Golf Course Architecture - Issue 72, April 2023

TEE BOX Lobb + Partners has started work on a greens project at Aloha Golf Club in Marbella, Spain, which is home to the last course designed by architect Javier Arana. Construction began in April and is scheduled to finish in July, with the course reopening in stages during August and September. All eighteen greens will be rebuilt in a single phase with TeeOne bentgrass. The Aloha course was Arana’s tenth of a 30-year career. Construction began in 1972 and he last visited in May 1974, at which point seeding of the greens had not yet started due to a shortage of water for grow-in. Arana died in January 1975 and never saw the course completed; it opened that October. Aloha’s greens have been a challenge for several years, with some sloping at more than five per cent, making playability difficult when they are cut at modern heights. The greens were cut at 5.5 millimetres when the course opened, according to project manager Luis Cornejo of Surtec Golf Agronomy, and had a Stimpmeter reading of 6.5. “When we were first invited to review plans for this ambitious eighteen-hole green rebuild last spring we were very impressed with the club’s planning and vision for the project,” said Tim Lobb. “The course is set in a rolling and striking Andalusian landscape and the Arana strategic diversity on the greens was evident from the onset, with a variety of steps, tilts and internal contours providing challenge and interest to the golfing experience. But at modern day green speeds, the slopes are just too steep, so our aim is to soften them while retaining their strategic intent.” New and enlarged practice greens will also be constructed as part of the project and the surrounding area will be altered slightly to create a better arrival environment. Contractor CJW Golf will carry out the work. Greens rebuild begins on Javier Arana’s last course Photo: Lobb + Partners 41