A little over 12 months on from the official unveiling of the renovated West Course, the world of golf has never been richer in its praise for the iconic golf course then after the BMW PGA Championship. In this article, The Big Easy reflects on a successful first year since renovation of Wentworth’s West Course.
The four-time Major winner, World Golf Hall of Famer and chief architect of the long-term renovation and modernization of this Harry Colt gem, was speaking ahead of this year’s BMW PGA Championship. The European Tour’s flagship tournament, which has long made its home at Wentworth Club, was played the last weekend of May, and was won by Italy’s Francesco Molinari.
“There has been added anticipation to come back for this year’s event,” said Els, who won a record seven World Matchplay titles on Wentworth’s West Course.
“Obviously, this club and this golf course have always had a very special place in my heart, right back to the start of my career. But I must say, the sense of pride for us as architects of this renovation, seeing the course presented the way it is this week, makes it even more special than before. The ‘new’ look debuted last year, we’d heard it was in incredible shape and I just really wanted to see it for myself. It’s great to be back.”
Els talks about his dream
“You know, this was the dream, this was the vision we had in our minds way back when Greg Letsche (senior design associate at Ernie Els Design, editor’s note) and myself got the ball rolling on this renovation project. This was the blueprint, so to speak. The whole strategy, the core shot values, the construction and the look of the greens’ complexes, the bunkering, literally everything is now just as we envisaged it. ”
Els added that right at the start the goal was to make Wentworth the leading venue for Championship golf in Europe, and concluded:
“And we believe that is what we’ve got here. It’s the perfect championship venue. And seriously, these greens must be the best putting surfaces in the country. They are incredible! It’s so nice to see and, of course, it’s great to hear the positive comments from the players this week and from the members who love it, too.”
Kenny Mackay, Director of Golf Courses & Grounds at Wentworth Club, was content to hear Ernie Els, as well as a lot of the other top players, giving the course such high praise. Saying this has been achieved through wide-ranging changes and installing industry-leading technology that allows the grounds crew to control how the greens play.
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