The Renovation of Apes Hill Golf Course by Ron Kirby.
In his 1936 book, Bobby Jones on Golf, Jones writes on the subject of golf architecture: “It is the business of the designers and builders of golf courses to discover and to utilise the features that make the superior course more enjoyable. It seems to me that in an effort to construct an exacting course that will thwart the expert, the average golfer who pays the bills is entirely overlooked. The first purpose of any golf course should be to give pleasure, and that to the greatest number of players, without respect to their capabilities”.
This wise philosophy from Jones was the cornerstone of our approach for the renovation of Apes Hill.
The design brief’s stated objectives were: i) ‘to make Apes Hill the most spectacular and memorable golfing experience in the Caribbean and ii) have a minimum of nine ‘wow’ holes that use all of the natural assets from this unique site to take your breath away.
These include: deep tropical gullies, coral rock formations, 200-year old, 100-foot bearded fig trees, an abundance of monkeys living in tropical forestation and, above all, the stunning vistas of the two oceans – and especially over the wild Atlantic east coast, seen by too few visitors to Barbados.
To undertake the task, we brought in Ron Kirby, one of the world’s most experienced golf architects, famous for his design of the Old Head in Ireland.
Our second key appointment was the best ‘shaper’ available – the artist who would use a bulldozer as his paintbrush to change the landscape and realise the vision of Ron’s sketches. Justin Carlton filled that role. Many bunkers have been removed and all greens complexes softened. Tees, fairways and greens will be planted with new more environmentally friendly grasses.
Get a taste of the approach taken and a sketch of what awaits you when the course opens in November 2021 below.