Swan Golf Designs (SGD) is returning to The Karnataka Golf Association, Bangalore, five years after completing the comprehensive redesign and renovation of its championship golf course.
The original project was centred upon solving an annual flooding issue which caused the course to be closed for several weeks every year. However, as the engineering solution was identified, it became apparent that this was a unique opportunity to improve all facets of the course. After thorough analysis, lengthy consultation with the membership and detailed planning the SGD designed solution was implemented over two phases, and included new greens, tees and bunkering throughout, a high specification drainage scheme and an automated water collection/storage/irrigation system. All playing areas were sand capped to guarantee all year round play and ensure the most rapid recovery possible from the monsoons.
Since completion the upgraded layout has proved to be a major success, lengthened to 7220 yards from the tournament tees yet playing a total of 5600 yards from the forward tees. As proof of the project’s success the renovated course is yet to be closed due to flooding.
It was voted one of Asia’s best renovations on completion of the project and the best course in India soon after. KGA became the first venue in southern India to host the prestigious Indian Open Asian Tour event and the first one outside Delhi and Kolkata to do so. In March 2014 KGA will proudly host the Bonallack Trophy, the biennial contest between the leading amateurs of Europe and Asia Pacific.
Howard Swan, Principal Golf Course Architect at SGD and responsible for the renovation adds: ”It was a great privilege to have been asked to go to India originally to sort out what was a major problem for the club in having the course close for so long during the monsoon periods. Having identified the solution the club chose to look at a wholesale renovation and so began the two-year, 2 phase programme to upgrade the entire course.
“It was a major challenge for us to lead and guide the Indian workforce to undertake the project. They had little experience of golf course construction but with a team built around an experienced project manager and utilising many of the resources of the club itself it proved to be a highly successful outcome. I found it quite fascinating to have a workforce of 600 on the project with a vast majority of the operations being undertaken by hand. Particular impressive was the delicacy with which the detailed construction was undertaken and was the quality of planting of the hybrid grasses to greens, tees and fairways, almost wholly carried out, stolon by stolon, plant by plant by a team of local female workers.
“We are all very proud of what has been achieved in the renovation and the accolades which have been given to the course over the last five years.
“The club have now decided to look at the next five years and see how the course and the management facilities can be improved further and I’m greatly looking forward to continuing our relationship with KGA”
SGD will return to KGA later this month to review the progress made over the past five years and to set out a programme for further improvements to be implemented over the next five years.
The return to India coincides with two courses in the United Kingdom – Ransomes Jacobsen at Ipswich and East Berkshire contracting SGD to return to work with them on further five-year programmes, after extensive design or redesign work being undertaken in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Swan Golf Designs www.swangolfdesigns.com
Karnataka Golf Association http://kga.in