Arabian Ranches Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is set to reopen this month following the completion of a five-month project to replace its putting surfaces.
Work on the course – co-designed by Ian Baker-Finch and Nicklaus Design in 2004 – was completed by Desert Landscape, a division of the Dubai-based landscaping firm Desert Group. The project was necessary due to the invasion of foreign species on the existing TifEagle bermuda greens, impacting their uniformity, appearance and smoothness.
The project – which began in June 2019 – also saw a rebuild of the practice green and work on the driving range and turf nursery, as well as work to enhance the desert surroundings on most holes.
Sean Kinsley, director of agronomy for Emaar Hospitality Group, and his team supervised the project. “Before we started, it was clear that the existing TifEagle bermuda turfgrass had become weakened and contaminated with off type mutations, Tifway 419 and significant paspalum encroachment,” he said. “However, by bringing together the right expertise, we have now managed to remove this plant material along with the top 150 millimetres of greens and collar root zone and replaced it with a new USGA greens rootzone and red sand, before replanting with Platinum TE paspalum.
“The team has been fantastic throughout and we’ve achieved so much in tandem. From resurfacing our greens to eliminating the existing mixed turf sward and replacing it with a new higher quality playing surface. It’s been a huge team effort!”
The club now expects the quality of the putting surfaces to exceed those of other courses in Dubai, returning the layout to former glories and an active tournament calendar.