GOLF NEWS 2013
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Valderrama launches major renovation plan to upgrade the golf course and practice areas
Club de Golf Valderrama, the venue for the 1997 Ryder Cup, two World Golf Championships and 16 editions of the Volvo Masters, is currently undertaking major investments. Valderrama has been consistently ranked among the best courses in the World since 1988. The fairways and greens have always received unanimous appraisal from players and experts. However, the Board of Directors has approved a major investment plan to upgrade the golf course and improve its position among the best manicured courses in the World.
The first investment undertaken at this famous course in southern Spain, has been the complete renovation of the pumping system. A brand new pumping station, with the most advanced technology available on the market, was installed six months ago and it has produced excellent results. Fairways and greens are now much more consistent in colour due to the absence of dry spots or waterlogged areas. Apart from the visual effects and the improvement in the playing conditions, the new system has significantly reduced water and energy costs.
The second major improvement on the course has been the new bunkers. All traps have been renovated by installing new drainage, liners and sand. The new sand conforms with USGA specifications and has been chosen after months of testing. Valderrama's bunkers are now consistent in colour, texture and playing conditions thus improving the overall standard of the course.
"Bunkers have always been an issue at Valderrama. We have rebuilt the bunkers following the strictest and highest specifications and I am proud to say they are now matching the quality of our greens and fairways" says Valderrama's general manager, Javier Reviriego.
"We conducted many tests in our Par 3 course with different types of sand and we concluded that the current one fulfilled our expectations in terms of quality, playability and aesthetics. I'm confident the overall standard of the course has dramatically improved with this investment".
However, this is only the first phase of the renovation project, Valderrama is currently working on the improvement of many cart paths and the landscaping of the course. During the coming three years, the course will be improved in many areas: several greens and collars will be renovated so they remain completely free of Poa-Annua, which has always been one of Valderrama's main assets. "One of Valderrama's stamps of identity," says Javier Reviriego, "is that all greens and fairways are free of bad weeds, so all areas that are slightly contaminated will be re-turfed with healthy grass".
Planned for the immediate future is the construction of a new pitching and chipping green, in a large area next to the current practice range. The new area will be designed by a renowned golf course architect and will resemble the playing conditions of the actual course. The last phase of the program will include a major renovation of the irrigation system; it will be redesigned and changed from the current hydraulic one to an electric system. This will considerable improve the optimization of water and the uniformity of fairways and greens.
"We believe there is still significant margin for improving the golf course. Our goal is not just to be number one in continental Europe, as we are now, but to be among the very best in the World. Our members and visitors demand the highest quality and we will do all within reach to provide it", notes Reviriego.
Valderrama has been recently ranked in 45th place in the World and number 1 in Europe by "Golf Architecture Magazine"; this top 100 ranking is elaborated with votes from the most prestigious golf course designers and architects in the World.
With a total investment for the golf course of over 3 million €, one would think that a major golf tournament might be soon announced for Valderrama.
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