Architect Martin Hawtree has been hired by the St. Andrews Links Trust to make alterations to the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland ahead of the 2015 Open Championship. Work includes enlarging the Road Hole Bunker, adding a bunker to the 9th fairway and lowering the back of the 11th green.
“The work is planned to take place in two phases over this winter and next. The first phase involves work on the 2nd, 7th, 11th and 17th holes. The second phase will take place in winter 2013/14 with work on the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th and 15th holes.
“The work will widen the Road Bunker on the 17th hole by half a metre at the right hand side and recontour a small portion of the front of the green to enable it to gather more approach shots landing in that area.
“A new bunker will be created on the right of the 3rd fairway and another on the left of the 9th fairway 20 yards short of the green. Bunkers will be repositioned closer to the right edge of the 2nd green and the right of the 4th green. A portion of the back left of the 11th green will be lowered to create more hole location options.”
Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, the modifications are being made so that the Old Course presents a stiffer challenge to professional golfers.
“We have considered the challenge presented to the world’s top golfers by each of The Open Championship venues and carried out a programme of improvements over the last ten years. While some holes have been lengthened on the Old Course in recent years it has otherwise remained largely unaltered. The Championship Committee felt there was an opportunity to stiffen its defences in some places to ensure it remains as challenging as ever to the professionals. The proposals from Martin Hawtree should place more of a premium on accuracy and ball control while retaining the spirit and character of the Old Course.”
The full list of changes is as follows:
On the 2nd hole, the two bunkers right and short of the green will be moved closer to the right edge of the green. The ground to the right of the green will also be recontoured to create more undulations and the width of 3rd tee will be reduced to accommodate this. Two bunkers on the right side of the fairway, near the 3rd Championship tee, will be removed.
On the 7th, the large depression in the landing area of the fairway will be filled in and a slight mound created. The area to the right of the green will be remodelled to create more undulations.
On the 11th, the back left portion of the green will be lowered to create more hole location options.
On the 17th, the Road Bunker will be widened by half a metre at the right hand side and a small portion of the front of the green will be recontoured to enable it to gather more approach shots landing in that area.
On the 3rd hole, the first fairway bunker on the right will be removed. A new fairway bunker will be added into the bank on the right hand side about 275 yards from the Championship tee.
On the 4th, the acute spur formation on the left hand side of the fairway will be reduced and the bunker on the right hand side of the green will be moved closer to its edge. The ground to the back right of the green will be recontoured.
On the 6th, the ground to the right of the green will be recontoured.
On the 9th, a fairway bunker will be added short and left of the green, about 25 yards to the left and diagonally towards the green from the last bunker on the right of the fairway.
On the 15th, the ground to the back right of the green will be recontoured to create more undulations.