little unveiling Ernie golf the WENTWORTH The iconic has over Els four-time never Design-led of golf 12 the months course. been renovated Major CLUB, richer project, on winner, from West in SURREY the its World the Course, praise world official – Golf for an of A Hall long-term this this Harry year’s of Famer renovation Colt BMW gem, and PGA was chief and Championship, speaking modernisation architect ahead of the the of of European has long made Tour’s its flagship home at tournament, Wentworth which Club.
come “There back has for been this year’s added event,” anticipation said Els, to who won a record seven World Matchplay titles on Wentworth’s West Course.
“Obviously, this club and this golf course have always had a very special place in my heart, right back to the start of my career. But I must say, the sense of pride for us as architects of this renovation, seeing the course presented the way it is this week, makes it even more special than before. The ‘new’ look debuted last year, we’d heard it was in incredible shape and I just really wanted to see it for myself. It’s great to be back.”
Els went on to say: “You know, this was the dream, this was the vision we had in our minds way back when Greg Letsche [senior design associate at Ernie Els Design] and myself got the ball rolling on this renovation project. This was the blueprint, so to speak. The whole strategy, the core shot values, the construction and the look of the greens’ complexes, the bunkering, literally everything is now just as we envisaged it. And seriously, these must be the best putting surfaces in the country. They are incredible! It’s so nice to see and, of course, it’s great to hear the positive comments from the players this week and from the members who love it, too.”
“The owners, Dr. Chanchai Ruayrungruang and his team, have given all of us their full commitment to help push this project to its successful conclusion and, just as importantly, the budget and the resources to enable Kenny and his team to maintain this wonderful golf course to the absolute highest standards,” said Els. “And it shows literally everywhere you look. The conditioning of the playing surfaces, and the overall presentation, is as good as I’ve ever seen it.”
Els concluded: “Right at the start I would say our goal, everyone’s goal, was to make Wentworth the leading venue for Championship golf in Europe and we believe that is what we’ve got here. It’s the perfect championship venue.”
Speaking also this week, Kenny Mackay commented: “The whole team has worked very hard over the winter and in the build-up to this week. We’ve put our heart and soul into it, so obviously it’s very gratifying for us to hear Ernie and a lot of the other top players giving the course such high praise. From day one, the aim has been to make improvements to enhance playability for all. This has been achieved through wide-ranging changes and installing industry-leading technology that allows us to control how the greens play. We’ve called on a vast amount of design and playing experience and we believe this is Wentworth’s best ever course.”
Ernie Els approaching the 18th green of Wentworth’s West Course