Swan turns back sands of time at Huddersfield Golf Club

Huddersfield Golf Club

To the revered names of Tom Dunn, Sandy Herd, James Braid, Herbert Fowler, Alister MacKenzie, Fred Hawtree, and Donald Steel can now be added that of William Swan …

The managing director of Suffolk-based Swan Golf Designs (SGD) is the latest in a long line of architects to leave a mark on the historic Huddersfield Golf Club.

Swan was engaged by the 128-year-old Yorkshire club – known colloquially as Fixby and regarded as ‘the home of Yorkshire golf’ – to bring a consistent look to the bunkering which has been tweaked down the years by some of the best-known names in golf course design, after it was created originally by Dunn.

Swan explained: “We went back to the early 1900s when there was arguably the last significant bunker project – under the direction of Herbert Fowler. With the input of various people the course here didn’t establish itself properly for the first 20 to 30 years, so Fowler, arguably, created the golf course we know today. There have been some changes since, but 15 holes have been there since Fowler.

“We’ve been able to look at the archive of photographs and plans – including some aerial images, presumably taken by the RAF, from 1926, around the time Fowler was on site. That showed how the course was laid out and how the bunkers looked at that time. And that’s from where we took our inspiration.”

He added: “This wasn’t a restoration project, per se, it’s a renovation project; but the opportunity presented itself to restore the traditional, slightly ragged, style of the bunkers present in the 1920s and 30s. We had three years of construction after two years of planning, working with the club and the contractor, ProFusion Environmental, which meant Huddersfield GC had all-new bunkering ready to play this summer.”

The club’s general manager, Chris Duffy, said: “I wasn’t at the club when the process began, but I’m delighted to be here at its conclusion. Pat Wrightson, the former England seniors’ captain, who has been the club’s director of greens throughout the project, and long-time course manager Ben Turner deserve a lot of credit for the way they have worked alongside Swan Golf Designs and the final result is testament to the hard work and professionalism of all concerned.”

Swan Golf Designs is one of the UK’s leading experts in golf course renovation and restoration. Borne out of the collaboration between Sir Henry Cotton and Alex Swan, the family-owned Swan Golf Designs has more than 60 years of experience of designing and renovating golf courses in the UK, throughout Europe and beyond.

For more information, check out www.swangolfdesigns.com