Ferrie sails into South Moor

Three-time European Tour winner Ken Ferrie has joined Ryder Cup legend Mark James and golf course architect Andrew Mair at Golf Course Design & Management, and is lending an expert eye to the firm’s latest project at South Moor Golf Club.

James and Mair have collaborated on more than 100 projects around the world, including the construction of Matfen Hall and Burgham Park in Northumberland and courses in Europe, Brazil, Africa and China, and Ferrie is looking to use his wealth of experience as a tour player as well as his passion for course design.

“It’s something I’ve always read books on and been interested in,” says Ferrie following his first course walk at South Moor – which was designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie in the 1920s.

“When you play, you see things which you’d like to change as a player and that’s what I’d like to add to what Mark and Andrew have done with a lot of success over the years. It’s great to be involved and get to really think about all things I’ve had in the back of my mind for years.”

On the planned work at South Moor, Mair adds: “Our aim at South Moor is to reintroduce many of the Mackenzie features which have been reduced over the years or are no longer in play.

“The key elements are there, but there is scope to reintroduce some more gorse and heather, and to redevelop some of the key bunkers and position those for the modern game. Tree management will also play a big part in our plan for the future of the golf course.”

James said: “It’s been really interesting to get Ken’s take on things and to see how similar our take on many things are.

“There are obviously some really good holes out there. Some others need a tweak here and there, with shaping, bunkering and some planting to improve them visually but the bones of what is here is very good.”