Golf Course Profiles

Trentham Park Golf Club, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK

"one of Staffordshire's flagship courses"
"the very first hole must rank as one of the best openers in the country'"

PROJECT - 18 holes 6,424yds - Parkland


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The golf club is sited within the famous Trentham Park Estate alongside Trentham Park and Gardens and is quite a special place with the Gardens having been designed by Capability Brown and Henry Holland in 1758.

Trentham has produced many great golfers, Ernest Millward and Geoffery Marks both Walker Cup players. Geoffrey Mills, Midlands Champion and Staffordshire Champion, David Gilford (Walker Cup and Ryder Cup), Simon Wakefield (European Tour player) and Sarah Gallagher 1996 English Ladies Amateur Stroke Play Champion.

The course is sits within a great woodland landscape with some fantastic mature trees.

As co-director for G&M Ltd my role was to carry out a full course audit and in doing so provide advice on the re-design of several greens but predominantly the reshaping of the course bunkering and green surrounds.

It was during the discussions with the club on the styling for the course that we entered a large debate about swales. The committee had never heard of this term at all so what ensued was a period of education instructing the committee members how the development of attractive grassy swales would benefit the course in providing more attractive green settings without impacting upon the actual green surfaces and also collect and divert surface water away from the important playing areas. See link to enclosed article.

What is a swale?

  • An elongated depression in the land surface that can be seasonally wet, can be partially vegetated, and is normally without constant flowing water
  • A wide, shallow depression in the ground designed to channel drainage of rainwater
  • A natural depression or wide shallow ditch used to temporarily convey, store, or filter runoff
  • A depression in grading used to carry water; a man-made "river" used to drain a site. A functional and ornamental swale is called a dry stream

Having been sceptical the club are now sold on the idea having seen the impact on the course following the construction works by MJ Abbotts.

In redesigning green #2 there are a series of plans to show the existing green, the surface water flow onto the existing green, the green redesigned showing the revised surface water flows and also a computerised 3D object to show the redesign of the green.

Click here to view a plan of existing green #2 showing surface water run off

Click here to view a plan of proposed green #2 showing surface water run off

This method is invaluable in illustrating the problems with drainage caused by existing greens and surrounds contours and how the redesign can resolve those drainage problems. The 3D image allows the committee to view exactly what is being shown on the plans which are often difficult to fully understand to the untrained eye.

Links (Contractor)


Click here to download Steve Marnoch's Article - "Our clay based greens are OK but the surrounds are old fashioned, difficult to maintain and hold water or encourage it onto the playing surfaces!"

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golfmarnoch would be delighted to discuss your individual requirements.

Email :: or simply click here to submit your request and receive a complementary guide - 'The perfect approach to planning a golf course by golfmarnoch'.

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