thompson says: “Club CEO Dougie Cleeton approached us when the project with Tom was in its planning stages. They were always going to use a liner, and the greens’ staff, including current course manager Neil Hogg, had seen Capillary Concrete in action at Gleneagles and were very impressed with it.”
“The project was originally intended to span three phases, but has been combined into two,” Thompson continues. “In the first winter, they installed around 2,300 sq m of Capillary Concrete, and they will do another 2,000 sq m this year.”
Course manager Neil Hogg says: “One of the things I like best about Capillary Concrete is that it is very easy to install. You can lay it in a certain amount of rain, which is helpful in Scotland, where the weather is unreliable, but if you know bad weather is on the way, you can cancel a delivery at two days’ notice without problems. Our contractor, FirstGolf, has shaped, drained and edged the bunkers, but I knew that my team would be able to install the Capillary Concrete ourselves, which is a great help.”
Hogg adds: “This is a major project for a members’ club like Bruntsfield – the total investment in the renovation as a whole is in the region of a million pounds. Obviously we want to save money wherever possible, so it is a huge advantage to be able to do the installation ourselves. And the first set of bunkers that we did last year have already proved we made a good decision. When there has been rain, there has been no washout at all, and the members really love playing out of the bunkers, because they are so consistent. If we get good weather, we hope to finish the installation by Christmas.”
Photo credit: Neil Hogg.