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Case Studies

Prince’s Golf Club – Himalayas redevelopment

Category: golf


Prince’s Golf Club, the host of the Open Championship in 1932, underwent some significant changes during 2017 with the remodelling of the nine-hole Himalayas loop. The development represented the greatest re-construction the club had undertaken in 60 years, and the results are spectacular.

STRI was engaged to laboratory test and approve construction materials, recommend profile specifications and provide project monitoring support.



The challenges:

  • To making exciting and challenging modifications to the Himalayas loop at Prince’s Golf Club whilst preserving the nature and integrity of this wonderful links course layout.
  • To use indigenous materials wherever possible and ensure that all materials employed are appropriate to the site and conducive to the mechanical requirements of the specified construction profile.
  • To ensure environmental and ecological impact is minimised throughout the project


The solutions:

  • STRI laboratory testing. Samples of the dune sand and screened top-spit material harvested on-site at Prince’s Golf Club were submitted to the STRI laboratory in Bingley to be tested against recognised performance standards. The respective materials were tested for to particle size distribution, porosity, hydraulic conductivity and organic matter content. Compliance ensures that the materials, when employed in the construction profile at levels prescribed and approved by the STRI, will interact accordingly to provide firm surfaces with positive drainage characteristics capable of supporting strong and healthy turf.
  • STRI agronomist monitoring visits. A dedicated STRI agronomist was assigned to conduct regular monitoring throughout the construction project and subsequent grow-in period. Initial visits acknowledged the appropriate storage and manipulation of construction materials whilst conducting randomised sampling of both dune sand, rootzone and designated turf for consistency. The works were assessed for approval of sub-base shaping and rootzone placement ensuring that the construction materials were being handled and worked correctly, and that the specified levels and depths were observed throughout. Inspection of the turfing work and confirmation of sward establishment verified the compliance of the reconstruction works to specification and provided the platform for recommendations for initial nutritional inputs and early grow-in maintenance.
  • STRI agronomic support. As a host of Local Final Qualifying for The Open Championship from 2018 to 2022 Prince’s Golf Club will receive support from the STRI in its role as official agronomic consultant to The R&A Championship Committee. The club’s long standing as a STRI subscriber means it already benefits from continual assessment in the form of the STRI Programme’s suite of objective measurements and the subsequent recommendations for agronomic improvements. The establishment of the reconstructed aspects of the Himalayas loop will form an integral part of the ongoing process.

The Results

Provision of a modern, yet authentic, links challenge which appeals to all levels of golfer and enhances the club’s standing as a Championship venue.

Production of firm and free-draining playing surfaces capable of supporting a strong and healthy grass sward whilst coping with extremes of weather prevalent on the Kent coastline.

Ecologically and environmentally sound utilisation of the natural resources on-site to facilitate significant changes with minimal impact.