Rumanza course, one of the largest golf developments in the world, is underway in the Pakistani city of Multan. And Welsh-based synthetic bunker edging specialist EcoBunker is playing a key role.
The Rumanza course, currently under construction, and designed by the practice headed by six-time Major Champion Sir Nick Faldo, is part of a 9,000 acre new community being developed by DHA Multan, an offshoot of the Pakistani Ministry of Defence.
Faldo Design Lead Architect, Andy Haggar, said: “This is a vast development on land that has historically been used for agriculture, and is rather flat. On part of the site, fruits, notably mangoes and oranges used to be grown, while elsewhere the land was used for cereal crops. The development will be a key centre of excellence for golf in Pakistan and a Sir Nick Faldo Signature project. This is our premium design service and includes a great deal of personal attention from Nick himself, as well as the involvement of our friends at the Golf Environment Organization, who are working with us to ensure the project is designed and built to internationally recognised environmental and sustainability standards.
“Any design has to work with the local environment and obviously on a flat site that can be difficult to find. From my first visit, I latched on to the ‘deras’ – vernacular mud brick dwellings, surrounded by walls which form a courtyard. The walls are rendered with the same mud mix so you don’t see the bricks. These were dotted around the site, and I immediately thought ‘We have to use these’. The golf course is mostly cut into the ground, so a significant part will provide a quarry-type setting for a number of holes. Elsewhere the golf course will further utilise the natural sand to give more of a desert feel, with an area of retained fruit trees providing a third playing environment.
“Once we had scraped off the top surface of material we found pure sand that seems to go on forever. That’s why we chose a linksy shaping theme, and hence the revetted bunkers. Obviously given the location, it is a warm season turf project, and it’s difficult to revet satisfactorily in warm season grasses, or at least I’ve never seen it done well, which is why we got EcoBunker involved. The bunkers will not be wholly revetted – I want a revetted edge in the line of play and grassy edges elsewhere, and there are also waste areas that are edged with EcoBunker
EcoBunker founder and CEO Richard Allen said: “We are supplying material to contractor Desert Group and their subcontractors, and also providing training. Construction manager Llewelyn Matthews will go out to Pakistan in November to coincide with Sir Nick’s next visit, spending a week there building several bunkers of different shapes and sizes, to train the team. This is a major project, in terms of scale, right up there with other EcoBunker projects like Dumbarnie Links, Secession, The Medalist and Singapore Island Country Club. Only TPC Sugarloaf was bigger, and that was 27 holes, so this is a nice logistical challenge for our new operations manager, Ryan Jarman!”
For more information visit http://www.ecobunker.co.uk