It was a tense moment at the 7th World Golf Awards, in Dubai earlier this month. Turfgrass®, an internationally acclaimed golf course consultancy firm, had three of their projects nominated out of a field of twelve, for the prestigious title of “World’s Best New Golf Course 2020”; Dumbarnie Links, Scotland, Österakers Golfklubb, Sweden and Hoiana Shores Golf Club, Vietnam. The distinguished title was awarded to Hoiana Shores. A fourth project, Antognolla Golf Resort, also won the Best Course in Italy award.
The World Golf Awards, sponsored by Golf Saudi, is the global initiative that recognises and rewards excellence in golf tourism, courses, and golf destinations, acknowledging the organisations that are the leaders in their field. They are the game’s only course awards voted on by the golfing public and industry professionals. A record number of votes were cast by the public this year, boding well for the industry’s future.
Turfgrass® is proud and honoured to have had the opportunity to work with some of the nominees.
The winner of World’s Best New Golf Course Hoiana Shores, in South East Asia, was designed by Robert Trent Jones II. The architectural firm retained Turfgrass® to provide agronomic specifications for the planning, construction, grassing, and grow-in of this world-class golf resort. Hoiana Shores is a stunning links golf course with a difference, thanks to the warm season grasses that were used. The brief for Turfgrass was to create the typical firm fast fairways for running shots and to allow golfers make use of the prevailing wind. Tifeagle was sown on the greens while the rest of the course was planted with Zeon Zoysiagrass. The course is built on pure sand, which could have caused some challenges. However, Mike Gorman from RTJII managed to create an extraordinary landscape with blow out bunkers and rolling terrain. This makes Hoiana Shores more akin to links courses in Ireland or Scotland as opposed to Asia!.
The accolade is well deserved for the team that worked on this project, confirms John Clarkin, Founder and Managing Director of Turfgrass®, “We are delighted for the client, RTJII, Links Shape Golf, Ben Styles, General Manager, and Rob Weiks, Superintendent who all worked tirelessly on this magnificent project to be recognised for their commitment and vision”,
Another project for the Turfgrass® team brought them to Scotland, to Dumbarnie Links. Paying close attention to the environment and natural beauty of the site, Turfgrass® assisted Paul Kimber and renowned golf course builder Landscapes Unlimited, in securing planning permission for the course along with completing the grassing specification and development plan. This project was quite a climatic contrast to South East Asia, so traditional fine fescues were selected to compliment the wonderful Clive Clark design.
Julian Mooney, Director of Turfgrass® points out, “There is a perception that golf and golf development can disturb the local environment. Done properly, golf can both coexist with nature and enhance it. This was very much at the forefront of our minds when we delivered the Dumbarnie Links environmental management plan.”
Österakers Golfklubb, located just North of Stockholm, Sweden is the first course to be designed by Major winner Henrik Stenson.Turfgrass® were retained by Christian Lundin, principle architect at Henrik Stenson Golf Design, to develop the construction specifications, grassing plan and construction agronomy for this stunning project. The course set through beautiful trees and lakes was planted with Creeping Bentgrass on putting surfaces, and a blend of Ryegrass, Smoothstalk Meadowgrass, and Fescue on the primary golf corridor. Onsite trials pre-construction, allowed us to determine the grasses best suited to the local environment. These combinations have allowed Magnus Ljungman, Course Manager to produce some of the best surfaces in Sweden.
Antognolla Golf Resort near Perugia in Italy recently underwent an important upgrade with both a new irrigation and drainage system. Robert Trent Jones II also carried out a bunker renovation and updated the grassing lines. Turfgrass® was engaged to oversee the works and upgrade the grass species to make the course more drought tolerant. Water is of strategic importance on a golf course and a paramount commodity today. That is why many courses are reviewing their grass types to ensure the future of their course, placing further emphasis on sustainability and ultimately playing their role in protecting the environment.
The World Golf Awards is a celebration of the best courses and destinations across the golf industry. Their recognition of excellence exemplifies and authenticates all the hard work, precision, and drive from all the nominated golf courses. Turfgrass® is grateful for the opportunity to have been involved in four of the nominated projects, each one with their own distinct and unique requirements and considerations. However, Turfgrass® believe that the real prize for them is to work with skilled, enthusiastic, and persevering teams, on great projects.
Established in 1997, with its headquarters in Ireland, Turfgrass® is a world-leading golf course development company specialising in building and maintaining the golf courses of tomorrow. They have extensive knowledge in Golf Course Management, Project Management of new golf courses, renovations, and relocations, all underpinned by over 30 years of agronomic expertise. They have consulted on over 250 golf projects throughout Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, North and South America. A summary of their client list includes Wentworth Club – Host of the BMW PGA Championship, Golf Club de Genève – Host of The ROLEX Trophy, Gleneagles – Host of The 2019 Solheim Cup, Adare Manor, Ireland – Host of the 2027 Ryder Cup, Hoiana Shores Golf Club, Vietnam – Worlds Best New Golf Course 2020, and The San Roque Club, Spain, along with professional golfers Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy.
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