Golf Course Architecture - Issue 70, October 2022

JOHN HOLMES With advances in turfgrass varieties and the ageing of courses built during the boom years of golf, it is not surprising that renovations involving turf conversions are currently on the rise. For these projects, the scope of work can vary. Some call for replacing turf throughout the course to upgrade to more advanced grasses. Others involve renovating select holes, and the opportunity is taken to update the turfgrass throughout. Regardless of the scope, turf conversion through traditional sodding, sprigging or seeding brings challenges to the facility in the form of cost, time and interruption of play. For these reasons, the alternative technique of interseeding is gaining popularity. Interseeding is the process of incorporating an advanced seed into an existing turf stand. With proper preparation, the newer, dominant variety overtakes the older turf for a gradual conversion. Through interseeding, the labour and expense of completely removing the old turfgrass are not necessary. In addition, interseeding requires minimal disruption to normal operations. When Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi faced a recent shift in its irrigation water supply, the idea of turf conversion arose. Besides the need for a salt-tolerant turfgrass that could withstand the switch from potable water to treated sewage eff luent water, wear tolerance was also a goal. In recent years, the bermuda fairways, surrounds and rough showed inconsistent performance due to higher levels of play during peak months. Under the direction of Troon International, the maintenance team trialled different grasses and planting methods. The results led Troon to recommend interseeding with Pure Dynasty seeded paspalum. “Pure Dynasty interseeding was chosen as a sustainable and low-impact John Holmes of Atlas Turf International explains how Saadiyat Beach employed an innovative turf conversion process to help address its water supply issue Turf conversion made easier INS IGHT 62