Construction work will begin this month on the Golf Design India redesign of the nine-hole layout at SAI Trivandrum Golf Club in Kerala, India.
The course was originally built in the 1850s – the oldest in India at its original location – and was initially only used by the King of Travancore and guests of the royal family. It is built on 28 acres of land, features crossing holes and is a par 34 of 2,600 yards.
Following prolonged issues that threatened the survival of the course, the club was taken over by Sports Authority of India in 2014 after reaching an agreement for a long-term lease on the land.
“The existing course has extremely weak and small greens complexes – in terms of bland designs, poor construction and turf quality – and extremely poor playing conditions due to a lack of good topsoil over the natural laterite subsurface,” said Vijit Nandrajog, principal architect at Golf Design India. “It has very poor bunkering that does not create any strategy in play and also leads to maintenance issues for the club staff. Also, the course suffers from flooding, soil erosion and water stagnation during the heavy monsoon rains, which causes maintenance and playability problems.”
Golf Design India’s renovation – which will enter construction in late March – involves new green complexes and bunkers, and improvements to the topsoil and turf conditions. New irrigation and drainage systems will be installed, surface drainage patterns improved, a short game area created, and tees added on all holes.
The routing will remain the same, because the club’s management wants to retain the crossing holes as well as the current course yardage.
“The most noticeable change will surely be the green complexes,” said Nandrajog. “The new design looks to create larger complexes with interesting slopes and undulations to add strategy and challenge in play. At the same time, the design ensures that the greens do not become penal so many of them have open front entries for run-up shots.
“Another major improvement will be the turf quality and playing conditions. The renovation plan involves regrading almost the entire area in a manner that aids surface drainage and creates interesting ground movements for play. Further, additional topsoil will be brought in for the project to create a consistent layer of growing medium for the turf.”