How much more Foxhills is ready to spend on golf course modernization?

By: January 9, 2023

Foxhills Club & Resort has begun work on a major golf course modernization project that has seen £1.5 million already invested – and has announced a new director of golf to help oversee the improvements.

Foxhills Club and Resort Sean Graham
Sean Graham – the new director of golf – Foxhills Club & Resort

Following the opening of the club’s dedicated short game area, The Practice Den, and significant driving range enhancements, Foxhills will be undergoing a major investment and golf course improvement project over the next five years.,

It will see the biggest structural changes in the Longcross and Bernard Hunt courses since they were designed by Fred Hawtree and opened for play in 1975.

Foxhills Club and Resort Longcross golf course 14th hole
Foxhills Club and Resort Longcross golf course 14th hole

Foxhills purchased best-in-class greenkeeping equipment from John Deere and Toro.

Work on several holes on the back nine of the Longcross – renowned as one of Surrey’s top tree-lined layouts and consistently featured in the UK top 100 rankings – is already underway and will continue throughout the winter under the leadership of the new director of golf, Sean Graham.

European Golf Design (EGD), was selected for the work following a full review of both championship courses with agronomy experts, Turfgrass. The assessment highlighted where playing conditions can be improved and how the courses can better challenge the modern style of the game.

  • Bunker shape and positioning;
  • green size, shape, and contouring;
  • herringbone drainage and irrigation upgrade work on holes 12, 13, 14, and 15 of the Longcross will take place over the coming months, while
  • tee positions will also change on several holes to bring hazards more into play and encourage more strategy and creativity throughout the round.
PGA Cup - Foxhills - Longcross 2

But it is on the 16th hole where the most complex part of the renovation project will take place, with work already begun to transform the par-three into a signature hole.

A pond, which currently sits too far away from the green to influence club selection, will be extended to the putting-surface edge to create a more dramatic hole.

The size of the green will also be increased to provide room for additional pin locations and a new bunker will be built on the left side of the green to remove the temptation of bailing out.

Phase two is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2023, with attention turning to improvements across the rest of the back nine on the Longcross before moving on to the Bernard Hunt in 2024.

What I miss from this project is….

I was sad to discover that Foxhill is not among the GEO Certified golf courses unlike Prince’s Golf Club, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, Royal St George’s Golf Club, Royal Norwich, London Golf Club, The Shire, Roehampton Golf Club, Burhill Golf Club, etc.

We simply cannot afford to ignore golfers’ sustainability demands and expectations. They are demanding action and transparency from golf clubs.

Reducing the use of plastic, cutting food waste, and recycling is not a whim. Schroders says

“Nature risk is fast becoming an integral factor to investment risk and returns.”

The rising living costs might take people off the road from purchasing sustainable products and services to cheaper but less eco-friendly alternatives, but in the long run, there is no other alternative.

People are curious about how you achieve sustainable golf course management.