Darren's Got Designs On Moyvalley Golf Resort

A championship golf development co designed by Darren Clarke Course Design and European Golf Design (EGD)
-       Background information on Darren Clarke Course Design and EGD
-       Darren Clarke Course Design

Darren Clarke inherited his love of golf courses and their design from his father Godfrey, head greenkeeper at Ballycastle Golf Club in Northern Ireland.   He is currently designing a golf course in Mossel Bay, along South Africa's Garden Route, and has five more projects in different parts of the world under consideration. "I am particularly excited about this new project because it will be my first in Ireland," said Darren.   "My aim is to make people want to play it over and over again and get as much enjoyment as possible". 

-       European Golf Design

Established in 1992 as a joint venture company between The European Tour and IMG, European Golf Design has worked alongside such champions as Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, and Mark O'Meara, to work on 32 new courses. The company has also been involved in re-modelling projects at 14 courses, including Royal Lytham and St Annes, the 2001 venue for the Open Championship. In 2003 European Golf Design worked on 36 projects in 16 countries, construction work took place on 6 projects throughout Europe, with 5 courses officially opening.  A further two will officially open in 2004.

In recent years two courses received the honour of being named 'Best New Course in Europe' by Golf World magazine. The Faldo Course at Sporting Club Berlin, designed in association with Nick Faldo, was named Best New Course in Europe in 1997 and PGA Golf de Catalunya, near Barcelona, (with Neil Coles and Angel Gallardo) received the same distinction in 1999. In addition, The Marquess Course at Woburn Golf Club, England was named 'Best New Inland Course in Great Britain as well as the first great English Golf Course of the 21st Century.  In 2003 European Golf Design received The Best Golf Course Designer in Europe Award.

In Ireland EGD have completed three design projects:
1.      The Links Portmarnock (Co designed with Bernhard Langer)
2.      Carton House Golf Club - O' Meara Course (Co designed with Mark O' Meara)
3.      Carton House Golf Club - Montgomerie Course (Co designed with Colin Montgomerie)
See www.egd.com for more information .

-       Initial site visits by Darren Clarke and European Golf Design

Darren and Tim Lobb (EGD) made several visits to site during the autumn of 2002 and summer of 2003 to familarise themselves with natural features of the site, to finalise the routing of the golf course and to ensure that the land is used to its maximum potential.

-       Design development and philosophy for course and academy

After many changes, discussions and modifications between Darren and EGD in the design office in England to the layout a par 72 course, 7300 yards from the back tees evolved. The collective design philosophy for the course was to make sure that it would be suitable for the leading professionals from the back tee's but also playable and more importantly enjoyable from the forward ones for the amateurs.

The subtle land movement presently found on the site would be the canvas to which the course would be formed. The shaping and mounding of the course is proposed to be accented with bolder arrangements forming part of the golf course strategy. These accented mounding arrangements will often be found in the creation of freeform bunkering complexes on both fairway and greensite locations. It is proposed that the bunkers be large and replicate the expansive landscape that is present at Moyvalley
Golf Resort. Convoluted noses, deep fingers and soft slopes will characterise the appearance of the bunkers. The integration of 'fescue' grasses within the bunker complex is to give the outer edge of the bunker the 'scraggy' appearance desired by the design team.

The use of long, slender, wispy 'fescue' grasses in the far rough will provide the contrasting textures to the course and will help to clearly define the out of play areas from the manicured golf playing surfaces. It is perceived that the playing areas from the fairway will be generous up to the 250 yard distance mark from the tee but over that length drives will be frought with danger and the need for accuracy will be of the uptmost importance.

Large greens with subtle slopes will place the emphasis on accurate approach play from the fairway and careful line and length putting required. It is the intention of the design team to enable each green to possess one very difficult pin position, two medium difficulty pin positions and three relatively easy pin positions. Creeping bent grass
greens will seeded on the greens to enable impeccable putting surfaces.

A multi faceted practice facility is proposed for the development. The driving range will be double ended and allow play from two directions. Four full size and USGA constructed practice putting greens are to be attached to the practice academy, enabling fine tuning of the short game for all golfers.

-       Construction commencement and programme

Construction of the course will commence in April 2004. Seeding is to be completed in 2005 and the course and practice academy open for play in summer 2006. Darren and EGD will be making frequent visits to site during the construction to ensure that the design philosophy is implemented correctly.

Contact Details for the design team:
Darren Clarke Course Design
Cherry Tree Farm
Cherry Tree Lane
Cheshire WA14 3RZ

Ph. + 44 (0) 1565 832 100
Contact: Sarah Harris (
[email protected] ), Andrew Chandler

European Golf Design
The Studio
Broomfield Hall
37-39 Chobham Road
Berkshire SL5 0DS

Ph. +44 (0) 1344 870 300
Contact: Tim Lobb (
[email protected] ), Jeremy Slessor ( [email protected] ),
Sarah Casey (
[email protected] )

Press Archive - Golf
3rd February 2004 - Darren's Got Designs on Moyvalley Golf Resort
17th January 2004 - England Stars Join ISM Team
13th January 2004 - Things Go Better for Kids with Westwood and Coca-Cola
25th November 2003  Clarke Finds Heaven in Mossel Bay
14th October 2003 - Walker Cup Star, Manley, Joins the Winning ISM Stable
3rd October 2003 - Wardrop Joins the Winning ISM Stable
30th September 2003 - The Only Way is Up for Westwood
22nd September 2003 - Clarke Wins at Clandeboye
17th September 2003 - Lee Westwood Interview
22nd August 2003 - Darren Clarke Foundation
8th August 2003 - Another Top 10 Hit For Coltart

28th July 2003 - Westwood Continues Climbs To Top
11th June 2003 - Gaylord, ISM and AJB Sports Form Worldwide Partnership
17th March 2003 - THE BRITISH MASTERS