Golf Course Architecture - Issue 59, January 2020

45 All eighteen holes on the new course at Navarrenx Golf Club in Aquitaine, France – designed by French professional golfer- turned-architect Nicolas Joakimides – are now for play. The first nine holes – which play as the course’s back nine – were completed in late 2017, with Joakimides helping to shape greens and bunkers. The front nine was completed in late 2019 by a local construction team. Joakimides said: “I would say the course now plays and looks like 80 per cent of what it was in my head and on the plan. I am happy because it’s a great place to play golf with old trees, creeks, and a mix of open land and holes that cut into a forest. The routing never changed.” Photo: Nicolas Joakimides Second nine opens on new layout in southwest France Arabian Ranches Golf Club in Dubai reopened in November following a five-month renovation project to replace its putting surfaces. Work on the course – co-designed by Ian Baker- Finch and Nicklaus Design in 2004 – was completed by Desert Landscape, a division of the Dubai-based landscaping firm Desert Group. The project – which began in June 2019 – also saw the practice green rebuilt and work on the driving range and turf nursery, as well as work to enhance the desert surroundings on most holes. Sean Kinsley, director of agronomy for Emaar Hospitality Group, and his team supervised the project. “We have now managed to remove plant material along with the top 150 millimetres of greens and collar root zone and replaced it with a new USGA greens rootzone and red sand, before replanting with Platinum TE paspalum.” Photo: Arabian Ranches Golf Club Arabian Ranches reopens following greens renovation Construction of the new Rock Valley course designed by Albanese & Lutzke at the Yen Dung Resort & Golf Club near Hanoi, Vietnam, is set to begin in 2021. “The views on Rock Valley are like nothing I have ever seen that does not have an ocean,” said Paul Albanese, ASGCA. “Golfers will be standing on top of mountains up to 125 metres in height looking across the entire golf course and, on some holes, over to beautiful rice paddies and a traditional Vietnamese village.” The firm has worked at the resort before, having designed the Hillside course (pictured) that opened in August 2017. Photo: Yen Dung Resort & Golf Club Albanese designs second course for Vietnam resort