Grassing begins on new Nicklaus Design layout in Indonesia

  • Jakarta
    Don Ellsworth

    Grassing has started on the course for the new Sedayu Golf Club in Jakarta

  • Jakarta
    John Cope

    Side-by-side par threes over water mark two of the course’s four transitions between links and parkland style holes

  • Jakarta
    Don Ellsworth

    A housing development is also in progress alongside the golf course

  • Jakarta
    Don Ellsworth

    Completion of construction is expected for later this year

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Grassing has started on the course for the new Sedayu Golf Club near the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the Indonesian capital.

The Nicklaus Design layout is part of a 423-hectare island reclamation project. “The reclamation consists of two islands side by side, with the golf course accentuating a housing development on the northern portion of the larger east island,” said John Cope, senior design associate at Nicklaus Design.

Reclamation work started in 2008 and was completed by 2016. Construction of the golf course started in early 2019 and most holes are now shaped.

“The reclamation required the construction of a perimeter dyke wall, consisting mostly of rock with a sandy loam cap,” said Cope. “The development area in the middle was below this dyke horizon, with the existence of the dyke creating a design opportunity for a links style of golf holes around the perimeter and a parkland theme for the holes within the development area. The golfing experience transitions back and forth through these two themes four times during the round.

“We created rough dunes along the dyke to break up the flat horizon and give the ‘engineered’ dyke more of a natural look. The interior holes are basic parkland style with turfgrass from property line to property line. Our client wanted to separate the housing areas from the golf course with some type of water feature for security reasons, so we incorporated a ‘canal’ system into a more natural waterway throughout the course. This, of course, added a lot of water hazards along the perimeter but we were also able to achieve ample areas to play golf on most holes to keep this feature from adversely affecting the playability of the course.”

The course has been designed to included numerous risk-reward situations. “The best angles into the pin areas are from the side of the fairway that features the most trouble,” said Cope. “Greens are medium- to small-sized but with ample bailout areas around them. This allows the golf course to challenge the better players while giving the bogey golfer more room to stay out of trouble.

“The highlight of the course – besides all 18 holes, of course – would probably be the teeing area of the side-by-side par threes at the fifth and sixteenth. These two holes tee off from the top of the dyke with great views out into the Jakarta Bay and back down the holes into the heart of the course, with twin greens wrapping around both sides of a large lake. This is where both nines transition back to the parkland theme from the outer links-style holes.

“The most interesting aspect of the project for me was the challenge of giving design approvals during the coronavirus lockdown. I was fortunate to be able to have made a few site visits prior to the lockdown and get a feel for the site and style of shaping that we were going to work with.”

Native grass is being use on the links holes with trees only located along the housing perimeter.

Within the interior areas of the course, there will be turfgrass as well as deciduous and palm trees. Zeon Zoysia from Sports Turf Solutions will be used on all turf areas except greens, where Trinity Zoysia will be used.

“There will not be too many landscape beds but more flowering shrub beds to add colour here and there,” said Cope. “We have found that landscape beds in the tropics are difficult to maintain over time and tend to resort back to the jungle.”

Cope is working closely with Don Ellsworth, the shaper, superintendent, project manager and owner’s representative on the project. “I have not worked with him before, but I have to say that after those first few visits, it was apparent that Don and I were definitely on the same page and you can see the added value in the field that this has created,” said Cope. “He respects the plans but also knows how and when to push the envelope, which has resulted in the creation of some interesting features to enhance the variety of golf shots presented to the golfer.

“Once the lockdown hit, we were forced to go to more creative approaches of design approvals with the use of a drone, ground video shots from all angles and ground as-built surveys. It took a little time to get the right drone elevation and lighting so that we could see everything properly, but I believe it has worked out well so far and construction progress has not been held up as it relates to the design process. Certainly a first for me, but I have a high degree of confidence in the quality of the end product.”

Completion of construction is expected for later this year, with an opening of late 2020 or early 2021.