Marc Westenborg discusses latest project at La Zagaleta

Marc Westenborg discusses latest project at La Zagaleta
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Golf course architect Marc Westenborg has reflected on his recent bunkering project at La Zagaleta near Marbella, Spain.

The club is home to two courses – the La Zagaleta course and Los Barancos course.

The recent work has focused on the older La Zagaleta course, and in conversation with GCA, Westenborg explained what the project has entailed.

“I know the club and its two courses very well, and felt a renovation has been needed for some time,” he said. “I have played there quite a lot and began to notice it was looking a little rough around the edges. The bunkers looked a little ragged, and when they built the courses they seeded it with cool season creeping bent grasses on the tees, fairways and greens. The club wanted a high-quality of grass, but on the fairways and tees in particular, trying to keep the  grass in good condition in the summer months in Spain is nearby impossible.”

Westenborg explained that the club decided to change to Bermuda grass across the La Zagaleta course, with the exception of the greens. Work was also being done on the irrigation and drainage system, so Westenborg suggested that with the course being closed, there was a perfect opportunity to renovate the bunkers at the same time.

“Most of the course’s bunkers were reworked or renovated, and I also redesigned the sixth green on the La Zagaleta course, which was in need of some work,” Westenborg said. “I looked to give the bunkers a bit more style and flair, rather than the simpler oval or flat bunker style. While renovating the bunkers I also developed a report on the course, recommending where bunkers could be removed, and where bunkers could possibly be added.”

Westenborg said that he is pleased with how the work has gone to date and is looking forward to the project being completed.

“The work on the course’s front nine was done last year, but the bermudagrass was not introduced in time to make the most of the Spanish summer,” he added. “Therefore work needs to be done to bring the bermudagrass to the fore on those holes. The second phase of the work is on schedule and will see the bermudagrass implemented on the second nine in roughly a month’s time. Hopefully everything will come together at the same time, towards the end of this summer.”