Golf Course Architecture: Issue 57 - July 2019

54 a quick return of the course to action, leading to thoughts of sodding with bought-in turf, then the price will escalate very quickly. Grass supplier John Holmes of Atlas Turf International says there is another, more cost-effective way to go about it. “We have been involved on multiple projects where the turf species have been changed by interseeding a new species into the old species,” he says. “This is very inexpensive compared to stripping old turf out and planting new turf.” Similarly, architect Kris Spence says it is not always necessary to rebuild greens from the bottom up. “At Sara Bay CC in Sarasota, Florida, last summer we were able to address excessive crowning and restore the Ross greens by removing 12 inches of excess rootzone rather rebuilding the greens – which saved the club US$400-500,000 in greens construction cost alone. Phasing of work is extremely important (phasing is essentially just another form of prioritisation). Architect Jaeger Kovich cites the example of his work at Suburban Golf Club, an old Tillinghast course in New Jersey, where the club wanted to restore its architectural heritage, but wasn’t flush with cash. “With no advance fundraising or planning, the club hired me to do a three-hole restoration plan as a preview to a full masterplan – getting their Tillinghast heritage is a big deal there – they are ten minutes from Baltusrol and built in the same year, 1922. The club decided it could probably scrounge up US$100,000 to start work in October, Burgdorfer Golf Club, about 20 km north of Hannover, Germany, is a good example of the need for cost-effective renovations. The club competes with seven other 18-hole courses in the area and members tend to react quickly by switching to another club if they are confronted with a considerable cost allocation for investments. But the club’s almost 50-year-old push-up greens were very susceptible to disease and had turf of a mix of species which was no longer of a reasonable quality. Fortunately, the course lies on sandy ground, of such quality that it optimally meets requirements for drainage and rootzone layers. With the exception of a zeolite to amend the rootzone mix in order to achieve the necessary storage capacity of the irrigation water, no other construction material had to be purchased. I suggested to the club that we also create a six-hole short course, to introduce beginners to golf and provide additional playing opportunities when the 18-hole course is occupied. It would give Burgdorfer a significant advantage over competitors. The short course was planned by rebuilding three existing holes in the vicinity of the clubhouse, which could be replaced by new holes along the north of the property. The club approved a three-phase plan: first the three new holes were built, so 18 would be available at all times. The short course was built in the following year, and a year later, all greens, several tees and most of the bunkers were renewed. Dense forest was thinned out to provide more sunlight and wind to increase the vitality of the turf. In each phase, only sand excavated from the property was used to build tees and greens. Several pits within the golf site today strategically come into play as natural landscape features and enrich the aesthetics of the golf course. The best quality sand came from a large pit excavated from the driving range. This was attractively remodelled with several target greens. Construction costs for the project – around 600,000 euros, plus 100,000 euros for irrigation – were very low when considering the grand scale of construction works. The project would never have been approved if building materials had to be purchased externally. Striving for cost-effective solutions using materials available on the site is one of the most important components for an environmentally conscious, sustainable construction method. Burgdorfer GC, Germany Christoph Städler tells the renovation story of Burgdorfer GC Phoos: Gregor A. Ingenhoven/