Golf Course Architecture - Issue 56: April 2019

66 The naturalistic feel of Twin Dolphin is down to two principal aspects: the shaping for surface drainage and the management of vegetation. For the latter, the development team called on California-based landscape architect Ken Alperstein, president of Pinnacle Design. Alperstein says that when he first saw the site, he was excited to get another project that was covered with such amazing flora, so that he and his team could take advantage of reusing that same vegetation along the edges of the new golf holes. Knowing that a design concept is only a concept without the proper implementation, Alperstein swiftly stressed to the client the importance of, prior to grading the fairways, hiring a very competent landscape company to salvage all the healthy trees, large shrubs and cacti within the proposed limits of the grading disturbance. The developer agreed, so Pinnacle began the task of walking down the centrelines of each proposed golf hole and tagging trees, shrubs, and cacti that were healthy and high in aesthetic value. The clearing operation was performed using a three- step process. First, they cleared and salvaged plants 50 feet on each side of the centreline of the golf hole. Second, Pinnacle walked the hole with Eckenrode and set the limits of disturbance and the contractor did a second pass of salvaging and clearing staying inside that limit by 20-30 feet so that final clearing can be made when the shapers were making their final tie-ins to the natural grade. As the golf hole edges were being tied-in, the final step of salvaging and clearing occurred, with additional walkthroughs and direction by the designers, removing all unwanted vegetation needed to create the necessary play space for golf as well saving key plant material to remain in place because the plants accented golf but did not hinder playability. Once the landscape teams were two or three holes ahead of the shaping operation, they were able to go to future golf holes and directly relocate the tagged plant material to the revegetation areas on the finish shaped golf holes. The same 20 native species were used everywhere. Alperstein said: “As we spotted these plants along the golf holes, it was important to look at the existing flora along the preserved edges and try to match the plant varieties and densities. Each planting area had its own micro-environment – different elevations, sun angles, wind factors, all affecting minimum and maximum temperatures – so it was imperative to pay attention to what nature next door was telling us, because what works in one area, might not work in another.” Salvage operation Preserving native trees, shrubs and cacti on the Twin Dolphin site Photo: Evan Schiller Photography