Soft debut for India Nicklaus course


Sean Dudley

Nicklaus Design’s new Kalhaar Blues and Greens course in Ahmedabad, India, will move into soft opening this month before a full debut planned for the middle of 2012.

Developed by Ahmedabad firm Navratna Organisers and Developers, the course is the centrepiece of a 500 acre residential community, which will include around 800 homes, plus health club, swimming pools, restaurants and other amenities.

Nicklaus associate John Cope was the lead architect for the course, which measures 7,200 yards and has been grassed with MiniVerde ultradwarf bermuda on greens and tees, and Tifway 419 on fairways and rough areas. Atlas Turf International supplied the grass.

“MiniVerde is a better grass than other ultradwarfs,” said construction project manager Terry Bohannan. “It’s thicker, stands up tighter, and allows the ball to roll much truer.  Also, the darker green colour is a good contrast to the Tifway 419. Both varieties are able to stand up to the heat of India and have proven to be good grasses for us.”

Keeping the course in top condition will mean overcoming an array of climatic challenges. Summer brings temperatures of 40 degC, followed by three months of extreme rain. Winter sees cooler ground temperatures, but almost no rain. “It’s extremely important to have the course in good condition before the rain and then again before the winter season,” said Bohannan. “The deep root system of MiniVerde allows the turfgrass to withstand the conditions and remain strong and healthy during all seasons.”

Fourteen holes of the course will be opened for play this month, with the formal opening of all eighteen planned for later in the year.