The owners of The Vines have unveiled the next phase of major plans to take the leading West Australian golf resort into the future.

Initially, the plan sees the opening of an upgraded 18-hole championship course this month, with plans for a 14-hole short course and state-of-the-art driving range.

The new-look Vines reflects the global trends driving golf course sustainability and design. The revamp and upgrade of the Championship course has included an $11 million sophisticated reticulation system and other works that will eventually bring the course up to championship standard. The more efficient irrigation system will result in a 25 percent reduction in water usage.

The renovated Championship course is the former home to the Heineken and Johnnie Walker Classics, using nine holes from each of the Lakes and Ellenbrook layouts.

The proposed 14-hole short course will use nine of the holes on the Lakes course, transforming them with creative new designs.

A new two-storey, $4 million driving range will rival existing driving ranges in WA by offering more bays, better amenities, and a sheltered, more comfortable setting.

Planning applications to utilise the existing driving range area for single-storey housing options catering to local ‘over 55’ residents, as well as premium townhouse-style homes are being developed for consideration by the City of Swan and final approval by the WA Planning Commission.

Both options will provide future residents with easy walking access to upgraded community facilities within the resort.

Vines WA director Mark Hohnen said the changes reflected a commitment to offering an attractive and sustainable golf and recreational experience.

“We are securing the future of golf at The Vines for decades to come,” Hohnen said.

Hohnen said the resort’s owners had also listened to golf members and residents as part of the planning process and would keep the Ellenbrook holes (the third to 11th) as a stand-alone nine-hole layout. Previously, those nine holes were slated to be lost to the new development.

“These changes confirm The Vines as a complete golfing experience by offering 27 traditional holes, a short course, and a modern driving range, in addition to the mini-golf already offered,” he said.

Hohnen said experience in Australia and overseas confirmed the rise in popularity of short courses – either stand-alone or linked to an existing 18-hole course.

“Golf facilities are reinventing themselves to remain viable. The reality is that for golf courses to remain viable they have to have a whole of community context and be a broader recreational destination where families want to go.”

Golf legend Gary Player said in Golf’s 2020 Vision Report that, “For golf to grow there will have to be ways to play that will not take nearly as long to complete a round. Time is of the essence to everyone.” Champion players such as Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Australia’s own Geoff Ogilvy are now involved in designing short courses.

“The inaugural Australian Golf Strategy sums it up perfectly – all golf is golf and all of us can be golfers. This is an exciting and essential upgrade which will continue to make The Vines an attractive and modern destination of choice,” Hohnen said.