Raising the Standard of Sustainable Golf Course Design’ Programme

April 29th, 2013

Jonathan Gaunt, Senior Golf Course Architect has just returned from the annual EIGCA Conference in Malmo, Sweden which included the launch of a three stage programme, ‘Raising the Standard of Sustainable Golf Course Design’.

 It is the first Continuing Professional Development course on sustainable golf in the world and will provide EIGCA Members with knowledge on sustainable design principles. Jonathan, who is a Senior Member of the EIGCA is participating in the programme, and  upon completion, will be listed on a Sustainable Design Register, that will be promoted internationally.

The programme has been developed in partnership with the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) and will be supported and evaluated by members of the GEO Sustainability Associate (GEOSA) network. The EIGCA has long been a supporter of GEO, being closely involved with the creation of the Sustainable Golf Development Guidelines, and this new initiative further cements this relationship.

Speaking on behalf of GEO, Jonathan Smith said; “Increasingly, it will be the designers of ecologically rich, resource efficient and community supported golf courses that will succeed. They’ll be seen to get projects through planning; help developers attain short and long term profitability; and leave marketable positive social and environmental legacies of which everyone associated with the project can be proud. Given that nobody is ever a complete sustainability expert, this EIGCA programme to promote further understanding and innovation is significant and valuable. GEO is delighted to support this programme both through input on the content and in supporting delivery.”

If you would like to read more about Sustainable Golf or you are interested in becoming a ‘GEO Certified’ golf course, visit the GEO website for more information by clicking on the link below:


Gaunt Golf Design’s Current Projects

April 24th, 2013




No of existing holes Type of project Current status Original architect
Acanthus Golf Centre 9-holes and Driving Range Expert Witness and new 9 hole course In Planning Not known
Brookhill Farm New 27-hole golf course In Planning Jonathan Gaunt
Caddington Golf Club 18 Holes New 9-hole extension. Under construction Not known
Central Golf Brno 6 holes New academy and short game practice centre including driving range In design Jonathan Gaunt
Clays Golf Centre 18 Holes Advising on safety issues in relation to new road scheme. Specialist advice Not known
Cleveland Golf Club 18 Holes Course upgrade over 3 years. In design Harry S Colt/J S F Morrison
Doncaster Golf Club 18 Holes New course extension and re-development of practice facilities. In design Alister MacKenzie
Dyrham Park Golf & Country Club 18 Holes Existing course upgrade and new 9-hole academy course Under construction C K Cotton
Fairhaven Golf Club 18 Holes Course upgrade – specifically re-design of hole #5. In design J H Steel/James Braid
Harrogate Golf Club 18 Holes Course upgrade – bunker remodelling Construction on-going Alister MacKenzie/Harry Colt
Headingley Golf Club 18 Holes Course upgrade over  5 years – bunker/tees remodelling Construction on-going Alister MacKenzie/Harry Holt
Howley Hall Golf Club 18 Holes Course upgrade and bunker remodelling Construction on-going Alister Mackenzie
Ilkley Golf Club 18 Holes Course upgrade and tees/bunker remodelling Construction on-going Alister Mackenzie
Ingol Golf Club 18 Holes Expert Witness Specialist advice Henry Cotton
Kenwick Park Golf Club 18 Holes Course upgrade and bunker remodelling In design Patrick Tallack
Leeds Golf Centre 18 Holes Full 18-hole Wike Ridge Course upgrade Under construction Donald Steel
Mid-Yorkshire Golf Club 18 Holes New Golf Driving Range and course upgrade In design & planning Steve Marnoch
Portsmouth Golf Club 18 Holes Course upgrade In design & planning F G Hawtree
Ramside Hall Hotel Golf & Country Club 27 Holes New 18-hole golf course extension Under construction Jonathan Gaunt
Richmond Park Golf Club – Prince’s and Duke’s course 36 Holes Course upgrade and new practice facilities Under construction F G Hawtree/J H Taylor
The Belfry 54 Holes Advising on new practice facilities Advice Dave Thomas/Peter Alliss
The Peak Resort 18 holes New 27 Hole golf course, Hotel and Resort In planning/design Jonathan Gaunt
Thurlestone Golf Club 18 Holes Advising on safety issues Advice Harry Colt
Trent Park Golf Club 18 Holes Course upgrade In design Not known
Uxbridge Golf Club 18 Holes Advice/Feasibility Study including Haste Hill GC and Ruislip GC Advice Paul Jackson & Chris Frank
Whittington heath Golf Club 18 Holes Advising on HS2 rail link which will sever course in two. Advice Harry Colt
Wildernesse Club 18 Holes Course upgrade and bunker remodelling Construction ongoing James Braid
Wycombe Heights Golf Centre 18 Holes Driving Range upgrade In planning

John Jacobs


Leeds Golf Centre Opens New Course Layout

April 8th, 2013

‘After 15 months of redevelopment, Leeds Golf Centre has formally opened the new Wike Ridge course layout for play as part of its impressive wider £2m redevelopment.’

To read the rest of the article published by Golf Business News, please click on the link below:


The Peak Resort – Funding secured from Luxembourg based Equity Fund for 300 acre holiday resort on former Derbyshire colliery

March 4th, 2013

A 300 acre, former open-cast mine in Derbyshire, is to be transformed into a 1.3m sq ft leisure resort, following the signing of a finance agreement. The site, owned by Birchall Properties, has obtained finance from Luxenbourg-based private equity fund, Fortress Investments.

Located on the fringes of the Peak District, the site will be re-developed to provide sporting and entertainment activities, 250 holiday homes and 600 holiday flats, plus ancillary retail and leisure, all surrounded by woodland, open countryside and an 18-hole golf course. The course is to be designed by Jonathan Gaunt, Senior Director and Golf Course Architect of Gaunt Golf Design Ltd.

The centrepiece of the proposed Peak Resort development will be four domes, which are expected to host activities such as rock climbing, swimming and climbing.

Birchall Properties, won reserved matters planning consent in 2009 and the scheme has a projected development cost of £250m

Now finance is in place, detailed plans will be drawn up and infrastructure works will start on site this summer. Construction of the domes and housing is expected to start in early 2014 for completion in early 2016.

Gaunt Golf Design – FAQ’s – Design Techniques

February 13th, 2013

Question:  How much CAD do you use and how much is done by hand? 

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt ……….

CAD is an integral part of our design process. We use PCs for illustration purposes, photo-manipulation, photo-montage, quantity calculation and presentation drawings. We always prepare initial design concepts by hand because, in our opinion, it allows greater flexibility for flair and creativity in relation to existing site characteristics

Gaunt Golf Design – FAQ’s – Golf Course Development

February 13th, 2013

Question: How much space do you need for an 18-hole golf course?

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt ………

A good quality 18-hole golf course generally needs about 70-90 hectares but it may be possible to proceed on smaller sites – depends on whether other facilities are proposed, for example – residential units, hotel/spa wellness etc.

Question: How long does it take to build a course from scratch, and then be ready for play?

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt ………..

From experience, we know that a course which is built on a difficult site in the UK, such as landfill, mineral waste deposits and reclaimed land, always takes longer to establish; sometimes up to 30 to 36 months from starting construction. On good agricultural land in Northern Europe, it is possible to open a course for play 18 to 24 months after starting construction. In Southern Europe, North Africa, Latin America, and in other arid climates on a reasonable site, it is possible to establish a course within 18 to 24 months from the start of construction to the opening for play, depending on the scope of the construction works.

Gaunt Golf Design – FAQ’s – Prospective Golf Course Architects

February 12th, 2013

Question: How do I become a Golf Course Architect?

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt …………….

Golf course architecture is a difficult profession to enter. The labour market for golf course architects is unregulated, uncertain and small in comparison to other professions. Nonetheless, for those who succeed, golf course architecture can provide an occupation, which is both intellectually and economically rewarding. Routes of entry into golf course architecture include landscape architecture, greenkeeping and professional golf. Cornish and Whitten in their 1998 book, “Golf Course Design”, note that a 1991 study of the academic background of all members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects found that the largest proportion (53%) of members had landscape architecture degrees.

Jonathan Gaunt is a formally qualified landscape architect. For anybody considering a career in golf course architecture, we offer the following advice:

  1. Obtain a degree in a relevant academic field such as landscape architecture or civil engineering.
  2. Obtain a relevant post-graduate qualification in golf course architecture, through EIGCA.
  3. Get relevant work experience in golf course construction; continue to update your detailed knowledge of golf, its history, the great courses and key architects; maintain an ability to play golf to a reasonable standard; develop a particular speciality, which will set you apart from others in the golf design labour market. Ultimately, the successful golf course architect must have a broad range of knowledge in both science and arts disciplines and important core skills such as computer literacy, financial management and presentation techniques.

Contact the European Institute of Golf Course Architects for details on its Professional Diploma course (tel: +44 (0)1483 891831), or email Julia Green on: julia@eigca.org

Question: I am a student of golf course architecture. Please can you advise me on the techniques that you use to design golf courses?

Answered by Jonathan Gaunt ………

We receive numerous requests for information from students of golf course architecture, greenkeeping and related subjects. We are keen to encourage students but it is increasingly difficult for us to answer individual requests. We hope that the following information will help by signposting you to relevant subject areas, publications and websites. This information presents an indicative list; in no way should it be considered as definitive.

Kaskada Golf Resort voted No 2 in Czech Republic – as published in US Golf Digest

November 27th, 2012

In April 2012 US Golf Digest published its top ratings for golf courses in 203 countries in “Planet Golf” – we’re delighted to report that the course Jonathan designed in 2005 – Kaskada Golf Resort – was rated No 2 in the country (out of 103 courses), finishing second only to Albatross near Prague. In fact, Kaskada is the busiest golf course in Czech Republic and has, arguably, the best and most wide ranging facilities available, with 100 bedroom hotel, spa, wellness centre, restaurant, bars, bowling hall, conference centre, practice putting greens, short game practice zone, 350m driving range (double tees), 6-hole academy course and 3 x 9-holes of championship standard.

Please click on the US Golf Digest link below:


Kaskada Golf Resort, Brno, Czech Republic features in the Top100 Golf Courses’ website

November 5th, 2012

Kaskada Golf Resort, Brno, Czech Republic – designed by Jonathan Gaunt and opened for play in June 2007 – now features in the Top100 Golf Courses’ website.

Please click on the link below to view :


Chesfield Downs Golf Club (new 27 hole golf course designed by Jonathan Gaunt in early 1990) gets The Poulter Factor!

October 10th, 2012

Chesfield Downs Golf & Country Club, which is part of the Crown Golf group and the club Ian Poulter joined as a junior in 1992, made national TV news headlines this week when it found itself in the spotlight following Ian Poulter’s inspiring performance at Medinah, which gave the European Team the momentum it needed to retain the Ryder Cup in the USA.

Click on the following link to read the full Golf Business News article


                  Chesfield Downs Golf Club – Hole #3