New course at Happy Valley nears completion
Story published at 10:00, Monday, August 3rd, 1998
Final cultivation, preparation and seeding of all fairways and rough areas has now been completed at the Happy Valley Golf Club at Chaldon, near Caterham in Surrey, where the bulk of construction including seeding of greens and tees was undertaken last year. Designed by David Williams the site is described as one of the best he has worked on in over 29 years.
Consisting of two dramatic valleys, the holes generally follow level ground along the valley or valley sides leading to very few uphill shots. There are, however, a few dramatic downhill tee shots, including those on the par 3 4th hole and par 5 5thhole. The 460 yard par 4 9th hole also features a dramatic downhill drive and, with the green situated alongside a small pond directly beneath the clubhouse windows, this will be one of the most dramatic and difficult par 4’s in the area.
The course has been constructed by Whitnell Contracts Limited who are very experienced in translating Williams’ designs into reality having previously completed half a dozen 18 hole layouts to his design throughout the south-east of England.
A computer controlled full fairway irrigation system has been installed by Ocmis Irrigation Limited and will ensure that the course is in excellent condition when it opens early next year. Ocmis Ltd is also experienced in working on David Williams courses having installed irrigation systems at Merrist Wood Golf Club near Guildford in Surrey, Westerham Golf Club in Kent. The firm is currently working on a full fairway system at Caversham Heath Golf Club near Reading.
The client at Happy Valley is the same as the client at Westerham; Ron Noades, former Chairman of Crystal Palace FC has taken a very close personal interest in both projects. The Westerham course opened last year and boasted full membership within a couple of months of receiving applications.
The new championship length course at Happy Valley will complement that at Westerham and, being over 6,900 yards in length with very good but testing greens and in an ideal undulating landscape, the course will be capable of hosting many important tournaments and other events in years to come.