Although it may sound as though this was doing work for the family, it was just an amusing coincidence. The original course at John O Gaunt GC was designed by Fred Hawtree and has continued to be enjoyed by it’s members and visitors alike since it opened for play in the 1970’s. However, in recent years, one hole on the course – the par-3, 4th – had encountered serious drainage and access problems due to the fact that the Potton Brook watercourse flows through the valley here and often floods after heavy rain and storms.
GGD was appointed to develop a solution to resolve this, whilst keeping in mind the existing characteristics of the playing of the hole and retaining the original green. The outcome was a new raised tee complex, a raised fairway, new buggy track (tee to green), and a new serpentine pond feature in the carry area and alongside the fairway to provide challenge, improve aesthetics and to eradicate the drainage problem for good. The design proposals were submitted as a planning application and the local Bedfordshire Drainage Board was consulted because the proposal was inside the flood plain and Historic England were consulted because the new pond was to be within view of John O’Gaunt’s Hill (a Scheduled Monument).
Permission was granted in September 2017 and work started on site very soon after, with Fineturf Contractors being employed to undertake all aspects of the project. The lake edge was built using steel reinforced baskets filled with local quarry stone (gabions), which allows for the water level to fluctuate and not leave a muddy and unmanageable margin. The new tee, lake margins and raised fairway and roughs were all turfed using Tillers Turf products.
Photo Credit: JG/Fineturf Ltd