Our Course Manager, Matt Plested makes regular updates regarding all that is going on the course using his blog. Please click the link to read Matt’s blog.Matt’s Blog
Ken Brown commented in the report –Stoneham is right there with the Old Course at Sunningdale, another of Willie Park Jnrs creations, as one of the best inland courses in England.
We are fortunate that due to Willie Park Jnrs excellent original course design allowed the team to quickly visualise the modifications required and hence the investment necessary to allow the course to showcase its true potential. In addition, the Club set out two very tangible objectives being to become the highest ranked course in Hampshire and to be ranked as a top 50s club in the England Top 100 by 2020. Hence Project 2020 was born!
2014 saw the start of the major work on the course, with the removal of [several thousand] trees from the golf course. The principal objective of this initiative was to return the course closer to its original layout but also to provide some much needed light and air to the playing surfaces. This has already delivered some amazing results, including seeing a gradual return of the heather that used to be prolific at Stoneham. The tree removal project was expertly marshalled by John Nicholson Associates and helped reinstate views of the wonderful specimen trees on the course that had become suffocated by newer trees over the years.
The Creative Golf Design blue print highlighted a range of further improvements required to modernise and improve the course. This triggered an investigation into how the Club would fund the project.
Objectives of Project 2020
- We are aiming to create a stunning golf course that is fair but challenging for all
- Modernisation will create a course fit for 21st Century golfers and their equipment.
- We are targeting improved course aesthetics, particularly consistency of presentation
- We aim to deliver significant improvements to all playing surfaces; tees, greens, approaches, fairways, rough and heather coverage.
- Drainage improvements are an integral component of the plan.
- A complete refurbishment of all bunkers on the course in keeping with Willie Park Jnrs original design
2015 saw some key personnel changes at Stoneham. The arrival of Murray Long (ex Sunningdale) in an advisory capacity and the appointment of a new Course Manager, Matt Plested, are key building blocks of our longer-term plans for the course and the Club. Both Murray and Matt clearly recognise the potential of the course and their expertise and passion has been critical in the Management Committees confidence to make significant investments in Project 2020. A £250,000 investment in new machinery and also a new state of the art staff mess facility for the green keeping team were completed in 2016.
In 2016, we completed Phase 1 of the redevelopment project involving bunker refurbishment and design modifications on 6 holes. The remainder of the project expenditures will be phased over the next 2 years, with work on Phase 2 involving a further 6 holes, beginning in August 2017.
Card of the course
Health & Safety
Closing the course on the grounds of safety
At times of danger and abnormal conditions the golf course will be closed for play, those conditions are thunderstorms when there is a likelihood of lightening, and fog, the closure will be notified by using all available means such as the club website and notices on the first tee, or when necessary, the sounding of the fog horn. The course will not be opened until such a time as the 2nd bunker on the right of the 1st hole is visible from the flagpole by the Clubhouse, or the passing of thunderstorms has occurred. On occasions when ground conditions dictate that the use of powered carts is not safe, the course will closed to all powered carts.
This policy will be enforced by the Course Manager.