IDG breaks ground on Eighteen Islamabad course

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    A visualisation of the closing hole at Eighteen Islamabad, a new golf course in Pakistan

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    The design team, including IDG’s Jon Hunt (far right) and Andrew Craven (third from right), on site with representatives from the project in front of a traditional open-air brick factory

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    The brick factories will be integrated into the routing

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    Andrew Craven looks over the valleys in which the course will be routed

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    Construction firm ProGolf will oversee the movement of 500,000 cubic metres of natural clay

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    The par-three sixth hole will require a long carry over water

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    The development will include over 2,000 homes, hotels, offices, a shopping mall and school

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Ground has been broken on Eighteen Islamabad, a new golf course designed by International Design Group, located in Pakistan’s capital.

The project is part of a vast community development, rejuvenating a light industrial zone, and is a joint venture between Egypt’s Ora Development Group and Pakistan’s Saif Group.

The golf course will be a par 72 at just over 6,500 yards, with IDG using natural forms and shapes created by the erosion in the ‘nalas’ (valleys).

“The design team have worked hard to produce an exciting and very challenging layout which contests the status quo,” said Jon Hunt, director of IDG. “The routing itself hugs the two deep valleys running through the centre of the site which join to create a Y-shaped valley running through the centre of the development.

“The course is sympathetically carved through the site’s wild terrain, twisting through multiple traditional open-air brick factories. Golfers will weave their way around the 350-yard driving range and over a plateau for the first four holes before heading west towards the lakes and then back towards the clubhouse to finish the front nine. We believe that the par-three sixth hole with its long carry over water could well become the course’s signature hole.

“Technically, the course has been challenging to design with very heavy monsoon rains to deal with as well as the prospect of flash floods and the steep topography.”

The clubhouse, angled on a promontory, looks down on the back nine which skirts the main valley running through the site. These valleys are dry in the summer but subjected to monsoon rains in the winter, filling the lakes and bringing drama to the waterfalls and weirs. Hunt says great care has been taken to retain as much of the spectacular topography as possible and the identity of the land.

Watch: Harris Kalinka visualisation of planned course and facilities at Eighteen Islamabad.

The project will see construction firm ProGolf Group moving over 500,000 cubic metres of natural clay. The course will be grassed with TifWay and TifDwarf.

Eighteen Islamabad is located 10 minutes away from the New Islamabad International Airport – and the vast mixed-use development will comprise of 2,000 homes, hotels, offices a shopping mall and a school.

“Views from villas have been maximised, allowing residents to see the action on the course but the golfers themselves are screened from looking back into properties,” said Hunt. “We see this as the ideal resolution for a golf community, which balances the needs of the golfers with the commercial aspects of the surrounding community.”

Andrew Craven, director of IDG, said: “Bringing world class golf courses to new regions is a real privilege.”

The first phase of the project is due for completion in April 2021 with the golf course ready for play by July 2021.