Interview with Keith Preston

Dear Mr. Preston, it is no need to introduce you to the Czech golfing audience. You designed two very highly rated golfcourses – Albatross any Ypsilon. Your third project in the Czech republic, Loreta Golf Club Pyšely is due to be opened in spring 2013 nearby Prague. Please tell us a little bit about this new course from your perspective.

Pysely is set in a beautiful environment and that is reflected in the design. I’ve used the terrain as I found it, emphasising the existing contours of the land to the maximum, rather the trying to construct something completely new and synthetic. Although creating a good course with lots of earth movement is also a challenge which I greatly enjoy that wasn’t necessary here. Mother nature had already done most of the work.

When you compare your other project in the Czech republic, what differs Loreta from the other two.

Loreta has a different style to both Albatross and Ypsilon. If you didn’t know you would probably never guess that it was the same architect at work. Variation is the spice of life and of golf. This course will be fun to play for all golfers. The course is not long by international standards and so we have put the emphasis on making it visually, strategically and tactically attractive and interesting with many sand and grass bunkers, wet areas (biotops) and lakes as well as undulating greens.

From the players view, what can the golfers expect from the golf course?

Loreta is pleasantly undulating and easy to walk. I believe there is lots of variation in the holes and the challenges facing the golfer. The goal was to make the course so interesting that people will want to play it again and again. As well as having a very pleasant walk in beautiful surroundings.

Did you get any specific instructions from the investors at the beginning of your work? Or did you have a free hand in creating the best possible golf course for the given place?

As it was clear from the beginning that the course could not be particularly long the goal of the investors was to create a course that was family friendly but still be a challenge for good golfers.

When you finish your work on any given project, how much do you follow the development of the golf course and do you tend to come and play the courses you have designed?

As I usually spend a lot of time during the construction phase with the investors on and off the course, it’s natural that personal frienships develop. That is certainly the case here in the CZ Republic which is why I come here as often as possible. I’m looking forward to golfing with my friends in Loreta.

How would you rate the overall cooperation with the investors, shapers and the Head Greenkeeper during your work on the project?

In this project everyone was deeply involved in the planning and construction phase. It’s always great to be part of a competent and dedicated team.

What makes you coming back to the Czech republic? Is it pure business driven or do you also find it enjoyable to create golf courses in our landscape?

One of my missions in life is to design good and interesting golf courses . I’ve recently completed some re-designs and renovations of older courses in Switzerland and Austria which is very satisfying work. From what I’ve seen and heard this is something which a few Czech course may need in the near future. I hope some of this work comes my way and am looking forward to making new friends here.

Thank you for our short interview and we hope that we will bee seeing you in Loreta as often as possible.