Golf Course Architecture - Issue 64, April 2021

60 shout-out to Anthony and Atlantic, too. Their passion and dedication to getting us open in 2020 was quite incredible.” Delays were inevitable. Sprigging was initially scheduled to start around the end of April but began at the end of June. But the stakes were high. Dundas explains: “The consequences of not getting done before winter, having to come back in April, and the golf course not ready until September or October 2021… no way we would have been able to sell memberships and take fees.” The Atlantic Golf Construction team pulled out all the stops to recover the time lost to Covid-related delays. “Our focus is a willingness to get the project done for the client,” says Bennett. More machinery and manpower was recruited, and club members even joined the effort to help sprig fairways. “It was incredible to witness,” says Clarkin. “The project culminated with over 40 machines and more than 80 people at work on a single hole – the eighth – to complete seeding on the last day of August.” Working with Atlas Turf, Clarkin selected Latitude 36 bermudagrass for fairways and surrounds and Pure Select for greens and tees, which were carefully nurtured by grow-in superintendent Mark Doyle and Turfgrass Consultancy’s on-site project manager Craig Hanney. “Thirteen weeks after seeding we sent a sample to European Turf Laboratories and they could not believe how well developed it was,” says Clarkin. “The root system is phenomenal.” “Tees alone will be 8.5 to 9 on the stimp,” says Dundas. “Greens are somewhere around 11. There are a lot of false front areas where the bent is running at 9. Conditioning is right up there with the best courses in the area.” For Dundas to achieve his goal of outstanding playing surfaces, it helps that coverage is now substantially lower. “We reduced the turfed area from about 55 hectares to 37,” says Clarkin. Such a dramatic reduction was designed both to minimise the water and labour requirement for the golf course, and to give the layout crisp definition. Areas that were previously turfed are now covered with a bark mulch, delivering a similar effect to the pine straw at Augusta National. The mulch requires almost no maintenance and provides a marked contrast with turfed areas, giving the Old course an aesthetic that is quite unique in the area. Balls that come to rest on the mulch can be easily found, removing the frustrating experience of scrambling through undergrowth, but still demand a recovery shot. THE SAN ROQUE CLUB “ There are only four greenside bunkers from which you can actually see the putting surface” Cork oak trees feature throughout the course