Architects Mackenzie & Ebert have completed work at Lima Golf Club in Peru following a three-year project that saw improvements made to the course and practice facility.
“Mike Howard and I first visited Lima in March 2017 with a clear brief in hand that focused on raising the quality of the practice facilities to the highest possible standard as well as looking at the course in general,” says Martin Ebert. “We were fortunate in that Mike had already played Lima in April 2016 as part of an R&A team that went to compete in Lima’s annual International tournament.
“As Mike discovered, during large events, the previous driving range was not fit for purpose. At only 170 yards long and with nets only 24 metres high, golfers were restricted to six irons to warm-up and practice. Beyond the driving range was the tenth hole, so no balls could be played over the nets. Not only was the driving range unfit for large events, it also failed to bring younger golfers into the game. The club has a very large membership at around 5,000. However, only 400 or so play golf and this number has been decreasing with the lack of juniors getting involved.”
The architects found that adjustments to the course itself allowed for the construction of a new, larger facility. An entirely new par three ninth hole was built to replace the previous par four, while the eighth received a new green and the first and tenth were realigned.
With the additional space, a 330-yard, double-ended driving range was built, with 38-metre high nets designed by Coastal Netting and TexNet installed by Empire Netting. Three large, undulating target greens were also installed, surfaced with artificial turf from Swedish supplier Unisport. This would allow for the range to be used as a six-hole par three course for junior coaching camps. Following the opening of the range in May 2018, the course has doubled its junior participation to over 50.
Meanwhile, the site of the old chipping green was rebuilt as a Himalayas putting facility, which Ebert says has been named the ‘Limalayas’ by members.
“Once the driving range was completed and the associated course adjustments made, the focus moved to refining the rest of the course following the masterplan completed for the club in April 2016,” says Ebert. “The bunkers required the most attention, so a programme of bunker reconstruction has taken place during the last two years. The club also decided to replace the grasses on the fairways with Tifway 419, allowing for an adjustment of mowing lines to take place.
“The project at Lima has been a thoroughly satisfying one, especially considering the methods of construction. Much more emphasis is placed on manual labour in Lima, marshalled by Mauro, the constructor employed for this project by the club. The detail of the green and bunker shaping was created by hand with machines only used for bulk earth movement.”
Work concluded on the course in December 2019. In January, Lima Golf Club was announced at the next venue for the Latin America Amateur Championship in January 2021, the winner of which will gain entry to the Masters and the Open Championship.