Shaping of seven holes is now complete on the Rumanza golf course – a Sir Nick Faldo Signature design in Multan, Pakistan.
Faldo Design’s brief was to create a championship quality course of over 7,500 yards that would also become a centre of excellence for golf in Pakistan. With GEO Foundation part of the design team, all aspects of the project have been developed within the context of sustainability.
“The existing site was flat agricultural land, featuring mango and orange trees, with cereal crops too,” said Andrew Haggar, lead architect at Faldo Design. “We were keen to retain an identity for the site, so we will be preserving certain areas of fruit trees and using them as a feature for specific parts of the course. The site is also dotted with interesting farm worker dwellings, called deras, and punctuated by original earth walling; some have been retained as part of the course design to preserve the local character.”
Faldo Design is working on a site that has pure sand under the top layer of earth, which is what the playing areas of the course are being shaped out of. The course will have revetted links-style bunkering from Ecobunker and large waste areas.
“We’re not using any imported materials for construction,” said David Matthews, golf course construction manager at Desert Group, the contractor for the project. “From a sustainability point of view, it is a very good exercise we’re doing here in Multan.”
“The closing three holes will be spectacular,” said Haggar. “They will play around a large lake that features a peninsula, where we have retained mango trees. Also, because of the peninsula, it will mean that the extent of the lake is only revealed as you play the holes around it. This means you won’t see the lake alongside the par-four eighteenth until you walk off the par-three seventeenth green and stand on the final tee. It will certainly be impressive and memorable.
“The course will have a lot of risk and reward with its bunkering and large waste areas, not forgetting the lakes on the course too. For instance, the short par-four ninth opens up on the left for a direct shot over the lake to the green, or you can play around the lake in a more conventional approach. Equally, the par-four tenth hole features original mud walling across the fairway, so the positioning off the tee is critical in order to avoid bringing the wall into play with the approach shot.
“This course will be enhanced by very local influences, with the original deras and retained mango trees celebrating the local environment,” continued Haggar. “At Faldo Design we are always trying to be inspired by the natural environment of a site and with this project in Pakistan it’s something we are really proud of; the course will have a great memorability factor with the incredible local features embedded into its design. Equally the course will ask questions of the golfer, making them think strategically about how to approach each hole, creating a special golfing experience.”
The Rumanza property will also include a double-ended driving range and a golf academy.
Faldo Design expects the course to open in early 2021.
This article is based on material that first appeared in the April 2020 issue of Golf Course Architecture. For a printed subscription or free digital edition, please visit our subscriptions page.