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A golf course built to protect boulders

12.10am 16th August 2007 - Courses

It was 69 years ago that the Nizam of Hyderabad in India commissioned Donald Harradine to visit a few areas around his town with the aim to pick a suitable site for a golf course but, due to the ensuing political upheaval, that course was never built.

Peter Harradine is now building an 18 hole championship course on an incredibly challenging site in Hyderabad. Was this the piece of land already visited and approved by Peter’s father so many years ago? One would like to think so!

Spectacular golf courses always attract players that seek something out of the ordinary and the “Boulder Hills” course in Hyderabad definitely meets this description.

The site is blessed by incredible and spectacular rock formations that defy gravity, logic and modesty. One could imagine a Gulliver scenario where a giant amused himself by placing boulders and rocks at crazy angles and patterns or arranging them in neat piles and creating pyramids, geometrical formations and futuristic forms.

Unfortunately many of those unique and fantastic formations are disappearing under the blades of bulldozers, jack hammers and loaders to make way for ‘progress’. There is rapid development both in and all around the city of Hyderabad. The course was however designed to meander in between and around the monumental boulders so that at least on that particular site those unique and spectacular features could be preserved for posterity.

Harradine had an unexpected ally in his quest to preserve and enhance those natural features seeing as he was instructed to design the project according to the Vaastu philosophy, which is the Indian equivalent of the Chinese Feng Shui.

The Indian sages and saints always wanted to ensure happiness and prosperity, not only of mankind but of every living being in the world.

Harradine stated that he was not a great believer in spiritual matters but as a defender of nature and natural landscapes he would definitely follow those instructions, especially if that philosophy would help preserve the most unusual characteristics of that incredible site.

He enjoys the fact that here is a great example of a golf course – often criticised by some environmentalists as the cause of all evil – becoming the means of protecting and preserving those extraordinary formations for future generations.

When complete, Boulder Hills will be a fully integrated township covering an area of 535 acres. It will contain 3,000 apartments, 260 villas and a 250 room boutique hotel. Emaar Properties of UAE is developing these projects in partnership with Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (APIIC), an agency of the government of Andhra Pradesh.

Hyderabad is the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh, and the fifth largest city in India with a population of over 5 million. It is known for its rich history and culture with monuments, mosques, and temples, varied in arts, crafts and dance.

Situated approximately 20 km west of the city in an area called Gachibowli, Boulder Hills is close to the Hi-Tech City and immediately adjacent to Microsoft’s R&D facility and the new Infosys IT complex. It is also only 25 minutes from the newly proposed international airport and approximately the same distance from Begumpet international airport.

Harradine recounts that it was quite a challenge to design a sustainable golf course in this location. The costs are obviously higher due to the fact that the natural boulders, rocks and sheet- rock covered 70% of the site.

The elaboration of detailed plans, cut and fill, specifications, technical descriptions and bills of quantities for such a complicated site was intricate and very sophisticated, in order to make sure that the contractor fully understood the scope of work and so that he would build the course to the specified quality and within the approved lump sum price.

Some views of this spectacular golf course, sure to be one of the most photographed 18 holes in the world can be viewed at Harradine’s website where Boulder Hills is the eleventh course in the list of new developments.

Harradine Golf www.harradine-golf.com

       

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