Agustín Pizá has designed a unique short layout at Chablé Resort & Spa near Mérida in Mexico, which opens this month.
“The client wanted a special amenity that would exceed customers expectation but would also have a surprise factor,” said Pizá. “The client hired us as one of the most ‘out of the box’ thinking golf architecture firms. They knew of our quality and the fact we had been awarded ‘Top Ten Most Innovative Architecture Firms in Mexico’ by Obras magazine. I believe this combination was what convinced them to hire our services.”
Piza’s scope of work included creating and executing an original design as well as delivering a turnkey operation through supervision, quality control and project management.
The golf is located within the resort's 750 acres and is surrounded by a Mayan forest. It features nine tees and four greens, each with two or three pins, and multiple hazards, for a selection of holes that span up to 200 yards. “Distinct shot values and angles, in tandem with the serene environment, will create a challenging, yet relaxing experience for all to enjoy,” said Pizá. “Regardless of the fixed routings, we want visitors to enter the course and unlearn what they know about traditional golf.”
Construction began in June 2018 and was completed in six months. A three-month growing in period followed, with the course grassed with wall-to-wall TifGrand bermuda.
“This concept is a multi-model design inspired from game boards,” said Pizá. “Those that you could play Chinese checkers, checkers and chess on the same board. At Chablé, we can play multi-model games and challenge ourselves as easy and as hard as we feel like it.
“My team and I spent three days at the resort, which is redefining wellness and, inspired us to create a concept that we call ‘Wellness Golf’.
“The idea behind ‘Wellness Golf’ was to create a unique space which the guests can connect with the natural elements, whilst they enjoy one of the best boutique golf complexes in the world. This will encourage players to expand beyond the mental and physical aspects of the game and connect on a spiritual, emotional and environmental level. Guests are encouraged to play barefoot and connect with nature.”
The concept was recently showcased at the USGA Innovative Symposium in Japan. “The golf course is multi-modal, played depending on the environment you want to generate and the mood of each player,” said Pizá. “In the end it is designed to play in any format a player chooses, in 90 minutes maximum.
“The first course of its kind to encourage a relaxed approach to ‘the game of life’ will welcome golf enthusiasts and beginners alike when it opens in May at the renowned resort.”