Golf Course Architecture - Issue 64, April 2021

TEE BOX Seeding is under way on a new Stirling & Martin golf course at La Finca Golf in Madrid, Spain. The architects initially began the project in 1999 and, over the years, have drawn up 84 potential routings. Since 2016, the pair have worked with Susana García-Cereceda, the owner of La Finca, on an 18-hole golf course routing that will form part of the 550-hectare La Finca development, which also includes luxury houses, a three-storey apartment building and a commercial centre. “La Finca is a perfect study of how golf evolves over time and how golf course architects are always open to adjust their design to any environmental or master plan restriction to create the best product for the client,” said Marco Martin. “This layout could be described as an auditorium-type golf course: we analysed every hole to produce the most beautiful views from any home facing the golf course.” The project has included moving more than a million cubic metres of earth to create gentle slopes as well as to accommodate visitors as the resort hopes to host international golf tournaments. A Rain Bird IC system has been installed. “We are compacting the entire clay soil to collect all the runoff water for irrigation,” said Blake Stirling. “We have also added 15 centimetres of pure silica sand in all the grassed areas to grow quality grass.” Martin said: “Fairways are 36 to 48 metres wide, giving a spectacular manicured look. Shaping on fairways is gentle, integrated with more severe shaping on rough and around bunkers.” The pair have integrated existing arroyo Meaques into the layout and have preserved 96 per cent of trees found on the site. More than 1,200 pine trees have already been planted, while dry areas have been covered in pine barks and needles. “Landscaping plays a very important role in the final design,” said Stirling. “Thousands of new trees will be planted to add dramatic, vertical dimensions to the golfer’s experience.” GTM Golf is carrying out construction work and has seeded four holes and the driving range. The plan is to complete the first nine by September 2021. New Stirling & Martin course takes shape in Madrid Stirling & Martin’s routing includes an island green at the par-three fifteenth Images: Stirling & Martin 25