Greg Norman Golf Course Design has started work on the renovation of the course at Sandals Golf and Country Club in the Cap Estate of St Lucia.
Sandals Resorts International acquired the course – formerly known as St Lucia Golf Club, and the only 18-hole layout on the island – in 2017.
Jason McCoy and Rogelio Abarca, senior designers from Norman’s firm, are overseeing the project in two phases. The first will focus on the renovation of greens and approaches, and new irrigation on all 18 green complexes.
Some routing adjustments will be made to the original front nine, requiring earthworks on several holes. There will also be work on tee complexes, including new irrigation loops.
Nine holes will remain playable throughout construction. “It is crucial to keep nine holes open at all times as Sandals Cap Estates already has a solid membership and we need to ensure the members continue to have a good playing experience throughout construction,” said Jane MacNeille from the Greg Norman Company.
The project will see a local team working alongside the Norman designers. Mark Harding, senior project manager at Sandals Resorts International, told St Lucia News Online: “In the long run we hope that the local team working along with those from the GNGCD would be able to capitalise on the opportunities to learn and maybe even develop themselves in the field and possibly venture into it as a livelihood for themselves.
“This would allow for a local access pool for these skills and further assist with diversifying not only the island’s tourism product but the skills needed to maintain that diversity.”
The first phase of the project began in July 2018 and is scheduled to be complete and ready to play in 15 months. Phase two work on fairways and fairway bunkers, along with a completely new irrigation system and an irrigation processing plant, will follow over the next couple of years.
Norman’s firm has previously worked with the resort group on the Sandals Emerald Bay course in the Bahamas.