Mark Hollinger of JMP Golf Design Group is approaching completion of a renovation project at Las Lomas Club de Golf on the outskirts of Guadalajara, Mexico.
The firm, led by golf course architects Hollinger and Brian Costello, designed and built the golf course, which opened in 2004. The site was severely degraded and eroded, with a road running directly through the middle – it had also been used as a city dump for 40 years.
The layout required a massive excavation, removal and separation of trash, installation of a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility and subsurface drainage and storage system, allowing for the storing and reusing of water.
“The residential real estate market in this area of Guadalajara really picked up following the completion of this initial golf and residential project,” said Hollinger. “The developers were able to increase the overall project density with the city officials to allow for more multi-family and residential products.
“In 2018, we were brought back in to give the course a fresh new look with a much more intensive landscaping treatment.”
The renovation is about six-to-eight months away from completion. “The Covid-19 crisis has slowed down the recent work somewhat due to the difficulty of getting in labour and supplies and for my site visits,” said Hollinger.
“The biggest changes are in the detailing of the look of the course – it is much more mature and fully complete now. The level of new landscape treatment has now created a very unique and colourful environment in which to live and play golf, making Las Lomas one of the most sought-after addresses in this large urban city.
“The golfers, as well as the homeowners, are now very proud of this golf environment – it is very luscious and green and quite special for this urban setting. The quantity of play on the course is now almost overwhelming!”
Recent work has focused on conditioning of tees, fairways, greens, rough and sand bunker areas. It is being completed by an in-house team led by the project superintendent.
“This new and additional layer of landscape detailing has been very well received and many more residential areas have been sold off, significantly expanding the project’s success and adding even more golf members,” said Hollinger.
JMP has also expanded the practice range to meet the demands of the increasing membership.
“Today, hundreds of residential homes encircle the golf course and new mid-rises are being constructed to enjoy the view of this naturally lovely green golf environment,” said Hollinger. “Instead of a concrete jungle with noise, these new homes enjoy peaceful views of green grass, blooming shrubs and tall trees, flowing streams, waterfalls, blue lakes and tons of wildlife. The quality of this portion of Guadalajara has been significantly upgraded forever. It is a great story for golf, and it proves that sometimes a golf course can be a very good thing indeed!”