Staffordshire golf course to be cut in half by HS2

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Plans showing how HS2 will slice through a golf course near Lichfield have been revealed to members.

Members of Whittington Heath Golf Club, were shown the drastic changes to make way for the train line this week.

Tony Rundle, chairman of the club’s HS2 committee as of next month, led an ‘HS2 Course Tour’ to display plans for a complete renovation needed at the club to accommodate the plans.

Tony Rundle explains plans to a crowd of Whittington Heath members.

The current clubhouse and greenkeeper’s compound will be flattened and rebuilt elsewhere, along with a new car park.

Further, five new opening holes and a practice facility need to be constructed from scratch on what is currently wasteland.

Land on which five new holes and a practice facility are to be built.

In all only six holes on the course, the 12th through the 17th, will remain completely untouched. All other holes will either be completely lost or require significant modification.

The government is funding the whole operation at Whittington Heath, but the cost estimate has not been disclosed. The club has until the summer of 2020 to complete renovations before HS2 work begins on the land.

The club, founded in 1886, prides itself on being one of the oldest in the country but has had its tradition threatened by HS2 cutting right through its heart.

Despite a near-complete reconstruction of the established course and facilities, Rundle is adamant the club will come out better for it.

“On the negative side you can always say ‘there is going to be a train line running through the course’. But taking that to one side, the course and facility is going to be fantastic,” he said.

“It’s going to be a benefit to the club without a shadow of a doubt.

“There is a lot of people doing a lot of hard work to keep this club going because everyone appreciates that it is a fantastic facility in Staffordshire,” he concluded.

Rundle’s optimism is shared by club professional Steven Penney.

“Personally I think this is a little outdated,” Penney admitted.

“The modern look the clubhouse and course has got is pretty good. I think it will be a great change.”

With plans and contractors in place, Whittington Heath is ready to begin work on its grand remodelling, just as soon as they reach an agreement on costings with HS2.

For anyone interested in seeing alteration plans at the club, Rundle is to host another ‘HS2 Course Tour’ on Sunday November 5th at 2pm.

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