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New championship course for the North East
March 21, 2011

Located at Heddon on the Wall, Northumberland, Close House is about to open its new 18 hole 'Colt' Championship golf course which has cost just short of £7.5 million to build. Named after the legendary golf course designer Harry Colt, the 7,000 yard course has been designed by lead architect Scott Macpherson of Turner-Macpherson in a 1930/40s style. The course has been six years in development, four of those going through the planning and approvals stages.

The course will be USGA compliant and a large part of the investment has been in a USGA approved rootzone system, using sands and rootzone blends supplied by the Mansfield Sand Company. The design ensures that in periods of heavy rainfall, water is free to drain away from the turf to prevent water-logging and compaction of the soil. Conversely, during periods of dry weather, water is retained in the layer just below the surface to ensure grass roots are supplied with essential water to minimise the risk of drying out and cracking. Top quality sports grade sand is blended with specially selected topsoil to ensure that the correct balance of nutrients is supplied to the roots.

The main contractor MJ Abbott was responsible for all earthworks, including construction of greens, tees, bunkers and lakes as well as the installation of a primary drainage system and a fully-automated irrigation system.

Golf Manager John Glendinning comments, "We are not going to be going down the current trend of everything being manicured to perfection. The bunkers will be Colt-esque, surrounded by wispy grass, making them a part of the course itself rather than features and they will all be cut individually in their own right - rather than one big sprawling hazard."

The course is located within the beautiful North East countryside and is itself split into three sections, with each out of view of the next. There will also be a state-of-the-art golf academy with technology to analyse all aspects of a player's drive, swing, grip and putting and making recommendations for custom shafts, heads and balls.

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