Golf Course Architecture - Issue 59, January 2020

67 equipment that fell into a peat bog and just sank. We don’t want that happening to us!” Cole’s new project is designed for the long haul. Drainage trenches are lined with geotextile to prevent, as far as is possible, the ingress of fine particles into the pipe itself. The pipes have been resized to cope better with the volume of water, and all bunkers are being lined with the Capillary Concrete system to ensure that sand remains uncontaminated for as long as possible. And, most dramatically, all the holes are being sand-capped to a depth of about 20-25cm. The whole project is valued at £6.5 million, surely the largest renovation bill in the history of British golf. Loch Lomond has been owned by its members now for eight years, and the pressure on Cole and his team to deliver superior surfaces is intense. The course closes in winter; but a condition of permission to undertake the renovation was that eighteen holes would be open throughout the golfing season, which starts in April each year. A key consequence is that approximately 75 percent of each hole, including tees and fairways, is being turfed. This winter alone, when the last eight holes are being rebuilt, the club has an order for 80,000 sq m of washed turf from supplier County Turf. Where possible, primary roughs are being seeded. Last spring, golfers were playing the rebuilt holes only a week after turf was laid, albeit on mats or preferred lies for the first month or so. By this spring, if fortunate with the weather, all eighteen holes at Loch Lomond will have been rebuilt. GCA “Rebuilt holes were dry and firm, while those still awaiting renovation were soaking wet”