Welcome makeover for Harewood

Golfers will receive a pleasant surprise when the reconstructed Harewood Golf Club course opens in spring.

The fairways in front of them will be significantly wider than on the old Woodlands course.

The course designer, former European Tour professional Greg Turner, said the fairways were between 50 and 75 per cent wider than before.

In the $2 million redevelopment Turner has added masses of undulations to landing areas on the fairways, with swales and runoff areas on the greens. Approach shots will be penalised if they don't land in the right areas.

"For the better players it will be important where they land to create good angles into the greens," said Turner.

The new course has also been lengthened to almost 6400 metres (7000 yards) off the back tees, and every hole has been changed.

"But for club members the course will be no longer than it was," said Turner.

"We have utilised a lot of the old corridors, but the old course is unrecognisable from what it was. The greens, too, are all new and we have built 12 new bunkers." Turner said the women members should be pleased. "The course is shorter off the women's tees."

The redevelopment was completed at Christmas, but Turner and the club decided to give fairways and greens time to consolidate over the winter.

During the reconstruction 470 trees were felled, most of them to provide the wider fairways, but some had reached the end of their life.

Turner hopes the course will be a challenge to top golfers off the back tees. "We have to make courses accessible for everyone, but on the flip side we have a relatively small number of courses of quality in New Zealand. We should have both here."

The redesign came about after Christchurch International Airport bought an area of the new course at the club, which in the future will be used to extend the northwest runway at the airport.

When that happens the new course will be reduced to nine holes, giving the club 27 holes.

Earthworks for the redesign started in September 2009 and were done in 18 months.

The Press