Restoring Simpson's strategy and aesthetics.
Blackwell is a beautiful Simpson/Fowler design just south of Birmingham. It is a very smart and interesting routing on a relatively small site, providing the player with a lot of variety during his round. As one would expect with Simpson both the greens and the bunkering are very good, and Blackwell is often mentioned as one of the best parkland courses in the UK.
Over time the course however has lost some of its original detailing. A good example is the bunkering, where the original lace edge bunkers that Simpson built have been lost throughout the years. Another area is the fact that tree planting has narrowed some of the playing corridors to such an extent that in some cases the original playing strategy has been lost.
The club interviewed several golf architects, and selected IVGD to help them create a Masterplan on how to restore the Simpson elements of the course. The Masterplan is currently being developed and we expect to have the first results mid 2014. As part of this effort the original shapes of a number of bunkers on holes 5 and 6 have already been restored, giving the members a good feel for what they can expect going forward.
The work is all being carried out in-house by the greenkeeping team, and we will be closely involved in all the works that will be undertaken on the course.