European Golf Design - Vision E-Magazine Issue 2 - Spring 2018 - Page 24

However, what set the golf course design apart from anything else we have done before was Mr Borisov’s wish to develop concepts which could allow multiple courses to be played within one 18 hole layout.

The first initiative from the design team was to incorporate two teeing areas on each golf hole with the specific aim of creating two separate championship length golf courses (the ‘Red’ and the ‘Blue’). Although both courses would play over the same ground each would have very different playing characteristics with alternative strategies and challenges. Bunkers and other hazards were cleverly incorporated into the layout so that they work for both courses but, importantly, without feeling out of place or redundant. Of the two courses the Red Course is slightly longer, playing from 5,175 to 6,645 metres with a par of 72, while the Blue Course measures between 5,100 and 6,500 metres, again with a 72 par.

As well as the two courses within one concept we also examined other options, taking on board Sergey's wishes to create a form of cross-country golf. Tees were laid out to offer alternative directions of play with options to play to different fairways while greens were designed to accept shots from two or even three different directions. Sergey has termed this ‘Kaleidoscope Golf’ and his innovative concept is protected by a patent of invention. There are also additional options to play several six or nine hole par 3 courses around the clubhouse. During construction additional alternative golf holes were often discovered and the team adapted and adjusted the contouring and grassing lines to increase the variety of options for play.

The brief for the golf course led to a reassessment of the style that would work best in order to provide the greatest flexibility for Kaleidoscope Golf and in this the design team was helped by the discovery of many metres of sand below the heavy onsite topsoil. The sand inspired the designers to take elements of seaside golf and combine them with more modern design influences to create a golf course style that would be new for Russia and help to establish Mill Creek’s individual character. Excavating the sand for lake construction would also allow key zones around the site to be elevated in order to alleviate flooding and to facilitate surface drainage. The by-product of this excavation would be 50 hectares of lakes which would become the complimentary focus of the resort element of the project.

1st green- image courtesy of Will Righton