The Asia Course at the 54-hole La Cala Resort in Spain reopened this week following a major refurbishment programme that saw all 18 greens upgraded to Bermuda grass in a bid to improve sustainability and year-round conditioning, and all bunkers fully renovated.
All three of La Cala’s championship courses – including the America and Europa layouts – were originally designed by Cabell Robinson, with the Asia course being the first to open in 1989.
The America Course received some significant alterations in 2018, with the 4th and 15th holes undergoing extensive remodelling to improve playability, and all bunkers refurbished to enhance the aesthetics as part of a comprehensive upgrade. And now the Asia Course has benefited from a major refurbishment programme, becoming the first layout on the Costa del Sol to switch to Bermuda grass on its greens, via the ‘No-Till’ method rather than relaying turf, while all its bunkers have been renovated to improve the course’s visual appeal and conditioning.
The course was closed for two months to complete the work following a successful Bermuda grass trial on one of the resort’s practice greens. The No-Till process, which involves scalping and verti-cutting to help kill off the existing grasses and allow the switch to Bermuda, is possible where the existing greens have good drainage and solid construction, which Campo Asia’s do. The end result is not only better year-round putting surfaces, but significantly improved sustainability, as Bermuda greens require substantially less water. The risk of grass diseases is also far lower and the putting surfaces are less reliant on the use of chemicals and fertilisers.
“Turning around such an ambitious project in a matter of months is an incredible achievement and testament to the hard work of everyone involved,” said Sean Corte-Real, Director of La Cala Resort. “The new Bermuda grass greens will be among the best in the Costa del Sol all-year-round, and unquestionably the most environmentally-friendly, requiring less water, chemicals and fertilisers. We’ve also made sure the Asia Course is in pristine condition from tee to green by refurbishing every bunker. Cabell Robinson’s masterpiece is one of the most dramatic courses in Europe, and we’re delighted that every hole looks and plays better than ever.”