De Simone designs new nine for Cape Verde resort

  • Viveiro
    De Simone Golf Design

    Pierfrancesco De Simone has designed a second nine for Viviero in Cape Verde

  • Viveiro
    De Simone Golf Design

    The par-four third hole will have the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop

  • Viveiro
    De Simone Golf Design

    An old stone wall has been incorporated into the design of the fifth hole

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Golf course architect Pierfrancesco De Simone is overseeing the construction of a second nine at Viviero Golf & Country Club on the island of Sal in Cape Verde.

The volcanic island is famous for its beaches and winds, which make it a popular destination for kite surfers. The new resort is being built in the south of the island, near the village of Santa Maria.

De Simone has joined an Italian team for the project, including contractor Ideal Prati, who are working with the developer’s local crew, and Scarabelli Irrigazione , who are installing a new Rain Bird irrigation system. Agronomist Fulvio Bani oversaw the first nine at Viveiro, which opened in April.

Watch: A flyover of the fifth hole on the first nine, which opened in April

“The soil condition is not suitable for earthworks so playing areas are covered by a 500-millimetre layer of finer material that is obtained from quarries located near the property,” said De Simone. “After the material is shaped and irrigation installed, the playing areas will be covered with 250 to 300 millimetres of topsoil.”

The island has almost no rainfall, experiencing around 350 days of sunshine a year. The small amount of available water, supplied by a local firm reusing wastewater from hotels, has restricted playing areas to 7.5 hectares. De Simone has therefore designed holes that play over waste areas to islands of fairway with an average width of 50 yards. Paspalum Vaginatum from the Pure Dynasty variety has been selected for all playing surfaces.

“Features already present on the site, such as a rock deposit on the second hole and an old stone wall on the fifth, will be incorporated in the design and to fit the golf course with the historical heritage of the site,” said De Simone. “The views are quite stunning, especially on the third and fourth holes, which overlook the Atlantic Ocean.

“Special consideration has been given to where the sea turtles lay their eggs in the area. The fourth runs parallel to the shore and a special buffer keeps the golf away from where the turtles hatch.

“The nine’s total distance of 3,500 yards from the tips make it a test, even for low handicap golfers.”