Mexican golf Agustin Pizá has broken ground on a project to build the first public golf course in Peru.
In collaboration with the Peruvian Golf Federation, Pizá this week co-hosted the official groundbreaking with director Martin Alarco and president Javier Claux. Together they walked and showed two fully shaped par threes. Also in attendance were Duncan Weir and Donald Turner from the R&A, Stephanie Parel and Donald Donovan from the USGA and representatives from the South American Golf Federation, all of whom have supported the project. The event coincided with the South American Amateur Tournament.
The golf course will occupy a 22 hectare site that also incorporates a small (and sparsely used) airfield with two runways that cross like an X. Seven of the holes are affected by the airfield. “The design was conceived as a multipurpose course for training and developing kids,” said Pizá. “Out of the nine holes three will be considered easy, three intermediate and three advanced. This way the kids will have the opportunity to raise the bar as they pass each level.”
To make the best use of the space and also fit within both budget and ecological constraints, Piza used the fairways from holes seven and nine as the driving range area. “Considering that driving ranges are seldom used between 9am—4pm this will definitely help the environment – and the Federation’s pocket,” he said.
Most of the participants in the project have donated their services free of change, including irrigation designer Paul Granger, whose other clients include Merion and National Golf Links of America, agronomists Turfgrass Consultancy and piping supplier CMF Global. “There´s only one piece missing, the irrigation material, but we hope one of the leading irrigation companies will jump on board and help make ‘golf for all’ in Peru a reality,” said Pizá.
“The work at San Bartolo is impressive and we were delighted to see the progress that has been made,” said Donald Turner, chairman of the R&A’s Golf Development Committee, after the visit.