Colin Montgomerie recently made a site visit to his design project in Bahrain. The Riffa Views‘ 18-hole championship course, is part of a luxury development which sits amongst 1,000 villas, an international school, leisure facilities including a tennis resort, 9-hole executive golf course, a golf academy, a shopping mall and a luxury hotel.
Montgomerie is working alongside European Golf Design, the design company of the European Tour and IMG, on the 27 hole golf development at Riffa Views, which is due for completion in Spring 2008.
Montgomerie spent the day in Bahrain walking all 18 holes, with project architect, Robin Hiseman. He was delighted with the progress made since his last visit in January. “The difference between the look of the course now and when I was here last is amazing. The front nine has been shaped and will be grassed within the next few weeks. Now the back nine will take shape, and I‘m really looking forward to that.”
Being a windy day it was a good opportunity to see how playable the course would be in very challenging conditions. Montgomerie commented that if he made it off the 4th green in par he would be “very, very happy!”
“This is a very important project that I‘m extremely excited about, I‘m very proud to have my name attached, ” he said.
The undulating links style layout takes its inspiration from the dramatic wadi landforms carved out of the desert rock over many centuries. The layout is expansive to take account of the fierce winds that sometimes sweep through Bahrain, with large, multi-levelled greens and open approaches to encourage bump and run, links-style play. The flatter parts of the site have been shaped with dramatic, craggy sand dunes, which will be planted out with flowing, desert grasses, an imitation of the wild marram grass look of the traditional links courses.
At the end of the visit Montgomerie commented, “Everything I have seen works extremely well, this course will really put Riffa Views on the map.”
European Golf Design www.egd.com