gWest International Resort
When only the best would do, Lee Strutt opted for Hugh King’s Bunker No 7 to give gWest a consistently polished look.
The idyllic glens and heather-covered peaks of Perthshire may be the setting for the Ryder Cup, but they also provide the perfect backdrop for Scotland’s latest and possibly most exclusive golf resorts. gWest is a private gated resort set on an estate enjoying more than 620 acres of pristine Highland scenery.
Within earshot of Gleneagles, gWest is an extravagant 18-hole heathland romp laid out by DMK Golf Design. It is a championship course where everything comes with guilt-edged commendation. “gWest is a high-end golf facility,” says Lee Strutt, golf course manager at gWest. “We have 170 real estate plots with the golf course acting as a backdrop. The future is to have a six-star hotel.”
With all the glitz and glamour of its neighbour, gWest’s focus is on refinement, which extends to the sand used in the course’s 72 bunkers. “Part of our specification process for identifying the right sand was to go through the angle of repose, the colour and drainage capabilities; and that led us to Hugh King’s Bunker No 7 which ticked all the boxes.”
As well as meeting the exact technical requirements demanded by Strutt’s team, Hugh King’s Bunker No 7 also delivered a uniform look that didn’t waver despite the weather conditions. “It is consistent when it is wet and when it is dry,” says Strutt. “It keeps a very similar colour which is important because when people come back to play here they like to see that consistency.”
He continues: “Also, when we have a lot of rainfall, the sand doesn’t run down the bunker faces which means playability returns very quickly after a heavy downpour. Part of our focus is making sure we can consistently deliver to a high standard. Our suppliers help us to do this and Hugh King has been an important part of that support structure.”
In all, 1,500 tonnes of sand will be shaped, raked and finessed to create the compelling bunkering that plays such a key role in this striking Highland course. But balancing the rawness of the scenery with the reality of Scotland’s weather brings its own challenges especially when it comes to bunker sand.
“One of the issues we have is wind,” says Strutt. “The way the course has been shaped means some bunkers suffer from sand-drift. Part of Hugh King’s product is that it is stable in high winds which reduces the amount of sand blown in and around the bunker.”
With the Ochil Hills to the south and Ben Vorlich to the west, gWest is a beautiful place to play golf. Add to that a remarkable design and the ideal sand to go along with it, and you have a truly special Highland getaway. “After working with Hugh King for the last 12 months, I wouldn’t have any issues recommending these guys,” Strutt concludes. “They are very supportive, very reliable and keen to help. Hugh King’s service and delivery is second to none.”